July 19th, 2012

Homestead Chicago: Chef John Wayne Formica looks to the garden — and his own roots — when crafting his global cuisine | Fine

Homestead Chicago: Chef John Wayne Formica looks to the garden — and his own roots — when crafting his global cuisine | Fine.

April 3rd, 2012

160 Uses for Coconut Oil | Wake Up World

I love coconut & since my Asian tour I have encountered it many times.  Coming to a conclusion that a coconut a day will keep the doctor away……Here are some reasons why from a lovely post found through my internet travels:

160 Uses for Coconut Oil | Wake Up World.

Keep eating!

Tags:
November 10th, 2011

Please welcome guest Blogger, Journalist & Foodie………Nikka Corsino!

Here is a recent article written by a lovely young lady; as this is the first guest writer posting featured on my blog!!!

Please also see here site for her wonderful writings & Photo’s

@

NIKKA’S NOTES

 

WRITINGS AND MUSINGS. THOUGHTS AND NOTES.
The following was originally published at the Baguio Chronicle, November 6-12 issue 2011

 US TO ASIA, TRAVELING CHEF FINDS HOME IN BAGUIO

By: Nikka Corsino

John Wayne Formica used to burn hours cooking pan-seared salmon in his home in Chicago. Today, after being welcomed to strangers’ homes, having the best Vietnamese seafood alongside its equally good and cheap beer, and second helpings of local balut, he finds himself cooking that same recipe in the kitchens of a well-loved Baguio restaurant.

It was early in May this year when Formica, who had once served in the US Army before deciding to take cooking to the next level, decided he would want to travel the world to—what else—eat.

“If someone asks you what cuisine you cook, and you’d say Asian, have you really been to Asia?”

This was how this Lebanese-Italian chef put his travels to perspective.

“This is for my research and development. I am here to learn, and I’ll take advantage of whatever opportunity I can get into [along the way],” Formica says.

This decision to travel is reminiscent of the popular Elizabeth Gilbert book, “Eat, Pray, Love,” where the author embarks on a journey of discovery to three countries.

Of course, Formica had something bigger in mind for the long term—something that tasting the world’s cuisines would hopefully give the right perspective to—

“My very own restaurant,” he says.

Chef John Wayne "Duke" Formica

Photo by Owen Ballesteros

And so he began what would turn to be a cross-country tour via motorcycle for a month, from Chicago to San Francisco and four other states in between. It was then when he named himself the Traveling Cowboy Chef and created a website where he chronicled all his travails on the road.

He cooked for a lot of homes along the way and also did professional stages—a tryout for a chef to cook in other restaurants—for research purposes. He cooked with chefs at Asian, American contemporary, and French kitchens.

This motorcycle tour also found him working at a farm in Denver, Colorado, making cheese. Denver, which has a blooming culinary scene, also introduced Formica to the restaurant Fruition.

“No restaurant is created equal; all of them have their charms and unique draw to them. I have to say I was very impressed by Chef Alex Seidel [of Fruition] because he also is a farmer/cheese-maker and his items are featured on his menu. He does so much and is so humble,” he said.

But this initial stretch had rough roads too. “[After Denver], I came up dry. I must have contacted [more than 30] restaurants in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Napa—nothing! It was a little upsetting.”

But this wouldn’t prompt him to backtrack at all. “I felt great to get this adventure going.  I thought about it for some time before I decided to just do it.  I was happy that I had a good start.”

Learning from kitchens of the world

He has learned from the kitchens of famous chefs, one of them Italian Master Chef Biagio Longo in Sorrento, Italy, where he learned Neapolitan cooking, famous for making arguably the best pizza in the world.

Like any good chef, Formica settles for nothing short of fresh. Which is why he adores open markets—something which, he laments, the United States still hasn’t adopted.

“You let two great chefs cook the same dish, giving one the best ingredients and the other mediocre ones, and the chef with the freshest ingredients will always come up with the better food,” so he paraphrases American Chef Thomas Keller.

And this has been one of the reasons he flew to Southeast Asia with his mentor, the so-called Food Buddha of America, Pinoy Chef Rodelio Aglibot. Aglibot, former Executive Chef of Sunda Restaurant in Chicago where Formica was Executive Sous Chef before he left to travel, hails from Cabanatuan. Formica credits Aglibot for his knowledge of Asian cuisine.

