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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
From the President................................................................3 Membership Milestones........................................................4 USPCA Conference 2015......................................................6 Your Favorite Cookbook........................................................21 Eat Right Seniors..................................................................22 Chef Shares New Year’s Day Tradition.................................24 Top 10 Culinary School Skills................................................25 Spring Recipes......................................................................26 Profitable Spring Menus........................................................38 MarketLoyal: Six Ideas to Share Content..............................40 Spreading the Word...............................................................41 Let’s Talk About Websites......................................................42 Everything in Moderation.......................................................42 Atlanta Chapter Visits Banner Butter.....................................43 Optimizing Your Web Presence.............................................44 Spring Clean Your Health......................................................45 Tempering Chocolate............................................................46 Edible Flowers with Farmer Lee Jones.................................47 Gotta Love a Theme..............................................................48 Are You Ready to Diversify?..................................................49 Canadian Corner...................................................................50
Volume 21, Number 2 Spring 2015
Personal Chef is the official publication of the Personal Chef Industry. This publication is made possible by the United States Personal Chef Association. The purpose of this publication is to bring Personal Chefs the most useful and timely information and ideas from experts, working professionals, and industry leaders. Personal Chef welcomes any articles, manuscripts, tips, hints, photographs, recipes and ideas from our readers. We appreciate all submissions. Please include name, address and phone number. Send your contributions to: United States Personal Chef Association PC Editor 7680 Universal Blvd, Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819
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Editor: USPCA Magazine Department Layout & Design: CJ Tucker Advertising: USPCA Magazine Department
Personal Chef is published by: United States Personal Chef Association 7680 Universal Blvd, Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819 Copyright © 2015 United States Personal Chef Association. Reproduction prohibited without permission. All rights reserved.
From the President’s Desk I can’t believe its been five years since I discovered USPCA. As many may know, I discovered the world of personal chefs when I hired one for Valentine’s Day, and the rest is history. A year later when I took on USPCA, I committed us to a core mission: the success of our members. For USPCA to provide value to members, it had to be more than an insurance policy. Like all of you, USPCA is a small business that grows organically. There are no banks or private equity firms that care about the growth of a professional organization. Thankfully the faith of our members and the addition of new members has been the basis of good growth over the past four years. In my first presentation to the membership at the 2011 Conference in Orlando, I committed to investing in the association, and we’ve done just that. The conference itself has become a hallmark for a combination of continuing education, introduction to new products and services, and building a network that breeds success. Since then we’ve added incremental benefits like a new member website with easier access, a new HireAChef.com search engine, a better member directory and database, a new mobile membership app that links to the conference, and a host of discounts and offers to members. We also know that having the best tools to do your jobs is critical to the success of your personal chef business. That’s why we were thrilled to introduce a new tool early this year in Modernmeal Pro. We heard from many members and started testing the system with a membership focus group at the conference last summer. We have a great partner in the development of the program, and we see a great future for the tool and for you. Of greatest importance is the message. USPCA remains committed to you and your success. We are keenly aware that your time needs to be spent in your clients’ homes, and the association needs to make that process seamless, easy, effective and profitable. Our mission remains the same: your success. As we continue to build the association with each of you and those you bring into the fold, we’ll continue to invest in exciting innovations. Have some ideas of things we can add? Let us know. We’re ready!
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Membership Milestones 15 Years
Lizbeth McPhedran, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Lori Betts Bettsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Best Personal Chef Service Sun Prairie, WI email@example.com 608-837-0124
Lisa Brisch Dinner Thyme Phoenix, AZ http://www.dinner-thyme.com firstname.lastname@example.org 302-275-7401
10 Years Kathy Carlino CPC, Blue Bell, PA Anita Fairchild, West End, NC Teresa Lindgren, Centennial, CO Jeffrey Scott CPC, Bloomington, MN Deborah Spangler CPC, Cincinnati, OH Margaret Spence Krewen CPC, Toronto, ON Michelle Tavernini, Denver, CO
5 Years Polina Antonova, San Rafael, CA Kevin Brady, McLean, VA John Deatcher, Neptune, NJ Jamie Furman-Saralegui, Weston, FL LuAnn Gaylord, Las Vegas, NV Jodi Giroux, Menomonie, WI Robert Greene, Bethel, CT Jan Harper, Tybee Island, GA Cody James, Chandler, AZ Alan Peterson, Marietta, GA Ursula Rafer, Delray Beach, FL Pat TenEyck, Aurora, CO Lisa Wallace, York Haven, PA
3 years Martha Cavanagh, Washington, DC Doreen Laury-Frega, Saddle Brook, NJ Julie Liebhoff, Franklin Lakes, NJ David Silverman, Brick, NJ Stephanie Weiler, San Francisco, CA
Christine Childs Family Thyme Chef Bridgewater, NJ http://www.familythymechef.net email@example.com 609-312-3057 Shira A. Ellis Cooking by Shira Los Angeles, CA http://www.cookingbyshira.com firstname.lastname@example.org 310-488-5339
Donna McCormack Culinary Chic, Suwanee, GA http://culinarychic.com email@example.com 334-462-4669
Su Fleming SuChef Ashburn, VA http://www.yoursuchef.com firstname.lastname@example.org 571-441-2732
Stephanie Riley Life of Riley Personal Chef Service Scottsdale, AZ http://www.lifeofrileypcs.com email@example.com 571-241-4137
Stella Giraldella Basil Personal Chef LLC Doral, FL http://www.basilpersonalchef.com firstname.lastname@example.org 305-809-8347
ShaherahWhite LovesDelicious... Castaic, CA http://www.lovesdelicious.com email@example.com 818-554-5949
Joan Haley Gourmet Buzz Playa Del Rey, CA http://Gourmet-buzz.com Chefhaley@gmail.com 818-636-8928
New Student Member
Pamela Oakley Capers Matthews, NC http://capersfinefood.com firstname.lastname@example.org 704-608-0966 Graham Schave Your Gourmet Personal Chef & Private Catering Commerce, MI http://www.yourgourmetmichigan.com G.email@example.com 248-408-8958 Deb Westgate-Silva Dinner Thyme Personal Chef Service Bristol, RI http://www.dinnerthymepcs.com firstname.lastname@example.org 401-714-4975
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Darlene DeMesa The Main Course Woodstock, GA http://www.makemydinners.com Chefdarlene@makemydinners.com 404-643-7570
Russell Diaz Orlando, FL email@example.com 407-451-6675
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I feel like I’m hosting the most important party of my life, and it isn’t even really MY gig. Since y’all (they speak Texan around these parts) are coming to my neck of the woods this July, I want to be sure that, as your plane is taking off or your car is zipping along I-10 on its way out of town, you are saying to yourself, “That was such an amazing weekend!” It’s okay if you say it aloud, with great enthusiasm. On my last morning in Long Beach for the 2014 Conference, I spoke with Terry Madigan, president of the Southern California chapter, and asked him for advice on “hosting” the Conference. He told me my job was to find the resources (people and places) and turn them over to Annise, the conference coordinator at the USPCA. I didn’t even give Annise a chance to recover from 2014 Conference before I was pushing people and ideas her way, and “hashtagging” San Antonio highlights on Facebook and Instagram. Since returning from Long Beach, I’ve seen everything around me through “2015 Conference Glasses.” I place every restaurant I walk into, each conversation I have with a fellow chef, and every cool place I drive by on my “conference potential rating scale.” And then I tell Annise about them! By this point I think I’ve driven Annise crazy with my random, disjointed e-mails about the next person she should contact regarding Conference. If I don’t get an idea out to her at the very moment I think it, it might be lost forever! I’ve sent her A LOT of e-mails. ALL of my friends and colleagues in town know that YOU are coming to visit in July. They are excited to participate in the Conference, welcome you into their restaurants for dinners, dance for you at the Arneson River Theater, and be generally cheerful in our typical San Antone friendly manner. I’m doing everything I can to gather up the best-of-the-best of my resources for this Conference, with great #enthusiasm. San Antonio has been my home for the past ten years. I have come to love this city, mostly because of its cultural diversity. And although it is not my hometown, I certainly consider San Antonio home. I’m excited to be part of this planning committee, and I am ready to share my city with you in July. It gets MUY CALIENTE here in July, so pack your summer clothes and walking shoes. (And leave some room in your luggage for the Cowboy boots and 10-gallon hat you’ll want to take home with you!) Lavish to Lite Bites, LLC Catherine Richey Certified Personal Chef Certified Food Safety Manager 210-683-2933 LavishToLiteBites@gmail.com
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At the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, we are training professional chefs to cook delicious plant-based meals in a variety of settings with the goal of providing healthy eating options for their clients.
Celebrities and widely distributed documentaries have been instrumental in increasing the profile of eating a plant-based diet. Members of the medical community have also raised the benefits of eating less meat, dairy and sugar. However, Americans still rely heavily on these foods and our grocery shelves are filled with highly processed items. Something has got to change. Just this month the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, consisting of nutritionists and health experts, favored a plant-based diet, with less meat and sugar. This added boost of support is significant because it impacts school lunch requirements and federal program food guidelines for the elderly, women and children. By eating more leafy greens and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds many people have experienced weight loss, less bloat, decreased their reliance on medication, achieve a sense of fullness and satisfaction, and report that they feel more energy. These immediate benefits also set one up on a path of good health whereby they are able to avoid long-term illnesses and debilitating diseases. We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” At the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts, we are training professional chefs to cook delicious plant-based meals in a variety of settings with the goal of providing healthy eating options for their clients. By the time they graduate, our students are equipped to cook foods from five healing cuisines including classical vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotics, Ayurveda and raw and living foods. Each of these styles of eating and cooking has been used for centuries and when practiced they actively engage a person to be a more mindful and conscious food consumer. We’re very excited to be part of the USPCA’s 2015 annual conference, and we’re even more excited to provide a 3-part track for all attendees at the conference. In our first 1.5 hour session, we’ll explore The 5 Essential Healing Cuisines. Knowledge of these specific cuisines can offer a chef resources and insight into new and inventive recipes increasing one’s marketability and earning potential. Our chef instructors will give a brief overview of the key points to each of these modalities, the healing properties offered in their unique theories through specific ingredients, herbs, and spices, food combining, and demonstrate a dish that incorporates all five of these cuisines to create a meal dense with nutrients and flavor. Learn about using ingredients like amazake, kuzu, kala namak, Irish moss, mochi, asafetida, and other health-supportive ingredients that can be used as substitutes, replacements, or additions in traditional dishes. Session two will be all about how to impress your clients with delicious and colorful raw desserts. Some of the techniques used in preparing raw desserts are: juicing, low temperature baking, and dehydrating. Chef Dianne will cover the health benefits of these techniques, as well as the health benefits of incorporating more raw and living foods into diet, and alternative ingredients that can be used as substitutes in traditional dessert recipes. We’ll “wrap up” session three discussing why certain plant-based proteins freeze better than others, what nutrients are retained or lost in the cooking and freezing process, and best ways to store and reheat meals. We will look at freezing complete meals, as well as “components” to a meal, such as veggie patties, plant-based protein loafs, kitchari, and various sauces and side dishes. The lessons you’ll learn from our sessions will help you plan and prepare healthy plant-based meals for your clients. You can be assured that you will feel more confident and skilled at providing some of the latest techniques and meal offerings to keep you at the cutting edge of the home chef industry. Also, we aim to inspire you to be part of a growing movement to help others find their way to eating more plant-based foods that are nourishing and create a sustainable environment.
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Whether you are a new chef or a seasoned chef, whether you are looking for marketing tips or cooking techniques, whether you are interested in ways to improve your business or simply looking to network with fellow chefs from around the country (and the world), we have the sessions for you. Here is an early sample of what is already booked. The early registration numbers are making this look like it will be the biggest conference the USPCA has seen in years, so we are still hard at work adding even more sessions. Stay updated at www.uspca.com/conference.
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Alternative Personal Chef Business Panel
with Shirley Scrafford, Chapter President of the Capital Chefs; Deb Cantrell; and Donna Barrow are on our panel. Larry Lynch, USPCA President is the moderator. Our panel is made up of successful Personal Chefs who have expanded their businesses in unique ways. Each will share their opinions, experience, and wisdom from their experience based upon the questions you ask. Each will have their own take which will help you form the answers and processes that will work for you and your own personal chef service. What you will take away from this class: • Learn about different alternative business models • Hear the pros and cons of expanding your business • Information on how operations differ from a standard personal chef service • Ideas and process ideas that you can use or alter for use in your own business • Opinions and suggestions for the questions you bring
Pressure Points: Streamline Your Cook Day with a Pressure Cooker with Gini Bortz
The world of pressure cooking is nothing like your mother (or grandmother!) knew! Today’s pressure cookers are safe, reliable, and can streamline your cook day. There is a plethora of easyto-find pressure cooker recipes from traditional stand-bys to innovative recipes on the Internet and in specialty cookbooks. What’s not to love? Make pressure cooking a part of every cook day! In this class, limited to 24 participants, chefs will be divided into teams of two. Each pair will prepare a different recipe! And together we’ll prepare 12 recipes with an “international” flair including a couple of desserts! Our creations will be shared with the rest of the conference attendees to sample. Chef Gini will also share recipes that she uses on a regular basis, from fall-off-the-bone-tender baby back ribs to mac ‘n cheese. Did you say mac ‘n cheese or cheesecake? Oh, yeah, that too! Whether you’ve been using a pressure cooker (or 2 or 3!) in your business, or even if you’ve never used one, this class will offer something for you. What you will take away from this class: • Learn new recipes • Learn new techniques • Increased comfort with using a pressure cooker
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Lights, Camera, Action! Marketing “The Chef Within” to Obtain and Retain TV Appearances
Hands On Gnocchi: How to Make Gnocchi Like an Italian Grandmother
As you know, both network and cable programing are intently focused on foodies, chefs and the average population with competition, food/travel and how-to shows. Every season there seems to be yet another spin on all-things-food!
Come participate in this limited-space, hands-on session and channel your inner Italian grandma!
with Jill Aker-Ray
As personal chefs we are excellent at what we do and the desire to be on television is natural – and yet can seem to be a daunting task. This session focuses solely on the short television segment that is now an expected portion of many talk show and local lifestyle programs. Jill Aker-Ray is a frequent presenter-guest on her local NBC affiliate show “Charlotte Today”, in Charlotte North Carolina and makes regular appearances on the local CBS affiliate too. Join Jill in this hour-long lecture session that will explore how to navigate the process of landing your own TV segment and more importantly, how to get asked to return for another! What you will take away from this class: • How to make yourself stand out among the crowd and getting the spot. • Talking points, preparation, timing of the segment and working with or without a kitchen. • Tips on how to talk in front of the camera! • What really goes on behind the scenes of a shoot. • What the producers are looking for and how to help them do their jobs. (Which in turn gets you the invitation back!)
