Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Boston A List

Theres a new user-generated contest called The Boston A-List that includes all things food around the Boston area! It’s the first contest that has no media sponsor or partners connected to it, so all winners are determined exclusively by local residents and loyal fans!


You can view more by going to http://www.thebostonalist.com/

Theyre looking for food fanatics to rally behind Boston ’s culinary kingdom and vote for their favorite nosh-spots and restaurant scenes.

By the way, there a spot to put your favorite favorite blog...hint......

Monday, December 13, 2010

New Years Eve Menu @ 606 Congress

NEW YEARS EVE 2010
CHEF RICHARD GARCIA

________________________________

BEGINNINGS

Lobster Bisque
tarragon, crème fraiche
- Bethel Heights Chardonnay -


Crispy Heritage Pork
mustard, upland cress, pickled radish
 - De Ladoucette Pouilly Fume -


Butter Poached Lobster
parsnips, curry
- Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/Viognier -


Foie Gras Brûlée
blood orange-cranberry salad, pistachio, vanilla balsamic (10.00 supplement charge)
- Trimbach Gewürztraminer-

________________________________

SALADS


Heirloom Squash
radish, shallots, upland cress, almonds, apple cider vinaigrette
- WillaKenzie Estate Pinot Gris -



*Caesar
romaine, parmesan, anchovies, brioche croutons
- Georges Duboeuf "Flower Label" Fleurie Beaujolais -


Roasted Beet
pears, pecans, uncured farmhouse bacon, Berkshire blue cheese
- J Wilkes Sol Hills Pinot Noir -

________________________________

MAINS

Hake 
pickled mushroom, smoked ocean water, salsify puree
- Robert Foley Pinot Blanc -


Pork Loin Chop
Tuscan kale, Boston marrow squash, cipollini onion
- Agricola Punica Barrua-


Gearges Bank Sea Scallops
mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, haricot verts, vinaigrette
- Havens Wine Cellar, Albarino -


Brandt Farms Ribeye
sea salt potatoes, spiced broccoli rabe, balsamic
- Pazzo Sangiovese -


 Organic 1/2 Chicken
Brussels sprout, hominy, natural jus
- Mt. Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir -

________________________________

INDULGE

Tall German Chocolate Cake
- Grahams 6 Grapes Port -


White Chocolate Bread Pudding
butter brown rum raisins, caramel
- Michele Chiarlo Moscato D'Asti Nivole -


Pumpkin Panna Cotta
spiced cream, nine year caramel corn
- Grahams 6 Grapes Port -

________________________________

75 FOUR COURSE

100 WITH WINE






Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sustainable New England Dinner @ The James Beard House

 June 30, 2011... I am honored to be invited back to the James Beard House to host a dinner celebrating Sustainable New England cuisine....this time I'm excited to be teaming up with and bringing some friends and amazing chefs who focus on sustainable practices in their kitchens.

The Chefs who have been kind enough to commit to putting on ad hosting this dinner with me in NYC this summer.....

Matt & Kate Jennings, Providence R.I. ( Farmstead, La Laiterie Bistro & Farmstead Downcity)
Matt Maue, Foxboro MA ( Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro)
Will Gilson, Cambridge MA (Garden at the Cellar & The Herb Lyceum in Groton MA)

Details, menus and beverage partners are in the works and will be finalized by February 2011...kick off your long weekend getaway this summer in beautiful NYC with a celebration of sustainable New England Cuisine.

Check back in the next few months for menu updates and more information as well as links to purchase your tickets early!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflections & Changing Tables

As another year winds down I start to think about what I accomplished these past 365 days. For starters I can tell you that I have been fortunate enough to have developed a stronger relationship with my family all around. My wife and two small children have become a priority over all things, being in this business its difficult to get out of the weeds sometimes and remember that there is life and people that you love outside the 4 walls of your restaurant operation.

My oldest daughter who lives in southern RI,  is becoming a teenager and a soccer superstar, my wife has been a lifesaver keeping up with her soccer games and making sure we get own to watch as many as we can.

My professional life took a turn early this year when I left Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro to work on an upscale crepe concept (Pejamajo )as the corporate chef and director of food of beverage, an great experience with great people and a work schedule that allowed me to rekindle the relationships I had not lost, but had definitely put aside due to the hard work I was putting in to make my restaurants successful.

My Tastings crew & I cooked at the James Beard House for the second time in 2010 ( and secured an invite for 2011!!!). Continue to hold the title of Boston Rising Star Chefs Sustainability Award Winner and spent another few days cooking at the Divas Uncorked Food & Wine Festival (one of my favorite events on the vineyard to be a part of).

I was also very proud to have watched some of my long time right hands move up in their careers, Matt Maue my long tine chef de cuisine took over the helm at Tastings when I left, and my left hand man Imani Greer went back to Atlanta to start his own business, personal chef to some of the top NFL talent in the south.

And now to the changing tables portion of the post............I have been fortunate enough to have been selected as the new Executive Chef for the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel & its adjacent restaurant 606 Congress. Former Executive Chef Greg Griffie was promoted to Director Of Culinary Operations for the Marriott company a few months back, now I must fill some big shoes left by a chef who is now in one the top 3 positions responsible for the culinary direction of the entire Marriott company which includes not only the Renaissance, but also Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott and Marriott hotel brands worldwide.

My new role begins next week and I'm as excited as I have ever been for a new gig. The thrill of getting to cook in the city of Boston again, the opportunity to be responsible for a the culinary direction of a beautiful new property in the up and coming waterfront section of the city and the chance to work with people whom Ive heard nothing but great things about is just the tip of the iceberg for me.

I have lots to be thankful in my life today, I suggest looking back at your year and I'm sure you'll be amazed at all the things you will want to give thanks for tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Look Coming Soon

Stay tuned for an updated site in the coming weeks. I have been working hard to develop a new look & feel for the blog and I'm almost done!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honor Our Military Chefs

from the British TV Series"Combat Chefs"

In honor of veterans day I wanted to share with you another world that many of you don't even know exists.
Military chefs & cooks provide food for our soldier on the ground, generals in Washington and dignitaries from around the world to name a few.

Long are the days of powdered eggs and shit on a shingle ( salted meat, white gravy & toast)....today you'll find an ACF sanctioned program certifying military chefs, training sessions conducted at the Culinary Institute of Americas for the armed forces top culinary talent and cooking competitions around the world featuring world class chefs that just happen to work for the US Military.

CIA has a long history with the military, in fact it was started to help returning war vets learn a skill and get back into the civilian workforce.