Hong Kong, Formica’s first stop, had been all about restaurant-hopping.

“All we did was eat. We were averaging six to eight restaurants everyday,” Formica said. They had visited around 50 restaurants in their four-day stay in the Chinese territory.

His enthusiasm at his culinary discoveries was infectious. “I had some of the best dim sum my whole life [in Hong Kong].. I am [also very much into] noodle bowls. I have a newfound love for Cantonese cuisine, especially the chilis they use. There was this dish where chicken was wok-tossed in nothing but chilis! I have to go back!”

His month-long sojourn to Vietnam introduced him to the Tiết Canh Vịt, the most exotic one he has ever tasted to date. It is composed of duck heart and gizzard with duck blood gelée, peanuts, herbs, and fried and grilled sesame rice paper with sweet chili sauce.

“I love offal dishes! [Tiết Canh Vịt] represents great use for offal and it tasted amazing!”

Tales of the Dinuguan

Staple Pinoy fare that some of the local crowd still find revolting, balut and dinuguan quickly made its way to Formica’s heart—or stomach.

“I love the whole tail-to-snout understanding of food [in the Philippines]. It’s a great combination here,” he says.

In fact, he’s raving over  dinuguan. “I first had it in my chef’s (Aglibot) family home. You name it, I’ve tried it, and I’ve loved it all. There hasn’t been anything I didn’t really like, but dinuguan is my favorite..[it is] a great representation of the tail-to-snout [way], that is why I love Filipino food—lots of layers of flavor and texture.”

“I can eat it anytime! Sooo much flavor there!” he adds.

It was when he finally went to Baguio for the first time that new things came about—promising opportunities, yes; a break from the long road ahead to the rest of Asia, yes as well.

He had met local restaurateurs as he dined in their restaurants, but it was also the dinuguan that made a big difference.

Formica had dined at Forest House Bistro & Cafe, a staple in the local food scene, for the first time some months ago. It was when he was eating dinuguan that Forest House owner Ari Verzosa, who was surprised to find a foreigner consuming the dish, engaged him in a friendly chitchat. One thing led to another, and, after a month-long sojourn to Vietnam following his Philippine trip, Formica now found himself the newest man in the kitchens of the restaurant in a consulting role.

Balanced, healthy fare

A lover of citrus and herbs, Formica infuses 10 years’ worth of culinary explorations with menu staples, providing what can aptly be called a ‘fresh twist’—literally:

Inspired by Aglibot, Formica reinvented the fritter, using fresh yellow corn for that nutty, sweet taste that contrasts with the thick, crispy fritter holding it together.

Dip it with the specially made salted chili and calamansi—a Vietnamese touch—and you get that sharp dash of sourness punctuated by the chili spice.

“It’s always about achieving balance in the food you create,” he says.

Or recreate, for that matter.

He uses toasted corn in his Creamed Corn Soup. He pays homage to the Philippines’ national fruit in his Pinoy Mango Mousse, with a surprise of the local longgan and tapioca beneath a thick layer of mango puree.

“Filipinos love their food a bit sweet, so I’ve decided to incorporate that with other influences in my dishes.”

The Forest House Red Gnocchi, for instance, retains that distinct Italian quality with fresh herbs, but Formica gave a sliver of sweetness to the House Red Sauce well-loved by the Filipino palate.

Salmon chicharon” is how he puts the crispy fried salmon skin that tops the healthy Seared Salmon Special, in reference to the popular Pinoy finger food, deep-fried pork rind. This salad dish is light all over with the market-fresh greens and seared salmon, punctuated with the sour kick of the balsamic tomato vinaigrette (and, of course, the sinful crunch of the fried salmon skin).

Ever tried grilling your vegetables? Formica’s Herb-Pan Seared Crispy Salmon has that—smoky and with a sliver of butter at the same time. “I’ve been making this pan-seared salmon dish for years but only at home. This is the first time I’m going to cook it in a restaurant,” he added.

 The Woked Tamarind Prawns and Forest Pilaf offers a smorgasbord of tastes—the sweetness and sourness of his specially made tamarind glaze balanced with the woked prawns, and finished with just the right spice from the chili. Consume this with the Forest Pilaf, cooked in chicken broth with veggies and seasoned with herbs.

