What an amazing response to my last post, thanks to all of you. I wanted to bring back a touch of levity, the homeless, hunger and do gooders can be more of a mindful but necessary PSA post, less fun of a cooking tip post.
So, I present to you, my take on how to choose a knife and what to look for. I hope that you find it mildly useful in a ridiculous kind of way.
I’m a guy who has made his life in the food world by unusual means, I don’t always get the opportunity to spend time in traditional kitchens. When you are in a business that requires you to seek consistent, well organized plan of attacks, you are going into a battle, not armed with weapons of force and steel, but with heat and flavors to win over your critical foe.
I had the chance to join up with some peers and was asked to be the photographer and videographer of a fundraising event that took place at the now closed Six89 main restaurant which was a Chef Mark Fischer concept in Carbondale, Colorado.
These events are always a ton of fun to be involved with. If you have never been to a James Beard event or a Slow Food event, you are missing out on something special.Each one of the organizations do amazing things for the food world.
The James Beard Foundation’s mission: ” is to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and future”, from the James Beard Foundation website. In the food world, to receive a James Beard award is like winning an Oscar.
Slow Food’s mission: Slow Food works to defend biodiversity in our food supply, spread taste education and connect producers of excellent foods with co-producers through events and initiatives. This is world changing stuff.
As a guest, you get the chance to sample a selection of different dishes prepared by a number of different chefs who took time away from their own restaurant to be involved. 99% of the time, the Chef will be there cooking and not sending his or her minions, which is always a good thing.
As chefs, we get the chance to create something special, unique and inventive at these events. Not only to wow the guest but to throw down some culinary ego just to get favorable response from our peers. Sure, we all go in there with 100% good intentions but no one will show up with that “caesar salad” the restaurant got famous for. That would be just stupid. We have a chance to work with and not just sit and bullshit with, other great chefs and try to WOW them with a cool new idea or a inventive presentation. Yes we are a territorial lot, bitches.
I love these events and have been involved with many of them. I find them inspiring and a chance to get to know other ‘like kinds’ with a purpose.
I made this short video to share the teamwork of a working kitchen during a plating of one of the dishes. Just take note that this is the first time that many of these chefs have ever worked together. Watch the rhythm of how they assemble the plate and the focus and joy everyone of them is experiencing. Enjoy this and please leave your comments. Please be sure to follow this blog and share it with your friends.
(I know I have forgotten to mention a number of people in this video to this list, Please contact me and I will add you and your links to this blog.)
Here’s the deal. I have been doing my best to eat better, save some money and try to make all of my Crossfit efforts count. So this is what I have been doing. I cut the sugar. I cut eating wheat, grains, booze, soda and, you know, all the good stuff.
But you want to know something? It has been much easier than I would have thought. The only thing I truly miss is a little something sweet. So I sometimes indulge with a small bite of something, small being the big word. So what I have been doing is making food I really want to eat. So tonight I made a really good, really simple, really chopped salad with sausage and kale soup.
Here is the ingredients for the salad. I am not going to give you the amounts for anything because it can be as much or as little of each ingredient as you like.
Cucumber, cut into chunks
Celery, cut thinly
Brussel Sprouts sliced very thin (think coleslaw)
Green onions, chopped
Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, med diced and roasted in a 350 degree oven until soft. Let cool
Green Grapes, cut in half
Romain Lettuce, chopped fine
Combine all of this in a large enough bowl and toss. Add the following dressing just before service
Dressed with Honey Mustard dressing
1 tablespoon mustard, your choice
1 tablespoon honey
1 part white vinegar or your choice
3 parts EVOO
Salt to taste
I can tell you straight up. It is freaking good. I hope that you enjoy this.
Remember what our founding fathers said, “We the People, in order to form a more perfect salad…”
P.S. Please take a survey that I am conducting for a project I am doing. Please click HERE. Thank you in advance.
It has been a very interesting couple months in my world. In short I had a job drop into my lap perfect and not perfect all rolled into one. I’ve been cooking my ass off. I have been attempting Stand Up comedy in Denver with moderate success, but I made my charity, LOVE HOPE STRENGTH some money, I’m happy about that. I have been collecting more than my share of speeding/parking tickets. My cars been hit. I am in the best shape I have been in….let’s see what else?
It’s been a pretty good end of the year, everything and skill I have, I did!
So here is my big plans. 2013 is the year of getting out of all of my comfort zones. I am going to do ANYTHING, all pride aside, all ego aside and live this midlife crisis to the max, as we used to say way back in the day.
Here is my list of 2013 tasks;
a) Start a design firm
b) Restore at least 2 vintage motorcycles
c) Get my foot in the door of a custom furniture maker
d) Get to know Brooklyn better
e) Get even more fit
f) Help somebody and do good
g) See one Deepak lecture
h) Learn one song on the piano
I) Get a one man monologue show written
j) Continue to prove to my lovely bride to be how much I love her
k) Get my niche in the food world (I can assure you oddly enough, that it won’t involve working a line anywhere)
l) Get off Facebook
This is just a small starting list for the next 365 days ahead. All I can hope for is that the Mayan weren’t correct in their prediction. I’m looking forward to next year.
