Monday, December 27, 2010

Run And Tell That

Well hello, figured I would leave you with the standard end of the year review post. You know the one where I talk about all the boring stuff that happen to me during this year that you don't care to be reminded about. Also it would be where I would tell you all the cool stuff I am going to do for the next year. Which would include loosing weight and spending more with friends.

Let's review why this post would be boring and would probably make you want to punch me in my throat. First, my life is not that exciting, and it would be embarrassing to try to make it more exciting than it needs to be for you and I. Secondly, I find that looking back just makes you just remember what you failed to do to make it better. So what does that leave us? How should I continue this post and keep your attention? I say lets just sit down and enjoy this video that will always remind me of 2010. It helps us all remember that something dumb is normally the funniest.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Perfect Meatloaf

I don't normally praise the Food Network, but there a few shows I like to watch. Good Eats is one for sure, reason is because Alton Brown knows food and also knows how it should be prepared. Sometimes he does come off as being a little anal retentive, this does annoy me a lot, but his food is really good so its a fair trade off.

So today I decided to make one of my favorite comfort food meals. Meatloaf with roasted garlic cheesy smashed potatoes, and glazed carrots.

This is the Alton Brown recipe for meatloaf.






Good Eats Meatloaf
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

6 ounces garlic-flavored croutons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and broken
3 whole cloves garlic
1/2 red bell pepper
18 ounces ground chuck
18 ounces ground sirloin
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg

For the glaze:
1/2 cup catsup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon honey

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor bowl, combine croutons, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and thyme. Pulse until the mixture is of a fine texture. Place this mixture into a large bowl. Combine the onion, carrot,garlic, and red pepper in the food processor bowl. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but not pureed.

Combine the vegetable mixture, ground sirloin, and ground chuck with the bread crumb mixture. Season the meat mixture with the kosher salt. Add the egg and combine thoroughly, but avoid squeezing the meat.

Pack this mixture into a 10-inch loaf pan to mold the shape of the meatloaf. Onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn the meatloaf out of the pan onto the center of the tray. Insert a temperature probe at a 45 degree angle into the top of the meatloaf. Avoid touching the bottom of the tray with the probe. Set the probe for 155 degrees.

Combine the catsup, cumin,Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and honey. Brush the glaze onto the meatloaf after it has been cooking for about 10 minutes.

Make sure when you pack the meat mixture in the loaf pan that you really pack it tight. Make sure to eliminate any big air pockets. This will assure that that you can get a nice thick slice when plating.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mc-Whiib

Its the time of year when the days get shorter and cold crisp air reminds us of snowy days to come.  So with Halloween over with we can finally concentrate and a much more loved Holiday.  Well maybe not a Holiday per say but a beautiful time of the year.  Unlike other holidays this does come twice a year and when it arrives I can't wait to get in line for it. 

The McRib is back!













Yes the McRib or in Kentucky they call it s the (Mc-Whiib)  However you like to pronounce it is fine with me because it all about the tasty goodness of what can only be the best mystery meat sandwich you can buy.  Yest mystery meat, to think its an actual rid is crazy, although I do like the feeble attempt to put grill mark lines on the McRib to make it more authentic. If you know me, then you know that instead of being afraid of mystery meat I tend to embrace it with open arms.  If you are new to the blog then understand that I don't count calories and if I do my 1st grade math skills to not help me.  Bluntly put if its greasy and bad for me I normally crave it and it ends up in my belly.

So today no new profound Thanksgiving recipe just the a friendly reminder that all that is good in America is not always good for you, but damn delicious.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Food Snob


Do you have any Grey Poupon?

Today it's about what kind of snob you think you are when it comes to food.  Do you tell your friends you eat whole wheat gultien free everything?  Do you talk like your a Whole Foods know it all?  And at the same time find yourself in the drive-thru at Taco Bell?  I have been called a food snob because i won't eat Arby's or Taco Bell that is a scarlet letter I am willing to live with without any guilt.  I guess in this world of "I am better than you because i know what Quinoa is" it can be just another thing we want a trophy for because we get it and you don't.  Well I call myself a foodie and I am not intrested in the foodie snob secret handshake.

I live by one rule, if I like it then I like it.  No matter if it is organic, free ranged, or if came from Whole Foods.  No knock on Whole Foods but if you do all your shopping there then you must just like to waste your money on labels that make you feel like you are saving the world.  Just go buy your Prius and make sure everything you eat and drink has the world "Smart" in it.  Then you will at least think your smart when in reality your just another fool being fooled by clever labels and names.

Its ok, there is a way to break free from this problem.

Solution, think for yourself for a minute, and be your own person. Don't just buy something from Ikea just so you can tell everybody you know that you bought it at Ikea.  Same thing with food, don't pretend your a food snob and then still slum at the Taco Bell.   Just be true to the food and yourself, let the food discover you and don't let it turn you into a snob.  Just because you eat fancy doesn't mean you have to act like you are any better than me.  Also don't think just because you wear designer shades makes you better than me either.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quinoa with Balsamic Roasted Mushrooms

 

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small pear, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 garlic clove, halved
1 cup red or white quinoa
2 pounds portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped out
3 cups tightly packed spinach, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Method

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Put vinegar, mustard, pear and garlic in a blender with 1/3 cup water and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Cut mushrooms into chunks and combine in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of the pear balsamic dressing. Spread mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast mushrooms until tender, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

While mushrooms roast, prepare quinoa. In a medium saucepot, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa, cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, covered, 10 minutes more. Uncover and fluff quinoa with a fork.

Combine mushrooms, quinoa, spinach, green onions, almonds, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup more pear balsamic dressing in a large, wide serving bowl. Stir to mix well. Serve with remaining dressing on the side.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salad Days

 Salad Days Editorial Lettering Client: Chicago Magazine

So as the cold weather creeps back with an evil grin I am reminded that Fall and Winter is a scary time for me.  Scary in terms of my waistline, I am constantly having dreams I will one day end up looking like Peter Griffin, chin and all.  Horrifying I know, so I need to be proactive and make sure I don't end up eating everything I see before next March.  One way I tend to do this is by starving myself, this is not very good because I get grumpy.  Okay not just grumpy, more like I become Jack from Shining walking around with a ax in my hand. The other way to make sure I don't devour everything in front of me is to have some self control, yeah this doesn't work either.  You would know this if you have ever been around when chocolate and or peanut butter is within arms distance to my mouth.  So where does this leave me?

