US spuds to take over Montevideo Uruguay

I responded to a search for a chef to represent the US Potato board in Montevideo Uruguay on May 6th.  I’m to come up with a PowerPoint presentation and to do a demo in front of a group of potato growers.

I’ve been to Brazil a couple of times and Argentina, but never Uruguay.  I’m always excited to visit a new country and I have always heard good things about Montevideo.  If it is anything like Argentina or Brazil I will be very happy.

Of course it sounds like I will only be there for a short time and it seems like a very long trip for the sum total of a 30 minute presentation, but what a great opportunity and who knows what kind of other opportunities this might open up.

I’m not sure if I will have to make the presentation in Spanish or English with a translator.  Either way I will be out of my comfort zone and that is exciting.

So quick, begin researching spuds.  Anyone got any good resources that I should focus on?

It turns out that the potato board is based in Denver.  I believe that the lamb board is here as well.  Maybe I can get them to send me to New Zealand on a combined board trip.

Viva los papas, lo mejor vegetal de la tierra y el amigo de los cocineros

Food Porn centerfolds

I have been playing around with Adobe Lightroom 2.  A current student George Jardine was nice enough to give me a copy and some  high speed training on it.

George, thanks.  It is a great tool and now that I know how to shoot in RAW simultaneously with Jpeg,  I can have even more control over my shots.  I need to get a tripod next……..and I’m sure the list will grow.

So figured I would show off some of the shots.

Stuffed boneless saddle of rabbit with pommes Dauphine and broccolini

Stuffed boned bunny with pommes Dauphine and broccolini

ol jump in mouth (Saltimbocca)

ol jump in mouth (Saltimbocca)

Hole in bone not bone in mouth (Osso Bucco)

Hole in bone not bone in mouth (Osso Bucco)

tighly wrapped tuna (pepperone farcito)

tighly wrapped tuna (pepperone farcito)

I wanted to include these pictures using some new plates that Bauscher sent me to challenge Thomasino with.  Thomasino yuz best watch yur back, cuz I’m coming for you Chooch.  Friendly challenge.

Option two

Option two

Tanned little birdy, legs in the air lying on creamy polenta and sauce mirror

Tanned little birdy, legs in the air lying on creamy polenta and sauce mirror

Same with foliage

Same with foliage

Hosea’s Top Chef win

I watched the finale of Top Chef last night and was quite happy to see Hosea Rosenberg win the title.  Hosea has been a competitor locally for quite some time as an Iron Chef and has always won.  He has always remained humble and true to his personality regardless of his success.

He was one of the most consistent and contributing chefs to CSR’s Chef track program.  He loves to share his passion and is generally a giving person.  It is always a human celebration to see a person with those attributes make headlines and influence future chefs.  Much more satisfying than watching Gordon Ramsay suck another aspiring chef’s dreams out of their soul (even if they often deserve it).

He has brought even more attention to Colorado and specifically Boulder as a result of this win.

I congratulate him and I am sure that he will get the recognition he deserves from this fine victory.

Way to go Hosea!!!!!!!!!!!    We thank you for your effort and we thank you for giving even more credibility to our Colorado culinary scene.

Molecular Gastronomy Class at Cook Street

Ian Kleinman of O’s restaurant at the Westin in Westminster is going to be teaching a molecular gastronomy primer here at Cook Street on the evening of April 1st (no fooling).

I am currently working with him on a curriculum to enlighten all that are interested in some of the techniques being used out there.

If you have any particular topic that you woudl like to learn about don’t hesitate to email me at afloyd@cookstreet.com and I will try to see if I can fit it in.

I’m looking forward to iniating this class about as much as I am to the sous vide class that we will be offering earlier that day.

If they are successful we will look into doing more of them in the future.

Peggy Markel at Cook Street

This coming Wednesday Peggy Markel is coming to our school for lunch and to make a presentation on Tuscany.  I met Peggy about ten years ago when I first started teaching at CSR and accompanying students to France as part of their education.  At that time she just ran trips to Tuscany and she came to the school with her Tuscan chef Piero to cook with us.

Peggy’s tour offerings have since increased tremendously.  She now takes people to Elba,  Liguria,  Sicily, Morocco and if you read the last issue of Food and Wine she will take her first group of students to India this fall.

Things seem to happen serendipitously to Peggy.  She’ll be having lunch with someone and that conversation will lead to a connection to a hamman in Marakesh and the next thing you know she is leading trips there.

She has been doing this for 17 years.  I admire and share her openness and curiosity about different cultures.  We are both especially fascinated about the convivial nature of a meal shared with people of different cultures.  The language of food truly transcends political boundaries and has the potential to unify different cultures.

One of the elements that caused me the most satisfaction in taking students to France was to watch the cultural stereotypes disintegrate when my students integrated with the French on their turf.  The myth that all French are rude is unfounded even in Paris.  In return the French were equally fascinated that American culinary students were interested in their culture and their food.

As part of my student’s stay in Provence, I placed them in stages in French restaurants.  At first my students were intimidated and alienated.  Then as the cooks in the host restaurant would warm up to my students, friendship would develop and true exchange would take place.

Peggy is also very well connected with the Slow Food movement and was instrumental in launching the Boulder convivium.

I look forward to her joining us on Wednesday and sharing her passion for Tuscany.

Deep Plate entry March

I’ve taken my first pictures for the March Deep Plate blog entry.  Let me know which picture you like best below.

