Monday, December 21, 2009

A couple sweet projects...

I love being a chef, as I'm sure most of you already know this about me. Not only do I get to create some great food, hang-out with some cool people (yes, even a few lazy over paid ones, lol) and eat, I get to play a little once and a while. It's not all work all the time, right? RIGHT? :)

The holiday season is upon us and, as you know, people eat more than of necessity, but out of the need to be with friends and family. Eating together is probably one of the oldest holiday rituals in the world.

This holiday season, my small and hard working team and I were able to pull off two huge buffets with loads of choices including many many entree items, desserts, omelet bars, pancake bars and carving stations. This last one, I decided it'd be a great idea to make a gingerbread house. After a couple nay-sayers thought it would be a waste of money, I convinced them it was for the children, and after a good eye roll, they also agreed it would be fun.

Check out these pics:

A wide angel shot of the entire thing, complete with reindeer and a sleigh.

Side angle...

We made our own play-dough and hand formed these eerie creatures, complete with frill-pick antlers, lol. The legs are tooth pics wrapped in said play-dough and the eyes and noses are "Nerds" candy, lol. James thought it would be funny to give them sharpie marker eye-balls.

Gummy worm and m&m chimney, 100 calorie Oreo roof shingles, and Christmas lights from a doll house store to set things off.

A good friend of mine gave me the idea to create stained glass windows with Jolly Rancher candies! Awesome.

In addition to the crazy schedule of parties, meetings, gift buying and so on, I found time to submit two more settings to the deep plate exercise on this months plate. I smoked a ton of Carolina trout filet's and decided to put a few of them to good use.

Creamy shiitake mushroom and butternut risotto, hickory smoked
Carolina trout and sauce vierge garnished with Italian parsley, tomato
chip and fried farm-fresh egg.

"All-local" fall salad of mesclun greens, pan roasted root vegetables,
charred grape tomato vinaigrette with Hickory smoked Carolina trout
and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Squeezed in two private caterings (sorry, don't have any pictures to post yet). One for 12 people, heavy appetizers and the other for 13, a three course luncheon at a doctors office. More details on that one later.

I'm looking forward to spending time with family soon and eating some more great grub. That's what its all about, right? ;)