"...My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood..."  -Shakespeare

Not sure if that quote is fitting but I love it just the same.  I will have to let you know I believe my true salad days was somewhere between the ages of 22 to 25.  One day I will get into those days, but for now let us just stick with the waistline.  I have always had issues with deciding on what to eat and if what I am eating is healthy for me.  I know I should just eat grass and sprouts but I am not a goat so don't suggest any such thing.  Next closest thing would be to eat a salad.  A salad just sounds healthy right?  Is it really that healthy when you order it in the drive-thru at McDonald's?  It is certainly a better alternative, but so is not going to McDonald's at all.  For me, if I am already in the drive-thru line at McDonalds I am getting a quarter pounder with fries and a diet coke, yeah I know, a diet coke, don't you love cliches.  So I suppose I should make some salads at home, yeah doesn't sound very exciting right, well I went on the hunt to find a fun and healthy salad that would be not so dreadful to make.


Well I didn't really find anything I am happy with so it looks like its time to open up the " The Mouthful Test Kitchen." I think this calls for a theme song hmmmmm.

To be continued.......

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Effing Awesome Mac And Cheese

video

Watch it again I know you want to, just bubbling and oozzzing with awesomeness.  This is a recipe I made a few weeks ago for dinner with friends.  This is a legendary mac n cheese recipe from Lynn's Paradise Cafe in Louisville, KY.  I did use Cabot sharp cheddar cheese for this and if you can find it I highly recommend using it. 

Here is the recipe:


           INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra
  • for preparing the baking pan
  • 4 cups evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1 1/4 pounds shredded extra sharp Cheddar
  • cheese (preferably Vermont cheddar)
  • Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup dry sourdough breadcrumbs
  • (or other firm-textured white bread)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 grindings black pepper
  •  
  • DIRECTIONS

    Recipe

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.

    In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, evaporated milk, eggs, paprika, salt and white pepper. Set aside.

    Make the crumb topping by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

    Layer 1/3 of the cooked elbow macaroni in the prepared pan. Cover with 1/3 of the shredded Cheddar. Repeat the layers twice more, ending with an even layer of cheese on top. Pour the evaporated milk mixture evenly over the entire casserole. With gloved hands, press lightly on the top so the ingredients are moistened by the milk. Bake for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Remove the foil and sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top. Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.

    Serves 12 as a side.
     
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unreality

Just got done watching Top Chef: Just Desserts tonight while I was digesting my super awesome burger from Red Robin.  Yeah I love that place, don't judge.  Anyway, yeah Top Chef: Just Desserts was a horrible example of taking a really good brand and effing it up.  Sorry I am not much into doing reviews but I think the reality show genre has ran its course.  With so many shows out today it seems that there is a bunch of inbreed three eyed crap being made for TV viewing.

"I mean does everyone have to get in a car and take me to every damn restaurant in America? "
Food should be discovered by getting off of your couch and finding it yourself.  Some spiky haired dude wearing more jewelry than a busload of gray hairs heading to casino is not how you learn about food. And Guy if your reading, umm when your not using the sunglasses umm don't wear them backwards it makes  you look ummm weird.

I have seen the reality in a busy kitchen, its nothing like Gordon Ramsey yelling at a bunch of wanna be waffle house cooks on Hell's Kitchen.  No its a lot worse, and what I find, at least at school,  is that a lot students have no idea that Hell's Kitchen is no way reality.  The truth is that if they made a real reality show in a busy kitchen you wouldn't be able to show it on TV.  I mean nowhere on TV, it would make Jersey Shore look like brunch with your grandma.  If you need further clarification on this read Anthony Bourdain's,  Kitchen Confidential.

So I am not telling you to stop indulging in some funny unrealistic reality on TV.  Enjoy yourself, just don't watch Top Chef: Just Desserts because it is terrible.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Food Will Call You Chef



Today I was asked a very interesting question from a fellow student at school. The question was, "At what point do you consider yourself a Chef?"  If you are a frequent reader of this blog you would know the answer to that very quickly.  But I knew this person wasn't ready for the ego humbling answer I had, so I sat and pondered this thoughtfully.  Yeah I know, this occurs about a handful of times a year, but I admired the person for asking so I thought I would be a little less crass than normal.

Now the technical answer to this question is a simple one on paper.  At my school, the Midwest Culinary Institute, you achieve your CC or, Certified Chef, once you have satisfied your credit hours at school and then you complete a final competencies test and if you pass your a Chef.  But as I thought about it further I realized he had to know this, its common knowledge at school.  So I think he may be wanting the sarcastic, ego humbling answer I had.  I love when I can give my answer, it feels so good, like wrapping myself in bacon while someone drizzles honey on me... oh no back to the answer.

Before I give you my answer I think we should set the landscape of what I see on a daily basis at school.  I see are lot of culinary students strutting around in their chef uniform and thinking they are going to be the next Bobby Flay or Paula Dean.  Now of course I am not here to dash any ones dreams away and let me be the first to say I wish I had me some Flay of Mrs. Paula money.  But this answer shouldn't be about money, because being in the Culinary business doesn't add up to a lot of coin.  I also see a lot of ego at school, with the advent of every cable channel having a cooking reality show it seems this has inflated a lot egos at school.  So we have some starry eyed students with egos that require their own personal assistant.  Normally the ones who steal my Mise en Place in cooking lab are the ones who think they are a hot shot, well son your not.

My answer, I don't think you ever achieve the level of Chef.  I will always consider myself a cook.  A cook is someone who makes food for people with love.  If others think I deserve to be called Chef then they can call me Chef, otherwise I hope they enjoy the food I cook.  If you are going to Culinary School for a title then you will be facing some harsh realities in the kitchen.  There are a lot of awesome cooks who get called Chef everyday who have never set foot into a Culinary School nor would they want to honestly.  They learned cooking by burning themselves a thousand times and watching others cook amazing food.  Being a Chef is not about ego, its not about titles and a name on a chef jacket, its about humbling yourself enough to where the food speaks for itself.  Its not you, its the food that will call you chef.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Baking and Santa

 
Baked goods to me are like presents from Santa on Christmas morning.  I just want the delivery, I don't really care about the elves that made them, or how long it took you to get to my house.  I am quickly understanding that there is a lot of work and painstaking effort that goes into making that simple eclair.  Although there is still a few obstacles I am encountering with this Baking deal still.

