Friday, August 22, 2008

"A special evening fund-raiser for the Community Culinary School of Charlotte"


A special evening fund-raiser for the Community Culinary School of Charlotte

Aug. 21, 2008

What a great night we had last night! I was fortunate enough to have been a part of a fund raiser last night at the "Community Culinary School of Charlotte". Chef Ron had invited some influential people from the Charlotte area to come by and take part in this grand event. There was a ton of food and raffled prizes as well as a cooking competition at which I was one of the guest judges. Very cool.

That culinary school is "a private not-for-profit organization that provides training and job search assistance in the food service industry for people who are chronically unemployed or underemployed."

My buddy Randy and Chef Ron are doing some great stuff down there. Here are some pictures that we taken last night.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

House made Sambal and a Hard Boiled Egg!?

Yum! Dude, if you hadn't tried it, you must. If you are a fan of spicy food then you will love this. See, Im a big fan of sambal and Ming Tsai so I decided to do my version of his recipe using Latin American chilies instead of Asian chilies.

Just check out Mings version and replace his chilies with 50/50 arbol and anaheims. After that, slather some of that shit on a fresh hard boiled egg and enjoy. Share it with your friends as I did making a morning ritual for everyone in the kitchen. Its like an addiction!

Fresh Fig Tart...

So, my mom came to visit us this past week. She brought my son and sister along too, so it was a full-house. I took everyone to the local farmers market where we all went babbly for the local fare. I bumped into a couple old friends and they showed us around a bit. Was a nice time.

I bumped into this dude that was selling fresh picked local white figs. They were awesome and I had to have some! So, I bought two quarts and off we went. After we had our fill of fresh figs au natural, we decided to make the rest of them into a tart. Mom made the best crust known to man and I took care of the filling. Old school hard knocks cooking meets formally trained chef. The end result was one of the best fruit tarts we've ever had! Check it out:

I must say, it was yummy. Flaky crust, filling had just a little raw sugar, orange zest, tapioca, a pinch of salt and a little cinnamon. The figs took the show, for sure. Add a little vanilla bean ice cream and you're off to the races!!!

Jessie and Robs Wedding Reception...

Well, just pulled off my first official wedding reception as a private chef. I had a buddy help me out, check out his blog here.

So, it took like a week to set up for it. Our gracious host took care of all the non-food related details (tent, rental ware, linen, etc.) and the ceremony was held at the grooms house in their back yard. They have a HUGE yard, a rare find in the Charlotte area.

I was told there would be 50 people there and, after counting heads, there were no less than 70 people there! Luckily I made enough food (I have this fear of running out sometimes, so I planned for the worse, good habit to have man.)

So, food for 50, (actually 70+), a brunch setup, live music, beautiful ceremony and the nicest weather we could have imagined at 86F and low humidity, sweet.

Here's the menu:

Wedding Reception Menu

Garden Style Theme

Passed Appetizers for first half hour

Asian Beef on Crisp Wonton Chip

House-Made Lox on Parmesan Bagel Crisps

Pulled Pork on Carolina Grit Cake

Carving Station

Top Round


Assorted Rolls and Breads

Lunch Station (to accompany the carving station)

Ambrosia Salad (per brides request)

Herb Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes

Seasonal Fresh Vegetable

Breakfast Station

Assorted Muffins and Breakfast Breads

Italian “Margarita Style” Frittata

French Toast w/ Assorted Toppings

Drink Station

Coffee, Tea and assorted accompaniments

Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

Non-Alcoholic Fruit Beverage Cocktail.

Please note the the dates are incorrect on the images because I didnt set the dat up correctly :)

Carving station:

Brunch-Style menu:

Fresh Baked Rolls from Novas Bakery:

The happy couple? :)