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with Karen Docimo
Gnocchi-making takes practice, patience, and persistence. At their best potato gnocchi can be light and delicate. At their worst, dense, rubbery, soggy or just disintegrate while cooking. First, learn to pronounce the word: Proper pronunciation: nyawk-kee if you want to be Italian. nok-ee or noh-kee if you’re American. Second, learn about and how to successfully make the world’s most misunderstood dumpling. In this session you will explore potato, ricotta and Parisian gnocchi. What you will take away from this class: • Learn three different gnocchi and take away recipes • Confidence in your ability to prepare fresh, beautiful gnocchi for clients • Practice your pronunciation
How to Build a Food Truck Business: Diversify Your Personal Chef Business
Let’s Have a Dinner Party! Be Confident in Your Dinner Party Proposals
with Dianne Ray-Herman
with Sevilla Riley
Most personal chefs are on the lookout for new opportunities and methods to make money in their personal chef business. Have you ever wanted a commercial kitchen so that you can make more food, have more clients, support larger parties? In most areas certified kitchens are hard to find and shared-space kitchens are expensive.
What is a dinner party? The term can mean a slew of events. Do you know the difference between an intimate dinner party, a regular dinner party, an interactive dinner party, or a fine/formaldining event? And, yes, there are differences! First, let’s define a dinner party (per the Dinner Parties 1-2-3 training manual):
A food truck allows a myriad of new and exciting opportunities. Think about using it as mobile kitchen for food deliveries, catering, and local truck events like festivals, rallies, and farmer’s market sales.
“If 80 guests are expected to attend this is not a dinner party unless you can seat 80 people around the dinner table at the same time. This is likely a buffet where food will be served from chafing dishes and attendees may or may not eat the food standing up. If the host/hostess (or a hired helper) intends to walk around the room serving bite-sized food from a tray, this more like a cocktail party. A dinner party is a sit-down affair where all the guests sit around the same table at the same time. The food is prepared onsite and plated individually before being placed in front of each guest. At some family style dinner parties the food may be placed in serving dishes and passed around the table. The average dinner party consists of 2 to 14 guests depending.”
Join Dianne and learn from her experience transitioning from a traditional personal chef service into one that includes a food truck/mobile kitchen! What you will take away from this class: • Why start a food truck business • Planning your truck business • Opening your own truck • Successfully run your truck • Growing your business
Sevilla Riley, a seasoned and successful chef, will illustrate ways of creating efficient proposals (there is never just one) for your client; how to utilize inclusive and fee-plus pricing strategies; understand what your client really wants and sometimes has problems articulating; and work with your environment when you’ve never seen the layout. What you will take away from this class: • Learn difference between an intimate, regular, interactive or formal dinner party • Menu Development, including sample Menus • How to cost a party price a party • When to bring in help- servers, bartenders, rentals, etc. Personal Chef | 11
Email Newsletters: Connect with Customers and Promote Your Business
World of Tea: History, Etiquette, Types, and Unusual Uses
The eNewsletter (also known as the email newsletter or electronic newsletter) is one of the most important marketing tools for growing your business and keeping your audience engaged. It reminds your clients and potential clients about you, it can inform them about your products and tell them what you’ve been up to, and most importantly, it helps you build a unique relationship with them.
Join this limited-person interactive session and travel around the world to learn about different types of tea and its origins. Learn too about the myriad of health benefits derived from tea and innovative ways to include tea in your cooking – an easy boost to your client’s overall wellbeing! You’ll also learn what is involved in having a tea party.
with Toni Scott
In this class, Toni will show you how to get started with the basics of eNewsletters. She’ll explain the different components of an eNewsletter campaign. You’ll learn how to build your list and how to compose an eNewsletter that engages your clients and prospects while promoting your personal chef service. You’ll also learn how to choose an eNewsletter tool and what the best practices are for an email marketing campaign. She’ll take you through the process of setting up an email campaign on MailChimp, one of the leading email marketing tools and one of the best tools for personal chefs on a budget. At the end of this class you will be armed with everything you need to start connecting with and stay connected to your audience. What you will take away from this class: • How eNewsletters work • Why YOU should have an eNewsletter • Common pitfalls and objections • How to grow your subscriber list • Best practices for an email campaign • Offering a freebie or incentive for subscribing (pros and cons) • How to use your existing content in your eNewsletter • How to create and send a MailChimp campaign • How to track your success 12 | Personal Chef
with Donna Ondriska
This session will include tea preparation, tasting for palate development and recipes. What you will take away from this class: • Brief history, origin and menu types of the English Afternoon Tea & Proper Tea Etiquette • Tea 101: The different types of tea and how to brew each one • Health benefits of Camellia sinensis & Rooibos – how each type can improve particular health concerns • Different ways to cook with tea including recipes; unusual uses for tea in the home, garden or beauty
Using the Five Essential Healing Cuisines: Health Facebook Roundtable at the Bar: Meet Rochelle Barcellona in the Bar for a Drink & Answers to Supportive Techniques and Menu Planning with Chef Rachel Zerzow and Chef Inge Bothma Your Facebook Questions The Natural Epicurean believes in the power of food, specifically in the healing power of plant based diets. As the food culture becomes more sophisticated, dietary restrictions and needs are increasingly common in today’s society. As a result, Chefs are challenged to create and prepare unique dishes that not only excite the palate, but that can be consumed by the diverse needs of clients. In this 1.5 hour session you will explore The 5 Essential Healing Cuisines: Vegetarian, Vegan, Macrobiotics, Ayurveda, and Raw & Living Foods. Knowledge of these specific cuisines can offer a chef resources and insight into new and inventive recipes increasing one’s marketability and earning potential. Our chef instructors will give a brief overview of the key points to each of these modalities, the healing properties offered in their unique theories through specific ingredients, herbs, and spices, food combining, and demonstrate a dish that incorporates all five of these cuisines to create a meal dense with nutrients and flavor. Learn about using ingredients like amazake, kuzu, kala namak, Irish moss, mochi, asafetida, and other health-supportive ingredients that can be used as substitutes, replacements, or additions in traditional dishes. What you will take away from this class: • A clear understanding of the distinctions of five core healing modalities • Methods and thinking that will allow you to create new dishes • Recipes • A deeper understanding of plant-based cooking and eating
Any chef who already has a Facebook business page and has questions about best practices. NOTE: Please bring your laptop with you to the bar so you can connect to your Facebook account. Tablets and smart phones don’t offer full functionality for Facebook. This is an informal question and answer session about Facebook. We’ll confiscate a section of the bar and Rochelle will help you unlock the intricacies of Facebook. Do you wonder what “Boost this post” means? Do you know how to create an event? Do you want to figure out how to increase your likes and the visibility of your posts? Are you thirsty? If so, this is the seminar for you. WHAT IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND THIS SESSION: • You MUST already have a Facebook business page • You MUST bring either your laptop or tablet that has internet access in order to access Facebook. The Facebook app on tablets and smart phones DOES NOT offer full functionality. What you will take away from this class: • Answers to your questions about Facebook • A better knowledge of the inner workings of Facebook • Social media tips and techniques in regards to Facebook • A drink and a chance to hang out with your friends while learning something
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Intro to Goat Cheese: Chevre and Beyond
We will briefly discuss how animals are raised and the difference between farmstead and large agricultural companies. We will review the composition of cows’, goats’ and sheeps’ milk and discuss why a personal chef may want to choose goats milk products for their clients. We will taste several cheeses from the four main styles of cheese and discuss how they are made and how you might incorporate them into your recipes.
This fast-paced hands-on class will provide you a basic photography overview. From there Chef Rafael will show you how to incorporate this knowledge to the pictures you capture with your smartphone.
with Andy Maguire
What you will take away from this class: • Why you would want to choose goats milk cheese • Basic knowledge of how cheese is made • Awareness of new cheeses • How to use goat cheese in your repertoire
with Rafael Robles
Using either your iPhone or Android smartphone this class will help your food photos look as good as they smell and taste. This class will explore the tools included in your phone some are standard and some are dependent on the make and model…and yet there are similarities of purpose and design. Having confidence in your smartphone camera means that you can take Internet-worthy photos of your creations anytime. You may even find that you prefer this method to your point and shoot camera due to the quality of the photos and the convenience of the device. Come learn and then you decide! What you will take away from this class: • Food composition • Lighting tips • Editing • Phone capabilities
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Presence in Presenting: Public Speaking and Maneuvering the Media with Kathy Patrick
Does the thought of presenting to large or large-ish groups make you weak in the knees? Do you fear speaking to church groups, Chambers of Commerce, networking groups? Maybe your concern is not groups but rather how to pitch the benefits of your personal chef service to media outlets – magazines, local periodicals, on-line news outlets. Have you ever wanted to utilize the media but didn’t know how to go about it? Kathy Patrick had a long career in high tech sales presenting to some tough audiences, and as a personal chef she’s leveraged the media to expand her client base to “get herself out there”. Come learn how to reduce your anxieties over public speaking and contacting the media so you grow your business and find great new clients. What you will take away from this class: • The basics of presentation skills • “Parking lot pitches”, short presentations, formal talks • Making value (not your process) your sales proposal • Strategies for contacting the media – getting your game plan together, deciding who to contact, and what you need to know to “wow” them • Understand what the media folks want – so they’ll want you back again!
Teaching Cooking Classes with Rosemary Rutland
Developing and teaching cooking classes is a way for the personal chef to add another income stream to their business, hone their skills on recipe and menu development, and get paid to advertise their services. Join Chef Rosemary, USPCA Personal Chef of the Year 2013, who has taught demonstration and interactive cooking lessons for the last 10 years in client’s homes, The Cooks Warehouse locations in Atlanta, and Williams Sonoma locations to add income and interest to her personal chef service. She has also taught the Personal Chef curriculum and other classes at The Art Institute of Atlanta’s culinary program and the Atlanta location of The Culinary Business Academy. This session will provide a wealth of information including how to find clients and cooking school locations, choosing what topics and menus to teach, how to choose recipes and write a professional recipe packet, and tips on how to teach a class. What you will take away from this class: • How to pitch yourself to clients and cooking schools (who may otherwise not need your other PC services) • Generating ideas to choose class topics • Selecting recipes and writing a recipe packet to fit your audience • Format for teaching both demo and hands-on classes
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Raw Desserts: Exotic Ingredients and Innovative Recipes
Use Social Media to Build Your Brand and Boost Your Business
As part of The Natural Epicurean sessions, come experience the unexpected in the world of desserts – raw!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest!!! Social media is transforming the way business is being done. Marketing experts recommend social media as a part of your marketing strategy. Clients and prospective clients use social media as a research tool. And yet, is it really worth the effort? And how on earth you going to find the time to manage social media AND your personal chef business too?!!
with Chef Dianne Slick
Learn to take your desserts to the next level by using the natural flavors and beautiful colors of raw and living foods with Chef Dianne, as she demonstrates, and you sample, unique ways to create and prepare raw desserts using exotic fruits and inventive techniques. Some of the techniques used in preparing raw desserts are: juicing, low temperature baking, and dehydrating. Chef Dianne will cover the health benefits of these techniques, as well as the health benefits of incorporating more raw and living foods into diet, and alternative ingredients that can be used as substitutes in traditional dessert recipes. Yes - desserts can be healthy! With dishes like raw cheesecake with lavender and berries, tropical fruit tart, cacao and goji superfood clusters, lime-avocado custard and pistachio-cranberry cookies, you’ll be amazed at the flavor and presentation of these gorgeous desserts. What you will take away from this class: • Understand the definition of ‘raw desserts’ and living foods • Substitution and conversion techniques • Techniques specific to raw food • Recipes and ideas for your personal chef library
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with Toni Scott
Toni Tanner-Scott, once a USPCA personal chef herself, understands the demands of being a small business owner / chef and the importance of social media for attracting new customers to your personal chef business. You’ll learn the ins and outs of social media, including which platforms can help build your business and why. You’ll also learn what, where and how often to share, how to keep your followers engaged, and how to track your social media marketing campaign’s success. Finally, you’ll find out about tools and systems that can make managing all of this a little easier. What you will take away from this class: • The benefits of social media for personal chefs • Which social media platforms are best for your business • How to craft an effective social media profile • How to build an audience and keep them engaged • What to share and how often • Tools for managing your posts; systems for managing your time • How to track your success
A Guide to Plant-Based Food Preparation and Storage
The Benefits of Benefits: Understanding Your USPCA Benefits
Chop. Cook. Freeze. Sometimes the trickiest part about eating healthy isn’t deciding what to make, but knowing which prepared dishes freeze well and that can be successfully used as a part of a meal-plan. In this class, our chef instructor will introduce not only the best plant-based ingredients for freezing, but also look at techniques and recipes that aid in the storage of the food.
Back by popular demand, and great reviews, Larry and Robert will reprise their session from last year. Their hour long break-out session will focus on the benefits afforded by your membership with the premier personal chef association in the industry – the USPCA. Do you really know all of the benefits? How are you using them?
with The Natural Epicurean
We will explore why certain plant-based proteins freeze better than others, what nutrients are retained or lost in the cooking and freezing process, and best ways to store and reheat meals. We will look at freezing complete meals, as well as “components” to a meal, such as veggie patties, plant-based protein loafs, kitchari, and various sauces and side dishes. This course is designed to give the chef new ideas on meal preparation and freezing, and the tools to create a more diverse plant-based menu for their clients with the understanding of storage and freezing techniques.
with Larry Lynch and Robert Lynch
Join the Larry and Robert Lynch for a conversational session on the ins-and-outs of your benefit package. They will answer your questions and offer suggestions for you and your business…. What you will take away from this class: • Thorough understanding of the USPCA member’s benefits • Clear understanding of how the benefits work within your own personal chef service • Opportunity to suggest additional benefits • Confidence in your knowledge of all the USPCA has to offer
What you will take away from this class: • Plant-based freezing techniques • Ingredients and recipes that freeze well • Alternative plant-based proteins for meal planning
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New Chef Essentials: A Day in the Life of a Personal Chef with Monica Thomas
Take a walk through a traditional “cook day” from menu planning through clean-up with details, tips, and exercises designed to help new personal chefs understand efficient and effective processes. Together with Chef Monica you will explore the importance of menu planning, creating an overall cook day game plan, grocery stores, how to manage your/client’s pantry, chef-carried essentials, set up in the client’s home, and timing for food prep, cooling and packaging. What you will take away from this class: • Practical tips for effective menu planning • Hands-on practice creating such a menu • Real-world advice for efficient prep before a cook day • Hands-on practice organizing a cook day • Questions answered throughout the session by a 10-year experienced personal chef
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New Chef Essentials: More Than Cooking with Monica Thomas
This stand-alone session will delve into the nitty-gritty of costing; provide an opportunity to check out containers you might use in your business; and explore marketing and business generating activities, and sales. In this session you will have the opportunity to flesh out how you go about the business of doing business. Not simply the business of cooking! What you will take away from this class: • Formulas for costing services including parties • Traditional and non-traditional marketing ideas • Additional income-producing work such as parties, teaching, and product sales • Contracts – to use/not to use and why • Value of volunteering • Questions answered throughout the session by a 10-year experienced personal chef
Other sessions in San Antonio include: The Zen of Personal Chefing: How Yoga and Meditation Will Improve Your Life and Your Business with Rochelle Barcellona
Most people hear the word “meditation” and think of Tibetan monks chanting “Ohhmmm…” all day long. But really meditation is a simple and effective way to improve your physical health, mental health, your relationships and your business. This centuries old practice has relevance and provides real-world results today, even if you only practice for a few minutes. Come listen to Rochelle Barcellona talk about how yoga and meditation changed her life and her business. It’ll be a fun, casual, interactive presentation and discussion, and best of all, you are not required to wear yoga pants! This is informational only (no yoga practice required), but what great information it is. What you will take away from this class: • An understanding of the scientific evidence proving the benefits of yoga and meditation • Real life examples of how yoga and meditation changed Rochelle’s life and business • Examples of various types of yoga and meditation • Simple tools and resources to start your own yoga and/or meditation practice • The realization that you can lead a happier, healthier life and that you have friends in the room who will support you
• Cooking with Convection Steam: Demystifying Convection Steam Cooking • Tequila Seminar 101 • A Taste of Chocolate • A Guide to Local Marketing • Hands On with Modernmeal Pro • Wine Tasting • Sit for the CPC Exam • Sit for the Food Safety Manager Certification Exam • A special CPC Event
To register, go to USPCA.com/Conference
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THE NEW HIREACHEF.COM
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What is your Favorite Cookbook? 1. The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer 2. Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child 3. The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg 4. At Blanchard’s Table by Melinda Blanchard 5. Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo 6. The Legacy Garden by Scott Wilson 7. Canadian Living’s Country Cooking by Elizabeth Baird 8. The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith and Gary Jacobsen 9. Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking by Lidia Bastianich 10. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Join the group and the conversations at www.facebook.com/groups/IAmAPersonalChef
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Teflon. Too often I have found drawers filled with melted spatulas, rusted or bent cooking utensils or chipped wooden spoons. Don’t get me started on the dull knives or the stained wooden pullout cutting boards. And I can’t tell you how often I have burned myself using a threadbare hot pad or dish towel to pull something out of the oven. These issues are easy to address. Although I do not bring pots and pans with me, I do have a nylon duffle of supplies to dip into when the occasion arises. Here is a basic list of what I bring that can get me through most challenging moments.