I am fortunate enough to  be a US Marine Corps Food Service Specialist (3381) , in late 90's after 3 months of Boot Camp at Paris Island , Marine Corps Combat Training at Camp Lejune I finally landed at Ft. Lee Virginia to attend the USMC food service training school. We were trained with the Army at the Armys Food Service Culinary Academy and this is where I picked up all my basic culinary skills I still use today. I never did attend formal culinary school but looking back at my career and where I am still going the military gave me everything I needed from a basic culinary standpoint, but they also gave me something JWU or CIA could never give me...real world training and military leadership training.

I trained and worked with the 1st Battalion/25 Marines 4 Marine Division stationed at Camp Edwards (today they are at Fort Devens) Although I am no longer wearing the uniform I am as proud to tell people that I am a Marine Cops Combat Cook as I was the day I earned the eagle globe & anchor.

Please take a moment to check out these links and learn more about our Military Chefs and their skills.

Happy Veterans Day!

Military Chefs.com
Military Chef to Civilian Chef (one of the first articles I ever wrote)
Salute to Our Heroes ACF

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Calling All Chefs, Chefs Move To School Program Needs You


I can officially announce my partnership with Trinity Catholic Academy (Brockton, MA) in the First Ladys call for chefs to help fight childhood obesity in the United States.

An excerpt from the Chefs Move To School blog

"We are going to need everyone's time and talent to solve the childhood obesity epidemic and our Nation's chefs have tremendous power as leaders on this issue because of their deep knowledge of food and nutrition and their standing in the community. I want to thank them for joining the Let's Move! Campaign"

- First Lady Michelle Obama

Chefs across the country are answering Mrs. Obama's call to get involved with their local schools as part of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative, run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The First Lady is calling on chefs to get involved by adopting a school and working with teachers, parents, school nutritionists and administrators to help educate kids about food and nutrition.

I am thrilled to be a part of this program and will update you with pictures and thoughts from my experience throughout the school year.

If your a chef interested in adopting a local school click here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I received a letter from ABC NEWS Nightline ....

Received a letter in the mail today from ABC news (Nightline) ....it read .......


"Dear Chef Garcia, As you likely know by now, Nightline recently held a contest we called the "Peoples Platelist" and invited our audience from across the country to nominate chefs they thought were the most talented in the nation. YOU were among the chefs nominated by our audience, who wrote elaborate essays explaining the reasons they believed you fit the category. Although you were not selected as the finalist, your authentic and original cuisine has clearly made an impact in your community. For that reason, and your commitment to your craft we would like to offer you this small token of our congratulations and appreciation."

Sincerely ,

Cynthia McFadden , Anchor ABC News Nightline
Bill Weir , Anchor ABC News Nightline
Terry Moran, Anchor  ABC News Nightline


I don't know who nominated me or took the time out to write an essay about me , but I thank you from the bottom of my heart and am touched that you would take the time out to do that. I am very happy that my cuisine has been able to reach people in a way I never thought it could.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Celebrate Seafood With Me & The New England Aquarium November 9th

On Tuesday November 9th come and enjoy a 3 course dinner and demonstration at the New England Aquarium.

The Species: farm-raised Arctic char, farm-raised caviar, wild-caught California spiny lobster

A Celebrate Seafood Dinner is a full evening of food, with a delicious three-course meal, paired with wine, as well as informative and fun cooking demonstrations . The evening takes place in the Aquarium's Harbor View Cafe. Guests are seated at large tables to foster conversation. Cost is $65 for members, $75 for non-members.


The evening's events:

6:30 - 7 p.m. - Enjoy cocktails

7 - 7:45 p.m. - Introductions, first course demonstration, discussion and wine pairing

7:45 - 8:30 p.m. - Second course demonstration, discussion and wine pairing

8:30 - 9:15 p.m. - Third course demonstration, discussion and wine pairing

9:15 - 10 p.m. - Dessert, coffee and questions and answers
 
For more information or to buy tickets  click here

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The New Food Truck Expereince

Chef Jeremiahs Gastro Pod

Many of you have read my posts on my all time favorite food trucks, the New Haven waterfront Mexican Taco trucks....nothing beats these in my opinion, well..........almost nothing.

Slowly a new age of food trucks are invading the nation, from grilled cheese trucks, crepes, Korean BBQ ...you name it I can almost guarantee theres a food truck out there serving it.

A friend and chef "Jeremiah the Bullfrog" out of the 305 rolls with the Gastro Pod, Miamis gourmet food truck experience. I was fortunate to get to catch up and see him in NYC at this years Starchefs Congress and I was surprised to peek in the window and see the immersion circulator going, CVAP technology and his "spice" rack of chemicals.  The food was amazing, nothing he served was missing the mark....my favorite was the Chinito Cuban made with Bentons ham & pork belly terrine, not the typical food truck experience. Thanks Bullfrog, great job!

There's even been movement on the Boston food truck front . First, several new vendors are occupying the Greenway.  Citysearch held Boston's first Food Truck Festival,  in the South End.


One of my favorites here is the Clover Food Lab, a menu that focuses on locally sourced food and organic whenever possible. Seasonal menus and fresh juices....

If you know food here in Boston then you Craige on Main, former manager Joshua Cole and his friend Reuben bring Boston "Tacos Locales", their take on gourmet Mexican  on wheels, with menu items like the squash blossom quesadilla and grilled corn with queso fresco....executed perfectly ....no need to travel to New Haven every weekend.

In Providence R.I. theres  "SugarRush"....a gourmet cupcake and dessert truck and yes only using sustainable and organic products.

Point of the post today.....food trucks are coming, support your local food truck!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chefs Thomas Keller, Dan Barber, Charlie Palmer, Martin Berasategui ......Thank You

As I drove home from NYC the other night after leaving the Starchefs International Chef Congress all I could hear were the words from some of the best chefs in the world.

I was humbled to be in the same room with Chefs like Charlie Palmer, Thomas Keller and Dan Barber to name a small few. Each speaking to a crowd of chefs, cooks and industry personal hoping to get the one piece of inspiration that they will take back with them to their kitchens and use to continue to create and in Chef Kellers words "nurture" their guests.

The theme of this years ICC was Art vs. Craft...and after a few days of debating there is no right or wrong answer but a common ground among these industry leaders that first we are craftsmen, repeating our task over and over again until it is perfect. In my opinion this is what separates chefs around the world. Some are never happy with a dish, despite positive feedback and praise from guests, these chefs are always looking to improve on the dish never settling and always looking for an even more perfect dish. While other chefs use the "copy and paste" method to put a dish out without much thought or repetition. Good? maybe? But perfection, not even close.

