Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Caddyshack

A good friend of owns a little bar and grill in St. Clair, Mo. Last night he called and asked to come fill in for his cook. I went up there and I have to say for the few hours I was working I had a really enjoyable time. It was mainly pizza, wings and burgers. I have never worked in a restaurant other than here at school so the experience helped me to really appreciate what I am doing in school.

Competition team club

Talked with Chef Kramer today about a new club the school is starting. It is a competition team club. I am very excited about this opportunity. The first event will be April 25. It is going to a perfect opportunity to put everything I have learned in school to a real test. I have waited for this opportunity.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BONJOR!!!

One of the best day I had in school was when my parents came to school to check it all out. My dad had never been to the school and honestly he really is not much into cooking. So I surprised them both and talked to Chef and asked if they could join us in class. It was very exciting. My mom was in absolute heaven and my dad was completely lost. All in all it was a great experience for all of us.

Mom and Dad in class with me

BONJOR!!!

After a long weekend of helping Mike move it was nice to get home last night. When I arrived my mom had made homemade French Onion Soup. It was pretty amazing. She had homemade croutons and Gruyere cheese. It was a nice hearty meal after a long couple of days of work.


Food Truck

BONJOR!!!

At Lecole we have a food truck. It is the face of our school out in the community. It is a great opportunity to get a different perspective of the industry. Mike and I were asked by Chef Hutchinson to work a few events with him on the truck. The first stop was at J & W Terrell in Chesterfield. It was a very busy hour and a half. Once we were done we headed to the Nelly Extreme Institute, the students there are apart of Vatterott College as well. It was nice to see other per suing there dreams. All in all it was a good day. Well anytime I get to work with Chef Hutchinson it is entertaining if nothing else.
Mike and Chef in the food truck

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Culinary Favorite

Bonjor!!!

  One of my absolute favorite plates that I created during school was a seared Ahi Tuna and soba noodle salad. The tuna was rolled in sesame seeds and then seared to a perfect rare. The soba noodle salad was made with carrots, lime juice, sesame oil, brown sugar. After all the ingredients were combined the tuna was then placed atop of the salad. I am happy to say that my creation earned me a 100 % on my phase 2 final.


Competition

BONJOR!!!

Today was what I thought was a competition for the food truck at school. I prepared Salmon Sliders on a toasted Ciabatta bread. They came out amazing. One had a Greek yogurt Remoulade made with dill, capers, lemon, lemon zest and salt and pepper. The other had a pickled ginger aioli made with pickled ginger, lime and salt. All of the judges enjoyed it but I did not win. That is fine except there was never clarification in what they were looking for. They wanted items that could possibly be sold at the summer concert series at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. All in all it was a great experience.

California Dreaming

BONJOR!!!

Last night I enjoyed a nice dinner with my mother. She asked if I wanted to have some Mexican. I was open to it. I am usually reluctant to eat Mexican because of being spoiled while living in California. It has been really hard for me to find the quality of authentic Mexican food outside of California. We went to El agave Mexican restaurant in Pacific, Missouri. I have to say that I found the closest to authentic Mexican that I have had since leaving California. I would recommend El Agave to anyone that wants to enjoy a wonderful Mexican meal.

Here is information about El Agave;

109 Lamar Parkway, Pacific, Mo. 63069


BONJOR!!!

Saturday February 15, 2014, my mom asked me to make a quick pasta. It is one of my favorite to do. It was made with garlic, onion, mushrooms, shrimp, white wine and heavy cream. I minced the garlic and onions, added them to the hot oil until they were translucent. I then De-glazed with white and once almost reduced I added mushrooms and shrimp. Once the mushrooms cooked and the shrimp were almost done, I then added the heavy cream and reduced for a few minutes. I then tossed in the noodles mixed well and tossed with Parmesan cheese. It was tasty and my parents loved it.
Pasta alla Shawny!!!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If I had one last meal...

BONJOR!!!

If my time had come and I had my choice of one last meal I would choose the most amazing meal I have ever had.

