March 31, 2008

On being a chef.......................

The picture you see here is a professional one I had to have taken. I was working at a 4star champagne cellar restaurant in No. California. Around Mothers day one yr. a call was put out by the local paper doing a feature on mothers who are chefs. I was the lucky one chosen, my 15min. of fame had arrived. I had to have a professional picture done for the local stores that I would be doing cooking demos in. Sundays color section would list them all and make a feature issue. The picture would be in the stores and mall kiosks locally.

In the newspaper I was listed with several other well known women chefs in our area like Joyce Goldstein and Alice Waters. I was blown away. To be listed with these women was such an honor. I am no where near the caliber of chef that they are. I still have that newspaper magazine section and they gave me all the photos from one of the stores I demoed at . One hangs in my kitchen and one hangs in my parents house. My dad is so proud of that. He tells people all the time he talks to this famous chef he knows in CA. lol. Someone came to my house once tho and asked how could I have a picture of myself hanging in my kitchen. I told them why not? Other famous people have all their awards and such in their homes, why cant I? I'm very proud of that . I EARNED IT. Below you will find a slide show of some of the things Ive made that I remembered to take pictures of. Some are from work, some are from personal catering I did.


1. The baby shower cake is a cake I made for my daughters shower yrs ago. It has a bassinet on it that is raised up above the cake like a real bassinet, in it is a baby and teddy made of frosting.

2. This is a baked brie with fruit and crackers tray I made for a party I catered.

3. This is a chocolate truffle cake. The top is made from something called chocolate plastic. Its edible chocolate plus some other ingredients that you can mold into shapes. This was a Christmas cake for a party I went to.

4. This was a cake I made for my church's anniversary. It is a full sheet carrot cake with ginger and cream cheese frosting.

5. These are deviled quail eggs with flying fish roe caviar that I made for a party I catered.

6. This is a picture taken of me doing a demo for the local garden club. The demo was on a basket made of a tomato with all sorts of veggies as garnishes and lunch meats. Basically it was a cobb salad done as a show piece. I was the Garde Manger for the restaurant and that was my job, all cold foods, salads, soups, homemade pates and sausages and all the banquet trays. I do chinese carving with those, if you have seen the apple turned into a swan thing that is so common then you have an idea of what I do.

7. This is just part of the kitchen I worked in. My station is on your right. While I did cold foods I also helped with the grill since it was right next to me.

8. This is a raspberry chocolate cheesecake. A gf of mine was going to a Valentines Day dessert party and couldn't cook. She asked me to make something yummy for her to bring. Ive also made this for a local coffee shop for sale.

9. This is just one of a few banquet trays Ive made. Look closely at the designs. All are made from fruit ,veggies or the local floral things found on the winery property.

10. This was an asparagus tray they had on the catering menu with dip.

11. This is my most favorite tray for a party. While I was setting it up in the tasting room where the party was being held someone came up to me with a camera and asked if they could take a picture of this. The woman said she was a caterer and thought that was one of the most beautiful trays she ever saw. Of course I said yes !

12. Another tray with watermelon being used as a vase for the local flowers on the property. That lil pig is actually smoked cheese.

13. This is a small wedding cake for a private party held for friends who got married at my home.

So now you know a little more about me and what I can do. I am no longer cooking professionally in a restaurant. I have arthritis in my feet and cant stand all those hrs anymore. But I still cater now and then and make things people request on occasion to help them out. One of the great things about this job was I was encouraged to experiment and play at their expense to come up with unique things for the menu. I am hoping to use some of that now to create some items for a shop I hope to open when I move up to Oregon. No, I haven't gone to culinary school, just the school of hard knocks. Ive been cooking since I was 10. When I wanted to go to school, I talked to my exec. chef and he asked me a few questions. Some were about techniques and some were if I knew how to make certain things. I told him yes I knew all that stuff. He told me culinary schools teach you to cook, you do not need that you know how. Told him but I want to be a chef. He said to me......You already are one and smiled. I love that man for saying that to me. Ive never forgotten.

So many have asked for recipes and such from me I decided to start a blog here it is.

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