First you have to understand something about me, I am not a morning person.  I generally dislike the idea of getting up early, and when asked I would prefer to sleep until noon everyday.  This I think may be an underlining issue with Baking, and the whole Pastry world in general.  Let me stand in front of a grill until 2am before you ever ask me to wake up at 3am to roll dough.  That will be met with a swift no, and a look that will haunt you in your sleep.  Again just have it there at the bakery for me, in case I do ever wake up before noon and decide I need something loaded with carbs and sugar to kill a nasty hangover.

While I was reading my Baking textbook or as I like to call it , "The road to restful sleeping" I discovered a another big obstacle with me and Baking.  You have to measure.  I know you actually have to go and find measuring spoons and measure out ingredients.  The idea makes me shake and bite my lip in a way that drives my wife Nicole crazy.  Measuring ingredients is crucial in the success of your baked good and if not done to properly can lead to something you wouldn't feed a dog.  So along with reading today I have been practicing actually holding the measuring spoons in my hand, I think may be getting the hand of this, but it will take practice.

So if I could go back and talk Santa for a moment,  I am sure glad I didn't have to learn how he got my Legos to me when I was five years old.  I am sure it would be filled with some very uninteresting information that would've made me sleep through to New Years.  Baking is going to take some convincing and some compromise..... ugh I hate that word.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baking For Patience




As I start my second year at the Midwest Culinary Institute I find myself faced with the evil I like to call Baking.  I apologize Chef Ketover, but as of Tuesday I have avoided baking like the plague... and I mean like a real plaque like Bubonic where have your probably going to die and stuff.  Not sure specifically why I have avoided it but I think it deals with my little problem with patience.  I have a slight problem with patience, more like I don't really have the ability to be patient. 

Up to know I have quite well in all of my cooking labs because its about being efficient and being quick.  I found out quickly on Tuesday , while making some petite apple pies, that rushing through them is not the correct approach.  So as the chef instructor examined my pies she noticed that they seemed rushed and could have used some more attention to detail.  Although I was told that it tasted very good.

So somehow I need to find some patience and make sure I have it in my knife bag for next week.

Any suggestions?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bacon Brittle

Bacon Brittle






















Yield: 12 servings
Menu Price: $4.00; Food Cost/Serving: 25%

Thyme, finely chopped2 TBS
Old Bay1 tsp
Kosher salt7 tsp
Cayenne 1 tsp
Dry mustard1 tsp
Peanuts, unsalted, roasted6 C
Maple syrup1 C
Bacon, cooked, finely chopped, with its fat4 Oz
Instructions:
1. Preheat convection oven to 275 degrees F, with fan on low.
2. Place thyme, Old Bay, salt, cayenne and dry mustard in a small bowl and stir to combine.
3. Put peanuts in large bowl. Add maple syrup and bacon (with its fat) to peanuts and stir thoroughly to coat.
4. Add herbs and spices to peanuts and stir thoroughly to coat.
5. Lightly oil 2 half-sheet trays and divide peanuts between trays, spreading evenly. Bake peanuts in center of oven for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Lightly oil another sheet tray. Remove peanuts from oven and cool on original sheet trays for a few minutes. Transfer peanuts to new sheet tray, stirring to coat, breaking up any clumps of bacon and coating brittle with warm sugar.
6. Let cool completely before breaking up brittle chunks and storing them in small jars.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Domo Arigato Morimoto




This is a food blog, so lets talk food again. Not just food though, but really really good food. The kind of stuff that makes you close yours eyes and have that private moment with yourself. You know the moment that you prefer to have in a dark room with some Barry White playing in the background.

What kind of foodstuffs come to mind?

  1. Pork or the many variants there of?
  2. Some drenched in several layers of chocolate?
  3. Or maybe the best wine and dish combination?

For me in order for it to be perfect it has to engage all the senses. It has to look, smell, and taste incredible. Recently I had those stars align for me perfectly. During my recent trip to Philadelphia for LiveSTRONG we had a team dinner at Morimoto's. Yes the Iron Chef himself and my all-time favorite Iron Chef.  This was unbelievable to say the least.  Especially for this hillbilly from Kentucky who grew up on Hamburger Helper, this was the zenith of what I always hoped a fine dining service could be.

When we arrived we were greeted by a very unassuming sign, which is seen above, to be honest if we didn't have the navigation on I am sure we would've passed it several times.  That is where the cloak of disguise ends because the inside of this restaurant is beautiful and very engaging.  We were quickly escorted to out table which was in the center of what I am going to call a culinary stage.  The table was like ice and was lit in a greenish color but as you sat you realize the colors change to red,blue, and yellow.  This is so subtle, but it is very warm and inviting.  Also the walls seem to flow from front to back with a inlay of fabric that casted shadows with light that was projected from the floor like waves in the ocean.  Although my favorite feature of the architecture was the ceiling which was made of bamboo and flowed like a sushi roll.



I opted for the m o r i m o t o  o m a k a s e “chef’s choice” a multi-course tasting menu designed to allow you to experience the essence of morimoto’s cuisine. This is the only way to go if you plan to go to Morimoto's because it adds an extra element of excitement to your experience.  To be honest I did have a huge fail to this trip though, first I forgot my camera and also I didn't write down all the courses I had.  I know super fail.  What I have learned is that the Omakase is constantly being changed so what I had may not be what you would be served.  





This is the sushi course we had and it was very fresh and good. 

