Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Night in the Kitchen.....

One night, no flash, only my 50mm lens.

So, Rob and I met when Tracey and I opened the restaurant 12 years ago. Shortly thereafter I asked him to come by and take some action shots, during service that we could use for promo and press release type stuff. He got some great images and he actually he shot film! I would love to be able to share some of those shots with you in the future.

Well tonight, he surprised me, hung out in the kitchen, snacked, drank, and he and I had a great time talking. Each of us doing our thing. I would be lying if I didn't say, that it took me a bit to relax and focus. I guess I don't like surprises. Yet, I was able to settle into a groove and do what I do.

We have both come a long way. Started families, Furthered and expanded our businesses, Self published a cook book, and now we are having fun with this blog collaboration.

I think his photos speak for themselves. But, I will offer you a few comments as you scroll along.

drying some herbs from the parking lot garden

the omnipotent black steel pans. I couldn't do it without them.

Cauliflower Steak for a vegetarian...

Finding my groove.

Marinated Oranges with Port Wine Sabayon as a dessert for a lactose intolerant customer.

loosing focus?

Panko Crusted Bass with Soy Butter...

nice little steaks!

Prince Edward Island Mussels Steamed in White Wine.

one more steak...


everyone ordered scallops tonight.

This fine gentleman had an amazing meal and insists I am lying about my age!

I have to say that all in all it was a pretty uneventful night. I hope you enjoyed your backstage tour.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

even steven

Sorry, it has been a while...

I wanted to share a story.

On our last trip to California, a few years back, Tracey and I shared an aisle with a guy about my age. If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit shy at first, but, still very friendly. Except on the plane. The last thing I want to do is make "friends" with some joker I will never see again. My M.O. is to bury my nose in a magazine, scrape the meal around, watch a movie and barely acknowledge your presence until shortly before landing. Then I can assume my regular status, make a little small talk and then you feel like we bonded. On this particular flight the Joe sitting next to me was a perfect Gentleman. No armrest hogging, zero flatulence, happy to be left alone. So, upon descent, I strike up a conversation. Turns out, the guy is flying on a Buddy Pass. For those of you not in the know, this means he has a friend that works for the airline and if there is a seat available he flies for free. So I say to him "I think that's really cool for you. However, I never get that. Don't miss understand, I don't have bad luck, I just never win anything. I never get the free upgrade. My scratch off never hits.I don't have a "buddy" in the airline biz." We have a laugh, exchange itineraries and move on. Never to see one another again. So anyway Trace and I have a great week! Wine Country, restaurants, you get the picture. We get to the last stop and try to check into our hotel. A cool old school place in Sausalito just north of San Fransisco. Upon presenting myself at the front desk I am informed that we have been "upgraded". What are the chances? Apparently we will be staying in the Caseta. I didn't and still don't know what a caseta is. But they proceed to give us driving directions which lead us to a trailer behind the house of the owner of the hotel. Let me tell you, the overgrowth was competing with the Graffiti. And, the toilet facilities were a separate entity. You actually had to leave the casita to pee. A lovely little pied a tere, maybe. But not an upgrade from hotel living. We had a great time none the less. Which brings me to the point of the story. I am very pleased with my lot in life I consider myself truly blessed. With a healthy family, a partner that I truly adore, and on top of that I get to cook food for nice people, and I get paid to do it. But, truth be told I have never really won anything. And that's where you come in. Rob and I decided to enter this Photo contest. I told him what I had in mind. A dog-eared copy of Zagat, with a plate of food on our bar. The crust of the Creme Brulee seemed like a perfect choice to highlight the copper. The hammer was made for me by a now long gone, but treasured employee. As usual, Rob worked his magic and right now our photo is in first place. For the first time ever I may very well win something! And that something is a trip for two to Las Vegas! Rob and I agreed that we wouldn't leave the ladies home. It's a trip for two after all. So we'll need to figure out the details.Like who is getting in the suitcase. Anyway, here are some shots that didn't make the cut. Oh, and by the way, If you didn't vote today there is still time.

4 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar (plus some for the topping)
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean

combine the eggs and sugar, split the bean and add it to the cream. bring the cream to a boil, pour over the egg mixture. strain. pour into 8, 1 cup ramekins bake in a water bath at 350 degrees for about 30 min. or until just set. chill the custards, then sprinkle with sugar and brulee with a propane torch. Enjoy your dessert and then send Rob and Andre' to Vegas!!!