Eat Right Seniors:
Serving Our Elders When I first drove up to their house I was greeted by a manicured front yard, swept porch and a flower wreath on the front door. For the initial interview I was received in their well-furnished living room. Family pictures adorned the piano, the silver coffee service sat on the tea cart and knickknacks were placed with care around the room. It was warm, inviting and clean. Probably not a room used much for everyday relaxation. Those moments are usually saved for the den or bedroom. After our initial assessment conversation I was invited into the kitchen for a tour. All looked maintained. The floor was swept, counters and stovetop clean and there was little excess clutter. The cleaning service had been there the day before, I was told. Note to self: come after the cleaning service has been there so that I can work in a newly cleaned kitchen. A true reflection of the food/dietary/meal situation are the secrets that hide behind the closed cabinets, drawers, fridge and freezer. It is there that we find the ghosts of the past. And it is there that our greatest challenges reside. In order to prepare healthy food safely and with care it is of the upmost importance to have working appliances, quality cooking utensils and fresh ingredients. Pretty basic, right? Well, that may not be the case with many of the seniors we are preparing meals for. I am a home renovation TV junky, I admit it. I love to see how an outdated kitchen can be transformed into a work of art that is a joy to prepare meals in. When I’m listening to the potential buyers walk through the kitchen exclaim, “This is so outdated. How could anyone cook in here?” I have to answer, “I do all the time”. Because, those are the kitchens that most elderly I cook for have. We don’t need granite countertops, but we do need a clean work surface. We don’t need stainless steel appliances, but we need them clean and functioning properly. We don’t need a walk in pantry, but we need organized cupboards. We don’t need the top of the line cook wear, but we need pots and pans that are not aluminum or chipped
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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Aprons High Temp Pocket Hot Pads Dish Towels Heat Resistant Spatulas Metal Prep & Cooking Utensils Meat Thermometer Immersion Blender Graters Ceramic Knives Peelers Wooden Spoons Collapsible Measuring Cups and Spoons Quality Plastic Cutting Boards Band-Aids and Antiseptic Cream Hand Cream Disinfectant Hand Soap Lower Back Brace Masking Tape and Black Marker Timer (my phone)
Now comes the touchier subject, food safety and freshness. Out with the old and in with the new. If they haven’t been preparing meals for themselves in quite a while then chances are most everything is old, stale, past its date and lost its nutritional value. This includes dry and canned goods, herbs and spices, frozen foods, those squishy bags in the veggie drawer, the unused box of eggs and what lurks on the fridge door. We all have that jar of marmalade we couldn’t live without forgotten in our fridge or the special box of crackers that got stuck behind the rice, right? Well, most likely they haven’t looked in their cupboards or the back of their fridge because they can’t bend down, read the label or maybe they just don’t care anymore. Out of sight out of mind. Okay then, let’s begin with door number one, the herb and spice cabinet. Chances are EVERYTHING in the cupboard is over two years old and needs to be tossed. This one is easy to do, and often I am told that they have not been used in many years and I should replace everything. I do anyway, whether I am told or not. Fresh is best and I want the food I prepare to be of the best quality. To begin, I make space for my newly bought bottles and push theirs’ to the back so as not to get confused. I buy as I need and slowly toss out the old even if the jar is still sealed. I do the same with the dry goods. Flour, sugar, rolled oats, pasta, bread crumbs etc are all replaced with fresh. I check to see if the crackers are up to date as well as any dry snack foods they may have. Chances are if they are near the front or on the table they are newly bought. If they are in the back I ask first to make sure I am not being presumptuous or pushy. I will admit that initially I was overzealous and it once cost me my job. A daughter and father hired me to prepare food for the mother, who was bedridden. I had not met her so all of my communication was with the two of them. They had a huge pantry filled with out of date dry, boxed and canned foods as well as a collection of unusable plastic containers. The freezer was packed with meats
covered in ice crystals. I suggested they clean out much of the pantry and freezer for food safety reasons. Needless to say, the mother felt I had usurped her authority and terminated me after just a few cook dates. Lesson learned. I am an invited guest in their home and until we have established a trusting relationship it is not in my job description to clean out the old food. It is my job to prepare healthy delicious meals that they request to the best of my ability with fresh ingredients that I buy. As our relationship and trust grow I have more latitude in what I can and can’t do. I try to educate them on the importance of shelf life dates for dry and canned goods from the importance of health safety. The fridge is where much of the possibly contaminated foods live, so I always check the bottom and backs of shelves, the veggie drawers and those crusted jars on the door. With their permission I review the frozen food to make sure it is still usable. One time I found a frozen package dated four years ago. When I asked where it came from I was told his wife bought it for him after she became ill and could no longer cook. He agreed that it was now time for it to be thrown away. It took one year before his family would allow me to even begin tossing anything their mother had bought. Unusable pots, pans and food storage containers are a different issue. If there are children involved they will most likely offer to get whatever supplies I need to prepare and store the food. I offer them different options to choose from and usually I have everything waiting for me when I arrive to cook. If there is no other person available I will offer to buy what is necessary and that works well. The issue of hoarding is of particular health import. Hoarding food is not only a health safety issue where the person is potentially eating food that is outdated and unsafe. It is also a grave medical risk. Mice and other small insects can and will invade the house and food, contaminating the environment and exposing everyone to possible illness. Why a person hordes is an issue for another time. The immediate issue at hand is to remove the food and make sure that the area is clean. I cannot even begin to list the places I have found old food hidden and forgotten. Usually people do not remember where they have hoarded their food, so removing it when they are not around is the best way to handle the situation. If family is available they should be alerted to the situation and engaged in the cleanup and disinfection of the areas.
it can be an issue we become aware of. If that is the case, let the family or secondary contact person know and recommend they contact the Doctor’s office. Hopefully the Dr. will send out a home health nurse to inventory the meds and dispose of them appropriately. Preparing meals for our aging clients is more than just making good food. As Personal Chefs we have the responsibility to make sure that all food in the home is fresh and that the kitchen is a safe environment to eat in. Their health and well-being depend on it. I hope this article has been of assistance to you in working with the elderly. For my next article I will begin a series of articles on how to work with challenging situations you may encounter. These will include: • • • • • • •
She shouldn’t be cooking anymore. My teeth are bad and I can’t chew. Here is my list of what I can no longer digest. I hate vegetables. My Dr. says I have to change my diet. My diabetes is out of control. Food doesn’t taste good anymore.
If you have any specific issues or thoughts you wish for me to address I invite you to share them. I am here to assist in any way you may need. I look forward to hearing from you. Be well, Melinda Melinda Rand, MA Eat Right In Personal In-Home Chef www.eatrightin.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The other hoarding issue that should be mentioned is hoarding prescription medicine. Because it is often in a cupboard in the kitchen
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USPCA Member Leads a National New Year’s Day Tradition Terry Madigan, CPC Just No Thyme, Pasadena, CA For the past 22 years I have had an unusual New Year’s Day tradition. It doesn’t involve eating black eyed peas, recovering from a hangover, or sleeping late because I was catering a party most of the night. Every January 1st, I put on a white suit and red tie and take my post helping to organize America’s New Year Celebration – The Rose Parade. The Rose Parade is managed by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, a non-profit organization made up of 935 volunteers (known as White Suiters) who spend tens of thousands of hours every year putting on the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game. The Association is divided into 31 operating committees (supported by about 25 full-time staff) who are responsible for all the planning, logistics and organization it takes to put on the parade and game. This year’s parade was seen by about 700,000 people along the parade route and on television in 115 countries including about 54 million people in the United States. In this busy world with all the competing priorities, I really can’t explain how we get people to come back year after year to give up their time and their holidays to put on the parade and game. I can only assume that there are nearly 1,000 people who love this parade and this organization as much as I do. This is proven by the number of our volunteers who have been involved for decades, like my friend Tom who just celebrated his 55th parade. I joined the Association in 1993 and have served on many of these operational committees over the years, including the Equestrian Committee, TV/Radio Committee, Decorating Places (where we allow guests to see the flowers being placed on the floats) and Post Parade (where nearly 100,000 guests are provided with an up-close look at the floats after the parade). In 2010, I was promoted to Committee Chair, and in 2013 I was asked to joined the Association’s Board of Directors. As a Committee Chair, I first led the Host Committee, which is responsible for hosting the Association’s invited guests for the parade and game and had the chance to work with our 2013 Grand Marshall TV chef/restauranteur Paula Dean. For the 2013 and 2014 parades, I was really able to put my Personal Chef skills to work as I chaired the Special Events Committee. The committee is responsible for contracting with and managing the caterers that support association-sponsored events leading up to the parade and game. During the 2 years I chaired the committee, the 18 committee members, my Vice Chair, and I oversaw 50 events with more than 22,000 guests and a total catering budget exceeding $1 million. Some of the highlights of the years included the Tailgate Parties for about 2,000 fans just prior to the Rose Bowl, numerous dinners and cocktail events at our headquarters and the “Taste of Pasadena” dinner that we organized on the field at the Rose Bowl for the officials and delegates of the conferences participating in the BCS National College Football Championship game which the Association hosted in 2014. The one evening when my two worlds -- parade and personal chef -- really collided was when I was asked by our Association’s President to personally prepare a dinner for him, our Grand Marshall Vin Scully who was starting his 65th season as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and their wives. Not only did this evening allow me to cook for two men I truly admire, but I had the chance to prepare and serve dinner in our beautiful headquarters housed in a 100-year-old Pasadena mansion once owned by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley. For me, it turned out to be a job that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. Perhaps the high point of my volunteer activities with the Tournament of Roses was being asked to Chair the Parade Operations Committee for the 2015 and 2016 parades. This committee, made up of about 120 volunteers, is responsible for taking all the elements of the parade -- floats, marching bands, equestrian units and dignitaries – and organizing them into a 2-hour, 5-1/2 mile long parade. We spend the year working with our float builders, reviewing the safety features of each unit, working with our Music and Equestrian committees to better understand the bands and horse units in the parade, helping our broadcasters better understand the flow of the parade, and working with public safety agencies to ensure we are creating an enjoyable and safe experience for our guests and participants. After nearly a year’s worth of work, we take over responsibility for getting the parade down the street. My committee members escort each float through the parade while others are stationed along the route to assist visitors and participants with any issues they may have. Still others are on radio or on scooters working to keep the parade moving or driving vans to pick up any band members who are not able to complete the parade. As for me, I am posted at the beginning of the parade just before it reaches the TV cameras starting each unit to ensure that the parade is evenly spaced on television and ends when we have committed to our broadcasters. It still amazes me that the volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses will spend thousands of hours each year getting ready for the parade for no other reason than they enjoy the camaraderie and the knowledge that they are putting on an event loved by millions around the world. If you have never made it out to Pasadena for New Year’s Day, I would recommend it highly. Not only does it give you a chance to get out of the snow, but you get a chance to experience up close and in person one of our country’s most spectacular live events.
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Things You Should Know Coming Out of Culinary School In order to be successful in the culinary industry you need to have a total package of skills and traits. Just like a professional athlete, a football, soccer or basketball star, you need a well-rounded package of qualifications. The most important part of the package is your cooking techniques and knowledge base. Knife skills are particularly key. Also important is safety and sanitation, measurement skills and a well-rounded exposure to cuisines and all aspects of culinary. Equally important to culinary skills are behavioral skills: listening, customer service, eagerness to learn and the ability to get along with other in a diverse environment. Lastly and most importantly are the employability skills: reliability, ability to take direction and willingness to do what it takes to make your employer successful. Now let’s break down these broad skills in more specifics. 1. Safety and sanitation knowledge and habits are key to the profession and you must be scrupulous in their application. You need to know and observe the temperature danger zones and crosscontamination rules. 2. Your knife skills, cooking methodologies and techniques need to be outstanding. These are the foundation skills of a successful career. 3. When you graduate from school you need to be trainable and eager to learn both the technical and the interpersonal aspects of your position. 4. As a new graduate you need to be humble, willing to listen and follow directions. You cannot have a chip on your shoulder just because you graduated from a prestigious culinary school.
5. You need to be known for reliability, showing up every day, even arriving early and staying late if necessary. 6. You must have a sense of urgency and be willing to work in a fast-paced production environment. 7. You must be a team player to get along with your co-workers and supervisors in a highly diverse environment. 8. You must have a great customer-service attitude along with a business mindset. 9. You must work both smarter and harder to make yourself irreplaceable. 10. Finally, you must remember that there is always room to learn something every day. You must be driven to do at least one thing better each day.
Chef Luiz Manzo, Garde Manger Chef Instructor, Le Cordon Bleu, Orlando, Florida Chef Manzo was educated in Brazil and enjoyed a career as a professional soccer player before entering the culinary profession. He was trained at the California Culinary Academy (now Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, California). Throughout his career, he has served as culinary instructor, executive chef and coach at world-famous culinary schools, a federally-funded vocational school and at famous hotels and highlyregarded cafeterias Chef Manzo believes that “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness (Escoffier).” He is committed to excellence in culinary education in order to give his students the skills they need to prepare truly good food as a foundation for success and happiness in life.