Dear diary, 10/16/12 morning
It was a beautiful sunny day, kinda warm but not hot but kinda chilly but not bad really and then I got up and had granola and yogurt for breakfast and the dogs sure enjoyed the leftover steak I gave them and I hope it agrees with them, that might be a problem, but thats ok, I am sure that it was worth it to them..and
BTW, New and very exciting things have made their way to life Completely unexpectedly and out of the blue. The stars aligned and opportunity was presented in a major way.
Dear Diary 10/18/12
Denver, I am looking forward to becoming part of your amazing culinary scene. The dogs are ok
Check out this article on Eater.com today
The pancakes above is not in the plan anymore.
Yes it has finely happened, I have let my Crossfit habit mingle with my professional life and it is about time. I have never been one of those guys that was or ever thought would become a gym rat, I’m not a rat more like a crack habit. But over the last two years I have been doing Crossfit- first at Roaring Fork Crossfit under the suggestion of my good friends Mark Fisher and Lari Goode and now at Broadway Crossfit and South Denver X-Fit. Why this is relevant is that Mark and Lari are food people, Mark is a Chef and Lari runs the world. Their restaurants are six89 Main, Phat Thai and The Pullman, which I helped designed and built.
Both of them are and always have been very fit, truth be told, most people in the food industry are really not in good shape. It’s the food, booze and hours that get us. So when you find people that are so dedicated to healthy living and the food they prepare is neccessaruly not. This meaning, calories, butter, oil, sugar, etc. even portion size. I take notice.
I bring Crossfit into this for a reason. It is really hard work, work that I don’t take lightly. I have been involve in Xfit for 2 years and have had remarkable success. I am not the strongest guy in the gym/box but I am not the worse. I have thing that I am really good at and others I just SUCK at, I’m talking to you squat snatch! But the point being is that I am really trying my hardest to get good at this, become stronger and look good, yes, vanity. I think it’s working.
I bust my ass, I am in pain and I don’t want to throw all of my efforts away just because I WANT pancakes or dessert. That, in the nature of evolution, is making me WANT to eat better, eat healthier and think about if I really want to drink my hard work away. I pretty much have given up drinking all together. I love beer and I love great scotch but the toll it takes aren’t worth it to me. I thought I would never say that, but I did and I mean it.
I will not become one of those people that act holier than thou about this, but for me, it have made all the difference in the world. I still cook with butter, bacon, cream, whatever, but it is now done with a softer hand.
If you haven’t noticed the recipes I been posting are 1 bowl 2 pot recipes. I found that if I make it easier with a few really good ingredients and flavor, every meal is a success! So keep on following this blog and I promise I won’t cult like on ya!
Have a good week and I will talk with you this weekend
It was Sunday evening; the sun was going down and the first thing I felt like doing was getting on my website to blog about the great weekend I had in Palisade and Grand Junction area enjoying the The Mountain Winefest.
With an estimated 7000 tickets sold and countless Colorado winemakers, live entertainment (as opposed to dead entertainment) and chef demos all thru the day, what is not to love? I had the pleasure of being the feature celebrity chef and the 12 noon demo guy, flanked by other great chefs and Local Culinary students, (I will provide a link to the school as soon as I get the proper link). Any whooo, It was a smashing success!
For my demo, I was very lucky to have over 100 people in attendance, it must of been my lucky day-I may have only offended 10% of them. Yee Haw!
I prepared an Asian BBQ pork short rib with a Gala apple ‘salad’. So, by request and my promise, here are the recipes for those delicious little niblets.
1 rack of pork ribs, cut in half by your butcher
Some carrots, celery and onions all chopped
TB of whole black peppercorns
A couple bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
What to do:
Oven: 300 degrees
Heat a grill or large saute’ pan, season ribs with salt and pepper and sear meat side until nice and browned. Place ribs and all the other ingredients in a roasting pan and cover the ribs with with warm water. Cover the pan tightly with foil and place in oven. Cook for 4 to 6 hours or until meat is very tender.
Remove from oven and let cool overnight in broth in the fridge. Save for later.
My Asian BBQ Glaze
1/4 cup sesame oil (any oil is ok)
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped ginger
2 dried ancho chilies (again, any dried chili is fine, just be careful of the heat. Marilyn Monroe knows “Some like it hot”)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups Hoisan sauce
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh cilantro
How to make it:
In a med sized sauce pot, heat oil over med heat. Add ginger and garlic and sweat and stir and sweat and stir until very fragrant.
Add and melt in brown sugar
Add the seeded dried chilies
Pour in the apple cider vinegar and bring just up to a boil
Add the Hoisan sauce, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stir ever so often, DO NOT BURN.
Add the cilantro,and lime juice and turn off the heat.
Blend in a blender or food processor and strain.
Now, the hit of the day – Gala Apple “Salad”
2 Gala or Granny Smith apple, 1/4’d and sliced very thin
2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced fennel root
1/2 cup each of fresh mint leaves, cilantro, and chopped green onion
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Miran
1/4 fresh lime juice
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss. Chill until service – only if service is within 30 minutes. Best to chill all the ingredients separate and combine just before service.
Time to put it all together:
Take ribs and cut into portion size, in a bowl, toss with some of the bbq sauce so they are well coated. place on grill and cook until hot.
Remove and sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with apple salad. Feel free to glaze with more sauce to your liking.
I really had a great time cooking for all the food lovers in the grand valley. I will be posting on Wednesday the Corn soup recipe I did for my chefs dinner at the Doubletree Hotel friday night,
Love ya all! Be sure to subscribe to my blog and comment