• BLOG

    b. in with the new

    I like commercials. I don’t fast-forward through them, because I know I’ll miss the new, cool stuff. I don’t want to miss the new cool stuff, because I want to be cool. Really. I want to be fresh and not stale. I want to be a big thinker not a small one. It matters to me, and I think it’s my job. I want to give you food feelings. Feelings about how delicious something was are just the surface. I want you to remember how you felt, who you were with and what you were wearing. What the bite reminded you of, where it took you in your head. I…

  • BLOG

    dear pastrami, you’re not gonna win this one. respectfully, Chef.

    Call me crazy, but I’m a sucker for a good challenge. When I write a new menu, I like to add at least one item that really challenges my culinary skill…and that of my team. I research, experiment and decide on a passion project. In the past few years, we have added quite a few items to our repertoire including: fresh mozzarella, fresh ricotta, paleo pizza dough, fresh pasta, perfectly smoked brisket and grain free tortillas. A few years ago, I began researching scratch made pastrami. The real stuff….not the crimson rubber band most people serve you. There is a reason they shave pastrami in a deli folks. It’s the…

  • BLOG

    new menu mayhem

    Twice a year I change the menu at my restaurant. Ideally, I’d like to change it with each season, but the work that goes into just two menu flips is overwhelming. I’m starting to really understand why folks take the easy road and just run the standard fare without evolving. Don’t get me wrong, yes, I do understand. For me, it’s just not good enough. When you are a passionate, creative chef, it’s hard to cook the same menu all year. Day in and day out. The ingredients no longer inspire you…. the produce doesn’t call out to you, “ play with me!” “mold me into something great” “I’m at…

  • BLOG

    lifestyle switcheroo

    i often wondered what it felt like to be in shape and live a healthy lifestyle historically different from mine as a chef.  I sporadically worked at it little by little, trying this or that, making new year’s resolutions right alongside everyone else. the final straw was one random day when I was driving to work in uncomfortably tight jeans, complete with miserable love handles.  I told myself that was it, and decided right then and there I was going to go all in. The plan was to give the whole gym rat, healthy *mini carrot eater lifestyle a real shot.  i know that sounds hokey, but it was perfect…

  • BLOG

    roasted garlic paleo buffalo chicken “nuggets”

      ingredients: 2 lbs. ground all white meat chicken 2 eggs, whisked to combine 2 Tbsp. roasted garlic paste 2/3 cup your favorite no sugar hot sauce (reserve ¼ cup for drizzling) 2 Tbsp. onion powder 2 tsp. finely ground sea salt 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 tsp. Korean gochugaru pepper flakes (if you can’t find these, just use red pepper flakes) ½ cup tapioca starch Method of preparation: preheat oven to 350 spray 2 large cookie sheets with pan spray, cover with parchment, and spray parchment in a medium sized metal mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well incorporated using a 2 oz. ice cream…

  • BLOG

    the cool kids

    One of the best tips I’ve learned is to surround yourself by people with passion.  you know, the real deal, good people who care…about something. you don’t even have to have appreciation for the “something” they are passionate about…choose them, no matter what.  Those people are the people you need to be your people. these are the true, cool kids in my eyes, and I’ve learned so much from all of them….   The allergen free baker/owner. This guy is a super cool kid.  he built his business based on hard work and standing behind a niche he thought worthwhile….way before it was a “thing”.  He is still “live” in…

  • BLOG

    paleo sticky icky sauce

      ingredients: 2 Tbsp. avocado oil 3 cloves garlic minced 1 Tbsp, fresh ginger peeled and minced 1/4 tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorns 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds 1 small white onion julienne 1 Tbsp. minced fresh jalapeno 1 Tbsp. sambaal 8 oz. coconut aminos 3 sticks of Bee Locala honey flesh of one ripe mango 2 Tbsp. The Date Lady, date puree 2 Tbsp. black vinegar method of prep: in a heavy bottomed sauté pan, (I chose cast iron) preheat pan to medium low and add avocado oil garlic, ginger, white onion and jalapeno, sweat until soft and translucent add all remaining ingredients and bring heat to medium high, stirring constantly…

  • BLOG

    the damn paper towel machine

    Every commercial kitchen has its fair share of places to wash your hands.  If not, you’re askin’ for a health department violation. There are hand sinks on each end of the line, obviously in the bathrooms, behind the bar…everywhere you go.  You know what there isn’t though? ANY FRIGGIN PAPER TOWELS IN THE MACHINE! Without a doubt, every time I use the restroom or every time I go to wash my hands, I am infuriated by the fact that this always happens.  I wish you could ask my staff or see me standing there, first tapping on the machine, trying to flirt with the stupid sensor, always hoping it’s just…

  • BLOG

    simple pomodoro

      simple pomodoro. ingredients. 2 #’s ripe tomatoes, as local as possible 5 large cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped ¼ cup (or 5 ½ glugs of good olive oil from a big bottle) 12 large basil leaves Jacobsen sea salt what’s next. in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat add olive oil and garlic let the garlic become one with the oil but no brown bits…keep it movin’ if you think its getting close pull the pan entirely off the heat! a fraction of a second turns this simple sauce from hero to total zero. this garlic step is super important. add chopped tomatoes, and salt and…

  • BLOG

    what’s the big deal?

    I realize that the way I view restaurant experiences has everything to do with living, sleeping and breathing this business.  I look at the picture through the eyes of a chef. I’m reminded of that often when guests are disgruntled about modifications of menu items.  People tell me I don’t understand. They tell me the guest doesn’t care about my reasoning, they only want what they want and they don’t know what the big deal is when they can’t have it. If that is in fact true, and you really don’t care, this will just be yet another lesson in futility, but what the hell? I’m going to give it…