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3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 1/3 cup dry white wine (your favorite type...don’t break the bank!) flat leaf parsley (for garnish) 1 Meyer lemon (for garnish) Directions: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Keep the skin on the chicken. Wash the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Peel the potatoes and cut crosswise. Cut each half into four quarters. Pat dry. Add olive oil to a large shallow roasting pan and put over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot, arrange chicken and potatoes, rounded side down, in a single layer in the pan. Cook five minutes, carefully shaking the pan often to prevent sticking. Do not turn. Place the pan now in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the chicken and potatoes and bake until both are well browned and crispy. Place a thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken thigh. Bake until the thermometer reads 165 degrees. Working quickly, season the chicken and potatoes with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh garlic, fresh parsley, and toss gently to mix. Add white wine, peas, butter, and shake the pan to mix. Transfer chicken and potatoes to a serving platter. Pour all the juices over. Garnish dish with parsley and lemon wedges. Serve immediately. Serves 4 people.
It’s Spring! Enjoy these great recipes for the season and all year long from your fellow USPCA Personal Chefs.
Chicken Vesuvio Chicken Vesuvio is a classic ItalianAmerican Chicago dish. The exact origins of the dish are unknown, but it dates back to the 1930s. My wife and I first fell in love with this dish fifteen years ago when we had it at Rosebud’s in Chicago. What amazes me about this dish is that it’s a complete meal in a pan. You have chicken, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, unsalted butter, potatoes, peas, white wine, and chicken stock. There are a couple different variations of the Vesuvio recipe...there are recipes for chicken, pork, and even fish. As a chef, when I look at recipes, there are three things that I look for. First, are the ingredients easily available to purchase? Second, does the recipe require any special kitchen tools that are hard to find? Third, can the recipe be easily executed? In my opinion, Chicken Vesuvio meets all three of these requirements. For this recipe, all you need is a roasting pan, spatula, and you could use a sauté pan (if you want to make the sauce separately). It could be all done in a roasting pan if you like. I prefer to do the entire dish in the roasting pan, so you can scrape up all the bits of chicken and the natural juice from the chicken. Antonio Torres, Elevate Food Inc., Glen Ellyn, IL Ingredients: 1 large fryer (3 1/2-4 pounds) cut into 8 pieces 3 medium Idaho potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds) 1/3 cup light-tasting olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 large cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons dried oregano
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Green Vegetable Salad with OrangeHazelnut Dressing I love to troll back issues of Bon Appetit for great ideas. This one is modified from the June issue of 1991 and is a great alternative to tossed salads. I hope your family loves it as much as mine! Beverly Pruden, Tucson, AZ 4 Servings SALAD: 1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 1-inchlong pieces 1/2 lb. broccoli florets 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces DRESSING: 3 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. good quality olive oil 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh orange juice 1 tsp. grated orange rind 1/4 tsp. salt 3 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped FOR SALAD: Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add green beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Bring water back to a boil and add broccoli and asparagus and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain well and add to the bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and dry cooled vegetables, toss gently with dressing and serve immediately. Note: vegetables may be prepared one day ahead and stored in refrigerator; toss gently with dressing when ready to serve. FOR DRESSING: Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Mix in hazelnuts.
Jekyll’s Grouper Piccata over Linguine
Shrimp in Pesto Sauce
Carey Stegall, Jekyll -- A Private Chef, LLC, Destin, Florida
Marinade for shrimp Juice of 1 lemon 1 clove of minced or pressed garlic 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 box linguine 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 6 Tbsp butter, divided 2 Tbsp capers 4 grouper fillets (about 6 oz each) 1 lemon for garnish 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup dry white wine 4 sprigs of curly parsley for garnish 2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Cook linguine according to the directions on the box, omitting any oil. Lay grouper fillets on a platter and lightly salt and pepper each side. Place flour in a shallow dish and lightly flour each grouper fillet, shaking off the excess. Melt 2 Tbsp butter over med-high heat in a heavy, non-stick skillet. When skillet is hot and the butter is about to brown, place the grouper fillets into the skillet. Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until golden brown and just cooked through. Do not overcook. Meanwhile, rinse and drain the capers and set aside. Cut both lemons in half and cut one half into 4 thin slices and set aside. Juice the other 1-1/2 lemons for the lemon-caper sauce. Remove the fish from the skillet onto a platter and turn the heat to med-low. Tent the fish with foil to keep warm. Add white wine, capers and lemon juice to the skillet to deglaze. Scrape up the browned bits of flour, simmering for about 2 minutes to reduce liquid slightly; turn off the heat. Swirl 2 Tbsp butter into the skillet, just until it melts. Drain the linguine and return it to the pot with the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and the chopped flat-leaf parsley. Stir well to combine. Evenly divide the linguine onto four plates and place a grouper fillet on top of each. Pour the lemon-caper sauce over the fish. (Note: If a thicker sauce is desired, thicken it with 1/2 tsp of corn starch mixed with 2 tsp of cold water.) Cut each slice of lemon 3/4 of the way across and twist over curly parsley sprigs to garnish the fish. Serve immediately.
Cari Avit, The Divine Dish, McKinney, TX
Pesto for shrimp 2 1/2 cups of fresh whole basil leaves 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted 1 clove of garlic 1/2 tsp of sea salt 1 tsp of lemon juice 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Entrée ingredients 1.5 lb. of large, uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined 4 zucchinis, julienned or spiral sliced to create the noodles 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes 4 tbsp. of butter or ghee 4 tbsp. of olive oil First combine marinade ingredients and pour into a sealable plastic bag, add shrimp, and place in refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Next make the pesto...start by spreading out the pine nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in a 350-degree F oven for 5-7 minutes – keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts with the remaining ingredients for the pesto sauce – don’t add the olive oil just yet. Now slowly pour in the olive oil while food processor is churning to combine. Slice zucchini (julienne or spiral) into a small bowl – set aside. Place butter (or ghee) and olive oil in a sauce pan and set to medium heat. Add the marinated shrimp. Cook shrimp about 2-3 minutes per side, or until shrimp is pink At the last minute, toss in the halved cherry tomatoes Next add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of your pesto sauce, heat through in saucepan with the shrimp. Microwave zucchini noodles on high 1-2 minutes – drain water after heating! Plate noodles, and top with the shrimp/pesto mixture. Serve hot and enjoy!
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Goat Cheese Pops
1 tsp. kosher salt
Spring is a great time for salads! I love using the fresh ingredients of the spring season. One way to add a little something different to your salads is goat cheese pops. They are really delicious, and add a bit of richness to any salad. They’re so easy to make too. I love topping spinach salads with the goat cheese pops.
Vegetables 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1 zucchini sliced lengthwise 1 red or yellow pepper sliced lengthwise 2 plum tomatoes sliced in lengthwise wedges 1/2 medium red onion sliced in half rounds 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1 T. olive oil
Darlene DeMesa, The Main Course, Woodstock, GA 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 large egg 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 (11-ounce) log soft goat cheese, at room temperature 2 canola oil Combine flour and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk together egg, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a second small bowl. Combine panko and remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in another small bowl. Roll goat cheese into 24 balls (about 1 tablespoon each). Roll each goat cheese ball in flour mixture, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture. Freeze 20 minutes or until firm. Heat oil to 350° in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry goat cheese, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes or until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place on paper towels to drain.
Chicken and Roasted Vegetable Wraps with Hummus and Feta Cheese Diane Elmore, Hamilton, NJ Makes 6 wraps 2 chicken breasts 1/4 cup parsley, minced
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Hummus 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup tahini 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup parsley 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper feta cheese mixed greens wraps Chicken Poach the chicken in water with salt. When the chicken is cooked, cool slightly and then slice into small cubes. Add parsley. Vegetables Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and lay vegetables on pan. Pour olive oil over the vegetables and add the salt. Mix ingredients together. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes and turn over. Roast for 10- 15 more minutes or until caramelized. Remove from the oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before handling. Hummus Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Add more lemon juice or olive oil as needed. Set the wraps out on a counter and spread ¼ cup of hummus over each one. Layer the greens over the hummus. Next, add the roasted vegetables, then the crumbled feta cheese and finally, layer the chicken on top. Roll burrito style, and store in a Pyrex dish with a cover. Serve with baked sweet potato fries and crispy kale chips.
Shrimp Cocktail with Tomato Balsamic Marmalade Need a quick and easy hors d’oeuvre to serve within the hour and all you have in your fridge are a few tomatoes, onions and some shrimp no problem! Freddy Kunkel, The Roasted Fig, Fort Lauderdale, FL 1-2 lb. of shrimp, peeled and deveined 6 plumb tomatoes, diced small 1/2 red onion, diced small 2-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 3 large cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp. sugar or honey 1 lemon, juiced Directions: 1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil with your favorite seasoning (old bay, lemons, coriander, cumin, garlic, etc.). 2. Boil the shrimp for about 5-8 minutes, until they are cooked through. 3. Once cooked, remove from water and set aside to cool, and then refrigerate the shrimp once they are cool. 4. In a saucepan on medium heat, add all the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. 5. Cook the mixture down until it resembles a tomato sauce, then add 2-3 tbsp. of the balsamic vinegar and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium low heat. 6. Lower heat to a simmer and add 2 tbsp. of sugar or honey and stir every few minutes as the mixture thickens and resembles a marmalade. 7. Lay the shrimp on a plate and dollop the marmalade over the individual shrimp and garnish with lemon juice and serve.
Tofu Eggless Salad This is a quick and easy sandwich filling and certainly one of my husband Steve’s favorites. He’s what I lovingly refer to as a “meat and potatoes” vegan, and so am I, to some extent. We were both raised on the standard American diet which included familiar lunchbox staples such as tuna fish, chicken and egg salad sandwiches. We like veganized versions of home-style, familiar dishes we grew up on as well as some of the more modern veggie dishes.
2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped ½ tsp. turmeric 1 tsp. dill, dried ¼ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper 2 tsp. Dijon mustard Drain tofu, squeezing out any excess liquid. Crumble with hands into large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and blend well to incorporate to a smooth, spreadable consistency. I cannot stress enough the importance of tasting for seasoning. If you like more salt, add it now. If you like it sweeter, add more relish, etc. Make this recipe your own, and you won’t regret it.
Tri-Colored Orzo Salad Stine Svendsen, DK Gourmet, LLC , Stilwell, KS 1 pound orzo pasta 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup 2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces) 3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese) 1/2 cup dried cherries 12 fresh basil leaves, torn 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Directions Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool. Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.
Interesting thing about these fillings, they are all made pretty much the same. This recipe is adaptable to chicken substitutes like soy curls and seitan and also mashed chickpeas that can stand in for tuna fish. So this is my version, and I think it’s pretty darn close to the original in terms of flavor. I like a few high notes–sweet relish, tangy onion, crunchy celery and lots of black pepper. All of these ingredients are adjustable to suit your taste, so give it a try! Check out my blog: www. veganflavorista.wordpress.com Melanie daPonte , Vegan Flavorista,, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 14 ounces tofu, extra firm, drained ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise 2 tbsp. sweet relish 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
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Ancho Chili Ribs I created this recipe out sheer desperation; I had been living in San Francisco for 15 years with outdoor yard or grill- classic city living. I missed BBQ and decided to do something about it! This is an unbeatable recipe for die-hard rib fans that you can make in your own kitchen using your oven. High temperature roasting crisps and caramelizes while keeping the ribs tender and succulent inside. Enjoy an urban spin on ribs!
Susan Ytterberg, The Golden Plum Personal Chef Services, LLC, Alameda, CA Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 Rack baby back ribs 1/2 jar Ancho Chili Jam (about 5 oz.)(Earth & Vine brand) For the Rub: 2 Tbsp ground Ancho chile 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tsp kosher salt 2 tsp coriander 1 Tbsp garlic powder 1. Preheat oven 425° 2. Remove ribs from package, rinse under cold water and pat dry. 3. Mix together rib rub ingredients and rub into rack of ribs, bottom & top. 4. Cover cookie sheet in tin foil. Spray well with vegetable spray or coat lightly with olive oil. Put rack on pan and put in preheated oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minute until bubbly and crispy. 5. Remove from oven and coat top of ribs with glaze of your choicepepper jellies work really well. Return pan to oven and cook for another 15 minutes or until glaze is caramelized. Remove from oven. 6. Allow ribs to rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Cut into individual pieces or 2 rib sections and serve ribs heaped on serving dish.
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Roast Cornish Game Hens in Vinaigrette Sauce This recipe is by my brother in law, Professor Gary Burton. He is no longer with us but he was a great cook and he is the reason I am a chef today. I have tried to recreate this recipe and I had no success. Gary made me a mini cookbook for “Silky-Legged Females” all the way back in 1991. Chef Brando Spies, Thirty Two Fourteen Personal Chef Service, Parker, CO 2 game hens (one for each person) At least two hours ahead of time, prepare the sauce as follows: 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil 1/2 cup Semi-Dry white wine (or Zinfandel) 1/2 cup vinegar ( a good wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar) one whole bunch green onions, cleaned and sliced (include 2/3 of the green part too) about 1 tablespoon of each of the following herbs: Tarragon Savory Marjoram about 1/2 tsp. of pepper & salt (be sure to crush dried herbs well and pick out the stems of savory) Swoosh all this together in a carafe and leave in a warm place until game hens are ready Cut the hens in half, lengthwise Wash all sides of pieces, and trim off excess fat Rub pieces all over with fresh lemon juice Brush with melted butter containing black pepper and ground marjoram Brown pieces in a heavy skillet of butter and oil Leave pieces bone side down, and roast at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes, or until legs move freely. (you can stand them up after browning if needed) Serve with wild rice, and pour the sauce over the hens and rice
Twin Salmon Roulade with Lemon Cream Sauce Cody James, Manhattan Catering LLC, Chandler, AZ Serves 6 One side of fresh Alaskan King Salmon skin removed 1 lb of grav loc-cured salmon, thinly sliced (found in seafood area) 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, chiffonade (approx 2 cups) 1 bunch of spinach, chiffonade (approx 2 cups) 3 shallots finely chopped 6 oz bread crumbs 6 oz whipping cream Salad oil for saute Sea salt to taste Fresh Ground Pepper to taste Sauté shallots in oil, add greens toss and allow to wilt. Add 6 oz cream, bring to rolling simmer, turn down flame and add bread crumbs to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool. Take side of salmon, skin side down and with a sharp knife butterfly ½ of salmon from middle of side of salmon to almost the edge of the salmon taking care not to cut through the outer edge of the filet. Fold each butterflied segment out to make a flat sheet of salmon. Lay down enough plastic wrap to place butterflied salmon on plastic, cover salmon with plastic wrap and pound lightly w/smooth side of the meat mallet till salmon is of even thickness. Salt and pepper each side, place silver skin side upward toward you and place filling on half of the salmon on one end of the pounded salmon and roll using the plastic wrap as demonstrated by the chef. Place roulade on a lightly oiled baking sheet seam side down. Bake in 450° F oven for approximately 8-12 minutes, take out of oven, Allow salmon to rest for 10 minutes. Then bake roulade again for another seven minutes. Serve hot with grilled asparagus and lemon cream sauce.
plate, top with 2 hot slices of roulade and place lemon cream sauce around asparagus spears and serve immediately. Serve with a Pinot Grigio wine. We chose “The Naked Grape” Pinot Grigio with aromas of pears and Meyer lemons! Enjoy! Served with Grilled Asparagus Accompanied with ‘The Naked Grape” Pinot Grigio Wine
Low Fat Turkey Sausage and Egg White Breakfast Casserole Hardette Harris, Your Chef Concierge Chef Services, Inc., Haughton, LA 3 links sweet ground turkey sausage (removed from casing) 1/2 tsp olive oil 3 stalks green onion chopped 1/4 c onion yellow chopped 1 garlic clove minced 2 c fat free shredded cheddar cheese 10 egg whites 2 whole eggs 2 c fat free milk 1 tsp mustard ground 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 4 slices bread whole wheat sugar free 1. Spray the 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven at 350 F. 2. In a sauté pan cook sausage until done. Remove and chop into small crumbly pieces. Set aside in a bowl. 3. Sauté onion, green onion and garlic in the oil until lightly brown and soft. Remove and add to sausage and mix. 4. Lay bread slices in baking dish. Slightly pull them apart until they cover the bottom of the dish. Then layer equal parts of sausage mixture, then cheese. Repeating. 5. In a separate bowl with a whisk, whip egg whites, eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper together until slightly frothy. Immediately pour over sausage and cheese. Bake immediately for about 35 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining green onion.
