Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Kerri Jo's Birthday night Out in Denver @ Cafe Brazil and The Living Room

October 23 we celebrated by going out on the town in Denver.
Starting early that day at Jeanne's house we enjoyed appetizers and a bottle of 2005 Gundlach Bundschu Merlot from Sonoma. What a treat.
At 8:00pm we arrived at Cafe Brazil. Kerri's brother, Casey arranged our reservation.
We loved the atmosphere, restaurant style, interior paint, art on the walls, clean restrooms and the simple cork decorations.
The service staff was friendly and knowledgeable. Our evening went like this...

Cafe Brazil boasts a wonderful selection of fine Rums and Wines from South America.

The Rum caught this Pirate's eye.

And the Wine? We selected Tabali Pinot Noir from Chile.

Kj and I become a 'Couple In Shades' and embark on a perfect night in Denver

Kerri's brother Casey, Kerri Jo and Mark in between courses

The girls are smiling big and having fun

Kj's Grouper My Dinner Entree - Xim Xim
We ended our evening at the Living Room www.coclubs.com/venue in downtown Denver. Where we listen to the music of Elizabeth Rose. The music was fantastic. We like discovering new music and restaurants.

Here is a link to the band's web page-- http://www.elizabethrose.net/. The Living room was top notch in atmosphere, service and style. One of Regas Christou's hot spots in the Denver Metropolitan scene.

We gave this night a perfect 10 as far as great evenings go and we also put our Mark of Excellence seal of approval on both these establishments. Check 'em out next time you're in the Denver area!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coaching the 2010 Pikes Peak Region Student Team Competition

I recently coached a Student Team from Pikes Peak Culinary School. We competed state-wide to represent our Chapter/School at the regional ACF Conference happening in April. Here are some photos of the team in action!

This is the team preparing to create a feast! The actual food is center...and here's the display

Members of the team stand at attention during judging.

Amuse Bouche--Spanish Olive Tapenade over Amontillado Sherry

Zarzuela--A Seafood Stew from Spain

Salad--Red Onion, Valencia Orange and Fennel with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Poulet Saute a la Catalane / Almond and Chocolate Torta

All this effort earned us an ACF Bronze Medal!

We also honed our skills, increased our knowledge in many ways and grew as professionals.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cooking Japanese Cuisine at School with Class

Cooking Asian at home is one thing. Let's take it to school and cook with the students. Above are photos of International Cuisine class and their Japanese Cuisine Lab.

Cooking Japanese/Asian at our house with guests

Miso soup--
I've made this dish many times over the past 14 years and I still remember the first time I encountered it. I was the Banquet Sous Chef at the Orchid at Mauna Lani Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had to make a batch for a 200 person banquet. I thought this soup was extremely salty and the presense of tofu and seaweed only made it more nasty.
My tastes have grown over the years and today I often hear my son order it from a restaurant menu all on his own.

My Miso Soup doesn't always come out the way I think it should. Here is a shot of another attempt. I will not give up and will someday master the art of preparing Miso Soup.

Making Sushi for the next course...

Just a few rolls of steamed sushi rice with rice wine vinegar, salt, sugar, mayo and wasabi, crab meat, long beans, carrots and nori paper.

From the sushi to these steamed pork buns. These were not created by me, but they reminded me of my days in Hawaii. I used to snack on these Mauna Pua Buns.

Next, we enjoyed steamed Edamame coated lightly with Hawaiian sea salt.

TempuraVegetables. Tempura batter is so easy and cheap. Ice cold water or soda water, egg and a light flour. (maybe rice flour) Stir these together with your chopsticks and keep the batter a bit lumpy. We used a sweet chili and shoyu sauce with scallions for dipping.

Now some steamed Chinese Long beans tossed with Sesame Oil, Shoyu and Sesame seeds. These beans are nutritious, delicious and classy.

Next--are you getting full????? We deep fried a wonderful batch of Coconut Shrimp. This may not be traditional Japanese cuisine, but they sure went great with our meal! Sauce consisted of chiles and guava jelly.

Our meal included steamed rice, the long beans and the coconut shrimp. We paired it with a great Riesling from Chateau St. Michelle and ended with this bottle of Ty Ku Sake. Oh yeah!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ensalada Fresca

What is it about a hot fall day that leads you to crave a salad...Red Onion, Valencia Orange and Fennel Salad.
Whatever it is, I found myself on the road to culinary creation.

These are the steps I took to put it together:

First gather all your mis en place

Then work your way through the ingredients--fennel

Red onion...

Orange Supremes...and make a little candied orange rind while you're at it
Just for fun, I'm going to also candy a few pistachios...
I always like to pull out the mortar and pestle

Now let's put the pieces together for a feast!

Definitely a great endeavor when you have free time on your hands!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Semester and yet another great Mexican Food buffet!
This class prepared the following items:
Carne Asada, Frijoles; Spanish Rice; Salsa; Homemade Flour and Corn Tortillas; Guacamole, Pork Green Mole; Chicken Enchiladas; Pork Tamales; Shrimp Veracruz; Pozole, Marinated Red Onion Salad; Fresh Tropical Fruit display; Tamillio, Horchata and Virgin Pina Coladas, and Chef Mike's baking class brought over Orange Flans, Churros, Sopapillas, a Mexican Chocolate Cake, Cookies and Rice Pudding. WOW what a class this was. I even did a quick ice sculpture of a sbarro cactus for the presentation.

Each Semester I buy a few more cooking utensils, Plates or Pans to fit the theme of the countries we cover. My Asian & Thai equipment consumes a whole tote box of it's own, and this semester I purchased a few more Mexican plates as well. Below is a gathering of my stuff when doing Mexican buffets.