Mystery plague set to wipe out Frances crop of baby oysters

I found this link on another blog site “Chez Pim” and wanted to share it with my readers. Sounds like hard times for France’s oyster farmers. I was surprised to find out that the British Columbia and Japan re-stocked France’s oyster beds the last time they were almost completely wiped out. Sounds like the phyloxerra story.

Mystery plague set to wipe out Frances crop of baby oysters – Europe, World – The Independent


Alumni Dinner

I was commissioned a little over a month ago to design a sit down dinner for our alumni. I think it is great Cook Street is reaching out to its alumni. Every small personal school should cater to its alumni, follow their progress and feature them in their publications.

I stay in close contact with my alma mater l’Academie de Cuisine. They connected me with my last boss. So it does pay off.

The dinner I believe was a big success and I certainly enjoyed making the food.

The menu:

Amuse Bouche: Spinach arugula and Haystack Mountain goat cheese filled agnolotti served with a pistachio brown butter sauce

Appetizer: Cold cream of asparagus soup with a crab meat salpicon

Main course: Grilled and slow roasted Mike Callicrate’s flatiron steak, with grilled vegetables and chimichurri sauce

Dessert: Strawberry shortcake with basil cream

Chef Lexie also put out some ganache stuffed cherries and pâte à fruit for mignardises, that I forgot to take a picture of. Debbie our sommelier also selected some stellar wines (which included and rosé sparkler, a Sancerre and a Rioja) to go along with our meal. The regional Director of Slow Food was our guest of honor and made a speech at the end of our meal.

I wanted to thank all of my current students that participated in making some of the dishes and Lauren Knoelke (also a current student) who helped plate all the dishes that evening.

I look forward to doing more of these in the future.

The king is gone but not forgotten

Chef Michael’s last day came way too quickly. His desk calendar had a big orange x going through it and said last day. Ten years devoted to Cook Street, twelve years devoted to teaching professional students and over 30 years cooking experience. All this summarized on one day marked with an orange x.

Chef Michael has been an inspiration to everyone he has come across in his career. Some of my most favorite days spent teaching at Cook Street were when we cooked in tandem. He on Garde Manger and me on Hot Line. There was a dialogue between two cooks and the days felt collaborative.

It is hard to walk in to a job and fill someone else shoes. I know that this will be particularly hard here at Cook Street, since Chef Michael made such an impact. I know that this has been the case for my replacements at my previous job. They have gone through two instructors since I have left. Hopefully that won’t be my fate. I’m sure I will be able to make my own mark at Cook Street.

Chef Michael you will never be forgotten and just to make sure our tech guy installed a camera on my laptop and has us connected. So now I will be able to have live conversations and hear his laugh from across the ocean.

I had a picture taken of us on his last day to commemorate him on this blog. We will have a going away party for him this coming Monday evening. Luau theme.