Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Compass Day at JWU Charlotte, NC

What fun today! I was invited to talk about my sector with some JWU students today to promote the Independent School career choice. Some students aren't really sure the direction that they want to go after graduation, or were not aware that we offer co-op internships every semester. This was a great opportunity to share info about what I do as well as hang out with future chefs of America! Was a blast. Here are a couple pics I took today:

Got to meet the Lee Brothers in person today, was a suprise!

Busy for lunch:

Dipping Sauce for Lumpias:

How to cook rice in a cooker:

Rolling Lumpia:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A great event to help raise awareness/ money for eating disorders...

Was at Danial Stowe's Botanical Garden tonight helping out with a charity event to help raise money towards fighting eating disorders. Was a great time. Worked a little last night and all day (13 hours) today. Met some more great chefs, some more celeb chefs as well as ate some great grubbage. I'm sure they raised gobs of money too as the rich looking ones were there tonight :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sustainable Agriculture Conference

"Changing the Face of Local Foods" was the theme for this three day event that I've attended. Tons of local food producers, chefs, hot granola chicks, tree huggers, hippies, you name it were there. I met some fantastic people that are working incredibly hard to change the way we consume food and treat the land.

Sustainability was the word of the day around there! It impresses me to no end of what it takes to change the world we live in. Seems to me that in order to help stop the abundance of fossil fuels and the stripping of our land, we as chefs really have some work to do.

My first thought after speaking to the farmers was the cost. How are we supposed to afford to offer all these great local things to our customers if it costs sometimes more than 3 times that of something we can get from California or Chili!? The answer I hear a lot is, "HOW CAN WE NOT AFFORD IT!?" If we keep up what we are doing now with buying from the lowest bidder, we'll run out of gas, land and water before the end of our lives! It takes more energy to ship that stuff here from California than it does to grow it here! Think about our children! We've pissed away everything to feed us gluttons and this is where we've ended up. Now, we're scrambling around trying to "fix" our mess.

Check out the pics of my trip. A few garden tours and some still life, good stuff :) Seems this sort of thing is being brought to me often lately. Were moving forward at work to start an edible garden, will keep you informed.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another great cooking class for charity...

Here are some pics I took of the evening:

Welp, another great chef auction event landed me another sweet cooking class this past Saturday.

I set it up similarly to the last one. This time, 5 courses instead of 6.

We broke up into 3/ 3 person groups. I showed everyone how to use a knife, saute and make a vinaigrette and let the guys grill up the shrimp and steaks (all guys know how to do that already, right?!)

Here's the menu:

Theme: Steak Night

Let’s make some MEAT! A 5 course steak dinner in appetizer size portions for everyone to enjoy.

Starter Course

Lime Curry Marinated Grilled Shrimp “Cocktail” w/ Chunky Avocado Cocktail Sauce (Great course for a sweet white)

Salad Course

Grilled Fresh Artichoke Salad w/ Spring Mix and Toasted Pine Nuts Topped with a Fresh Ginger Orange Vinaigrette (Light red here)

Refresher Course

Pomegranate Sorbet w/ Chambord Drizzle

Main Course

Simple NY Strip Steak Topped w/ a Caramelized Sweet Onion and Basil Relish (Small batch medium/ dark beer here)

Dessert Course

Key Lime “Pie” on Toasted Hazelnut Crumble Served in a Wine Glass (Dessert wine here)

Another successful night! More to come soon!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Charlotte Shout 2007

Yet another Charlotte Shout under my belt. Always a good time for all. I was the only FIS chef representn' :) It was a blast! Got to meet a few celebs (pics below) and make some great food. Seems I'm lined up for 2 more charity events this year and two more are in the works right now. Ill keep ya posted.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Greensboro Culinary Salon 9/11/07

Well, went out and finally did it, entered my first cold food competition on the 11th! Was awesome and fun. Lots of work, but well worth it. A good buddy of mine helped me out, we both invested about 50 hours on it. Here are the pics. Yes, I won, a BRONZE MEDAL!! WOOHOO!!!