The Art in my opinion comes into play with a chefs like Jordan Kahn...a pastry chef prodigy who is motivated by music and art....and tries to capture his interpretations of classic art into his pastry dishes. His demonstration was amazing to say the least....a silent demo with music, movies and a live simultaneous plating of the dishes showed in the video...as Chef Franklin Becker said after the demo....." What I do in my kitchen is so far from what I just experienced, but I have so much respect for what you do". Chef Becker went on and  compared the demo to the first time he watched the pink floyd laser light show. I concur

One piece of knowledge that stuck with me was from  Charlie Palmers executive chef in Los Angeles...he said during one of their first tastings together Chef Palmer asked the young chef is the dish that he just created was good? Chef says "yes, very good" ....Chef Palmer asks " Is it good enough to return tomorrow and order the same dish again?" Chef says " no".

Chef Dan Barber from Blue Hill , gave the demo of the event....a full house, standing room only, to hear what he had to say about combining molecular gastronomy with farm to fork...But his method is not what you might think. What about turning used pig bones into pig charcoal? Used Lamb head into lamb charcoal? Lobster bodies into lobster charcoal? Grilled corn grilled over corn husk charcoal?
using science to help grow the perfect carrot, or what about the best tasting unnamed tomato you have ever experienced?

He tracks the animals on his farm from birth, and is starting to use scientific tools like the ultra sound to determine fat distribution before the animal is slaughtered...therefore being able to tell if its ready, or even better to keep it alive and breed with it to continue to produce high quality berkshire pork for his charcuterie program.

He talked about using used hazelnuts after being pressed for hazelnut oil...he takes them and sprinkles them over the soil where he groes his saltruse....hazelnut flavored saltruse?

The conference was inspiring, motivating and an experience I will never forget. I thirst to get in the kitchen again and start to use what I have learned to become a better cook!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eating Local During Winter Months?

If you're been shopping at farm stands and farmer's markets or enjoying your CSA this past summer, you may have been worrying about what to do now that the leaves are starting to fall and first frost is right around the corner.

Is it time  to say goodbye to those beautiful, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to which you've grown accustomed?

Well the farmers in Upstate New York say NO!

Farmers Frozen Foods is regionally processed by small family farmers in the Up state NY area who are sustainable heirloom, natural, and authentic. They manage the program like a summer CSA only the food you receive is frozen, the frozen product allows you to eat and support local farms all winter long!


In 2005, the SARE (sustainable agriculture research and education) grant award helped with the development of packaging and distribution. They are finally being recognized by more good eaters and gourmands. The work continues...increasing their network of small farmers -they claim they will never become one large commercial farm. The growing is done in joint venture with multiples of small farmers bringing their naturally grown crops to regional processing facilities. New Yorkers support lots of family farms when they  buy Farmers Frozen Foods. their small batch processing allows for stricter quality control standards to achieve maximum nutrients.

I know for a fact that many farms here in Mass & R.I. are freezing their crop for winter storage and usage, but it would be great to have an organized program set up like this to allow more people to enjoy local through out the year.

If there is anything like this out there , please comment and let me know..... We may not be Yankees fans here in Boston, but I am a big fan of what the Farmers Frozen Food team is doing.

Here is a link to the Farmers Frozen Foods Blog

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Local people, cooking local food for local guests, nothing more....nothing less.

Every Friday & Saturday night at our Holliston location we  transform our creperie into a small intimate bistro with live music, and starting this fall I am thrilled to announce a new small menu concept with a focus on seasonal haute New England cuisine.

We are who we are at Pejamajo, a crepe company who believes in serving you real food, made by real people who care about the ingredients we use to give you a "fine food fast" alternative to the quick service selections out in the world today.

Using that same philosophy, twice a week we will serve you our version of solid haute farm food, a great selection of local craft beers and some interesting wine selections to give you the alternative to the "city" dining experience.

Local people, cooking local food for local guests, nothing more....nothing less.

Here's a sneak peak at what  I am looking forward to sharing with you for the autumn season.


Small Plates
Flat Bread…..10
savory crepe crust, uncured bacon, caramelized onions & Westfield Farms “Capri” goat cheese

Ale Steamed Maine Mussels …..12
Wachusett Country Ale, grain mustard, Vermont creme fraiche, garlic, shallots, fresh herbs

House Marinated Olives…..6
French bread

Cauliflower & Local Apple Soup ….7
curried crepe crisps

Entrees

Roasted Organic Chicken Legs ……18
sauteed apples, mushrooms, apple brandy, Narragansett Creamery artisan yogurt

Blackbird Farms Angus Steak Au Poivre……MP
roasted potatoes, organic field greens
(due to the limited availability of Blackbirds Artisan Angus beef, we will prepare whatever cut Anne Marie has available for us this week.)

  Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco.....24
pumpkin, red quinoa, pistachio, maple

Monday, August 23, 2010

My First Official Wine List

So as the Director of Culinary & Beverage I am now responsible for the beverage program as a whole. I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to put together my first official wine list for our small bistro.
My approach was to keep it small, very small , only 12 bottles 6 whites & 6 reds (remember I only have 29 seats and our bistro is open Friday & Saturday nights only, although you can come in and enjoy this list 7 days a week, not many people take advantage of this ....YET!
 I made sure I targeted all the major wine growing regions and grapes and threw in a few of my favorites from the Jorge Ordonez collection as my "interesting" selections.
I also wanted to showcase an oaked and unoaked chardonnay from California's most popular wine growing regions, a Napa Valley  selection and a Sonoma County selection made the final cut.
Well here it is.....for a first timer I don't think this is a bad start....any comments, suggestions would be much appreciated?

WHITES

Pinot Grigio -2009 Kris – Italy
Sauvignon Blanc – 2009 Cartlidge & Brown “Dancing Crow” Organic- Napa Valley California
Reisling – 2009 Ockfener Scharzburg – Germany
Chardonnay (Oaked) - 2008 Grayson Cellars- Napa Valley California
Chardonnay (Unoaked) – 2007 Healdsburg Ranches- Sonoma County California
INTERESTING WHITE
Verdejo- 2009 Shaya – Spain

REDS
Pinot Noir – 2008 Dominique Brunet – France
Merlot- 2008 Fontanelles-France
Zinfandel- 2005 Bradford Mountain-Sonoma County California
Shiraz- 2007 2UP – Australia
Cabernet Sauvignon (Blend) - 2007 Rock & Vine – Napa Valley California
INTERESTING RED
Monastrell- 2008 Wrongo Dongo- Jumilla, Spain

Monday, August 16, 2010

Thinking About Fall Already?! Chestnuts, Persimmons, Apples oh my!

