• 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

    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

    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…

  • BLOG

    the walk-in ghost.

    I hate to burst your bubble; but professional kitchens are rarely  quintessential pictures of perfectly polished stainless steel, starched white chef jackets and militant cooks.  Most kitchens of the pros, especially high volume beasts where I spent most of my career, are filled with high energy, loud voices, quick “squirrel in traffic” like movements, spills, burnt croutons and definitely a walk-in ghost. The “walk-in”, which often doubles as a temporary office for discussing on the spot annoyances, is the large refrigerator where most kitchens store the majority of their goods, and the bane of existence for most kitchen management.  Its contents live on floor to ceiling shelving around the perimeter…

  • BLOG

    set yourself up

    set yourself up, so you don’t set yourself up. A very wise woman I know often says, “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.  it’s something so simple, but I think of it often. Life is hectic, unpredictable and challenging enough without floating through the week unprepared and without a plan.  For me, if I don’t set myself up for my week before it begins, I feel like I spend the remaining days, once it begins, trying to catch up, squeeze things in and “last minute” everything. I hate that feeling. Conversely, when J.I. and I spend a few hours cooking together our week is much calmer and easy.…