Here is the official menu I went with:

  • Seafood Sausage w/ Roasted Fingerling Potato Terrine and Sauce Andalouse.
  • CanapĂ©s Assortment: Sun-Dried Tomato and Goat Cheese Tartlet, Prosciutto and Melon CanapĂ© and Roasted Yellow Pepper Mousse Profiterole.
  • Pate de Campagne w/ Tart Apple Compote and Bosc Pear Crisp.
  • Duck Galantine w/ Pistachios and Dried Cherries, Wood Fired Ginger Fig Tart and Balsamic Reduction.
  • Rabbit Pie in Parmesan Prosciutto Crust, Tri-Colored Baby Beets and Beet Foam Essence.
  • Trilogy of Salmon: Salmon Mousse w/ Sauce Gribiche, Gravlax w/ Dill Caper Aioli and Cedar Roasted Salmon w/ Red Onion Marmalade.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

check out mah shit!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Original Sysco Culinary Salon Menu 2007

Culinary Salon menu: B1 Cold Food, 6 different cold appetizer plates


  1. Seafood Sausage w/ simple fish veloute, brunoise vegetables and turned red bliss potatoes.
  2. Smoked Venison Sausage w/ Orange and Juniper Berry Gastrique, (other garnish?)
  3. Duck Terrine w/ Pistachios and Dried Cherries garnished w/ candied pistachios and dried cherries.
  4. Grilled Vegetable Terrine w/ Broken Basil Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Coulis.
  5. Smoked Salmon Mousse Barquettes w/ Caviar and Dill Infused Oil.

Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Profiteroles w/ Chili Oil and Fresh Chive Pesto.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Working on my FOod Competition menu.

Culinary salon in Greensboro in three weeks. Working n the menu now, hope the heck I have time to practice! lol, why do I put myself into these situations? Love baby, love of the business!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hells Kitchen Tryouts Today!

Well, today was the day I tried out for the Hells Kitchen TV Show! It was held at Johnson and Wales University here in Charlotte. What a cool experience!

Basically, there were a couple producers interviewing us and looking for strong personalities. I was the 6th person called out of about 100 others. He (Louis) asked me questions like, what sort of passion do I have for food, what I did for a living and why I like/ disliked it, where I saw myself in the future, what my goals are, etc. He asked me a good bit of things about my current job and seemed to be impressed that we made everything from scratch for a private school!

It felt really good and I felt the interview went extremely well! He said that there would be call backs by the end of the week. If they call me, it would be before the weekend.

Anyway, off to bed, wish me luck!

Hells's Kitchen show tryouts today!

Well, todays the day! I'm trying out for the show "HELLS KITCHEN!".
What I can expect, it seems, is just a 2 minute interview with someone
there. They want to assess peoples personalities. Not sure what
they're looking for, but I plan to just be myself!

I want a break so bad I can't stand it! My family deserves it, I
deserver it!!! Ill keep a blog of my experiences today. Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My Tabasco Recipe Contest Submissions!

This is something cool, I am submitting three recipes to Tabasco. They are having a contest where first prize is 10,000 bucks! It has to be meddeteranean and use one or more of their different flavors. Here are the pictures that will be joing the recipes in the mail.

Fresh Summer Smoky Gazpacho using the Chipotle Tabasco Sauce (this was my favorite of the three, YUM!!!)

This one is a Spicy Artichoke Risotto, I used the Original in this one...

And, finally, a Pan-Seared Mako Shark w/ a Spicy Olive Salad...

Wish me luck!

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Private Catering...

Well, did a private catering for work at this really nice house. It was for the planning committee. So, needless to say, they had a pretty big budget and I was able to spend some money on the food ;)

Here is the "Cheese Tasting Table" I put together. Each item on the boards compliments each other. SO, for example, you grab a cracker (not shown) and spread some Cambozola (cross between Camembert and Gorgonzola, yum!) and spread some honey comb and drizzle it with a little black truffle oil and enjoy. Washing it down, of course, with some wine (if you drink, that is)...

Here are some close-up shots...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

16th Birthday party catering...

Welp, chef David and I did our first, of many we hope, private catering's last night. It was for a well-to-do family's 16 year old sons birthday party. What a house! Huge pad in a private gated community in South Charlotte.

The menu was an "Asian Tappas" theme that my chef buddy David put together. A whopping 9 courses! We prepped all the food and brought it over, Dave left and I took over. He had some private stuff to do with his family.

I arrived at 6:00 pm and set things up. There were to be a total of 12 people there. The 2 adults and 10 teenagers. The plan was for me to start cooking at 7:00 after everyone arrived. Well, 8 of the 10 arrived on time but two were over an hour and a half late! I couldn't get started on the cooking until they arrived :(.

So, I got started after 8:30 pm. The menu consisted of 5 apps, 2 main courses and 2 desserts. Everything was small and Asian style. From 'Black and White Sesame Crusted Tuna' (image shown) to 'Pan Seared Mahi' to 'Pecan Tuiles Filled with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Topped with Fresh Berries Flamed with Grand Marnie'.

I scanned in the menu for you to check out (its been scribbled on for notes, lol)...

Finally broke down and left at 11:45 pm (at 75 an hour, that's pretty good loot :) ). Washed all the dishes today and back to work tomorrow. Was fun but took too long. Next time I hope to get done sooner. Still though, was a great experience and everyone seemed very happy.