How can I possibly say any more than I already have? Our meal at Morimoto was, for me, the single most magnificent meal I have ever eaten. The delicacy, the luxury, the sexuality of the food was unmatched by any of my previous experiences in fine dining. This restaurant has become the gold standard, by which I shall judge all future Japanese restaurants. Admittedly, my budget will require me to settle for lesser-quality food on most evenings out (though lesser-quality can still mean a very, very good meal indeed), but that is just fine. One can’t survive on that quality of food unless one has several million dollars in the bank. If you go, opt for the Omakase menu. Order, sit back, and let the wondrous experience begin. 
 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well today we will be getting ready to pack up and head to Philadelphia for LiveSTRONG.  This summer has been quite a journey.  On June 19th when I had my accident I didn't think I would be able to do Livestrong more less ride my bike for months.  But here I am and ready to ride.  While I was on the couch this is the video I watched a lot and it contains one quote that has helped me make it through:

"Its about doing what you set out to do."



Go Marlene's Misfits!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Refueled

Yesterday I was able to head back out on my bike for a real ride (56 miles)  since my accident on June 19th.  I decided I wanted to go back to where I had my accident and thank the guy who helped Nicole and I that day.  As I began to ride I was very nervous and honestly a little scared.  If you have taken a nasty spill on a bike you know that it can be daunting to get back in the saddle.  As my nerves let up and I was noticing that my wrist wasn't hurting too bad I started to think about all the people I needed to thank for helping me out while I was laid up on the couch.

First of all I want to thank my wife who cared for me hand and foot for two months.  Without her I would've been helpless.  I am sorry for all the complaining and crankiness.  Also I want to thank Casey and Jason for coming over and cutting my grass this summer.  Not a fun job when its 90 plus outside with ridiculous humidity.  Also would like to thank all the friends and family that have sent me get well wishes.  Every little bit helped and without you I would not be where I am today.  

So as I rode today I could hear everyone whispering in my ears.  Telling me to move forward and to not give up.  So when I head out on my ride for the Livestrong Challenge on the 22nd I want to let everyone know you will be with me.

Each of you fuel my engine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

He Can't.....

Okay since it is Friday i figured I would lighten it up a bit since I have been told that some of these videos are depressing and sad.  So this is a commercial I stumbled upon on YouTube talking about some of the things Lance can't do....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Evan

His bike is the written and spoken word.  What is your bike?

What can you do?



Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Jessica

Jessica did what she needed because of the strength she got from her mother.  She wrote a book to keep her mother's spirit alive.

 

Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sean

With one lung he climbed Everest and became the only cancer survivor to do so.  But this is only part of the story...

For Sean it was about screaming hope.



Be informed...Be inspired...Be involved.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Laurel

So since we are ten days from leaving for the Livestrong Challenge in Philadelphia I see it as the home stretch.  So everyday until then I am going to share a video from the Livestrong Army youtube channel.  Today we meet Laurel, a triathlete and a cancer survivor.

Be inspired...Be informed....Be involved


Friday, August 6, 2010

If There Is Anything I Can Do.....


What motivates you?  Does there always have to be WITFM or (Whats In This For Me) aspect in order for you to do something you were not really planning on doing?  Like at work, what if you are asked to do something that may take you an extra few minutes a day to cover for someone else out.  Would you expect to be compensated for that extra few minutes? Just take some time to really ask yourself those questions.

Reason being is because I find people are trained to expect something in return for anything that they do no matter how small it may be.  For instance, the gold of all giveaways, the t-shirt.  I am convinced that you could almost get anyone to do anything for a free t-shirt that proves they spent an hour doing some kind of sporting event.  So they can wear into Kroger's on a Sunday morning and show everyone, "Look I did something active and the t-shirt I am wearing with 30 sponsors on the back proves it.  Between t-shirts and york peppermint patties they have trained people to always expect something for really nothing.

This leads me to a word that is controlling everyone today, selfishness.  I know people who when asked to do something will not do it unless it benefits them in some way.  They would rather not participate if it doesn't give them something free or improve their place in life.  As I get older I find this to be very sad and unfortunate.  Selfishness is what controls the actions of a lot of people in ways they would never admit to you face to face.

Now I know the whole world is not selfish, and a lot of people everyday do a lot of great things for others without any thought of compensation.  Lately, I have found I know less and less of those kinds of people.  I find that everyone is jocking for position to make sure they come out on top or get whats coming to them.  When you ask them they have no time, but if they need something they expect everything you have yesterday.  Funny thing is when you need something no one is there but when you die everyone shows up and all they want to say is, "If there is anything I can do let me know."

Kind of ironic.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First Thoughts


When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you think of, or what pops into your head? Maybe a priority list of things that needs to be done.  Or how many times you hit the snooze and how much time you have to get to work before you get fired.  Whatever it may be it probably  is about you, and what you have to do.  Not what you want to do.  Now this is not a bad thing really, I mean you made the choice to do what you do so to you it seems fine and it is I suppose.  I can remember some of my best first thoughts in the morning had to do with the night before and what may or may have not transpired.  Wondering who is Lisa and why do I have a number from her.  Who am I kidding I never got a girls number at a bar.  Oh well with age comes a different set of priorities and first thoughts.  Now normally my first thought is how can I get my damn wrist fixed so I can jump into this game of food for which I am decades behind.  Which leads me to the second thing I dwell on in the morning, how do I get a sweet cushy TV show all about me and my culinary perspective.  News flash, I don't have some special, cute and cuddly food perspective.  If I had to write one up for a Food Network talent agent I would say, "Making food is my last chance, without it I will surely dive off the ledge of a bridge."  Which would be followed by , "Now make a cute little show about that, Tuschman."  I can say all that without any worries because my face is more a radio one than a TV one.

Although seriously I am not kidding about the ledge of the bridge deal.  I know it sounds a little dramatic but I have reviewed the options for suicide and the bridge jump wins.  I believe that if I can't learn to cook in a restaurant I will be destined to a life of peddling cell phones in kiosk in a mall.  Which I have done before and its a blast.  When I say blast, I mean like being punched in mouth with a sledge hammer, twice.  So with the constant nightmare of the  sledgehammer punching it seems I have put a lot of pressure on myself to do well enough to call myself a working cook.  I refuse to use chef, others call you chef, I will always be a cook. This pressure is now with me everyday I walk into the Midwest Culinary Institute.  This, if you don't know, is where to go to school and it is where I am trying my best not to screw up.  So far not to bad, but I hear the heavy stuff comes later so I am looking forward to my first butt chewing session when the scallops are over done.  Now I seem to do well under pressure, and I think I look for it and need it to do a good job.  This may be the only reason I feel I might have a fighting chance at making it through culinary school and maybe landing a mediocre job in some restaurant.