Lemon Cream Sauce Zest of 1 lemon finely chopped Juice of ½ lemon 4 oz heavy cream 2 oz Pinot Grigio Wine 4 tbsp butter 3 tbsp finely chopped shallots 2 tbsp salad oil Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste In a hot saute pan lightly oiled, brown shallots and lemon peel, Add Salt and pepper to taste. Add wine to deglaze pan, watch out it might flame! Add lemon juice and cont to simmer. Now add heavy cream and bring to a heavy simmer. Add butter to mixture and allow to thicken as you incorporate butter. Take off of flame. Serve warm sauce beside baked roulade.
Makes 12 servings: 1 square = 1 serving (152 calories, 8 g fat)
To make the asparagus: lightly oil fresh trimmed asparagus then grill in hot grill pan to obtain grill marks. Take asparagus from hot pan, place on a plate and wrap with plastic wrap to keep heat in and continue to cook asparagus.
Bake at 400 degrees for 7- 8 minutes until crispy. Don’t cook any longer. They burn easily! Best snack to make while grilling with friends!
Kale Chips Sarah Lujetic McKeesport, PA Kale washed and dried (Pull off the hard spines) Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Put kale pieces on the parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.
To plate: Take several spears of grilled asparagus and place on dinner
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Banana Bourbon French Toast
Beverly Pruden, Tucson, AZ
This is a favorite of mine. It’s great for company, brunches and for couples who are having a romantic breakfast date.
Makes: 1-1/2 cup 1 cup sour cream 1/2 small red onion, minced 2 tablespoons chives, minced 1 teaspoon dried dill weed OR 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/2 tsp sugar sea salt and ground white pepper to taste 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for cucumber. Refrigerate for at least one hour. When ready to serve, stir in the cucumber and adjust seasonings. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Mexican-Style Chicken Salad Melissa Bess Reed, Gluten Free Lifestyle Series, Ventura, CA To make the salad you will need: 2 Cups Free-range Chicken Breast, shredded or chopped 1 Tomato, seeded and chopped 1 Avocado, chopped 2 Tbs. Cilantro, chopped 2 Tbs. Onion, chopped 2 Tbs. Black Beans, optional 2 Tbs. Lime Juice 6-8 Cups of Dark Leafy Lettuce, chopped Queso Fresco, to taste Gluten-free Corn Tortilla Strips Dressing 1 Tbs. Olive Oil 1/4 Tsp. Cumin 1/4 Tsp. Oregano 2 Tbs. Orange Juice Garlic Powder, to taste Pepper, to taste Hot Sauce, to taste Sea Salt, to taste In a bowl combine the dressing ingredients, cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. Chill 2-4 salad plates or bowls and forks while making the salad. In a large salad bowl place the chopped lettuce in the bottom. Add the chopped cilantro, onion, black beans, chicken, avocado, tomato and lime juice on top. Toss the salad and place on chilled plates or bowls. Stir chilled dressing and pour over salad. Then, garnish with Queso Fresco. Top Mexican-style Chicken Salad with the Gluten-free corn tortilla strips and enjoy!
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Vicki Offer, Whip It Up Vicki, Baltimore, MD Sauce: 4 Bananas Sliced 1 cup Brown Sugar 1/2 cup Bourbon 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter Batter: 6 eggs 2 tablespoons Vanilla 8 slices of thick White Bread (I use organic wheat loaf) Directions: To make sauce: In a small pan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat; carefully add bananas and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from stove and add bourbon; return to flame and continue simmering an additional 2 minutes. (if you add the Bourbon before the bananas and cook a few minutes longer the sauce will become more like syrup). Be careful that it doesn’t caramelize. Cover and keep warm until ready to use, To make batter: In a large bowl whisk eggs and vanilla until well blended. Put bread in a pan or dish with sides and pour batter over it. Let it set for 1 minute, turn the slices over and let set for another minute. Coat a large frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and set over medium heat. Remove bread from pan and place in skillet. Cook each side for 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining bread slices. Transfer 2 bread slices to individual plates and top with bananas and sauce. Serve with powdered sugar (optional).
Green Goddess Dressing This makes a beautiful salad dressing, crudités dip or delicious sauce over grilled salmon, grilled vegetables, or other grilled meats or seafood. Chef Jill Aker-Ray, Jill Aker-Ray, Charlotte, NC 28270-1636 Ingredients: 1 cup good quality mayonnaise (Duke’s or Hellman’s or homemade) 1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions) 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves( or tarragon or parsley or cilantro) 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves) 2 teaspoons anchovy paste 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt Directions Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil/herbs, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream/Greek yogurt and process just until blended. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)
Chilled Asparagus Soup Our asparagus patch in the mountains of Alabama produced an abundant crop each year which greatly encouraged my recipe collection for the crisp green beauties. One favorite recipe is this soup which is wonderful as an appetizer or accompanied by a green salad for a light lunch. This velvety chilled soup is best served a day after cooking, but can be refrigerated for two days. Taste for seasoning, garnish & serve. It pairs well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Buon Appetito! Christina Vincent, As You Like It PCS, Panama City, FL
Heat a nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt. To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.
Makes 10 servings
2 pounds asparagus, tips reserved, stalks cut into 1-inch lengths 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 2 1/2 cups unsalted or low sodium chicken stock/broth 2 cups water 1 large thyme sprig 1 1/2 cups milk or fat free 1/2 & 1/2 1 1/4 teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper Chive blossoms & Chive Oil, for garnish
I just made these for a prospective client and I must say they are yummy! Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had this recipe for many years and it is a favorite in our household and among my clients alike.
1. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the asparagus tips until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain the asparagus tips in a colander and refresh under cold water. Pat dry, halve the tips lengthwise and set aside. 2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus stalks, potatoes, stock, water and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Discard the thyme sprig. Remove soup from heat. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, then transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the milk, salt and white pepper. Let the soup cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. 4. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and drizzle with Chive Oil. Garnish with the asparagus tips & chive blossoms.
Grilled Watermelon Salad Deb Cantrell, Savor Culinary Services, Fort Worth, Texas Serves 4 Ingredients: 1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar Extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand) 2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled, preferably a French Chevre Fresh finely cracked black pepper Instructions: Stand the watermelon half cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 8 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick. Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.
Debra Freilicher, Home Cooking by Debra, Orchard Park, NY Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crust: 1/2 cup powdered sugar 2 4-oz cubes of butter (8 oz. total) 2 cups flour Mix together the above three ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Press mixture into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until barely brown. Filling: 4 eggs 2 cups sugar 4 Tablespoons flour 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, grated lemon zest as desired With electric mixer, beat together the above filling ingredients for about 2 minutes. Pour onto the top of the hot baked crust. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into square bars. Enjoy!
Barbecue Salmon Filets Donna Ondriska, Cookinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 4 U PCS, Midlothian, IL 1/4 C. pineapple juice 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 4 6 oz. salmon fillets 2 Tbs. brown sugar 4 tsp. chili powder 2 tsp. grated lemon rind 3/4 tsp. cumin 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cinnamon Cooking spray Lemon wedges (optional) Combine first 3 ingredients in a Ziploc plastic bag, seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour, turning occasionally. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove fish from bag; discard marinade. Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients in a bowl. Rub over fish. Place in an 11x7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lemon, if desired.
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Summer Salad A simple salad recipe that screams spring and summer! This recipe goes great with grilled chicken! Stacey Stewart, Around Your Table, Hebron, Kentucky Serves 4 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved Half of a 14oz can hearts of palm, sliced into 1/4” rounds 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, patted dry and chopped 1 small can (2.25oz) sliced black olives, drained 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped handful freshly chopped basil and Italian parsley 8 oz. fresh mozzarella or burrata, torn into bite size pieces Vinaigrette 1/2 cup blended oil (canola and extra virgin olive oil) 1/4-1/3 cup good quality balsamic (I use 18 year) 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1/8 tsp basil 1/8 tsp oregano salt and pepper to taste Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, set aside. In another bowl, whisk all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette until combined. Toss desired amount of vinaigrette with salad and season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
Chicken Meatballs in Spring Minestrone Shirley Scrafford RD, CPC My Chef Shirley LLC Burke, VA Serves 4 8 ounces of ground chicken breast ½ cup fresh bread crumbs 6 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided 4 cloves of garlic, 2 minced and 2 sliced 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives 1 egg ¾ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 leek, cleaned and sliced into half rounds 6 cups chicken broth ½ cup small pasta 1 cup sliced carrots 1 ½ cups zucchini, cubed 3 ounces baby spinach 1 Tbsp fresh basil, julienned Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, half of the Parmesan, half of the minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Shape into small meatballs. Heat half of the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in the soup later). Set aside.
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Add remaining half of oil to a pot and heat over medium heat. Add the leeks to the pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Stir in carrots and cook 3 minutes; add pasta and simmer until pasta is almost al dente, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs; simmer until pasta is al dente, carrots are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add spinach and remaining Parmesan; stir until spinach is wilted and Parmesan is melted. Season with salt and pepper if needed and stir in basil. To make ahead, package the parmesan that is added at the end, separately, to add after reheating.
Asparagus Mimosa Named for the eggs’ resemblance to the mimosa flower (not the cocktail!) this classic epitomizes Spring making a lovely first course or side dish for brunch (with a Bloody Mary perhaps). Monica Thomas, CPC, Tailored Taste Personal Chef, Hyattsville, MD serves 4 as a side dish or starter 1 pound asparagus 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar* 1 tablespoon minced shallot 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 5 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper 2 hard-boiled eggs Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and discard. Have a large bowl of ice water at the ready. Steam asparagus until tender but not mushy – test with a fork. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears. Immediately plunge asparagus into ice water to stop cooking and set the green color. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, Dijon and olive oil until it is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dry the asparagus thoroughly and then toss with some of the vinaigrette. Place on a platter or individual plates. Cut the eggs in half. Press through a medium weave sieve into a bowl. Sprinkle the egg across the asparagus. Enjoy! Chef Note: I’ve seen recipes for this dish using lemon juice, cider vinegar, tarragon vinegar, white wine vinegar and even red wine vinegar for the acidic part of this dressing. Feel free to experiment.
Chicken and Quinoa Sauté I came across this recipe while researching Candida friendly recipes for a new client, but the dish is so good that I now cook it for all my clients. Matthew West, CPC, Home Chef of Fairfield County, LLC, Stamford, CT Servings: 4 2 medium chicken breasts 1 cup quinoa, cooked per package instructions 2 pounds spinach, sautéed until just wilted 4 medium tomatoes, chopped 1 pound asparagus, steamed until crunch tender 2 large shallots, finely diced 2 large garlic cloves 1 large lemon, juiced salt and pepper, to taste 4 tablespoons olive oil Directions: Cook the quinoa as directed. Chop up the chicken and pan-fry with the minced garlic and shallots until cooked thoroughly (about 5 minutes). Sauté the spinach until just done. Steam asparagus until crunch tender. Now chop up the tomatoes, toss everything in a bowl and serve. Reheating Instructions: If frozen move to refrigerator at least 24 hours prior to heating. Remove overwrap and clear plastic lid, cover with foil and bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through. Alt: Place paper towel over entre and microwave at 70% power for 3 minutes or until warmed through.
Linguine with Red Snapper This is my new favorite recipe from Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mezar cooking show Extra Virgin. I usually serve with as a fresh meal with salad and garlic bread. I used trout recently and turned out well. Laura Slavney, What’s For Dinner Personal Chef Service, Memphis, TN Serves 4 2 Tb olive oil 2 5-oz, skin on red snapper fillets (pin bones removed) kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes ½ to ¾ cup dry white wine half of a 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, pureed 1 lb. linguine 1 handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the fish, skin side down, for 4 minutes; flip and cook on the reverse side until cooked through and flakey, another 4 minutes. Remove the fish to a plate. To the same pan you cooked your fish in add garlic…..you might need to turn the heat down so the garlic does not burn. When the garlic starts to color a bit add the red pepper flakes, sauté for 1 minute, then stir in wine. Reduce the wine briefly, until it loses it harsh flavor, then
stir in the tomatoes. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your linguine according to the package directions. Remove the skin from the fish fillets. Break up the fish, with your hands until large chunks and add it to the sauce. Stir gently. Turn heat off. Drain pasta and add to the sauce and toss. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle of parsley and more red pepper flakes if you wish.
Gluten Free Banana Bread with Coconut and Pecans What to do with those bananas that are turning brown. I throw them in the freezer with the skin on and let them turn black when I have a few in the freezer I pull them out and make banana Bread. For this recipe I added coconut flakes, and crushed pecans. Brando Spies, Thirty Two Fourteen Personal Chef Service, Parker, CO 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 6 large, ripe bananas 2 large egg, lightly beaten room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 1/2 cups all-purpose Gluten Free all-purpose flour 1/2 cup almond flour 2 Tablespoon Guar Gum 2 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Guar Gum 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 teaspoon Ground Clove 1 teaspoon Allspice 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract 1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and spray muffin pans with cooking spray. 2. Peel the bananas and in a large mixing bowl, mash them well with a fork. Stir in the sugar and then the egg, vanilla extract mixing thoroughly. Stir in the butter. Be sure the bananas are thawed and not chunky before you add the melted butter as it will seize up the butter and not mix well. You can peel and store the bananas in the fridge covered for a couple of hours before baking letting them thaw. Or pull them out the night before and keep them in the fridge to thaw in the skins overnight. 3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, guar gum, and salt & all spices. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet, mixing just until you no longer see any streaks of raw flour. (Please be aware not to over-mix, or the banana bread will be tough!) 4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the bread is just starting to come away from the sides of the pan. 5. Cool in the pan’s on a rack for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely before serving. The bread has a lovely, crisp crust when it’s fresh; if you wrap the leftovers tightly in foil and eat them the next day, you’ll lose that crisp crust, but the texture and flavor will still be great -- if not even better. Chef’s note: I added 3/4 cup of coconut flakes and 1 cup toasted pecans. To toast the pecans put pecans in a dry pan and toast for 3 to 5 minutes on medium high heat. Be sure to keep them moving as to not burn the pecans. Let cool before adding. I would suggest you add the coconut and pecans to the creamed butter and sugar mixture before you add the dry ingredients.