Crazy to be thinking about fall menus already......Some of the Crepes in line for the fall menu release at the cafe.....
1) Chestnut Crepe with Goats Milk Caramel/Pumpkin Ice Cream & Apples
2)Persimmon Crepe/Narragansett Ricotta Cheese
3)Maine Smoked Trout/Heirloom Apples/ Creme Fraiche/Little Pearl American Caviar

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Westport Rivers Wine Dinner , Final Menu

The menu is now finalized, all wines are from Westport Rivers Winery in Westport, MA
This dinner will be held at Oak Bluffs Sailing Camp in Marthas Vineyard on Friday Evening. Ill be sure to posts pictures next week!

Our Gardens Gazpacho
champagne grapes, VT yogurt espuma, toasted marcona almonds,organic Spanish extra virgin olive oil
2005 Brut Cuvee “RJR”

All Natural Brandt Beef & Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio
ricotta salada,chili, black garlic vinaigrette
2009 Rose Of Pinot Noir

Pan Seared Marthas Vineyard Striped Bass
pickled white peaches, cumin & black mustard summer squash puree, basil
2008 Riesling

Taza Stone Ground Organic Chocolate & Red Beet Cake
candied beets, roasted raspberries
Pineau de Pinot

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Upcoming Events & Ticket Information

Chefs Jose "Pepe" Rodriquez,  Imani Greer, Matt Maue & Richard Garcia after James Beard Dinner 2010
Since leaving my previous position I have been fortunate and humbled  to have had a great number of people email me, call or stop by my new location to ask where they can find me and enjoy some of my cuisine in a more formal setting like they have been used to doing for quite some time.

 First off thanks for the support and effort some of you went through to get my contact information. When I decided to pursue a corporate role I was very afraid of losing some very loyal guests that I have come to know and enjoyed cooking for on a regular basis.

While I may not be in the kitchen night after night right now, I do have a list of wine dinners and events scheduled that I hope to see some of you at. And if your in the Metro West area please stop by one of my companies creperies & cafes for a cup of our very own Costa Rican Estate Grown Coffee and a Crepe with this seasons best local ingredients.

Friday, August 13, 2010 7:00 PM
Divas Uncorked, Marthas Vineyard Food & Wine Festival
Vineyard Harvest: Vintners Reception and Dinner

The Sailing Camp Park 177 Barnes Rd. Oak Bluffs
5 Course Wine Dinner
Chef Richard Garcia ( 2009 Boston Rising Star Chef ) & Bill Russell of Westport Rivers Winery
hors d'ourves by Chef Matt Maue of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro

Saturday October 2, 2010 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Boston Local Food Festival
Boston Waterfront @ Fort Point Channel
The Boston Local Food Festival will overlook the historic Boston Harbor, and is an outdoor autumn celebration of the many virtues of locally grown and produced food. The Festival will showcase the wide diversity of our local and New England food system, by spotlighting local farmers, food businesses, local food and health organizations. The intention is to inspire the growing and eating of Massachusetts grown food, with a special emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

November 5-7, 2010
Foxwoods Food & Wine Festival
MGM Grand @ Foxwoods Resort Casino
More than 40 celebrated chefs and wine & spirits  experts

November 9, 2010 6:30 PM
Celebrate Seafood Dinner Series
New England Aquarium Boston, MA
Celebrate Seafood Dinner is a full evening of food, with a delicious three-course meal, paired with wine, as well as informative and fun cooking demonstrations by Aquarium and Special Guest Chefs. The evening takes place in the Aquarium's Harbor View Cafe and is intended to provide information and knowledge on sustainable seafood choices
Cost is $65 for members, $75 for non-members.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chefs Gather for Sustainable Seafood

On Tuesday of this past week I was thrilled to be a part of a sustainable seafood "round table"  hosted by Chefs Collaborative, The New England Aquarium & Tony Maws and his team at Craige On Main in Cambridge MA.

The turnout of chefs was amazing and to me it was proof that Sustainable Seafood options are becoming more of a concern within the culinary community.

It was great to hear from chefs directly what there concerns were and what they were doing in their own kitchens to make sure that their seafood selections are sustainable.

Chef Tony Maws made some great points about sourcing from farms or fisheries who may not necessarily be local, but whom he believes to be doing the right thing for the fishing industry, thus justifying his purchase.

One of the most impressive stories came from Chef Kevin Doherty, Executive chef TD Bank North Garden/Regional Chef Delaware North Companies who made it very clear that its difficult for a company and venue of their size to think about sustainability on all fronts, but it was very impressive that his company has put into effect new policies that force the companies chefs across the country to make sustainable seafood choices as part of their mission to change their ways despite being such a large food service operation.

Some other chefs who made it a point to attend and share their practices were Chef Michael Leviton of Lumiere, Michael Scelfo of Russel House Tavern and Temple Bar,  Jason Bond of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro, and Jose Duarte of Taranta who is leading the way in the Boston Restaurant scene with  his research on sustainability and carbon reduction as a way of reducing costs, offsetting an average of 80 metric tons per year, certifying Taranta as one of the few Green Restaurants in the world.

For more information on sustainable seafood choices Chefs Collaborative has put out an interactive web based tool to help teach chefs about making better choices. Green Chefs Blue Oceans is a sustainable seafood course you can take at your own pace. I took this course with my team when it was first launched and it has really helped me understand some of the better choices I can make. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Roast Chicken

I was going through some photos and came across this one from a cooking lesson I taught to Jen, author of a great food blog called THE TINY URBAN KITCHEN. We made roast chicken and I cant help but want to make one right now.

There’s something  about roasted chickens — perhaps it’s the down-to- earth simplicity, the intoxicating flavors and smells, the comfort that seems to be at the table amongst friends and family, who knows and who cares, the point is that its by far one the best meals you can have if done properly.

As a chef people always ask me what should I cook that will impress my family or dinner guests? Well, this is it.