*note, the crab cakes sucked, better crab later or I need to make them better :/.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

On my way home...

So, trip's over. Interview sssion went extremely well. Chris said I did a great job and that he thought I knew my way around a kitchen. I feel pretty great about the way it turned out. Quick overview of how it went...
Dude picked me up 9:00 am this morning, we drove down to Natick, Mass to a food brokerage. He gave me three new "minor" brand sauces and a local steak houses menu. He had me come up with a couple menu items revolved around those three sauces. I made a chicken wing trilogy with crinkle cut sweet potato fries and a apricot dijon mustard glazed pan seared salmon with a warm caprise salad. I took advantage of the same fries. Both plates focused on both the sauces and bar-type food. The three guys that were there (a chef, chris and some guy named steve/ big-wig) were impressed by the food and asked me a few typical questions that are asked a lot by potential clients. I just did what I do best and it went well! If I don't at least go to the final interview, I'll be both suprised and a little pissed :/.

Got to see my son, brother, his gf, my neice, kari, mom and Bill. Was a full day for sure! Tonight I cooked dinner for the family and grabbed an icecream at the creamland :) yum! Earlier today, had a smoke and hit some balls at the driving range. I hit really great today! Felt good to laugh with my bro :)

Aprils still pissing me off about this whole thing. Didn't wanna know how the interview went or anything. Whatever. If I get it, great, and she'll have to get on board with it. If I don't get it, she'll be happy and I'll keep looking as hard as ever. I don't want to work for fatty ass anymore waiting for him to come in and threaten my job again. Fucker. Besides, their double standards shit is driving me batty.

If I have to stay where I am, I'll keep my head down and work my ass off while I send out resumes. I won't burn a bridge and if/ when I leave, it'll be on good terms.

Flight boards soon, can't wait to hug the wife, cop a feel and sleep in my own bed. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

At the airport...

You know what sucks about this fucking blackberry!? I just typed a ton of shit and accidently backed up and lost everything I just fucking typed!!!!!! FUCCCCKKKK!!!

Ok, anyway, like I was typing before...

I'm sitting here at the philly airport on my way to NH for this Nestle interview. Its 7:40 pm and my flight (1470) boards in about 10 minutes.

Like I mentioned in a previous blog, I'm SO excited about this opportunity. I mean, this is the break we've been waiting for! A chance to get out of debt, live a better/ more compfotable life and, best of all, the ability to afford to adopt.

Other than the money, we'd be closer to my family. I'd be able to have a better, more involved relationship with my son, spend more time with old friends and see the snow (cool). Yeah, would miss the great carolina weather, but shit, all the other pros would be a great trade-off.

One major thing about the "if I get the job" thing... The wife is not really on board with it. She's concerned about being further from her family. I can understand her concerns, been there, but I think all the great things I mentioned above would be a nice trade-off to having to drive 10 hours (or fly) down a few times a year instead of the 3 hour drive she's been accostomed to. That's it. Well, and there's her bro and neice and nephew too, I suppose. Well, like was mentioned to me by a friend in an email, I've been hours away from my family for over 11 years, its her turn. Some agree that she's being selfish. Others say she's been in her "comfort zone" for too long and doesn't want big changes like this, got it. Perhaps I'm being selfish too, but I have OUR interests at heart, not just mine!

Anyway, God has always been there in situations like this. Like Brian said, "turn it over to Him" and "ask God to let it be OK with me however it turns out." We'll see...

More later,


Sunday, May 13, 2007

New boss here, old boss gone, sorta...

Well, old boss was asked to leave because the client shared the feelings of a few others that he was incompetent and not well liked. He didnt like him much and seems he was losing a lot of money. Not good for business.

New guy started a couple weeks ago, seems to be a pretty nice guy and knows his stuff. Good Christian values, doesn't cuss and treats people with respect. He keeps me IN the loop so I can know whats going on. Unlike the old boss who, at least these past few months, didn't seem to know the difference between a child's balance and how to balance a child, lol, and kept me out of everything unless it was something to complain about. He also ran around screaming and yelling to prove a point. Now, hes running around for the DM to different accounts, playing his puppet, lol, funny.

As soon as he left, my stress level was cut considerably. The new guy and I are hitting it off pretty good (at least for now). I need to make sure I keep my side of the street clean with this relationship as I've made enemy's with people I've hit it off with in the past.

DM is giving me less shit and I've had a good level of inspiration with my food lately. I think when I made the decision to worry about doing my job the best I can with no expectations instead of basing it on ass kissing and moving up in the company, I've had a better perspective.

