On Saturday March 29 I worked an event at school. I worked with Chef Kevin and Chef Payne. Chef Kevin is a very amazing person. He has two children that suffer from PKU. It is a disease that does not allow you to break down proteins. With having these two children it inspired him to create menus and way of preparing food so that people that suffer from the disease are able to enjoy food as we all do. He creates bacon from sweet potatoes and even creates a type of Mcgriddle like served at Mcdonalds.
I was working the pizza station and he asked me to use my knife skills to show different ways of cutting peppers, onions and mushrooms. So that we could show them how to have fun with cooking.
It was a success, everyone enjoyed it. I would just like to add that the last two weekends have been very humbling for me. The first weekend at Camp Rainbow and then last weekend with people that suffer from PKU. It has shown me to appreciate what I have in life and inspired me to keep my focus through this Adventure in Culinary. I am truly a student of the game and this is my journey. The thing that makes me the most exciting is that my journey has really just begun
Thursday, March 27, 2014
It is Thursday, the last day of the week for week 9. One more week to go and I will have completed my fifth phase here at Lecole culinary. This was the first phase that I was not in the kitchen. I did not expect to enjoy this phase as much as I have. I have to say that this has actually been one of the best phases I have had. My Chef instructors have been really amazing and have helped reinforce my dreams of becoming a Chef. I have really began to understand the other side of this industry. The business management, human resource management and of course English composition. It really has been an adventure in Culinary thus far, but I know that the true journey is only beginning...
On our way home from the funeral we stopped in Albers, Illinois at Behrmann Meats and Processing. Mom and I went inside the market and spent over $100. We purchased homemade salami, sausage, jerky, pork chops, steaks and several types of snack sticks. Walking in the market you were met by the most amazing smoke smell, it reminded me of my days in Germany when I was young. After getting home we tried some of the sausage and it was amazing. I wish that there were more places like Behrmann's. Who knows maybe once I get my restaurant up and going I will use them as my supplier.
|Behrmann Meats and Processing in Albers, Illinois|
After my grandmothers funeral, my entire family went to have lunch together. We went to a pizzeria in Centralia, Illinois. There were about 40 of us. We have homemade pizzas, bread sticks with garlic butter dipping sauce and salad. The food was great, but the best part was seeing all of my family. Some of them I had not seen in over 20 years. My entry is about how even on a sad day, my grandmothers funeral, how food can bring everyone together. Food does that to people. It can make a sad person happy. It was nice to see so many smiles after such a sad day.
On my way to my grandmothers funeral, my parents and I stopped at a little country diner in New Baden, Illinois. They were apparently known for their fried chicken. Well I will say this I have to agree. For just $5.99 I received 4 pieces of golden fried chicken, a large baked potato, fried green tomatoes, house salad and a homemade yeast roll. The food was incredible! It is always nice to enjoy a great meal at such a cheap price. The quality of the food was 4 stars in my opinion.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Sunday I received terrible news that my fathers mother, Grandma Pearl, passed away. It made me feel really sad but at the same time I know she is free of all of her pain. She suffered from severe heart problems and had already beat cancer. She was a courageous and strong woman. She was born during the great depression. A time when I feel people probably appreciated food differently. I remember being a little boy and grandma showing me how to can peaches, beans and how to make homemade pickles. I used to love to walk through the garden with her and she would tell me what each and every vegetable was. Grandma I miss and love you and know you will down on me as I take on this new challenge of cooking for other. Be Well
Noah is a camper from Camp Rainbow, he is about 4'8" and maybe 90 pounds. He came up to me at the event and first gave me a high five and then proceeded to tell me how great the food was. He told me it was the best food he had ever eaten and gave me the biggest hug. I became so emotional that I began to cry. I could not control myself. I will forever hold a very special place in my heart for Noah and I will keep him in my prayers and think of him often. The world needs more people like little Noah, so full of life, yet he fights for his daily.
I had my first experience at Camp Rainbow with Chef Van Norman and Chef Damico. They asked me a few months ago and I really was not sure what to expect. I have to say that the entire event was very emotional and yet fulfilling. The look in the kids eyes and the excitement to eat such great and simple creations was something that made really happy that I have chosen this career path. It solidified in my mind why I am here at Lecole and why one day I know with all of being that I will be known as a great Chef. Thank you Chef Damico and Chef Van Norman for such a fulfilling experience.
The day started pretty typical. Prepping the Cajun food for the weekend. Came up with a few new ideas for hot wings. I created a spicy Cajun sauce for the wings. It it made with Franks Hot sauce and Cajun seasoning. A few customers enjoyed it and Bruce added it to the menu.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
My class went to the A.C.F. convention as volunteers. It was a great experience. I met students from all the other schools in the area as well as several chef's. There was some great food. I also saw a good friend of mine, Dan. He is the owner of Fox river Dairy. It was great to see him and had some amazing cheeses to try.
Saturday I created a new way to do the craw fish that we offer at Caddy shack. After boiling the craw fish I tossed them in a Cajun sauce I created. It was butter, Cajun spice, Old Bay, garlic and butter. After tossing them in the sauce I then threw them on the grill and fired them. They instantly became a hit.
I took a few pictures of the food that I have been making at the caddy shack. The Jambalaya has been the biggest seller. The red beans and rice is a close second. I created a new menu item as well. It was a Salmon Po Boy sandwich. I seared the salmon and then placed it on the grill. I toasted the hoagie and then placed the salmon in the bottom piece of the hoagie; I then topped the salmon with a remolaude slaw. It was wonderful.
|Left is the Gumbo, Middle is the rice and beans, right is the Jambalaya|
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Mom asked me to make pasta for dinner. It was one of my favorites. It was a chicken, mushroom and asparagus. I sauteed the chicken with garlic and shallots, then added the mushrooms and de-glazed with white wine. Once the wine reduced I added heavy cream and the asparagus. Added the cooked fettuccine to it and cook until the pasta had thickened. Added Parmesan and served. It was delicious.
|Pasta alla Shawny|
I have been working today on my business plan for Chef Zuber. When I first started working on it I was very worried in how it would come out. I am happy to say that I am actually enjoying it. I think that I have a great idea for a restaurant and maybe one day Gibby’s surf and turf will be a reality.
I had my first experience as the door man at the Caddy shack. It was a very interesting evening and not one that I will take part in again. I did not like the idea of dealing directly with people that were overly intoxicated and had to be asked to leave. It caused me a great deal of anxiety. Although tough it was a very good experience. That is the reason I did it.