The Singapore Chili Crab is my absolute favorite meal. I visited Singapore in 2003 and was walking down the riverfront and came across a restaurant where there was this little old man standing with this huge Mud Crab on what looked like a leash. I approached and he explained to what the restaurant was all about. Being the foodie I am, I ventured to place my order. I was able to pick out my own crab that was still alive. What happened next was a touch of bliss. About 30 minutes later I was brought this huge bowl with the crab steamed and smothered in a spicy/sweet chilli sauce. It was the most incredible food experience I ever had. I think about it often the closest I have come to that meal was in a restaurant in San Jose, Ca called straits. It was close but it just was not the same.

A beautiful presentation of a Singapore Chilli Crab. Taken from the food network weebsite

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Chef Mentor

  I really enjoy sharing my experiences with others and introducing people that have influenced me in my journey. I was assigned a Chef mentor when I started at Lecole. His name is Michael Damico. Chef Damico has taken my under his wing. He has helped me throughout school with ideas, shown me proper knife cuts and taken me along on private events.
  The first private event I was apart since starting my journey was with Chef. It was a dinner party with 30 people. I helped him prepare the food, set up the event and then maintained the serving area during the event. Chef showed me how simple household items can be used to really build up the presentation of a small buffet. We used everything from floor tiles to large cans of tomatoes. I really appreciate everything I have learned from Chef and I know that once I leave school he and I will stay in touch. Who knows maybe one day we will be sweating it out in a kitchen on a crazy Saturday night in some restaurant talking about the good old days...


Pictures from the event that I worked with Chef Damico

Lunch with future Chef's



   It is a very different time in Culinary school for me. I no longer get to enjoy the cooking each and everyday like with the first 40 weeks. Mainly, lecture and time in the LRC working on projects or term papers. One of the nice things is that we do get an hour for lunch so it is nice to get to spend time outside of the classroom with classmates. Today Mike, Alex, James and I enjoyed a very good lunch at Farottos, A nice little Italian restaurant. I enjoyed and really good Meatball sandwich with handmade Parmesan chips. All in all it was a great meal and a nice time catching up with friends.

Lunch with future Chef's. Alex, James and Mike.













One of favorite eats

BONJOR!!!!



  One of my favorite foods to eat is Venison. For those that do not know about Venison I have added a few facts about the benefits of eating Venison. Venison is a true health food, as it is an excellent source of protein, is low in fat (especially saturated fat), and is a good source of iron, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. Plus, it is low in calories, especially when compared to other meats such as pork and beef. Four ounces of venison would provide 68.5 percent of the daily value for protein, while only adding 179 calories and 1.4 grams saturated fat.
  Some do not like the gamey or wild flavor of Venison. I personally do enjoy it. If that is the case you can soak the Venison in either salt for 8 hours or I like to use Italian dressing. My favorite way to prepare it is to dredge in flour with seasoning and saute in butter, usually I then fry an egg in the fond and butter and sit back and enjoy one of my favorite meals.

Four pieces of Venison Tenderloin that have been dredged in flour and sauteing in butter. Yummy


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

BF Chefs

BONJOR!!!!

Mike Deutschmann is my classmate and has become one of my closest friends. He and I have been very fortunate in our time at Lecole Culinary. Together he and I have been given several opportunities by our Chefs. On Saturday February 8th Mike and I had an opportunity to work for the producer for all of the upcoming St. Louis Muni shows. It was a event for 12 people. We were initially told it was a prepare and drop off event but through discussion it was determined it made more sense for us to prep the food and then cook at the site of the event. We prepared chicken breast with a pan sauce, salmon with a pan sauce, a vegetable medley, rice and a salad. The people that attended the event really enjoyed the meal as well as the entertainment Mike and I provide. You see Mike and I like to interact with the people we are serving. Mike and I are very fluid and play off of each other very well. We are truly a good team and I look forward to the future that Mike and I have together in this industry. I always joke and call Mike and I, B F Chefs. We really are Best Friend Chefs. We may not be Chefs yet but one day we will be great ones!!!!


Mike on location preparing for the event.

Simple Red Sauce

BONJOR!!!!

Mom called and asked me to make a simple red sauce for dinner. This is my recipe for a simple red sauce.