So remember what you parents told you about yourself right?  Mine told me to be the best I could be and never to give up.  I work hard everyday to have those as first thoughts as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling.  Now I know parents don't always say the right things at the right times and well mine have said a lot things that have discouraged me more than encouraged.  This can never be used to blame them but to encourage yourself and to push yourself closer to what you know is right.  To help you have your own first thoughts and to not be defined by what others think but you or what you know to be true.  First thoughts of this wanna be cook boy...

"Run before you crawl and dive in with no water in the pool."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Prayers For David

Before we go any further here please watch the video below:



David and Mary need our prayers, I have no doubt that they are fighters but some help wouldn't hurt.  David will be on my mind everyday this coming up week.  Be grateful for the days you have and live them to the fullest, because a simple pin prick can change your life.

To learn more about David and Mary go to their website or visit their page on Facebook.

Together we win....  LiveSTRONG David.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sending You My Happiness



Someone once told me that to be happy you start by making others happy first.  This is true in so many ways, in almost every aspect of your life, whether it be personal or your relationships at work.  It is a simple idea but normally those are the hardest to understand and apply to our lives.

The reason for the deep thoughts, Jack Handy, moment is because I believe this may be why I am so passionate about the LiveSTRONG cause.  Not because it makes me feel good, but because it generates a spinning wheel of hope and determination for those who can fight for themselves.

It would be easy for me to just pay the entry fee for the LiveSTRONG Challenge and then come home feeling all good about myself and brag to my friends about the soft cheeses and French babies.  If I did that then I would be missing the point of it all and really wasting my time.  Because this is not about the bike, its about generating awareness and being a voice for those who lay in their bed in a hospital staring out the window and feeling alone.  Feeling like they are condemned to a life of pain and death.

When I wear yellow its not about my obvious bro-mance with Lance Armstrong, its about starting that conversation and about mamograms and prostate exams.  Coversations about who may need support in their time of struggle with cancer.  When I think of how hard it has been on some of my friends it breaks my heart.  Next month when I clip into my bike and head out for 45 miles of prestine Philadelphia hillsides I will be thinking of how happiness may seem so far away for some.  I hope together we can bring that happiness to them before it is too late.

 To support the LiveSTRONG cause to fight cancer please click the below link:

My Livestrong Team

Thank you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Help Me Pick A Fight Against Cancer










Cancer is a word, not a sentence.  
The Lance Armstrong Foundation inspires and empowers people affected by cancer. The LAF believes that unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything.  This year my wife, Nicole, and I will participate in the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Philadelphia on August 24th.  I will be attempting to do a 45 mile ride through the beautiful hills of south Philadelphia and Nicole will be walking a 10k. 

This year has been a little bit of a struggle as of late because on Father's Day I severally fractured my right wrist.  Since then I have had surgery and currently rehabilitating quite well.  The pain of a broken wrist is nothing compared to the 28 million people who will be faced with hearing they have cancer.  My wrist will heal, but for a cancer patient nothing is guaranteed, progress has been made in the fight against cancer but a lot still needs to be done. 

This is where you come in; help us fight cancer with a donation to our LIVESTRONG team the Marlene Misfits.  Marlene's Misfits is in honor of Marlene Halstead who died from bladder cancer July 30, 2007. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, wife, and friend.  I am sure all of you know someone who has been affected by cancer, yourself, a loved one, or a friend.  Please join us to fight back against cancer. 

With your help, we are hoping to raise $1,000 and the team is hoping to raise more than $2,500.  To make things easier we have established one donation page.    Please click to link to join our fight against cancer, My Donation Page
Thank you in advance for your time and generosity. We look forward to hearing from you and will be sure to keep you updated on our fundraising and training progress as we prepare for the event. 

**Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who might be interested in donating.  We appreciate and thank each and every one of you.

Sincerely,

Ken and Nicole Durbin

Monday, July 5, 2010

Learning To Fall


So I have been watching the Tour de France and well I have learned in cycling you fall and you get hurt.  In today's stage several riders took tumbles on a descent and ending up with some nasty road rash including Lance Armstrong.  One thing I noticed is these guys know how to crash.  I am thinking I need to learn how to crash.  Never really considered it before but when you are sitting around on the couch with a fractured wrist you think about these things.  So I am taping the Tour and I intend to study it so I can be a little more eloquent the next time I tumble.

Update on me is this week stitches come out on Wednesday and I am hopeful that I can be back on the bike by the end of the month.  I haven't discussed this with the surgeon yet but that is my plan. 

To donate for my Livestrong Challenge ride please click the link to the left.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Detached!



Hi, well I had an accident on my bicycle.

Yes it freaking hurts! 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

C'mon Dude Learn How To Cook


So with one year of Culinary School under my belt I can tell you with most certainty that it is not hard to cook for yourself.  I may have had to learn some fancy knife skills and some French techniques I may never need to use.  For you it basically breaks down to some easy things to know... I mean easy and stop rolling your eyes, yes I can see you... I have cameras in your house, office, etc...

1.  Buy a good knife... when I say good it doesn't necessary has to be a gazillion dollars.  Make sure you keep it sharp, very sharp.  A very sharp knife is the safest knife you can own.  Ask me how to sharpen a knife, I can help you.  Learning how to use a knife will open up a lot of options to you in regards to using fresh vegetables and fruits.  The best way to learn about knife skills is watch videos and buy a sack of potatoes or other vegetables/fruits.  For some awesome videos I would recommend:

Chef Tom videos on YouTube.

2.  Buy a cookbook,  yes I know for you guys it may seem kind of weird, but come on you will go in to a Borders and buy other things without shame, you can buy a cookbook.  So what kind of cookbook should you buy? Make sure it deals with a certain cuisine that you enjoy.  Don't just look at how long the recipes are, this will freak you out and I can always help you break it down appropriately.  Cookbooks work because you can always substitute items and techniques to make it as easy as need be.  As for the above picture, ummm no offense but you can cook 90% without a microwave.

