so there has been a little bit of time between posts...holy shit
lost track of the blog and was only reminded of it while I was digging through old emails...I was so excited about doing this at first....to continue this project and document in words what its like to chef it up in AK...... I am sure most bloggers are when they first start out. I wonder how much internet space is wasted from just idle blogs, old email accounts and dead myspace pages? can we recycle that shit?
Well, lets do some quick catching up before I continue this blog.
2009- the substitute teaching was a blast and I dug making and explaining new foods to some excited kids....however if I ever see someone in my kitchen cutting a Tbl of garlic and taking 20 minutes to do it, I would freak the fuck out.....It gave me a new appreciation for the instructors, teachers and mentors who mold our young culinary youth and try to turn them into chefs.....or even a line cook who can show up on time.....I really dont know how they do it...they must drink a whole hell of a lot more than I do
The kid I hired as a sous chef ended up being a total waste. I called him the rebound sous chef. That season was plagued with immature cooks, mouthy waitstaff and a busy season too boot...A momentary lapse of reality...
2010 - saw a really great season with an awesome new sous chef who was my saute cook in 2009. a sassy young gal from Philly who took no shit from line cooks or waitstaff and could cook some outstanding food. I wish I was just as serious about cooking when I was her age. did some traveling, at some tacos
2011- brought a new partnership with Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and I was chosen to represent Alaska in the Great American Seafood Cook Off in New Orleans. what a trip, an honor and a great experience. I took 5th out of 14...a good finish I think for never doing a competition ever before.
The lesson I learned from that was to cook from your heart, dont vary or veer to make others happy...and cook what you know....I would have killed it had I listened to my future self.
I was able too attend the Starchefs chefs congress in New York. A 3 day event where you doing nothing but listening to chefs, sitting next to chefs and talking with chefs about......well ....chef stuff....I was watching Kim Severson and Grant Achetz have a conversation as im sitting next to Wiley Dufresne and the Top Chef Dessert kids....insane....what an unreal experience and I hope to get back for another round in 2013...I learned so much.
2012- I became the executive chef of our other property on fox island, taking on the responsiblty of overseeing two properties, designing a new lodge kitchen for a build in 2013.
Exciting and exhausting at the same time...truly a project with too many chiefs....fighting for my corner of the pie and trying to make the kitchen right...more on that as we get going!
I returned to New York in March for a chef off for ATIA against some legendary AK chefs.... We did a black basket of AK ingredients. my dish was an AK amber fish taco with smoked berry jam slaw. I made the blue corn tortillas at home and turned out awesome, however they failed in the actual run at the show....we had some celebrity judges, a couple dudes from Top Chef (that unibrow guy) and a food writer...I didnt get to hear the actual criticisms and from what I heard from the folks sitting around they were pretty harsh on everyone...everybody got an award and we helped spread the gospel of Alaskan awesomeness around NY.
Had a weird time partying with douche bag suits with no ties by rooftop bars and then felt more at home taking a cab to the village for real cocktails served by real people next to real drinkers...ended up jumping the train to Boston with the folks from ASMI for the Boston seafood show....so much fish in such a big building....not too mention that Boston just fucking rules...I walked, ate, drank and toured my way around a great American city.....
I was then a judge for the Great Alaskan Seafood Cookoff in May to determine who was to represent AK in New Orleans for 2012. I was able to be a part of a great judges panel and ate some awesome seafood from an array of great AK chefs. The following night I hosted dinner for the judges and some VIPs at the Roadhouse featuring underutilized Alaskan fish. A real challenge for a rough crowd, but I think we pulled it off well and there is a cool video floating around https://vimeo.com/42795598
Justin the videographer is a badass..
I then again started the season off at the Roadhouse with a new sous chef as my bad ass Philly girl decided to wait tables at our other property in Talkeetna. Why do kids make such dumb decisions? anyway....I had a kid from Florida who was as smart as a tennis racket and obviously got by on his Jersey shore looks. by the first week, I knew we were in for another season of douche baggery and lame staff... front and back was just pathetic and I questioned not only our hirung practices, but the general state of the labor force in restaurants....how can so many people be so shitty at what they do?
If it were my place I would have closed for week in mid July, purged the dead baggage and hired and trained all new staff for the remainder of the season. It was that bad....we limped through and recovered through the winter
2013 is presenting itself with some new business opportunities in other parts of the state, our new lodge is finishing up and the season is about to kick in at the Roadhouse. Ive shot a video for ASMI, done some recipes for the the cook it from frozen website and made the list of AK chefs for best chefs america....exciting..
I will be at the roadhouse for 10 years now...by far the longest stint Ive ever had at any job,....that really says something about the folks I work with...cant wait to see the season take off..
I will do my best to get this up and going again...purely for my own regurgitational needs and help keep me sane...
making some videos, cooking it from frozen and how to get Gen Y cooking....