Ingredients:

1) 1 head of garlic
2) 1 yellow onion
3) 3 12 oz can of crushed tomatoes
4) 1 lb. of Maple Sausage
5) 1 4 oz can of tomato paste
6) Mixed blend oil 2 tablespoons
7) Salt tt
8) Pepper tt
9) Fresh Basil



Rough cut garlic and small dice the onion.


In a saute pan add oil and heat. Add garlic and onion, soften until onions are translucent.


In a separate saute pan brown the sausage and hold. After the sausage is done depending on how big of pieces you would like to have you can mash the sausage with a hand potato masher.


Once the onions and garlic are at the desire softness, with heat still high, add the cans of tomatoes. Use a lid to cover immediately. Reduce heat so that the sauce can then simmer. I add the tomatoes at high heat so that the garlic and onion flavors infuse into the tomatoes. Once the sauce is at a simmer add sausage and tomato paste. Adding as much is needed to to thicken sauce to desired thickness. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for about one hour.

Enjoy!!!








Wednesday, February 5, 2014

An old friend

BONJOR!!!


We have all had people in our lives that have inspired and helped us along our journey. I have had several people help me through this journey of life. There is one person I want to recognize. His name is Ralph Champana.


When I met Ralph, I was in the US Navy and my plan in life was different than where I find myself today. I have always found love, joy and happiness in cooking. I never lost any of these feelings, they just were not a top priority in my life at that time. It was Ralph that brought me back to a place in which I found the true love of cooking again and showed me the true inner peace that I find when I cook now. Ralph is a very successful businessman and cooking is a very dear hobby of his. Some of the things that I have seen him create not only showed me the true passion that he had for cooking, it also showed me  the true meaning of being a "Chef". Of course anyone with a desire to enter this wonderful industry needs the skills, knowledge and experience to be successful that is why I am in school. It however takes a deep passion, love and a real inner peace with ones self to become a "Chef".


Ralph was my father in law and my best friend. Every thing happens in life for a reason. I know that Ralph and I were meant to have our time together to help show me that love for cooking that I had misplaced. For that I am forever grateful. I talk with Ralph occasionally and it is always nice to tell him of my progress. He still inspires me everyday.

I look forward to one day cooking for him...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Momma's Superbowl Sunday Chicken Hot Wing Dip

BONJOR!!!!
  
In the past I usually make a typical Superbowl feast of wings, fries and other snacks. This year I decided to try things a little different. My momma has a recipe that I always enjoyed so I decided to make it along with shrimp cocktails and Cuban sandwiches. 

Momma's Chicken Hot Wing Dip

Ingredients:

1) One 12.5 oz can of chucked chicken breast meat
2) One 8 oz cream cheese
3) 1 cup of ranch dressing
4) One 12 oz bottle of  Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce
5) One 12 oz bag of shredded cheese of choice

Place the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and soften the cream cheese for 1 minute. Place the canned chicken in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the cream cheese with the chicken and mix until cheese and chicken are to a smooth consistency. 

Add wing sauce and ranch dressing. 
After mixing well add the shredded cheese. Once mixed you can either bake in oven for 25 minutes at 350 deg F or Microwave for 8 minutes. Stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Once the cheese has melted place in crock pot to keep it warm. Serve immediately with chips and enjoy.

Saturday Lunch

 BONJOR!!!!
This past Saturday I was in the mood for a lite lunch. I went to a restaurant that I had always wanted to visit. Katie's Pizzeria has a Beautiful, eclectic European atmosphere. There menu consist of Artisan and Neapolitan pizza. The menu was full of beautiful and artistic creations all of which are made in house. I settled on a appetizer and a salad. My appetizer was a Prosciutto Spring Roll; Filled​ with roasted vegetables and fresh mozzarella over a bed of mixed greens and a balsamic reduction. It was delicious. For my main course I enjoyed a Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad; With apples, walnuts, Gorgonzola over mixed baby greens with mustard balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was not only delicious, the presentation was remarkable. I would recommend Katie's Pizzeria to anyone. It was a great experience for a very reasonable cost.
Roasted Red and Yellow Beet Salad. I thought the presentation was great so I took this picture for everyone to enjoy
 A view of the dining area at Katie's Pizzeria. Photo taken from http://www.katiespizzacafe.com/
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