One can still enjoy Forest House favorites like the three-dip salad—fresh Baguio greens dipped in blue cheese, strawberry (blended strawberries and mayo), and honey vinaigrette. The Black Sesame Crusted Dory also deserves special mention, the pan-seared fish, light and creamy, marrying with the heavenly Asian Mango Salsa (mangoes, green and red peppers, tomatoes, and onions) and buttered vegetables.

“It’s all about homey, comfort food you can share with your family and friends,” Verzosa says.

Asked of his long-term plans, Formica says he still plans to continue ticking off his bucket travel list one by one, but because of the opportunity that Baguio has opened up for him—including teaching at a local university this semester—let’s just stay he’s in for a longer-than-expected pit stop.

SALAMAT, NIKKA! KEEP EATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 26th, 2011

And now for something completely different: What the heck is going on???

Hello all!

I figured this is a good time to post some recent happenings going on with the Cowboy. So here goes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Living in a HOTEL

Currently settled in Baguio, Philippines.  Due to some recent opportunities and money running very thin I figured I could chill for a while, this is my hub as I continue my Asia travels.

I MISS MY SLEEP NUMBER BED………….WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?  MINE IS 45!!!

I hope I get paid for that plug……..LOL!

My pillows are lumpy….BOO!!!!

A chef @ WORK

Consulting chef for Forest House Bistro, doing some menu revamp and creations. November, 2nd starting as Guest Chef Instructor @ the University of Baguio for the new semester. To include doing my hobby @ playing music as a DJ around town especially at a nightclub called HEX in the Nevada square. No longer taking the post as a chef of a new restaurant in Asia, the offer just didn’t fit me, though consulting for them in some recipe transcription. I have had a few offers here and there, also some other things in the wind, but nothing definite. To end it all trying hard to keep my website updated, I am a little behind……………………………whew!!!!!!!

In the MEDIA

 Featured in a few newspaper articles with some more coming, so I am getting good press…fun, fun, fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN:

HOMESICK

As much as I love it here and to travel the world, am a little homesick of the USA.  6 months on the road, 2 USA, 4 ASIA! It’s just the little creature comforts that I have grown accustom to and the sheer appreciation I have for them. The short list: Missing my XBox (New Assassins Creed), movie theaters that have all you want butter and salt, TACO’S (I would kill for a decent taco), dance clubs where people actually dance…..ummmmm EL JIMADORE TEQUILA & other cool liquor brands, NON-MSG SNACK FOODS!!! Let’s face it, things are different: It’s like a retro rewind, about 20-30 years, especially in food.  Lamb with mint jelly?????  Still in a bit of culture shock coming from a culinary epicenter and seeing where everyone else is in the world, don’t expect to see any foams or Maltodextrin items around soon where I am at.  That isn’t a bad thing though, the concept of open fresh market’s show that the USA is behind!  I love going to the market and getting everything I need for the day and know it’s fresh non GMO product. The food tastes that much better! Coming up with Idea’s for new dishes, I play with everything; cooking straight simple, flavorful food, how it should be!

SOME NEW CREATIONS

"Woked" Tamarind Prawns

 

Pinoy Blackened Catfish with Squash purée

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indo Chicken wings with Ginger Chili dip

Asian Beer braised Fish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinoy Sweet style Gnocchi!

 

Classically Creamed Gnocchi with dash of Nutmeg and HIT of Pesto!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAY TUNED FOR

The Philippines Part 2: The Search for Balut (NOT SPOCK)

Vietnam Part 1: It’s like plating “Frogger” in the old days

Vietnam Part 2: The Drunken Travels of the Traveling Cowboy Chef & Captain Cook

My Stage @ Cholon in Denver, Co. (Don’t have a cool title yet)

My Stage @ Forest House in Baguio, Philippines (Also title is work in progress)

ANOTHER RANT: Making yourself indispensable in the workplace through diversity and work ethic: Some Philosophy to live by!

KEEP EATING!!!!!!!!

 

 


October 18th, 2011

Scrapbook of articles written about me…….Gotta start somewhere!

As time goes by and I get more busy, certain opportunities reveal themselves getting noted into print along the way.  Here is a collection of prints about myself going into the future making history!