3.  Make time to cook, I know your busy but you can make time to watch 8 hours of reality TV each week you can block off time to cook.  This means being proactive.  For those who made need some clarification being proactive means to plan ahead... yes ahead.  This may be a new concept but it works when cooking for one and also it can help you at the grocery store.  Yes, you will need to learn more about the grocery store other than where the frozen pizza isle is located. 

There are more than just three step to learning how to cook well but these are the baby steps you will need to move in the right direction.  I know a lot of my readers are women but this is more directed towards guys but ladies maybe forward this to your husbands or boyfriends.  Tell them cook me dinner and I will just wear an apron to bed tonight.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fourth Term Done, So What Have I Learned?



I can't believe it but I have completed my four term at The Midwest Culinary Institute.  I can remember it was just a year ago when I made the decision to attend culinary school and become a wanna be Chef.  So nervous and wondering if I will even make it through the first term more less one year.  It was not what I expected, and exactly what I expected to be honest.  I can still remember my first class when the instructor asked what every ones culinary aspirations.  Almost half of the people said they wanted to be a celebrity chef of some sort on the Food Network.  To be honest I don't think most of them even made it through Cooking 1.  Myself I believe I said,  "That I hoped one day long time from now I hope I can feel confident in  calling myself a Chef."   That is still a long way away, don't let the chef hat fool you, because I think it will be years before I will ever feel ok with calling myself a Chef.

So what have I learned in one year?  Well I  have learned how to make homemade mayo, how to make a perfect Bearnaise sauce, and how to roast a chicken.  I have also learned how to accept the fact that you will cut yourself and it will hurt and you will burn yourself and that will also hurt.  This is a reality when you surround yourself by fire and knives. But it was fire and knives that attracted me to cooking as a kid, it made me feel grown up and it made me feel powerful.  I would have to say I still feel that power when I hone my knifes or flambe so high I don't have eyebrows for a week.  

It has certainly been a journey so far but I am making sure to enjoy the ride.

Now go cook something.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fire Up The Coals



So its about 1:30am let's talk grilling. With summer here I figured it was time to start talking grilling and tips for grilling.  I want to say this loud and clear, grilling is not just a man thing.  Girls get out there and grill, its not hard guys just try to make it seem hard so you think we are doing something special, we are not.

First and foremost, do you have a grill?  In order to grill food you need a grill.  Prices and models vary you can get a nice one for a few hundred or you can go totally old school and purchase a charcoal Weber and spend less then eighty dollars.

Next decide what you like to eat?  Fish, Cow, Pig?  Then find grill specific recipes for those items.  Yes there are specific grill techniques that will apply to grilling versus cooking in an oven or stove top.  I will get into a few of them in a later post, today I just wanted to give you a 30,000 foot overall view.

After you have a grill and know what you want to eat the next step is the most important so listen.  BE SAFE!!  I am serious it is easy to be careless when grilling, and not give it the respect it deserves.  Be mindful on the attention the grill needs, which means keep the cooler of beer close at hand.  Finally, understand that when you grill to involve the family and use it as a tool to entertain and enjoy the summer.

Stay cool.... Be safe.....Have fun.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Hump My Hump My Fatty Man Humps


So I am sorry I haven't posted much lately.  Ever since I started school I have not really wanted to write, I am serious I am writing a lot of papers.  School is going well and I am very happy to say I am in my forth term at The Midwest Culinary Institute.  I know I am surprised also.  Didn't know I would be able to survive in the college environment.  Although at my age I still act like I am 20 something so I tend to fit in just fine.

Enough about my boring life,  what about the food you ask huh?  Well what about the food?  I still love it and unfortunately it still loves to take refuge on my gut. Yeah I am not doing so well of getting rid of the artist formally known as the Lunchbox.  The saga continues and it seems it may be reaching critical mass because it put up or shut time with me and my Trek bike.  Soon I will embark once again in training for the Livestrong Challenge in Philadelphia in August.  Yeah after punishing myself last year I am back at it and it looks like I will need to start learning how to eat healthier.  Yuck I know I hate that word, healthier, its such a cop-out.  It is what people say while they are eating ice cream and watching biggest loser on the couch.  Yeah that was me last night.  Seriously it was.  I don't need to eat healthier, I need to discover what my body needs to properly function, and then figure out how I can incorporate ice cream into that plan.

So over the next few months I will be sprinkling in some training updates and also talk about how you can help me fight Cancer.  So don't worry I plan on talking food and why I love it, I will just be trying not to pound down a bag of chips while doing it this time.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Perfect Mint Julep




1 liter Maker’s Mark Bourbon
Lots of fresh spearmint
Distilled water
Granulated sugar
Powdered sugar

Directions ~

First, prepare the mint extract. Gather about 40 small mint leaves, wash them and place them in a small mixing bowl. Cover with 3/4 cup of Maker’s Mark. Allow the leaves to soak for 15 minutes. Then gather the leaves in a piece of cheesecloth and wring the mint bundle over the bowl of whisky. Dip the bundle again and repeat the process several times, then set aside.

Next, prepare the simple syrup. Mix 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly so the sugar does not burn. Set aside to cool.

To prepare the Mint Julep mixture, pour the remaining Maker’s Mark (about 3-1/2 cups) into a large pitcher. Add 1 cup of the simple syrup to the bowl.

Now, begin adding the mint “extract” a tablespoon at a time to the julep mixture. Each batch of mint extract is different, so you must taste and smell after each tablespoon is added. You may even have to leave the room a time or two to clear your nose. The tendency is to use too much mint. You are looking for a soft mint aroma and taste – generally about 3 tablespoons total.

When you think the mixture is right, pour the entire quantity back into the empty Maker’s Mark bottle and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours to “marry” the flavors.

To serve the Mint Julep, fill each glass (preferably a silver Mint Julep cup) half full with shaved ice. Insert a sprig of mint, and then pack in more ice to about an inch over the top of the cup. Then, insert a straw that has been cut to one inch above the top of the cup so the nose is forced close to the mint when sipping the julep.

When frost forms on the cup, pour the refrigerated julep mixture over the ice and add a sprinkle of powdered sugar to the top of the ice and serve

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Never Second Guess

Movement of dream is depended upon how much you are willing to push yourself relentlessly towards it everyday.