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Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes Chef Brando Spies, Thirty Two Fourteen Personal Chef Service, Parker, CO 3 cups Gluten Free Flour 2 Cups Almond Flour 12 - 15 medium carrots, grated you will want about 3 to 4 cups of grated/shredded carrots 1 Tablespoon guar gum or xanthan gum (you may mix and combine the two) 2 teaspoon baking powder 2 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoon ground allspice 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 2 teaspoon salt 3 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 6 extra-large eggs 12 ounces plain Greek yogurt 12 ounces Butter softened 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2. Grate the carrots on a medium grate, and set aside. 3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt and mix with the carrots to coat. 4. Cream sugar, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, and butter, add eggs one at a time. Pour this mixture into the carrot mixture and stir until just combined. 5. Let mixture rest for 5 minutes give it a quick stir and portion into cupcake pans. 6. Spray cupcake muffin pans with a vegetable spray of your choice. I use a scoop that is about 4 oz. to fill my cupcake pans with. 7. Pour batter evenly into prepared cake pans and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 1 minute, check then leave them in for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool completely
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp. brown rice syrup Sea salt Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup finely minced fresh parsley Directions: Place the water and quinoa in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, loosely covered. Add a pinch of salt, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until all liquid has been absorbed, about 2025 minutes. When the quinoa is cooked, toss it together with the diced veggies. The heat from the quinoa will help “cook” the vegetables. Gently stir in the pine nuts, olive oil, brown rice syrup, lemon juice and parsley. Adapted from a recipe by Christina Perillo of www.christinacooks.com
Dairy Free Lemon Tart This not too sweet Lemon Tart recipe has become one of the most requested among my clients (and family!) It’s a recipe I came up with a couple of years ago when a kosher client of mine asked me to make a dairy-free dessert to serve after a meat meal. I use coconut oil instead of butter. I found that coconut oil and butter have similar qualities and the coconut flavor gives this tart a wonderful tropical appeal. Plus, there’s no baking required, so it’s perfect for the warm weather to come! Melissa Gurmankin, More Thyme For You, Philadelphia, PA For the crust: 1 1/2 cups ground toasted almonds 2 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs 4 tbsp. coconut oil (melted) ¼ cup sugar
Chef Note: Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cupcakes. I used Bob Red Mills Products in this recipe. Enjoy!
For the lemon curd: 7 eggs ½ cup sugar ½ cup coconut oil Zest and juice of 5 lemons, about 1 ¼ cups
Combine all the crust ingredients and firmly press into a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Chill until ready to fill with lemon curd.
Here’s a delicious salad that’s a complete meal all by itself. The quinoa, along with the pine nuts, provides an excellent source of protein. Christine Scalfo, HHC, AADP, Food for Living, Vineland, NJ Makes 4-5 servings Ingredients: 2 cups water 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well ½ red onion, diced 2-3 stalks celery, finely diced 2 carrots, finely diced 1 cup red radish, finely diced 1/3 cup pine nuts
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For the curd, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Set pan over medium – low heat. Add the coconut oil, and cook whisking until oil is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest and continue cooking until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue whisking to avoid clumps. You may strain mixture for smoother texture, but this is not necessary. Pour lemon curd into crust and thoroughly chill in fridge for a couple of hours. Can be made a day ahead, if so, cover once completely cooled.
This is recipe is from Louisiana Cookin’ magazine. Great for picnics, camping, parties, after school snack for hungry teenagers….endless possibilities. The recipe serves 16 but easily adjusted to how many you want to serve.
Cari Avit, The Divine Dish, McKinney, TX
Laura Slavney, What’s For Dinner Personal Chef Service, Memphis, TN 2 (16 oz) loaves fresh French bread…this needs to be the crusty kind not a soft baguette 1 (16 oz) jar olive salad 1 lb sliced mozzarella 1 lb sliced smoked provolone ¾ lb sliced ham ¾ lb sliced turkey ¾ lb sliced salami ¾ lb sliced pastrami Preheat oven to 350. Cover work service with a 2 foot long piece of aluminum foil. Slice bread in half lengthwise, and scoop out 1 inch of break from both the bottom and top halves. Place bread on foil, and spread olive salad along the inside of the loaves. Layer mozzarella, provolone over olive salad. Top with ham, turkey, salami, and pastrami. Wrap each sandwich tightly in foil, and place on a baking sheet. (At this point, the sandwich can be refrigerated until ready to cook, up to overnight). Bake until cheese is melted, up to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, unwrap and slice each sandwich into 8 individual servings.
Chicken and Mushroom Shells Donna Ondriska, Cookin’ 4 U PCS, Midlothian, IL 1 cup chicken stock 1 bay leaf 3 tablespoons butter 1 large shallot, minced 4 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour A splash of white wine (about 2 tablespoons) 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced 1/4 cup crème fraîche 1 to 2 teaspoons mustard Salt and pepper A few handfuls of chopped fresh parsley 6 puff pastry shells, bake according to package directions Directions: Put the stock and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and turn off the heat. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and fry the onions for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until shrunken, dark and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it disappears. Pour over the stock then add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the chicken mixture into the puff pastry shells and serve immediately.
Pineapple Sauce 1 pineapple cored and slice inch 1 yellow bell pepper 1 small jalapeno 1 lime juice Salt/ freshly ground pepper for taste Fish 1 pound mahi-mahi or tilapia fillet, skinned 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 8 corn or flour tortillas Cilantro sprigs for garnish Cole slaw 1/2 head white cabbage, thinly sliced 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced 1 bunch red radishes, greens trimmed and radishes sliced thin 1 bunch cilantro, stems reserved for another use and leaves thinly sliced or minced Make the pineapple sauce: In a grill pan over moderately high heat, sear and soften the pineapple, bell pepper, and jalapeño, turning occasionally with tongs. Transfer the pineapple, bell pepper, and jalapeño to a blender and add the lime juice, then purée the mixture. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep at room temperature. Prepare the slaw: In a large bowl toss together the cabbages, the radishes, and the cilantro. Prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients and season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Prepare the fish and warm the tortillas: Prepare a grill for moderately high heat. While the grill is heating, cut the fish crosswise into 1-inch wide strips. In a small bowl whisk together the paprika and the cayenne and sprinkle it evenly all over the strips. Season the strips well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide the tortillas into 2 stacks and wrap each stack in foil. Warm the tortillas on the grill, turning once or twice, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the packets from the grill and keep warm in a kitchen towel.Oil the grill rack, then grill the fish, covered, turning it once, until it is opaque and just cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Transfer the fish to a platter and keep it warm, covered. Assemble the tacos: Drizzle the dressing over the slaw and toss it well. Divide the fish among the warm tortillas and top it with the slaw. Garnish the tacos with the cilantro sprigs and serve them with the pineapple sauce on the side.
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Profitable Spring Menus
Can you taste spring yet? I know you’ve seen the produce, vibrant fresh peas, asparagus in showy vivid green, wine purple, and golden-tinged white stalks sitting up like soldiers in the market along with morels, those earthy forest beauties that appear in April. You see these sweet spring gifts and start dreaming of ways to prepare them. However, you should first consider all the profitable ways to market them to your clients. It begins with a menu. Fresh Picked Profits One of the advantages to creating seasonal menus is the cost of your raw ingredients falls. You only need simple, re: profitable, preparations to make the food shine. Putting together a seasonal menu is more than developing recipes and trying out new preparations. Menu marketing is about presenting the ideas of exclusivity, rarity, and quality. You should create seasonal menus that are separate from your regular marketing materials and offer them as something special for a limited time. Feature them on your website and social media pushes too.
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Menu Titles Start with a marketing title for your menu that will be intriguing and creative. • • • • • •
Spring Fling Seasonal Experience Chef (your name here) Spring Tasting Menu Morel Mania! First Taste of the Season – Spring Tasting Menu Green Goddess Spring Menu Spring Vegetable Adventure
Remember to capitalize on holiday meals such as Easter and Passover if that is part of your service. Next, consider how people read menus, they scan them. Allow for white space on your pages. This means using wide margins, which are great for note taking, line breaks between courses and item descriptions. Write short paragraphs that are quick to read. Keep your selections limited as more doesn’t always mean better. Group items together, soups, salads, entrees, etc. to allow for client meal customization or create full spring-themed menus to encourage
clients to select profitable items or an extra course. Then, give these groups headings that speak to a limited availability.
Price it Right
• • •
Now that you have created an exclusive seasonal menu, make it profitable. Perhaps you can offer a special dish at a special price or maybe you want to upcharge your menu to account for the time it takes to source specific items.
Early Green Salads First of Spring Vegetarian Meals Asparagus Assault Tasting Menu
Pick one item, preferably a profitable one, from each menu or course offering and give it a quality label such as:
This limited time menu is an opportunity to test your pricing without having to change your entire menu pricing structure.
• • • • • •
And remember, when adding prices to your menu, forgo the dollar signs and decimal points. Consider the difference between $10.00 per person and 10 per person. Without the visual cue of money, it is easier for people to make selections based on their tastes, not their wallets.
Chef Exclusive Seasonal recipe only Spring Only Customer Favorite Spring Dinner Party Crowd Pleaser April Specials
When typing out a quality label, make it jump off the page. Here are a few ideas. Use them sparingly. Just like salt, a little seasoning goes a long way. Place a box around the entire description and quality label. It draws attention to the content inside. Choose a complementary font for the quality label or put the description in italics.
Think spring! Do you have a menu design, food description, or menu-marketing question? Sharon Ritchey and Robbie Namy of Movable Feast Marketing, www.movablefeastmarketing.com want to hear from you. We’ll be presenting even more ways to design and write your menus to help you make more money this July at the USPCA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Send your questions to us to at Sharon@ritchey. org. Visit us online to learn how to book a menu marketing check-up while at the meeting. We’re always hungry to help.
Select a small icon that works with your branding to represent something exclusive. Select a different color for the font but make certain it’s easy to read:
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6 Ideas Chefs Can Use to Effectively Share Content We’ve all heard the saying “content is king,” haven’t we? In 2015 it’s a must to keep your website full of fresh content that’s relevant to the target audience you’re going after. The same goes for the content share on social media channels. It can help you build relationships, partnerships, improve your credibility, and add links and ranking signals back to Google. But how do you find ideas for content to share? Obviously, you can’t just simply write a blog post and then HOPE that someone finds it. That will never happen. You need to have some time set aside for a promotion strategy on the channels where your audience is. Here are a few ideas on how you can get the maximum benefit for the content you create or the third party articles you want to share online. Email Campaigns: Do you have a list of people you’ve met over the years? Have you had people opt in to your blog over time? If you have 500 subscribers to your blog, you can drive those 500 people to your website by sending them recently published articles and content you find. Email is an easy and cheap way to keep in touch with all of those clients you’ve serviced over the years. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with prospects you meet networking. Tips (assuming you do have a list of people) • • • • •
Have catchy headlines Use your OWN email to send them out, not info@ or noreply@ etc Make sure you’re driving people back to the correct landing pages on your site (not just your home page) Make sure your site is mobile (most people check their email on a mobile device!) Google: “How to download my LinkedIn connections”
Other Chefs or Thought Leaders in this space: Another option to find awesome content to share is to look to see what other respected chefs are creating and sharing. Connect with them on social and you instantly have access to their followers if they decide to share something of yours. Remember: Don’t be spammy. If you create or share awesome content, mention them in the posts and give them some love, there might be a chance they will share your content with their followers. Tips: • • • •
Find the top blogs in the personal chef space by doing an organic search on Google. (“personal chef blogs,” “best chef blogs,” etc.) Use Twitter to find other content creators. Search the terms you want to find inside Twitter and look for the people with blogs and content that match your search. Connect with these people across multiple channels such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and others Use a free service like Topsy to find people as well
Reddit: One of my favorite niche voting sites is Reddit. It’s a place where the best content gets voted to the top of the front page of the category you’re in and, sometimes, gets a ton of traffic (here’s a good chef related area: http://www.reddit.com/r/chefit ). If you play your cards right, you can count on Google liking the fact that your content is getting a lot of traffic and you’ll notice that specific piece getting an organic boost (good reason to have Google Analytics installed!). Tips: • Create content that is sharable; i.e., funny, very interesting, controversial or emotional. • Take a look at other pieces that have risen to the top. • If you post multiple times, keep a look at the best performing ones so you can create more pieces just like that one. There are many ways to share with your target market and find people and tools to help you get in front of them. Bottom line, create or share content that YOU would actually enjoy reading, use some of the tips mentioned here and you’ll find yourself and your business in front of some new prospects.
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Spreading The Word By Larry Lynch The great thing about having a Le Cordon Bleu campus around the corner from the office is the chance to promote careers as personal chefs to our members. Earlier this year Robert and I had a chance to present to a very interested group of students. The turnout was great and the interest strong (and yes, it resulted in new student members). While itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an uphill battle to get schools to offer personal chef as a career option, there are lots of opportunities that are opening to USCPA. And, while you may not see it in your local market, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing far more demand for chefs in markets where there are not enough chefs. Want to help? Visit www.slideshare.com and download the USPCA school presentation to give to a school near you!
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Let’s Talk About Websites
Everything in Moderation
Deb Cantrell, Savor Culinary Services, Fort Worth, Texas
Monica Thomas, CPC, Tailored Taste Personal Chef, Hyattsville, MD
Let’s talk about websites. A few years ago you were able to build a website as a business owner and leave it alone. That is the old days. In today’s technology driven fast paced world, websites only last about three years before the platform has to be changed completely. If you have not updated your website within the last few months and more so the last few years, the search engines cannot find you. Why have a website that does not convert. That is like building an island and expecting people to find you and you did not give them the address.
As author Michael Pollan pointed out, our culture loves to serially glom onto a single ingredient and demonize it. In the early 1990s, fat was the devil incarnate. Eliminating fat from our diets was going to save us from heart disease and obesity. But we skirted the benefits of a lowerfat diet by consuming commercial products loaded with sugar and corn syrup in order to give the fat-free products some taste.
To really stay current and searchable, your website needs to change minimally weekly if not daily. What do I mean by change? Here are just a few things: • • •
• • • •
Update your cooking class schedule Update your blog at least weekly. If you don’t have a blog, think about getting one because search engines will rank you higher with a blog. If you start a blog, keep it updated. Update your “events” page. Places you have spoken or where you will be catering next. Make sure this page stays update because client coming to your site do not want to see old information You will loose credibility because it looks as if you don’t care enough to update your website. Create “landing pages” for your potential clients to find more information about a particular service you offer. It is easier to send potential customers to a page instead of a whole website. Update social media buttons. Your web person can help you with this. Shoot short 30 seconds videos during your cookday of a particular recipe and post those videos. Change your opt-in on your website occasionally to keep people that come to your website interested. An opt-in is that box in the top right hand corner that allows you to capture the information of all the people that come to your site. For example, “The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Neighbor Hired a Personal Chef.” If they are going to come to your site, they are interested in what you have to sell. Have a way to capture their email address when they come to your site so you can offer them services later.