Enjoy and thanks!!!!

Here featured in an article about my stay as Consulting Chef @ Forest House, Bistro / Bed & Breakfast in the Manila Bulletin Newspaper, Philippines on Oct. 16 2011

September 26th, 2011

And now for something completely different..Pinoy Mango Mousse, a short film on plating Mango Mousse; recipe included! Noone was hurt during the filming of this; please disregard me licking my fingers while plating this, it’s really good; sanitation error, I hope I dont loose my licence..GET ON WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INSPIRATION: Found behind every corner!!!!!!

Inspired to do this based off an avocado Mousse I learned from my Chef Rodelio Aglibot @ Sunda! I can now call this version my own!

Philippines is known for having the best Mango’s in the world, I had to represent true Pinoy Authenticity here representing such a wonderful fruit!

Pinoy Mango Mousse: Featured Dessert @ Media event with

Forest House: Baguio, Philippines

**Me making Mango Puree**

Fresh Mango Puree

 4 ripe Mango

*wash and peel mango

*cut mango up / squeeze pit to get all juice and flesh into bowl

*add flesh /juice to blender / blend well (until smooth)

*strain through fine wire mesh strainer

*Store / use

**Straining the Mango Pure**

**Final Mango Puree, silky smooth**

 Mousse

Fresh Mango Puree

1 quart of heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar

5ea sheeted gelatin

*whip cream and sugar to hard peak

 *bloom gelatin in cold water till soft

*squeeze gelatin to get water out, put into pot and melt on low heat

*combine gelatin into mango purée, mix; mango purée into whipped cream

*you now have mango mousse

*store / refrigerate

A LITTLE EXTRA

From here you may go as you please! Here is exactly how I composed the dish on the menu to make it Pinoy Authentic! 2 more items are needed;

*Sago, which is tapioca pearls (You can buy already cooked or you might have to do yourself)

**Red and Purple Sago**

*Granita, which is a simple recipe made up of a flavor component, simple syrup then frozen.  This is popular in italy but I see it being used often around the world.

I choose Longan for this recipe: Similarly related to (See article here) >>>>>>>>>>Lychee & Rambutan 

**LONGAN**

Longan Granite   

1 bunch longan pureed & strained (peel, and pitted)

4 cups water

1 cups simple syrup

*Combine all in a bowl with a whisk.

*Strain into a hotel pan / into freezer (or pour into desired container)

*I choose a glass*

*Stir with a fork after 30 minutes, and allow to freeze

*When frozen, scrape with a fork

 Short Film

 

Finished product

**Plated product, Granita frozen in glass, Sago pearl, Mousse, Mango purée on top**

 

******SALAMAT: To the Forest House Crew for letting me invade your restaurant & kitchen!

Keep eating!!!!!!!!!!! 

September 16th, 2011

Meat and Potatoes couldn’t be so good………..Coming into Fruition with some Sheep, Restaurant and a Farm??????

Background:

Look!!!!! It’s a Restaurant……..No……..it’s a Farm……..No……..it’s a Dairy…….How about, All of the above!

Who would have though a Chef could carry out so much and manage a family?

Just ask Chef Alex Seidel for some pointers!!!!!!!!! Open for 4 years and going strong as the Chef’s 1st restaurant attempt as Chef owner!

My parents recently relocated to Denver, Colorado, so naturally it became a destination spot for me early on in my travels!  Of all places Denver doesn’t seem to be on any known food mapsYET! After some research I found that it has a budding culinary scene, I had to check it out for myself!

Enter the restaurant, right into the Dining room:

Walking into the door you are exposed to the dining room to the left and the bar, that goes into the kitchen to the right. The restaurant accommodates about 52 with a small kitchen, where pure magic is created with the plates flying out the window……..Service!!!!!!!!