I'm sure your hoping for a recipe, sorry not today.   But here are some helpful hints to make the perfect roast chicken

Brine: YES YES YES
Want Crispy skin : Rub your chicken dry and then rub with butter and lots of it
Seasonings: here is where its up to you...my favorite is Maine sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
To truss or not: no need for smaller birds 3lbs and below...
Cooking Time and Temp: 3 1/2 pound bird 400 for 90 minutes
Rest: make sure to let it rest for 20 minutes once you take it out, covered loosely with foil

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Details For Celebrate Seafood Dinner

The detail are now up and you can purchase your seats by clicking here....TICKETS

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Celebrate Seafood Dinner Series with Guest Chef Richard Garcia


Please join me November 9th , 2010 at the Celebrate Seafood (sustainable) Dinner Series held at the beautiful New England Aquarium.

I am thrilled to have been invited to prepare and demo a sustainable seafood dinner with an organization who is leading the way in the education of what we should be doing to preserve our seafood bounty.

A Celebrate Seafood Dinner is a full evening of food, with a delicious three-course meal, paired with wine, as well as informative and fun cooking demonstrations by Aquarium and Special Guest Chefs. The evening takes place in the Aquarium's Harbor View Cafe. Cost is $65 for members, $75 for non-members.

The web page is being updated soon with the updated information about my participation and menu for the evening. These events sell out quickly, to purchase your seats follow this link.  BUY TICKETS

Monday, June 21, 2010

Menu For The Vineyard Harvest Dinner with Chef Garcia & Bill Russell , August 13, 2010

The menu is now complete ....we are waiting on confirmation for our dessert wine selection, its currently being aged in oak, so I'm hoping the winemaker decides hes ready to bottle some for our dinner. Other than that here is the final menu to wet the appetite. All the wine selections are from Westport Rivers Winery.

Don't forget to buy your ticket...... Vineyard Harvest Dinner With Chef Richard Garcia & Bill Russell

1st Course
Late Summer Gazpacho
chardonnay grapes, yogurt, toasted marcona almond, extra virgin olive oil
2005 Brut Cuvee “RJR


2nd course
All Natural  Beef & Heirloom Tomato Carpaccio
ricotta salada, local bird chili, garlic vinaigrette
2009 Rose Of Pinot Noir


3nd Course
Crispy Skin Nantucket Bay Striped Bass
pickled peaches, summer squash puree, basil textures
2008 Riesling


4th Course
Taza Chocolate & Summer Beet Cake
candied chioggia beets, roasted raspberries
Pineau de Pinot

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Westport Rivers Winery

I'm not a professional wine guy nor do I write about wine often, but when you are not considered to be in a wine producing region and can claim to have  the best sparkling wines in America (many would also say they rival the worlds best) I can't not write about Westport Rivers Winery.

A great private tasting at Westport with my wife and kids recently(they set up a play area for the little ones right next to the tasting table!! they should win an award just for that..) And the chance to catch a buzz before noon is always a welcome invitation.

I was invited down to try the entire lineup , including some amazing fortified chardonnay straight form the aging barrel that has not ever even been bottled yet!! By far one of the best dessert wines I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Look out for this in the fall if you can get your hands on it.

 I am preparing a dinner for the Marthas Vineyard Food & Wine Festival in August and I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Bill Russel (winemaker)and Craig Caesar (their man on the road slinging their juice like no ones business).

Of all the wines 2 stood out among the amazing lineup, now known for their brut there is no reason that there lesser limited production wines should not be getting the writes up they deserve.

2008  RKATSITELI  218 cases made

 Georgian Varietal . Aromas of lemon, lime, medium body and crispy dry

2009 ROSE OF PINOT NOIR 600 cases made

Not yet even released in their own store this rose was unreal! Just bottled less than 5 weeks ago this is rose that any guy can drink with confidence. I had the chance to compare against the 2008 and by far 2009 when released soon is going to be a hit.
Complex in your face bouquet of strawberries, floral elements and what they say is cotton candy...you could live in the nose. Balanced rich and a great fruit finish.

Supporting local farms is one of the things I am most proud of when I think about my career, but sometimes I feel that many support local and don't consider quality. I can honestly say that Westport Rivers is by far one of the highest quality vineyards in America. And best of all.....a local business to support and be proud of.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Japanese Style Crepes


As mentioned in the last post, my life has started to resolve around crepes. 17 years ago when I began my journey in food my mind could not even fathom that I would wake up everyday on a quest to develop the worlds finest crepe company. I have been researching, testing and developing what I believe to be the answer to the alternative to the traditional sandwich. But I cant take the credit, and like many things these days I have to tilt my hat to the Japanese.

 Imagine a French crepe - taken down a few notches on the snootiness scale. The great thing about Japanese crepes is they are just a casual handheld product. You buy them on the street from little shacks, they come with so many different possible fillings, and in Japan they make them on the spot and then hand them to you like an ice cream cone. They taste basically like a French crepe - with a few minor differences. There's less butter used in the batter and most important to me all the fillings are fresh and/or raw - not cooked or processed.


 The Japanese love their street food, so they just borrowed the idea from France and added their own twist. They've turned it into fine fast food. Or as Larry David once wrote, "not fast food, Jerry. Good food, quickly."

The summer menu is under development for a June release. Some of the crepes served in the Japanese style we have finalized are ....

Westfiiefd Farms Goat Cheese & Crispy Organic Mushrooms
 truffle honey , baby arugula

Taleggio & Ugly Tomato
 pesto

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Blood Crepes & Pork Skin



So the new venture at Pejamajo is going really well....up to my chest in crepes and enjoying the challenges that are in front of me.
But Ill admit I have been having withdrawals of house made charcuterie, fresh truffles, Kobe beef, sea urchin, roof top herbs and whole animals ready for butchering.

But Ive discovered crepes to be fascinating...not only in flavor & versatility but in ways that crepes are prepared around the world.From France to Japan and Dubai to America crepes are really a vehicle for any type of filling you want, much like the American sandwich.

One of the most fascinating crepes I have discovered come from Galicia in Spains North West region of the country. Blood Crepes (Filloas de Sangre)are made exactly like a traditional crepe only you omit some of the milk and replace it with pork blood. Usually made in the winter when pigs are slaughtered and fresh blood is available, these crepes are a regional delicacy.

This recipe is a work in progress so you'll have to fool around with it.