Seared swordfish on a lemongrass nage with a cilantro pistachio aioli

Picture #1 Seared swordfish with a lemongrass nage and a cilantro pistachio aioli

Same dish different angle

Picture #2

yet another view

Picture #3

Rational Combis and Irinox Blast chillers

Very exciting day.  I got to meet with the executive chef and the regional director of Rational .  We had a great discussion about how  we might be able to create a demo environment for Rational Combi ovens here at the school.

I already love Combi ovens.  There is no doubt that this is the future of cooking.  Every chef craves consistency and this machine delivers.  OK, so my friends and fellow chefs who say this machine takes the finesse out of cooking, have only themselves to blame for every wasted portion of food they have had to throw away as a result of their finesse.

At the school we have a fairly old unit (in combi history).  The new units are of course better and more automated.  However they still perform the task needed in everyday kitchens to perfection.

So, we had a very good conversation with Thomas and Connor from Rational and are very likely to work with the company to create a demo environment for Rational Combi ovens.

In our conversation with Rational, the connection with Irinox came up.  Apparently the representative for Irinox from Utah (he knew my colleague David Olson from CSR days) was in town and could come by and discuss the possibility of installing an Irinox blast chiller unit at the school.

He dropped by and is also very interested in the space as a venue to demo his equipment to the Denver area.

Now this is the ultimate combination.  Cook items to perfection and chill them or freeze them in the least amount time.  All this at the disposal of our students at the school and to the professional chefs of the rocky mountain region.

If this relationship comes to fruition then our school could be the center for one of the most advanced teaching kitchens in the nation.

And if this happens……………………….who knows.

Douglas Baldwin and Sous Vide

This is why I love the internet.

About two weeks ago I received  a blog feed from Khymos and in this blog post it presented a man who has researched and experimented extensively with the technique of Sous Vide cooking.  He has written a handbook on Sous Vide .

So I look over the handbook (great handbook BTW) and notice right away that he lives in Boulder.

I give him a call.  He is taking his PHD in mathematics at CU Boulder, is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, is a three generation native of Colorado whose family owns a ranch near Gold Hill on the peak to peak highway in Colorado (very rare individual indeed).

So, of course I invite him to the school to meet him and see if there is some way we can fit him into teaching a class at the school.  He comes on a Wednesday to join us for lunch.  It was a pretty busy day for me as I had led the production of the lasagna dish (normally chef Dale does this).  Regardless Douglas showed up ten minutes early (always a good sign) and joined us for lunch.

The meal was pleasant and later we discussed plans to put together a master class on sous vide for my alumni and any other interested students.

Well if you have been following my blog posts you also know that the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) conference is coming to Denver.  I am looking to feature a two day workshop on Sous Vide cooking with Douglas and me leading the course on Wednesday April 1st and Thursday April 2nd.  This course will be a day class.

Today, my friend Chef Troy Guard came by the school and I suggested that he get involved while IACP is in town.  I thought it would be a good idea if  he got the group of Chefs the Denver 5 some exposure.  So I am hoping to get a demo and dinner together for them at our school while IACP is town.  I’m thinking the night of Wednesday April 1st.  We’ll see if we can get this all together, but it looks like it will be an amazing 4 days at Cook Street during the conference and maybe the beginning of great events and classes in the future.

Stay tuned more details to come.

180º Dining follow up

The event went off without a major hitch.  We had a full house and the weather cooperated.  Chef Dale set up the dining room and it looked like this.

a view of the cafe transformed into a fine dining room

a view of the cafe transformed into a fine dining room

A view of the other side of the room

A view of the other side of the room

The students performed admirably in both the service and cooking portion of the event.  I believe they enjoyed themselves and were proud of what they accomplished.

The night went faster than we expected and the diners left around 9 pm.

One of my current students, George Jardine, gave me a copy of Adobe lightroom and I am just learning how to use it.  I can already tell it is incredibly more advanced than Picassa at fine tuning my pictures.  George also advised me to take pictures in RAW and Jpeg as he explained that there are unlimited adjustments you can make to a RAW picture.  So much to learn, but I am excited on pushing even further what I can do with my G9.

The menu was simple and rustic. Featuring the cuisine of Piemonte.

First up was the butternut squash agnolotti with a beurre noisette, toasted hazelnuts and speck.

Butternut squash agnolotti

Butternut squash agnolotti

Followed by a Primo of mushroom, truffle risotto with slow braised veal short-ribs

Mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto

A Segundi of braised duck leg and pan seared duck breast on a bed of polenta and glazed vegetables

Duck on polenta with glazed vegetables

Duck on polenta with glazed vegetables

and to finish chocolate hazelnut cake

Rows of chocolate hazelnut cake waiting for pick up

Rows of chocolate hazelnut cake waiting for pick up

IACP Conference coming April 1-4

Just a quick shout out to all the Colorado Foodies that read this blog.  IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) is holding their next conference here in Denver this coming April 1-4 (no fooling).

I am co-coordinator for the Master Class series being offered at the site,  at Cook Street and also Johnson & Wales.  If any of you are interested in volunteering to help assist and set up classes then I would be happy to discuss this opportunity with you.  This should be a great networking opportunity for you.

We have some important food players coming to visit.  Andoni Aduriz,  Michael Nischan,  Dan Barber, Rick Moonen, Peter Reinhart, Mario Batali and his father etc.  I would love to show IACP and their guest that we can go toe to toe with any large market when it comes to great food.  Hell many of us worked in those markets and chose Colorado because it is one of the best places on earth to be.

Contact me at afloyd@cookstreet.com if you have an interest in helping out.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.