If you have not taken a serious look at your website lately, make it your priority. A great exercise is to pull up your website, close your eyes and then open your eyes. What do you see? Do you see too many colors, too much copy or too plain.
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Up next were carbohydrates (think Atkins). Again we replaced all carbs versus simple carbs and ate vast quantities of protein in its place throwing our bodies into ketosis. Today I see shelves and shelves of gluten-free cookies, candies, pastries, crackers and the like making it apparent that we have a new darling demon du jour – gluten. For those who are truly allergic to gluten, and there are plenty who fit this category, gluten IS life-threatening. For others who have decided dropping gluten from their diets will help them lose weight, look great and win the lottery, this is crazy. Munching on boxes of gluten-free ginger snaps is not the answer. The proliferation of gluten-free products on the grocery shelves is a double-edged sword. Some manufacturers are jumping on this bandwagon and once again replacing the item we have deemed ‘bad’ with sugars and chemical compounds that will ultimately cause other issues. Loading up on gluten-free junk food does nothing for a healthy life. As a personal chef I am eternally grateful for gluten-free building blocks such as flour mixes, bread-crumbs and pastas so that I can create familiar dishes for my clients who are truly gluten-sensitive. I’ve skipped the boxes of gluten-free cookies and opted to make nut- and fruit-based sweets to end their meals. I believe the real answer to healthy living is moderation. Yet we Americans want a quick-fix, a box of something off the shelf that will be the answer to all our health issues. Reasonable amounts of good fat, naturally sweet produce, complex carbohydrates and a modicum of restraint should be the order of the day, in my humble opinion. “Everything in moderation…including moderation” Julia Child
Atlanta Chapter Visits Banner Butter On Monday, March 9, 2015, the Atlanta USPCA Chapter held our meeting at Banner Butter. Banner Butter is a small Atlanta owned producer of artisan style cultured butter and is owned by husband and wife team Elizabeth and Drew McBath. They have about 12 other employees, most who work part time in either the churning room or packaging. They currently sell their butters at seasonal local farmers markets and about a dozen local Atlanta restaurants. The butters are simply outstanding! They source fresh heavy cream from Georgia farmers who grass feed their cows. The process starts with heavy cream that is at least 40% butterfat. The cream is ripened to form the culture, and then churned until the liquid separates from the solid. The solid becomes the butter. Once the butter is churned, it is separated into smaller batches and amazing flavor combinations are created. It’s a process similar to the way small creameries in Europe make their butter, and if your grandmother made butter, this is probably how she made it! Their butter flavors are Balsamic-Fig-Onion, Unsalted, Sea Salt, Roasted Garlic-Basil-Parsley, Smoked Salt, and Cinnamon-Cardamom-Ginger. All are truly outstanding. Banner Butter is also in the process of getting USDA approval for their crème fraiche and buttermilk. We tasted both at the meeting and both were outstanding, particularly the crème fraiche. Our meeting was both educational and inspiring. My biggest takeaway: Read the label on butter you buy. Look for organic, cultured butter. If one of the ingredients is “natural flavor” ask yourself “what is that?” It’s probably not really very “natural”. Sharon Mateer, Atlanta Chapter President
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Optimizing Your Web Presence By Larry Lynch When your day is spent in grocery stores, in your clients’ kitchens, at home planning the week’s schedule and the myriad of tasks it takes to RUN your business, the thing most personal chefs DON’T want to do is spend their day on the internet optimizing their presence. However a critical component of running your business is the internet and, aside from word of mouth, it’s one of the most critical ways you can grow your business. The important thing is understand what are the fundamentals you need to do to be found when someone uses a search engine (Google, Bing, etc) and how you can maximize tools at your disposal like your HireAChef.com listing. First and foremost, your own presence when someone searches for a personal chef in your local market is not related to the results someone gets when they search for a chef on HireAChef. Let’s take a look at your local market presence first. Local market presence really is all about search engine optimization (SEO), which is great but what the heck does it mean? A lifetime ago in internet time, SEO typically meant making sure you had a website and it was filled with keywords so that when someone went searching for your business it would rise to the top of the list. As time went on, the search engines like Google became (and continue to become) more sophisticated, frequently changing their algorithms to come to terms with the vast ways that companies worked to push themselves to the top of the search list. Think of it as the old days of the Yellow Pages when every company started with some variation of the letter “A” like the AAAAABEST Personal Chef Service. Sadly, some companies (though no personal chef services I’ve seen) still do it. Keywords, blogs, linked Twitter and Facebook accounts all contribute to your standing on the search engines. But now there are ways to claim your position in your local market and own it. No, it’s not like buying a special listing or Google AdWords. Rather it is grabbing your presence and adding micro-sites where necessary. The good news is you don’t have to be a computer scientist to do that. Last quarter’s Personal Chef Magazine featured an article by the founder of Market Loyal, George Tsafonias on some simple steps to make that happen. Here’s a link to the article if you missed it: http://issuu.com/uspca/docs/winter_2015/1. In fact, George and his team will be offering a special package to USPCA members to help them claim their local market listings so everyone can focus on their clients rather than their presence. So that’s you on the internet. But then there are the tools you can use that, in addition to your internet presence, can bring more qualified business to you. One of those is a tool that comes with your membership: HireAChef.com.
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Unlike a conventional internet search engine like Google, HireAChef is a website-driven search engine dependent entirely on the information you provide as the source of its search. There are no algorithms that can be changed and open sourcing for anyone to be included. That’s why it’s a tool rather than an engine. And those analogies will link… but we’ll make that toward the end of the article. When USPCA redesigned the website in 2013, one of the goals was to also enable members to take control of their membership listings. Historically USPCA when a member changed anything related to their business they called the association headquarters and the staff would make the change (albeit across a myriad of platforms). Thankfully the association has a membership database system that links with the website and with the launch of the new site came the ability for members to manage the listings themselves. It also became the basis for the changes to HireAChef as the same system allowed the association to create multiple directories, one of those being HireAChef, to embed in the website and make “searchable”. When the new HireAChef.com launched in the fall of 2014 many members jumped on board to add more robust descriptions of their services, special offers, videos, ZIP codes and more. This allowed potential clients to find chefs in their area based on any of those input items. The good news is that USPCA members can create an extremely robust listing that not only will look good when searched but also be found quickly. All it takes is a few minutes to add the terms, videos, ZIP codes and more. And, since you’re a member of the association, you don’t have to worry about doing it without help. If you haven’t been to the site in a while, your staff is a toll-free call away for help. The real key here is making sure the information you include will drive searches for you. For example, if you’re working in Orlando, Florida, but want to talk in your description about your time in Phoenix, a search for a chef in Phoenix will turn up your name. So it’s important to BE SPECIFIC in your description. Use descriptions that you know will drive clients to you: the kinds of foods you cook, the special diets you serve, the kinds of services that are your specialty. And remember to add zip codes. Clients are used to searching by ZIP code (it’s the one thing they know is close to home). USPCA has a great tool available to you that provides every ZIP code in the area you service from your home ZIP code. And that’s where the engine versus the tool comes in. Keep in mind that it takes tools to keep the engine running. These changes to HireAChef are not a one-time effort. HireAChef will continue to evolve, much like the early days of Google and keyword searches. As the membership database continues to change, the level of sophistication of the search will improve. Part of that goal as well is making sure that HireAChef moves to the top of local listings too! Across the board it helps your business. The important thing is that you leverage both the tools and the engine to take you where you need to go: your business of tomorrow.
Spring Clean Your Health Deb Cantrell, Savor Culinary Services, Fort Worth, Texas When spring arrives everyone thinks about spring cleaning their closets and making their surroundings fresh and new. Spring is an amazing time to do the very same to your diet and transform your health. Everyone waits until the New Year making it apart of their New Year’s resolution but doesn’t it make more sense when vegetables are at their peak. Or better yet, if you did not quite meet your New Year’s goal now is a good time to renew that goal. With spring, everything is new and fresh. Let’s get started with refreshing you and your diet. With longer days and warmer weather comes a new crop of fresh produce that is bursting with flavor. So out with the heavy fall and winter fare and in with springtime fruits and veggies. In-season produce has the most nutritional value and best taste. As always, before you put anything on your plate you said know why you are eating it and what it does for your body.
Strawberries – Strawberries are available year-round in most areas of the country, but their peak season is from April until June. These sweet, juicy berries are nutritional powerhouses with just 1 cup offering 3.5 grams of fiber and meeting 100% of your daily vitamin C needs. For the best flavor, buy strawberries grown close to home since they are likely to be fresher and suffer less damage in transit. Also, I would invite you taste test the difference between an organic strawberry versus a conventional one. You will not go back to conventional. Strawberries as well as all berries are low glycemic, which means you can eat them without the guilt. Not to mention the red color makes them amazing cancer fighters (phytochemicals) and a huge antioxidant. Try them with a little chocolate stevia for a quick snack. Asparagus - Asparagus is known as the “food of kings” by Louis XIV of France. Asparagus has amazing nutritional properties. It is low in fat and high in fiber, these tender stalks are a good source of iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Asparagus are at their peak from March through June but can be purchased year-round. Once harvested, asparagus are fragile, so place them in your fridge in a tall glass with a little water to retain freshness and nutrition. They are delicious roasted, sautéed, dipped in hummus or made into a soup. Cherries – Sweet cherries are only available during the late spring and early summer which only for a short time. Sweet cherries are high in fiber and potassium, while remaining low in calories―just 1 cup of sweet cherries is about 100 calories. The intense color of cherries is due partly to their anthocyanin content, which is a cancer fighter and antioxidant much like strawberries. Cherries as we know make amazing desserts but try them in salads or just a snack. Peas - Fresh peas including sugar snap peas, snow peas, and green peas can usually be found year-round but are at their peak from April through July. Like most legumes, peas are low in fat and high in fiber and are a good source of plant protein. Many protein shakes are now being made with pea protein. Green peas provide more B vitamins and zinc, while snow and snap peas offer more vitamin C. Peas are perfect to dip in dips, as a snack or even sautéed with a little olive oil. Radishes – Radishes are root vegetables that have a bitter earthy taste with very few calories. Most people know them as simple garnishes on a plate and not a vegetable that is regularly eaten. I would encourage you to think again. One cup of sliced red radishes will give you 30% of your
daily vitamin C requirement in less than 25 calories. To choose the best, pick radishes that are deep in color with solid roots. This vegetable is a flavorful addition to soups, used for dipping and adds great crunch to salads. Fava Beans – Another vegetable that has a rich, hearty flavor is fava beans. Due to their high protein and fiber content, these beans help to keep you feeling full for longer. They make a great addition to soups or even as a side dish. They are hard to find but so worth seeking them out as a change to your normal vegetable routine. Apricots – Apricots are a powerhouse of flavor and nutrients. They have beta-carotene like carrots (orange color), potassium, vitamin C, and fiber with only 50 calories. The peak season for this fresh fruit is from May to August. Apricots can be used on sandwiches, snacks (dried or fresh), jams, salsas, and salads. Artichokes – While artichokes are harvested year-round, the crop peaks from March through May. A 2-ounce serving (approximately the size of the bottom of one large artichoke) has about 3 grams of fiber and just 25 calories. Artichokes are also a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C. Most people are scared of fresh artichokes because they can be difficult to cook. Don’t let this bother you. There are great high quality canned ones that can be used as well. Rhubarb – Rhubarb is technically a vegetable and is often used as a fruit and is a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and manganese. Rhubarb stalks are the only part of the vegetable that should be eaten. They are often difficult to find in the southern part of the United States. Rhubarb is very tart but when sweetened, give rich flavor to sauces and pies. In its raw form has the consistency of celery. Rhubarb can also be blanched, diced, and added to salsas for a change of pace from other traditional fruit salsas. It is field-grown varieties are harvested from April through July. In some parts of the country it can be found year round. Morel Mushrooms – Morels are coned shaped mushrooms that find their way onto plates of fine restaurants and farmers’ markets in early spring through late June. Mushrooms in general offer a great source vitamin A. They are a member of the truffle family that have nutty flavor. The spongy texture of morels makes them ideal for soaking up flavorful sauces. They are great pared with spring other spring vegetables like asparagus in a sauté or roasted. They can be a bit pricy in the stores but a little goes a long way and a true delicacy.
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Tempering Chocolate Cocoa butter is the fat in the cacao bean that gives chocolate its great mouth-feel and stable properties. Chocolate is one of the few foods we eat that melts at body temperature To be considered “real” chocolate, a product has to contain cocoa butter, not any other fat such as palm kernel oil. Cocoa butter is the reason why you have to “temper” real chocolate. Cocoa butter is fat that is composed of three to four neutral fats which are esters formed from glycerol and fatty acids. What complicates matters in chocolate making is that each of these different fatty acids solidifies at a different temperature. Once you melt a chocolate bar, the fatty acid crystals separate. The objective in tempering melted chocolate is to convince the unrelated fatty acid crystals of cocoa butter back into one stable form. Once they are back in a stable form they will have a shine, higher melting point, release from molds and have a great snap. Tempering is like organizing a group of kids on a playground. For chocolate, temperature and motion are the supervisors working together that bring all the individual children together in long lines and, in the process, create a stable and unified (ordered crystallization) throughout the chocolate mass. Being tightly bound, well-tempered chocolate is resistant to developing chocolate bloom—that whitish film, streaks or spots of cocoa butter that form on the surface of chocolate. To help the chocolate to crystallize during the tempering process, chocolate makers use one technique called seeding. The “seed” is tempered chocolate in hunks, wafers or grated bits. It is added at the beginning of the tempering process. These crystals of tempered chocolate act like magnets, forming a well ordered crystal structure that results in great chocolate. If you need more help please contact me at email@example.com. Joe Crevino Joe Crevino has been everything from a Division-I college football player to Mayor of his town in New Jersey to professor at NYU to President of a software development company. When his wife Mary decided to start a chocolate company, Joe soon realized that he too had decided to start a chocolate company. Since 2001, he and Mary have owned the award winning Sweet Mary’s Exceptional Chocolates; a mom and pop chocolate company located in southern New Jersey. In true Joe Crevino fashion, he’s amassed an abundance of chocolate knowledge and expertise, and has created a diverse and helpful pipeline of manufacturers, suppliers and consultants. His Rolodex is a veritable who’s who in the chocolate/confection industry. For the past several years, ChocoVision clients have been fortunate that Joe is available to assist with any and all aspects of chocolate tempering and candy making issues. Consider him a one-stop resource for starting, running and making profitable your candy business as well. Battling the health board? Can’t find your signature taste? Joe has been there, and if hasn’t, he knows somebody that has and can help you. JC presents chocolate-related classes and seminars all over North America, quickly developing cult status within the chocolate world as a go-to guy for chocolate nightmares and mishaps. Fullback, Mayor, President, professor are just some of Joe’s past monikers, but for the past eight years, he’s been known as Chocolatier Joe and the (chocolate) world has been a better place for it.