1 l. milk,
4 eggs
1 glass of pork blood (6oz or so)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 lemon (zest only )
AP Flour
Pork Fat
cinnamon
Method: beat the eggs and add the milk, salt, lemon zest and a teaspoon of cinnamon.Gradually add flour to form a loose paste, add pork blood, mix well until you have a loose pancake consistency. You will have formed some lumps, pass through a sieve. Heat a crepe pan or frying pan, spread pork fat with a fork,allow to melt and pour crepe batter in to form a thin layer.
Cook until easily seperates from the pan on each side....sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar for a sweet version or do as I do....crushed chicharones ( fried pork skin) for an amazing and different pork experience.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pejamajo Cafe & New Harvest Coffee Roasters


One of the selling points for my new position was the opportunity to head up the development of our private label coffee program at Pejamajo Cafe. I was thrilled when I found out that New Harvest Coffee Roasters out of Pawtucket RI was currently sourcing and roasting our blends. Simply put...New Harvest cares about their coffee and they want yo to care about it too. New Harvest is an Artisan coffee company who pays attention and is involved in every step of the artisan coffee chain—from growing to harvesting to processing to roasting and finally to brewing.

The roastery and offices use zero-emission electricity produced by 100% renewable sources through their membership in New England Green Start. They use an innovative Catalytic Oxidizer to eliminate the smoke produced by the roasting process while using 65% less fuel and producing two-thirds fewer greenhouse emissions than conventional pollution-control systems. They are aggressive recyclers, finding new homes and uses for everything from wood pallets to burlap bags.

We blind tasted our current Pejamajo blends today and learned a great deal about not only organic blends and fair trade...but what we found to be the most important was a direct sourcing program. Lets face it getting certified organic or even finding a fair trade product is getting easier to do and as much as I am glad to see this becoming main stream it also leaves you to wonder about the certification process, is it getting easier? If big box stores now carry a "cheap" certified organic and fair trade blend...where is the quality.

With direct sourcing New Harvest is out sourcing beans direct from small & large family run farms across the globe, focusing their energy on finding the highest quality coffee beans in the world. Hand in hand with this comes most likely an organic product being purchased using fair trade and sustainable practices....so you get the best of all worlds.

One of the most exciting things we spoke about today was a trip this coming winter New Harvest is making to Guatemala ( where I was born) to search out new farms that could very well end up growing coffee for us at Pejamajo. The connection between Pejamajo and the farm will be the most direct connection you can find, farmer to roaster to our cafes. There was even talk about the possible opportunity for us to actually get the opportunity to go and visit the very farms and meet the very farmers who will be growing our coffee.

Click here to learn how to care and handle your coffee properly

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Fine Fast Food

 Many of my friends have been puzzled at my decision to move from high end dining to what I call upscale quick service or "fine fast food". I have taken a corporate chef/director of culinary & beverage position for a upscale casual crepe cafe and bistro "chain" called Pejamajo Cafe.

I enjoy having a life and spending it with my wife and children. I have been in the restaurant grind for almost 18 years and I am making a decision for my family for the first time and not for me.

I enjoy the challenge that is presented...to take a small company and be part of a team that is attempting to grow this into a National & International business with multiple units around the world and in the retail market.

But those are not the only reasons.....

I challenge you to think about this and think about it seriously, why cant fast food be treated with the same standards as fine dining?

 Just real food, from real farms that use sustainable practices cooked by real people who care about what we are doing. Ingredients driven by seasons, changing as needed to allow you to always experience the best possible product we can offer.

Our food will have integrity and be treated with respect. Our food will be seasoned properly and will be cooked with care. Our food will be thought about and not just thrown together. We will think about taste texture, temperature and appearance. The difference is that we will provide for you a meal with the same standards as any of the finest kitchens in the world .....quickly and consistently at any one of our locations you visit.

Chef David Chang (Momofuko) is the pioneer in my mind. And what he has done for the quick serve restaurant is prove that fast food can be fine food. He has paved the way for restaurants in this country  to provide a quick meal without sacrificing quality and beliefs.

Fine Fast Food.....it can be done

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Boston Homegrown"

Some great news today...

I was asked to participate in a new book called "Boston Homegrown" published by Quayside Publishing, a company based in Minneapolis and written by Leigh Belanger whom I have the pleasure of working with through Chefs Collaborative. Leigh is the Program Director for Chefs Collaborative, where she develops and directs educational initiatives aimed at making sustainability second nature for every chef in the U.S.
The format of the book is a series of profiles of chefs and artisan food producers in the Boston area who work with local farmers and whose menus or products reflect New England's regional flavors.

I'm thrilled to have been asked to participate in this project and will keep you informed about the release of the book which is scheduled for a 2011 release.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Me its A Special Earth Dinner 2010



Tonight's Earth Day Celebration dinner at Tastings is a special one for me.For the past two years I have focused my efforts on making sure Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro was a leader in the New England Region for not only supporting a sustainable lifestyle, supporting local farmers, fisherman and ranchers and making decisions that support the local economy and the preservation of our planet. I don't consider myself "crunchy" or a "tree hugger" and many will  tell you I'm the furthest thing from that stereotype, I'm human and I cant deny that I enjoy the occasional fast food burger, a banh mi sandwich from Chinatown which certainly doesn't practice using local and sustainable products or a batch of greasy Buffalo style chicken wings from the local pub paired with the most current vintage of Bud Light and the cool taste of a menthol cancer stick to follow.....

But I do care about the future of my kids and the future of the world they will grow up to live in. I care about the choices they make when it comes to buying food from reliable sources ad sources that practice sustainable agriculture. I care about being a roll model to aspiring chefs and kids and being able to practice what I preach. I care about making sure my dollar stays within the local economic structure of the area I live in and I care about the relationships I make with the people growing, raising and catching my food. At the end of the day.....I care about giving you a meal that I can trace from farm to fork and be confident that I prepared that dish using my skills as a chef to assure you a memorable dining experience.

As some of you already know, this is my last week at Tastings and tonight's Earth Dinner is in my mind a fitting way to leave you with my beliefs of what I consider to be the perfect meal. A meal sourced locally, prepared beautifully and am able to cook with some of my best friends.

Thank you to my Tastings family and especially to my loyal guests for allowing me to cook alongside you and for you.  I am honored to announce my right hand man Chef Matt Maue(whom has worked with me for the past 5 years) will be moving into the executive chefs role as I embark on a new journey that will continue to challenge and move me forward in my professional career.

Buen Provecho!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poached Island Creek Oysters

Photo:Tom Kirkman

 One of my favorite native Massachusetts grown oysters are Island Creek Oysters from Duxbury MA. Skip Bennett (and the entire crew) is one of the most passionate people when it comes to oysters. And for good reason, his oysters are plainly just bad ass oysters, or in native tongue "wikked pissa".

Clearly amazing when served on the half shell with nothing else but the oyster liquor and a dash of hot sauce.

But we have been taking the Island Creek oyster and poaching it in is liquor mixed with a little vino, not by any means ground breaking, but less and less poached oysters are making it on menus these days....