Ever since I started Culinary school I have enjoyed every second of it, even when I nearly cut my figure off.  It has opened up to me so many opportunities and possibilities that I could never imagine.  It has already allowed me to meet some of the nicest and most talented people in food.  Despite that there seems to be a problem, something that is haunting me, a feeling that I can't seem to shake away.

If you know me or have read this blog for any length of time you know that I have a slight confidence problem. Even though most of the time I tend to hide it behind my sarcasm and humor it is still very much still with me everyday. Now I am no psychiatrist but this certainly can not be healthy.   Lots of times I can't see myself doing anything in the culinary world good enough to be accepted or liked.

This is a problem because confidence is everything, without it you will just always fail. Strangely that seems to be what consistently has happen in my life.  I find something I love and end up destroying it before I even get a chance to do anything worthwhile.  So how can I prevent this from happening this time at Culinary School? At this point I am not sure, I don't have an answer but to say I plan to not go down without a fight.

This concludes the incoherent babbling bull crap....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creations Cooking Classes. Now This Is Fun!


Do you watch the food network endlessly?

Do you spend more time looking for new recipes than you do with your family?

Do you think your the next iron chef?

If you answered yes to one or all three of these questions then you may want to look into Cooking Creations Classes at The Midwest Culinary Institute sponsered by Krogers. This is a hands-on class and is a great way to have fun with friends and family. Learn all the skills and tricks needed to be an instant iron chef!

This past Monday I was able to help out as a student helper, and I must say it was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again. This is not for advanced cooks at all, if you love to cook and discover new recipes and flavors then you will fit right in with no problem.

Spring classes are filling up fast so make sure you follow this link to register.

If you use facebook click here for a super secret discount.

For more information call 513-569-1643

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Was Asked Why?


So when you are at least five years old you learn one of worlds most loaded question ever spoken, Why? It was always, why, reason was because we are filled with wonderment and sincerely wanted to know why. This is why I think I took everything apart in my house at one point. Funny thing I never really figured out why some things worked just got yelled at a lot.


So why am I bringing this up you ask....


Today I was in the Business Technologies office at school waiting for one of the Chefs to show up so we could have a meeting about next term and classes. I was wearing my chef uniform from head to toe and I was a little dirty considering I just came from my 7:30am Cooking 2 Lab class. To be honest I was a little tired. I wasn't alone though, there was a nice younger girl sitting directly across from me, looking like she was waiting to meet with someone also. All was quiet when she asked me bluntly, "Why did you choose to do Culinary? And is it hard?" Wow, I am sorry I thought I was on some hidden camera show or something? I also thought this was carefully staged question by one of my chef instructors to see if I could articulate the correct answer. Upon review, I just realized by my posture and the unmistaken look of sleep deprivation that this was real. My first reaction was to just laugh nervously and to choose my words wisely. I told her that is a loaded question, one that could take all afternoon to answer.


I told her that I chose Culinary Arts because from a young age I have been fascinated by the thought of food. The thought of taking innocent ingredients and putting them together and make some amazing is awesome. I also told her that it shouldn't be fun, with the long hours, the yelling, the stress, and the sweaty mess I seem to become everyday at work. However, for some reason it is fun, but fun in a way that borderlines on insanity. When you look at it from the out sided it seems the direct opposite of fun, it looks like hard work. It is hard work but gratifying and its a high that can't be found in a the bottom of a bottle or in pill. I think she was satisfied with the answer. Then I asked her if she was thinking about Culinary and she replied, "No, I am in nursing." I got up as I was leaving for my meeting and I said, "Next time I would love to ask you the same question."


As I headed home and got out on my bicycle to knock down some miles I kept thinking about that question. The funny thing is that the question of why never filled me with doubt like it would normally in past life endeavors.

Life isn't a question of why, but more like why not?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Greenhorn


So as my culinary journey continues it has brought me to my first job in a real kitchen. I am working along side Executive Chef Chris Ropp at the Kenwood Country Club. Chef Ropp was my Cooking 1 chef instructor at the Midwest Culinary Institute.

With this being my first job in a kitchen, there is not much room for screw-ups by the new guy. Last weekend was my first weekend, and the pace was crazy quick. Not only quick but long for a fat guy like me. Although I must say that when the adrenaline gets pumping there is, nothing more fun and I love it for sure. The flames, the yelling, and satisfaction of a job well done. Did I mention the yelling, I love it.

Not sure if anyone from work reads this, but if you are let me say thank you for your patience and understanding. Also thank you for keeping the hazing to a minimum.

Get out and eat the world

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When Fish Sing

Well it is Lent and you know that that means, one crazy singing fish!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The On-Going Saga Of The Lunchbox

I am the Lunchbox..coo coo ca choo....


According to the calendar it is winter and well let’s say it is living up to expectations, and actually exceeding those expectations. Any how I have been spending time indoors, which means I have been cooking and eating and eating and eating. This however is not good because unfortunately I am not eating well. If you know me this is an issue. Now I will spare the self pity. I don't eat healthy it’s pretty simple.

So I find myself a little wider than normal by this time of year. Now don't worry I am not at biggest loser size but if I ate what I really wanted I would be for sure. My biggest issue is that I don't move my booty enough. Now I do dance like mad man or at least when I am watching DVR'ed episodes of Ellen. But one minute a day is not even burning off the creamer I had in my coffee this morning.

So why no exercise? First of all you should know I am pretty lazy by nature. Yeah I am that guy who sits on his arse and then complains about being a wide human. I have always worn this label well. Now I do, as the weather gets warmer, get on my bike and move the muscles and lose weight and go into my wanna be Lance mode. Just wait for it; this will rear its ugly head around the middle of April. Be prepared to set your watch to it and enjoy a laugh and point a huge L in my face.

So how do I change this pattern? I am not sure and I don't have some boring list of BS I intend to do differently because at this point I realize I will not follow it, and I will still remain a wide human.

My hope is that the numerous folks who frequent this blog will be able to offer up some suggestions. So watcha got?

