Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hot Knives......and scrapers in Ottawa

Paging Dr. Octagon!

This time is a good time of year to maintain and repair equipment so its running efficient and optimal. Kitchen stoves/ranges must be regularly degrease or if you can afford it, pressure steamed to prevent possible fire hazards and maintain a high standard of cleanliness in the workplace. Hoods, fridges, storage areas must be completely gutting and thoroughly cleaned regularly for the same reasons. This is the time of year we reflect on how we can make the kitchen run more efficient, organized and professional. We thrive to make the upcoming year a little better than those that have past and constantly learn from our mistakes. It also involves plenty of coffee and tea.

A thing of beauty and 2 years off my life from the fumes that made for a exciting evening! lol

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Publican "Pork, Beer & Oysters"

Ive been high on the hog at the Publican in Chicago this week. Working in this kitchen has been AWESOME! The Publican is located in the meat packing district of the city in a turn of the century building. Walking into the place feels like your walking into a Belgium beer hall. The list of high end products going through the doors in the time that I spent was amazing. Stacks of Jamón ibérico, Onaga snapper flown in from japan, a extensive list of oysters, heritage breed pork, fresh whole hogs and suckling pigs from various local farms, in house made charcuterie(over 20 items), winter truffles, hedgehog mushrooms and smithfield country hams to name a few. Every item on the menu is made in house with the only exception being the dry aged hams. The kitchen is fast paced, loud and tiny. Doing 300+ covers a night is normal for this living carnivore. Chef du cuisine Brian Huston along with Executive Chef Paul Kahan are doing a great job and it comes as no surprise that there is a hardcore following.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Weeks Cooking in Chi-Town

Allison and Rob Levitt of Mado. (Photo: Rob Levitt)

The good folks at Restaurant Mado in Chicago's Buck-town area have taking me on as a stagier this week. There menu consists of soul Mediterranean food cooked in a number of different preparations. They produce alot of great charcuterie and pork dishes. Ciccioli, country pate, salumi and rolled tiesta to name a few.
Every other week chef rob gets in a couple of whole local raised organic hogs which he uses to create the different menu items. The kitchen is equipped with a wood burning grill, oven and rotisserie. Voted as one of bon appetite's top 10 new restaurants in America for 2009. There not off to a bad start.
Mado supports Midwestern farmers and strives to use responsibly raised local products. (from there website) A big shout out to Rob and Allison for letting me into there world this week! You guys are great!

Spicy pig head stew with polpetini, white beans and braised greens,
Spit roasted pork loin and belly with braised cabbage,
Rainbow trout with celery root puree and salsa verde
Smoked wild sturgeon with blood orange and olive
You get the idea, if your in Chi-Town check it out!