In this photo above we poached the Island Creek oysters in a dashi made with green apples and a crisp Spanish godello then shocked them in the reserved liqour that we chilled over an ice bath in the freezer. We then served the dish with green apple fluid gel, meyer lemon oil and the hot dashi poured over the chilled oysters . The dashi stock does not have enough time to heat the oyster through, so a great burst of cool oyster juice blended with the rest of the compnents made this one of the best oyster preperations to date.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Divas Uncorked Vineyard Harvest Vintners Reception & Dinner August 13, 2010 7pm


This summer come and spend a weekend with me and my favorite Divas, the Divas Uncorked.

Enjoy excellent wines and exquisite cuisine as you explore this summer island paradise. Vacation 'via the vine' with me and the Divas Uncorked and escape to the Vineyard's sun-splashed beaches and laid-back living in picturesque towns.



I have been invited to be the featured guest chef at the Festivals 2010 Vineyard Harvest: Vintners Reception and Dinner on Friday August 13, 2010 at the sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs. Reception starts at 7pm with dinner at 8pm.

I have the amazing task of featuring a multi course feast using ONLY Marthas Vineyard Island Grown products and the honor of having Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery as my sole partner for this amazing dinner.

In the next few weeks I will have the "tough" task of sitting with the Westport Rivers Winemakers and tasting their amazing lineup of Massachusetts grown wines. The cool seaside climates create the most dramatic sparkling, whites and roses which many wine directors & sommeliers have said are some of the most perfect food wines coming out of New England and the sparkling is arguably one of the finest sparkling wines this country has to offer.

I hope I'm giving you enough time to clear your schedule and book a weekend trip to the Vineyard. The festivities begin on Thursday August 12 and run through the weekend. For a full lineup and schedule of events and to buy your tickets and make travel arrangements click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Menu 2010

Tomorrow marks the release of the new spring menu at Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro. One of the best menus to date....(everyone tells me I say that before every new menu release..what else would I say? it is!)

Salads & Soups

Seasonal salad ... 7
organic greens, vegetables, herbs, house vinaigrette

Shaved asparagus salad ... 10
Jamon Serrano, red ribbon sorrel,Landaff cheese, caper vinaigrette

Spring Vegetable Plate ... 11
asparagus, baby beets, fiddleheads, baby turnips,carrots, black garlic ranch dressing

Spring Pea & Serrano Soup ... 9
lavender gremolata, yogurt

Small Plates

Organic 9 year Popcorn ... 3
brown butter, Spring garlic

Point Judith Calamari ... 10
romesco sauce, ramps, black olives,Basque peppers

Blue Hill Bay Mussels ... 10
leek, mint, chili, young garlic baguette

Crudo ... 13
French breakfast radish, sea beans, lime, extra virgin olive oil

Rabbit Leg bruschetta ... 12
crushed fava beans, citrus aioli

*
Entrees


Roasted Organic Amish 1/2 chicken ... 21
whipped potatoes, carrots, fiddleheads

Painted Hills Sirloin ... 28
roasted white asparagus, glazed shallots, sunchoke puree

Black Tagliatelle ... 19
Hill Farm pork stuffed squid tubes, spring onion, preserved lemon

Magret Duck Breast ... 26
smoked spring dug parsnip risotto, morels, horseradish, chervil

Stinging Nettle & Ricotta Ravioli ... 17
garlic scape and vermouth emulsion

House Made Lamb Sausage ... 19
white beans, artichokes, green harissa, picholine olives

Summer Flounder ... 24
organic mushrooms, peas, watermelon radish, sorrel broth

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down 2 Earth Sustainable Living Expo: April 9,10,11 2010

This weekend come down and say hello as I participate in the Down 2 Earth Sustainable Living Expo in Boston at the Boston Convention Center.
My schedule of appearances is below and the whole weekend is filled with great exhibitors, chefs, and keynote speakers.

2010 Local Bites: Preview Party Friday April 9 2010

Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Local Bites will bring together local sustainable chefs, food producers, green restaurants and sustainable wine to celebrate the thriving local food culture in Boston. Come after work to browse the expo, talk to all of the exhibitors and be entertained ... all while sampling local bites and enjoying wine from Root: 1 and locally brewed beer. Join us for this fun and tasty event! Check out our growing list of participating restaurants below.
Tickets are $20 and include food and wine sampling. (Limited number available. Tickets are $25 at the door). Ticket stubs are valid for re-entry into D2E all weekend. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New England Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Program and The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets

Saturday April 10, 2010
Cooking Demo - Soy Cured Salmon Chef Richard Garcia

Time: 4:00pm
Location: Electrolux Kitchen Theater
Join Me for a demo on soy cured salmon, served with local Rhode Island apples and Vermont creme fraiche.

For more information click here

Monday, March 29, 2010

Variations Of Hudson Valley Lola Duck

Variations Of Hudson Valley Lola Duck
duck ham/ gilfeather turnip puree
spiced confit/ truffled pardina lentils
lola duck jus
(photo: Tiffany Smith)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bombster Scallops


Bombster Scallop Crudo
salsify, blood orange, butter roasted pears, marcona almond gremolata
(photo Tiffany Smith)


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring is Near

Illustration by William Nicholson


Sorry for the lag in posts. been on vacation the past two weeks and just needed to not worry about food, work etc.....

But now I'm back, getting ready to return, refreshed, motivated and with plenty of new ideas and thought running through my mind. Spring Menu needs to be finalized and menu items tested and tweaked before we try and roll out the new menu in a couple of weeks(that's the goal but I'm thinking were 3-4 weeks out)

Spring is one of my favorite seasons here in New England, people just seem to have a better outlook on life, in the kitchen we are getting ready to see some of my favorite products to works with.

Spring Dug Parsnips, Fiddleheads, Ramps, Green Almonds, Morel Mushrooms, Stinging Nettles, Spring Garlic Scapes, Asparagus, Radishes, Cardoons, Cherries, Fava Beans, Peas, Rhubarb, Turnips.......I think you get the point.

Stay tuned for spring dishes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Post James Beard



The weekend started off with a flat tire 45 minutes into the trip to NYC with a few hundred pounds of food weighing down the back of the truck. After a rapid (almost pit crew worthy) tire change and a stop at the Bombster Scallop Boats to pick up our scallops in Stonington CT. we were on our way!!   A quick stop at the New Haven Taco Trucks for some Beef Tongue Tacos and fresh churros (if you find yourself on route 95 in New Haven make it a point to stop and enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine from the original gastro pods) and rest of the weekend was a hit.