Meanwhile I will be wearing my badge of the Lunchbox.... and the saga continues.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What Authentic Really Tastes Like

As you can see from the new look of my blog that I am a big fan of the Findlay Market. I believe it to be one of most overlooked gems of downtown Cincinnati. A great place to fine thefreshest fruits and vegetables available anywhere locally, it has became one of my favorites places around. I joke with my friends and tell them I consider it my Graceland.

So let me tell you what I love to do upon arriving to the Findlay Market. Before I start filling my bags with fresh meat and vegetables for that evening’s dinner, I have to stop by one of my favorite places on earth. It is called Taste of Belgium so I can get my waffle fix. Yes waffles, that’s right but don't be fooled these are very different than your, just add water variety of waffles. No, No, this is an authentic Liège waffle. The city Liège, Belgium is known throughout Europe for its waffles. The owner Jean-François Flechet should know because he grew up near Liège and was handed down this tradition of making some of the tasty waffles I have ever had in my life.
So what makes them so tasty? There are some basic differences you will find in ingredients and equipment that is used to produce these incredible waffles. First, they are made from thick dough and a coarse Belgian beet sugar. This creates a very unique caramelized sticky and delicious waffle. In addition, the waffles are pressed by a solid cast iron press, which also contributes to the caramelized sticky perfect waffle. This waffle has a rich vanilla flavor and is made to be eaten as an "on the go" item when wrapped in paper when served.



There are many ways you can dress your waffle with fruit and whipped cream or both. It makes a great snack or a fun dessert to be shared with someone else. Did I just say share? What am I thinking, get your own.

So what if waffles are not your thing and you want something else Taste of Belgium has just what you need. Crepes, yes crepes made to order in a variety of different flavors and fillings. You can get sweet of savory ones depending on time of day. I have had the banana and Nutella crepe and it was simply amazing.


Can't get down to the market but you want a waffle? No problem you can pick up them up all over town at these following locations:

◦Market house at Findlay Market
◦The Coffee Shop on Madison in O’bryonville
◦Coffee’n'Cream in Fairfax
◦Pleasant Perk in Pleasant Ridge (weekends only)
◦Whole Foods Market (Hyde Park & Mason)
◦Bigg’s (Hyde Park & Mason)
◦Daveed’s
◦Mokka
◦Lookout Joe
◦Mammoth Coffee
◦Coffee Emporium (Hyde Park, Downtown & Xavier)
◦Sidewinder




Still cannot make it out to pick them up no problem you can have them shipped to you. Just call 513-381-3280 or email at info@authenticwaffle.com.

Taste of Belgium can also can cater your next morning meeting email them or call for details.

Follow Taste of Belgium:

Facebook
Twitter

Hours: Tue-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm

It is hard sometimes in life to slow down and enjoy every moment. So next time you are close, stop by the Findlay Market and visit The Taste of Belgium and take some time to enjoy what authentic really tastes like.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tweetup At Findlay Market


Do you twitter?  If not you should, it is a great place to meet new people and network with some of the coolest foodies around.  I twitter, you can find me at kendurbin, sign up and add me and I will include you in my foodie friends feed list that I have on my blog.

So hopefully you signed up on twitter by now so know I can invite you to the Tweetup At Findlay Market.  Saturday 2.6.2010 at High Noon.  We will meet at the Internet Café and Art Gallery across from Silverglades.

Tweep Specials: Taste of Belgium--savory crepe and a waffle with toppings for $9, World Food Bar--buy $10 get 1lb. of a salad free, Daisy Mae's Market--free bananas with $5 purchase, Dojo Gelato--Purchase a pint, get the second for $5.25.

So use the link below to sign up and join us and eat and be marry!

http://twtvite.com/8s7b8a

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rite Of Passage


Well it was bound to happen; yes, I cut myself in my practical final exam for cooking one. Don't worry I did fine on it, but I could've done without all the blood. Although, a friend of mine told me to look at it as a rite of passage as a chef, and I would have to agree with that insight. It seems a little cliché but somewhat cool in way if you think about it those terms. Trust me I could've done without the cut and pain but the blood was a type of baptism into this world of dangerous elements. Fire and sharp knives are what attracted me to this career change, I love to play with them and make fun and exciting food.


So Cooking 1 is done, onto Cooking 2 and so the journey continues. What will be next? I hope that no more cuts for a while at least.

Take care and get out and eat the world

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finding Meaning In Food


So I am almost done with the second term at the Midwest Culinary Institute and I find myself at a crossroads. I feel like I am at a point where I am coming to terms with how far I have already traveled and how far I have to go still in the world of food. On one hand, .I feel like I have taken so many leaps forward but still understand that is still so small compared to where I need to be thus far. I still do not have a firm grasp on why I am on this road of discovering this world of food and all things Culinary. One thing I do know is that this face will never been on the Food Network, and honestly, I am not really too disappointed in that, it was not ever one of my goals anyway. I know it is so cool to bash the Food Network as a culinary student but it serves a purpose and people love it so I will leave it at that. So with the bright lights of TV ruled out where does that leave me?


A Chef I suppose.... but at what point do you assume the title "Chef ?" To me, no matter how hard I work and learn I do not think I would ever consider myself a Chef. I would prefer to use my new favorite word, bon vivant. Check the link, to enjoy the finer things of life. I think being a cook would give me a chance to do that or I would hope so right. I mean if not then why bother. I am not going to culinary school to be some wanna be celebrity chef that gets to do cooking segments on morning TV. Nah, I would prefer to be the quiet face behind the plate of food you just had. The plate of food that was just perfect to your eye and like sex when you put it in your mouth. Not knowing how many times I burnt myself making it just so you can enjoy it enough to forget it about an hour later.

I know this is a somewhat dark look at a future and that it may be brighter on the other side of the fence. Right now all I am doing is staring up at that fence wondering how big of ladder I will need. Sometimes life for me seems to be very confusing, but somehow I make it through, and normally for the better. Do not worry I am not going all sweet and sappy on you. It is not my style really, but I will say that food makes expressing myself a lot easier. Nothing like making something divine and letting it do the talking for you. I think some of my best conversations I have had was when we were both chowing down on something super delicious. I would take that over small talk about politics or weather any day.

Now there is no moral to this story, again that would be sappy and I prefer to sit quietly listening to some Led Zeppelin, "Going to California" in the background and ponder the future and dream my day away.