We've done some nice catering lately showing off our stuff. Clients happy as hell and we'll end up getting more business as a result.

That fucker that got his own account was begging the DM for some ideas from ME! The asshole gets his own account after 6 months and cant write a menu or a recipe to save his life. I have no sympathy for people like him. I've had to come up with most of my own ideas, so he'll need to also. I "vaguely" helped him to make the boss happy, but he'll still have to do some work. (can you tell I'm a little bitter?)

On another note... we've discussed selling the house and moving to something with more land. So, working on finishing the odds and ends here before moving forward with that.

Mom, my son and my half sister are coming down in July, which is sweet.

On yet another note, I've been experimenting with roasting coffee lately with great success. I really enjoy it. I may post some things about that down the road with some pics.

Im off to bed with a good head. Nighty...

Blackberry blogging rocks!

So, I have this blackberry that I really love. Now, not only can I get my email and surf the web, I can blog on the fly! Perhaps I can start reviewing restaurants or blogging from special events. This should be awesome!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Yummy grilled cheese...

I made the best griled cheee Ive ever had tonight! Sliced open a crispy fresh baquette, slathered with sambol, blue cheese and stacked with american cheese and grated parmesan, buttered and grilled on the panini press!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Update, first Blog in 2007

This is odd, first post in 2007! What a BLOG SLACKER I've been, lol.

Hmm, where to start?

Since the last time I blogged, things have been a healthy combination of good and bad news.

First, that regional chefs job I was supposed to get was offered to someone else (a good friend of mine) instead of me. Seems I pissed off one of the big wigs for some reason and he suddenly decided I wasn't worthy. He proved that by literally SCREAMING inches from my face about what he thought of me, etc. Aparently, he thought I got his drinking buddy in trouble (my supervisor). But, fact is, my supervisor is a flake and can't stay focused enough to do his damn job! Anyway, that was that. My supervisor is being asked to leave the unit because the client doesnt like him (I prove my case, hes a flake!). But, being as the big boss loves him (drinking buddy) instead of firing him, he's gonna ship him around for a few weeks until they can find him another unit. Guess it pays to have the DM on your side, eh?

Then, this dumb ass n00bie starts with the company (looks like Shrek! LOL) about 3 months ago, is now awarded his very own unit! They didn't feel I should have been at least offered the position, as they want me to stay where I am for another year. That fuck up can't cook to save his life, let alone manage people, lol. But, big boss loves him as they used to work together years ago at another sector.

Ok, THEN, my chef certification cooking practical had to be post-poned three times because that GD DM fealt that the unit comes first and my persoanl shit can wait to be taken care of on my own time (WHEN?, what personal time!) What he doesnt get, is that it only occurs on the third Saturday of every month and I have to be there the Friday before and its a good 5 hour drive from here. So, I pray for a time we are closed on a Friday, or wait until summer break to take care of it. Wouldnt you want to have a certified chef working for you and your company? GRRR, lol.

Hmm, lemme see, whats next? Welp, good news is, two of the worst PITAs quit the other day to go work for a call center for the local electric company. Lazy asses are better off, they get to do what they love best, sitting on their asses and talking on the phone, God bless them! :) They're out of my hair and the place is really quiet now.

So, needless to say, I've turned into a disgruntled employee that has had the carpet pulled out from under him. I went from everyones hero/ future regional chef to a glorified cook looking for a new job!

I have my eye on this sweet gig up in the New England area, crossing my fingers on that. They are interviewing people a bit more local in front of me, but we'll see how it goes. If it doesnt work out, I'll keep looking. I just have to make it through until June 1st and then I can hit the streets all summer looking for something new. If, for some odd reason, they have some secret plans for me, I'll see what they have to say. To be honest, moving back to New England would prolly suck a dick, but, then again, might be the best thing for us. A new begining and a fresh start.

I've started writing the newsletter for a local adoption chapter, which is kinda fun. I get to practice putting stuff like that together. Never know when it might come in handy.

Had lunch with one of my old intern this afternoon. He's doing well and I have a feeling he'll do awesome in this field. A go-getter with a level head and a great personality. He won't have far to go.

A couple weeks ago I did a private cooking class for 12 adults and we had a blast. 6 courses of apps. I wrote the menu, they bought the food, I showed up and tought them all how to make everything. Of course, everyone got a little drunk and I didnt have to work hard at all :) Perhaps I'll be able to make a living on that some day on the side or something. (hmm?)

That's it for me. More news later :) I am in the early stages of writing a cookbook for friends and family. If its sucessful, I may try to get it published. One good thing came from working for this company, I've had a lot of great oportunties to try and gather new recipes! Why not put them all together?

Unkle_Chef :)