The dinner was sold out...the wine was flowing (Thanks Jorge & Jack the Man!!!) the kitchen was cranking without missing a beat , the Beard staff was on point, I mean you couldn't have asked for a more perfect situation.

I could go on and on but I think you get the point, a wonderful evening that I will never forget. Cooking in the home of an American culinary icon, working with my friends side by side, having my wife, cousins and mom along with some old friends and new ones in the dining room....on of the best nights in my professional career.
As soon as we get some photos of the cuisine back, you will be the first to see them.







Friday, March 5, 2010

The Beard House Dinner 2010

Our First Trip to the James Beard House April 2009

3 days of prep, triple checking the list to make sure everything is packed and in the right coolers, make sure that we have all the needed non food items, last minute calls to our vendors asking where the hell is the one and only thing that I need today that cant wait until tomorrows delivery! Oh, and of course we decide to cut off the reservations at 65 people and we are at 77 with a last minute phone call asking if we can please take 3 more!!!!! 80 it is....
Our second trip to the James Beard House seems just as stressful as the first one, only we know what we are walking into this time. It seems that we have cut down on the amount of food and extra "whatever" it was that we took with us on our first trip. This time around I am happy to be cooking with Matt (Chef de Cuisine) and Imani (Sous Chef) along with  Jose "Pepe" Rodriquez (my chef de cuisine at Havana Blue during my St. Thomas days as the Executive Chef of Blue Shore Grill Restaurant Group) and James Messinga the Executive Chef/Owner of Crazy Chefs Catering and Loco Tapas Bar in Easton MA. A kitchen full of chefs that all are humbled to be working together to put out a meal in the home of the father of American gastronomy.
I'm just as nervous, just as excited and looking forward to a amazing night cooking with friends and cooking for friends and family who made the trip from their homes to join us in NYC.
A special thanks to my wife Nicole, for putting up with the stress and long hours that went in to making this dinner possible.
I will post pictures of the dinner and the food, and maybe some crazy moments or two next week.....

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fish School

Matt & I had a great opportunity to attend a 2 1/2 day fish class put on by Foley Fish, one of Bostons original fish purveyors.

We spent some long,long days starting at 5am at the Boston Fish Pier, on board a ground fish boat, a scallop boat and  the New Bedford Fish Auction in between class time spent talking about sustainable New England Fisheries, quality control of seafood products and some amazing demos by master fish cutters.

All in all one of the best professional experiences I have had in very long time. The things that as a professional chef you feel you have a pretty good grasp on become elementary compared to the people who deal in that particular expertise day in and day out.

One of the things that I feel make me who I am as a chef is my desire to learn and continue to explore the world I work in on a much deeper level. Going into the belly of the beast so to speak to find out where my food really comes from, how does it get to my back door and by who.

Its easy to pick up the phone on a daily basis and place the order that magically arrives the next day. But to meet the captains of the boats and ask them the questions that you very rarely get to ask is truly going to the source and learning where its coming from and how its getting there.

If you can, get out and learn about the products you are using. Its not enough to ask your vendor where is it coming from, ask your vendor to take you where its coming from..............you may be surprised about what you learn.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mugaritz Fire ....Stagières' Knives Appeal

Monday February 15 a fire destroyed much of the kitchen and the world famous MUGARITZ restaurant in Spain. The web site now simply reads in several languages..."The reconstruction begins from the foundation"

In an effort to help some stagiers ( motivated culinary professionals who travel the world to work for FREE in some of the worlds finest restaurants) who lost their most prized possession...their knives, a fundraiser has been set up. 
For more information on how you can help and to read a more in depth story go to DOCSCONZ- THE BLOG.

You may also go to firstgiving.com  to donate as well.

Total raised so far $1060.00 of the $2500 goal. (2/26/2010)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

No excuses...Local produce in the winter in New England?? YES



.

I recently had a conversation with a chef in the area about procuring local product. While most of you who follow the blog know that I support local agriculture, I support buying the highest quality ingredients first, make sure its fom sustainable source and then try and source it locally before I look elsewhere.

Anyways a little off track....the conversation with my fellow chef was about finding local produce here in New England in the middle of winter, he was saying there was nothing to buy and he would "jump on the bandwagon" in the summer again.

My feeling was that this was the easy way out. Yes it takes some extra work and no the farms aren't going to deliver as much in the winter. BUT fiqure out where you standards are. At Tastings we are all part of the solution. My sous chef gets up early to meet the Farm Trucks, Matt & I spend hours on the phone and online sourcing the product and then meeting the farmers, fisherman and ranchers. tasting the product, evaluating the quality vs. other sources and then putting our order together. Here is last weeks order in the middle of February for local product . I know its not a lot...but my point, its there and available....

Apples (Hill Fam)
Carrots (Schatner Farms)
Pasnips (Farm Fresh & Co. Farms)
Potatoes (Scatner Farms)
Seaweed (She Sells Seaweed )
Shrimp (Port Clydes)
Beef (Blackbird Farm)
Pork(Hill Farm)
Eggs Cage Free (Baffoni poulty farm)
Native Popcon on Cob (Schantner fams)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Port Clyde Fresh Catch


Over the last few weeks we have begun to use a product new to us in the kitchen, not that Maine shrimp is anything new, but finding a source for Maine shrimp that is sustainable and traceable is getting harder and harder as demand is reaching all time highs and supply is depleting.

But we are confident that we have found a source that cares about preserving the stock and the ocean.

St. George peninsula locate mid coast Maine, you will find the small fishing village and port of  Port Clyde. Port Clyde sits at the confluence of Muscongus and Penobscot bays, and provides key access to myriad fishing grounds. The village is steeped in the fishing industry, going back some 200 years.

 This heritage continues today with shrimp as well as ground fish such as haddock, flounder, cod, pollock and hake although much less in scale than 200 years ago, the fisherman remain as true to their catch as the they did then.

Roughly a dozen fishing vessels make up Port Clyde’s small fleet, the last between Portland, Maine and the Canadian border.

Determined to preserve their heritage, their community and the resources the fisherman of Port Clyde Maine use environmentally sustainable fishing methods.

They guarantee 100% supply-chain traceability, a return to the traditions of America's past — fresh, wild-caught seafood that we the customer can trace to the source.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Green Sea Urchin

Green Sea Urchin (Massachusetts Hand Harvested)
 Rhode Island Parsnip Soup/Coffee & Sea Urchin Froth