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Discovering Edible Flowers with Farmer Lee Jones Edible flowers have always played a roll in the recipes of civilization’s earliest cooks and homemakers. Gardens full of edible flowers were grown for use at the dinner table, as well as for teas and elaborate desserts. But according to Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio, somewhere along the way flowers had left the table and went back to the garden. “At one point edible flowers had run their course because they were only being looked at as a garnish. Now we’ve seen a surge in the use of edible flowers across all levels of cuisine because chefs have realized there are specific flavors in different varieties. They’ve realized that the flavors in flowers can be as complex as wine.” He adds, “A flower is a beautiful thing, sure, but the flavor is really what can enhance a dish. You can go from a buttery sweet flavor to a spicy pepper flavor and everywhere in-between. Like the nasturtium, for example. Nasturtiums are in the radish family, so you get that spicy radish flavor and then that beautiful flower on the plate, too! And who doesn’t love a flower?” “Now we are seeing flowers from vegetable production as well,” says Lee, “in the blooms from plants like mustard and coriander, even fava and other bean blooms. The bloom is the second to last stage of the plant before it grows seed heads, and even those are edible! You’re going to get more of a crunch with those, you get a lot more texture, but in the flower it’s something more delicate. And then there’s the stem, you can eat the whole thing! This all goes back to that old saying that we have at the farm, that “every single stage in a plant’s life offers something unique to the plate.” It’s just so exciting to see those stages and the flavors they can bring to the table.” The Chef’s Garden grows almost 100 varieties of edible flowers at their small family owned farm just a short jaunt from Lake Erie. The farm has been catering to the whims and innovations of chefs (from the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island to as far away as The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong), for over 30 years, and flowers hold a special place in the beginnings of their unique culinary enterprise. “Early on we met with a chef who had trained in Europe, her name was Iris Bailin. She had come back from France and was looking for all kinds of vegetables in different stages of growth that we had never really considered selling before, like the zucchini with the bloom still attached. She opened our eyes to looking at what we were growing in a different sort of way. Since then, that symbiotic relationship between the chef and the farmer really became the driving force in our business.”
Lee shares some recipes from his chefs at The Culinary Vegetable Institute, an event center and food-focused think tank connected to the farm that hosts visiting chefs from some of the world’s finest restaurants: Yuzu Curd with Cucumber and Bloom Chef Jamie Simpson 270 grams yuzu juice 4 grams agar-agar 270 grams sugar 270 grams whole egg 350 grams butter Combine the yuzu juice and agar-agar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, combine the eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat with a whip to combine. Temper the yuzu juice into the egg mixture and return to the saucepan. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on low speed. Add the butter little by little until it is all incorporated. Pour the mixture into a plastic 17-by-11-inch tray and allow to gel in the refrigerator. Slice the gel into 1-inch squares using a razor and a ruler. Top with baby cucumber/ bloom and cypress flake. White Chocolate with Spring Flowers Chef Ülfet Özyabasligil Ralph 6 oz white chocolate, tempered Edible Blooms - Lavender, Violas, Citrus Marigolds, Arugula Blooms, Nasturtiums Round Silicon Mold Double Boiler Electronic Thermometer Cake tester Torch Melt the chocolate on a double boiler, and let it cool until thermometer reads 87 F. Pour the chocolate into the mold, and then flip the mold to drain any excess. Let it sit to dry completely. Once set, remove two of the half domes and seal both half molded pieces with melted chocolate. Heat the cake tester with torch and carefully create small holes in the chocolate to arrange your blooms and leaves.
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Monica Thomas, CPC, Tailored Taste Personal Chef, Hyattsville, MD I’m lucky to have a client who loves to throw parties with themes, which means I create menus to accommodate/accentuate the focus of the party. For some of the parties, the menu is obvious. The Highland Holiday party featured foods from the British Isles including Vegetarian Haggis which was the hit of the evening. For others, a delicious menu needed some clever re-naming of the dishes. (For Your “Pies” Only dessert, A View to a “Grill” filet mignon, and Live and Let “Thai” satay skewers were some of dishes for the James Bond dinner.) Some of her parties over the last five years were: A Midsummer’s Eve Pool-Side Party – A French Pique-Nique An Evening of Bond, James Bond A Highland Holiday Celebration The Winter Solstice Night of Sweets Great Gatsby Party Soups On! A Housewarming Party My Beginnings – Favorite Dishes the Client Enjoyed Growing Up I’ve invented/researched signature cocktails or mocktails for each event. Think ‘Stroke of Midnight’ Hot Chocolate infused with cardamom for a Cinderella party and The Persephone for the Solstice event. The Daisy Buchanan featuring calvados, champagne and a lemon twist was the most popular drink for the Gatsby Party and of course is was served in coupes not flutes. Even the toothpicks I use for hors d’oeuvres or to hold a garnish for the drinks fit with the theme. Her latest event in mid-March was a brunch before she and her guests headed off to see the new Disney Cinderella movie in IMAX. The overthe-top table was glittery and gorgeous. Small glass slippers, tiaras and beautifully wrapped gifts for all welcomed each guest. Centerpieces of filigreed carriages led by teams of chocolate mice graced the table which was scattered with ‘diamonds.’ Each dish was a nod to the characters in the movie. Such a fun event for all including the chef!
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By Chef Jill Aker-Ray Less than 60 percent of suppers served at home were actually cooked at home last year. Only 30 years ago, the percentage was closer to 75 percent. This according to market research firm NPD Group, which has been following the eating habits of Americans for almost three decades as part of a series called “Eating Patterns in America,” which tracks what, when and how more than 2,000 households eat. Personal chefs should see this trend as a great opportunity. In fact, according to the same study, men and women, collectively, are spending less time at the stove. On average, the two genders spend roughly 110 minutes combined cooking each day, compared with about 140 minutes per day in the 1970s and closer to 150 minutes per day in the 1960s. The main driver of this trend has been a significant drop-off in the time women spend cooking. That’s where I’ve learned that being a Personal Chef allows us to align our clients’ needs with our business and personal strengths and passions. Since launching my business, I’ve found a number of ways to diversify my business to build that alignment. While some of my diversification came from opportunities that jumped out at me (like cooking live at our local NBC affiliate because my client was a news anchor there) and demonstration cooking/teaching, others came from a desire to reach more families (meal delivery), which is how I started out prior to going to Culinary Business Academy and learned that there was a definition of what I was doing: the “personal chef” profession. As I said, prior to going to my formal business training and joining the USPCA, I was cooking for and providing meals for families – hot and delivered to their doors for the very reasons pointed out in the study. I just didn’t realize that there were statistics that backed up what I was seeing. I continued to better understand the eating and buying habits of my clients and potential clients. That helped me shift to the traditional personal chef model and I focused on that for the first year or two in business. You have to understand that I am not a particularly fast chef and I discovered that many of my clients put the food in their freezers and then did not take them out and use them as meal solutions. I realized that to keep the as clients and, perhaps, have them introduce my services to friends, I had to make sure they still ate fresh food. That prompted me to offer mini personal chef services (fresh weekly) and a delivery service to provide fresher meals that were more readily consumed. I also started to do more in home catering dinner parties because I enjoyed it more and love helping people create memories through celebrations. The networking we do in our markets also helps us not just find business in the traditional sense but, if we’re listening, find what else people want. The television opportunity started with a client who was also a morning news anchor who hosted a brand new show at
the station where they built a kitchen on the set and started a daily show with cooking segments every day. She liked my food and my enthusiasm and invited me on the very first week! Five years later, they’ve taught me so much and I’m thankful to be there and, as I hoped, it has led to other opportunities. As for the delivery service, it is something I saw a need for from the very beginning and allows me to reach a broader base. And now look at all of the internet startup businesses doing something very similar. But who would a client trust more, a cold and impersonal website or a chef who understands your dining needs and can address them in a multitude of ways. Needless to say not only does the variety make our jobs “personal” and fun, it has also given me additional income streams. Keep in mind that change is tough in any industry but I think we can see there is a fundamental change going on in the way people think about food and eat. The question is how we as a profession respond. The studies don’t say people aren’t eating. They don’t say they’re starving at home. So it means as business people we need to think outside of the box to keep us and our services in front of our clients as often as possible. Of course in doing so, it’s critical to remember the rules and laws that govern us in our states, counties, cities regarding food related businesses. When I look at meal delivery services, for example, there are a whole series of Cottage Food Laws that have been adopted by states and cities to ensure that consumers don’t fall victim to food borne illnesses. It is critical to stay on top of those regulations and your food safety training. A sick client, no matter how you prepare their food, is not good for your business. Members of our profession need to identify the top two or three opportunities that really get us out of bed in the morning. Is it the classic personal chef model? Dinner parties? Cooking classes? Meal delivery? Something we haven’t even yet discovered? Use your network. Talk to your clients and the friends and families of your clients. Seek those opportunities that can turn to jobs and identify the clients who will buy from you. The passion for work, the “personal” in our business that no website will ever deliver, will transfer to potential clients as you give your elevator speech or talk to people about what you do. In essence, you will create a job if you see the need in your market that interests you! I think that many of our personal chefs are people who really love variety and excel when they have many irons in the fire. Allowing our creative juices to flow will be at the heart of any business diversification. Ready, set, go......... Find or create a personal chef opportunity that makes you smile and makes more income!
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6 tbsp melted, unsalted butter 12 raw pecan halves, optional Preparation: For pastry, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, fork or cold hands, add lard or shortening and cut into the mixture until mix resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces (like crumbled popcorn). Make a well in centre. In small bowl, combine water and vinegar. Add 2 tbsp to flour. Knead until pastry holds together, being careful not to over mix and using some or all of remaining water mixture as needed. Form into loose hockey puck that’s soft with a marbled texture. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. Let pastry come to room temperature 30 minutes before rolling.
The Maple Project Chef Judy Van Amerongen, Cherry Apron PCS, Claresholm, AB Canada What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the vast country of Canada? Snow? Hockey? Poutine? What about maple syrup? Canada produces a whopping 71% of the worldʼs pure maple syrup. 91% of which is produced in Quebec. That is one sweet statistic to be proud of! In the spring when the nights are still cool and the warmer-thanwinter days arrive (early March into late April) the sap starts to flow in the Maple tree, and it is harvest time! Trees are tapped and buckets are hung to gather the sap to be boiled down to that syrupy extract we all love. This natural sweetener boasts over 54 antioxidants that can delay or even prevent diseases caused by free radicals and has high levels of zinc and manganese, keeping the heart healthy and boosting the immune system. Not only that, but it tastes delicious in savory and sweet creations! I would like to share with you these distinctly Canadian recipes featuring our distinctly Canadian maple syrup. I hope you enjoy them!
Maple Syrup Butter Tarts 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp fine sea salt 1/2 cup cold lard or non hydrogenated vegetable shortening, cut in small cubes 3 tbsp ice water 1 tsp white vinegar 2 large eggs 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/4 tsp fine sea salt 2 tsp white vinegar 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
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On lightly floured surface, roll pastry to 1/4-inch thick. Using 4-inch round cutter or water glass, cut out 12 circles (so they’re just bigger than a hockey puck), rerolling and cutting scraps. Fit into bottom of 12 non-stick or lightly greased muffin cups (they won’t fill cups). Wrap with plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour but preferably overnight for flakier pastry. For filling, in medium bowl using hand mixer or whisk, beat eggs 1 minute. Beat in sugar and salt. Beat in vinegar and maple syrup. Add butter. Beat 3 to 5 minutes until very smooth. Divide filling among prepared tart shells, about 1/4 cup per tart. Top each with 1 nut, if desired. Bake in preheated 450F (230C) oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F. Bake 10 to 15 minutes for gooey tarts, or 20 to 25 minutes for firm ones. Let muffin pan stand on rack 1 minute. Use metal spatula and/or spoon to carefully loosen tarts and transfer to rack to cool. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving. Yield: 12 pieces
Maple Glazed Carrots 6 oz fresh carrots 1/3 c. plus 2 water, divided (may need more less) 3 tbl pure maple syrup 1tsp Butter 1/8 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
Instructions: In a medium pan over low heat, combine two tablespoons water, the carrots, and the butter. Turn heat to medium and cook for five minutes, covered, or until water is evaporated. Turn carrots over, and add the maple syrup, two more tablespoons water, and the vanilla. Cook on low heat, covered, for 10 minutes. Check every once in a while to make sure the liquid hasn’t all evaporated-- if it has, add another tablespoon water. Flip carrots again and cook another 10 minutes on low, covered, or until carrots bend slightly when picked up/ are soft but still hold their texture when poked. Check every once in a while to make sure the liquid hasn’t all evaporated-- if it has, add another tablespoon water. Add nutmeg. Yield 2 servings.
Here is the photo from the Toronto get-together in February. They had a private olive oil tasting at the Olive That store with the owner Val. Pictured from left to right: Robyn Goorevitch; Chantal Vechambre: The Gourmet French Lady (She is a French historian cookbook author from France and is running a personal chef business here in Toronto called The Gourmet French Lady); Jenny Shearman (recent member of USPCA); Val (Owner of Olive That); Luleta Brown (USPCA member); Laura Buckley (USPCA member); Cheryl Topitsch (Michelle Wolfson’s partner); Michelle Wolfson (USPCA member).
Food Trends in Alberta by Dean Mitchell Not sure how all of the weather and meat marketing is changing how you do business in a lot of the other areas of North America, but it has had a large effect on the market in Alberta. Beef prices have always moved around a lot, but now we are seeing a potential speculated increase that may reach a 30 percent price increase by mid-summer. This is mainly due to the ranchers not shipping young animals in order to increase the breeding herd, which in two years’ time will increase the amount of animals available for slaughter. The weaker dollar also opens the door for more Canadian beef to be shipped to the US, leaving less product to purchase in Canada. Produce is a hit-and-miss on purchasing since we import so much produce (especially in the winter). Peppers one week were $21.50 for a 25-pound case, then the next week jumped up to $52.45 per case, and by the fourth week, the peppers were down to $19.95 / case. There is getting to be a lot more of the food establishment going on the strong movement of grow and support local. We have restaurants that are even growing their own mini-gardens on the rooftop of the restaurant in the downtown area and I have even seen local beehives on rooftops (including the local city hall building)!
Cajun Style Turkey Cutlet May be used as a Fresh or Frozen entree 2 tablespoons paprika ( smoked is best) 1 tablespoon ground sage 1 teaspoon ground pepper 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 6 turkey cutlets ( 3 ounces or 90 grams each) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 large orange, peeled and sectioned ( may use some zest optional) 1 medium size grapefruit peeled and sectioned Mix all of the spices together and then place on a plate or in pie plate for dredging cutlet. Place the turkey cutlets on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat hammer of tenderizer lightly flatted the cutlets. Warm a large skillet and then add the oil. Once oil and pan are hot dredge the cutlets on both sides in the seasoning mix then sear in the hot pan. Lower the heat once cutlets are seared on both sides. Reduce the heat and add the sections of oranges and grapefruit. Continue to cook until the cutlets are cooked. About 3 – 5 minutes.
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7680 Universal Blvd. Ste 550 Orlando, FL 32819
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