The room has warming colors of burgundy, light and dark woods with lightly focused paintings. Casual, inviting and cozy…..perfect for a nice meal on a beautiful Denver night!
You can expect nothing but great table service from its well versed and trained staff by Co-Owner/Maitre D’ Paul Attardi as well!
Enter the kitchen:
The kitchen is of a smaller size that I have encountered through my travels.  Careful menu planning is warranted for proper execution and consistency.
Suited with a 5 man line, 1 hot app, 1 garde mange, 1 sauté and 1 grill, as the Chef holds down expo in the center.  Standard kitchen equipment is found with no Circulator or fancy Paco Jet in sight!  Here they just cook!
 As my first impression was, WOW this is a clean operation that focuses on technique, consistency with attention to detail, going old school with a culinary team that has a true love and passion for the art that they do of cooking great, clean, consistent food!
A Chef at work:
As I reported for duty I found Sous Chef Matthew Vawter doing some prep work, Chef Seidel isn’t in yet. Ok, what can I do to help? Family meal!!!! Great what do we got to use? Bits of pork and beef……how about a nice Pasta Bolognese!!!!  Simple. quick, hearty!!!!
As the sauce was cooking down I continued on, and started some prep work!  Ramps…….Flash back>>>>> Didn’t I just do this at The Grey Plume?!?!  Anyway Ramps away! OUI CHEF!
Food glorious food:
What can I say?  The food speaks for itself……….approchable comfort food found here! Also Fruition Dairy’s Ricotta and house made Duck prosciutto………Oh My!!!!!!!!
Some proteins found like Pork tenderloin, Duck, Tuna, to name a few accompanied by a wide use of potato. Confit fingerlings, potato wrapped oyster then deep fried for oyster Rockefeller, potato string gallette, yukon and crimini duexell piped into potato canalone.
Veggies from Fruition farm, frisee, arugala, brussel sprouts, ramps, lightly grilled, to accompany and bring colors to the dishes that come alive…….YUM! See for yourself below……………….DINNER:
Who could forget the DESSERT………..House made goodness!
To make my time complete I even had a day at the farm! Making cheese, playing with bees, sheep, even tending to a green house garden!
Chef Seidel is a self-taught pioneer of Sheep milk cheese making! Fruition Dairy distributes to several stores in the Denver area: Ricotta and Cacio Pecora are available!
The farm works not only with the staff of Fruition restaurant, they work with Interns as well for graduation requirements. The farm has bees, sheep, chickens and soon pigs!  It grows a variety of micro greens, and a plethora of delectable veggies sold to restaurants in the area!
Fruition farm and dairy:

Lights, Camera, Action:

Chef Interview:

Duke: What made you decide to become a chef?

Chef Seidel: It was a way to get thought college, that I thoroughly enjoyed after working in the industry for several years! So I became a chef!

Duke: What is your menu inspiration?

Chef SeidelSophisticated, comfort food, clean and approachable that is good for everyone!

Duke: Something random?

Chef Seidel: Never stops learning, works the farm and dairy which also uses it to motivate and teach his staff.

*Chef Seidel is also an avid, fellow motorcycle rider!

Duke: What advice would you offer to aspiring chef’s?

Chef SeidelHave patience, take your time!

Conclusion:
Meat and potatoes as comforting yet can still be refined into Fruition!  From farm to plate is the true art found at this restaurant and I will be back for more, so should you!
Time to Clean down, Chef Style!
Thanks to the Fruition team for letting me pass by!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep Cooking!!!!!!!
August 31st, 2011

And now for something completely different: Culture Shock and the rantings of a Cowboy!

Culture Shock, we all experience it when we travel to places unknown to us with different people and cultures!  Some familiar to your own and others just break the social bubble and comfort zones, you might be accustom to…….read on!!!!!

Getting ready to take my adventure into the world, I had many supporters; on the flip side I also had many that thought it was a bad idea!  A common topic was that I should get married and just have a family, not go romp through the world! Thanks to the Grandparents!!!!  I am finding this pressure felt through-ought the world.

In Asia, some of the first questions are “How old are you?” “30“, “So young, are you married, have children? Then surprised that I am neither! Then it happens, I start getting hooked up!  “I have a friend, or my friend’s daughter!”   You want to marry a local woman? OMG!

Other fun facts:

Department stores in the Philippines is like walking into the twilight zone!  So many workers, 1 person per aisle and they all ask you if you need help! MamSir….Sir…Sir, my head is spinning!  As you walk away do not look back……….All of them are staring right at you with the biggest smile, CREEPY!!!!!

Walking around after dark in the Philippines by  the mall or by the bars being followed by who know’s…….real woman looking to get married, hookers, lady boys??????? Behind you u hear “excuse me” in a very soft tone as to keep oblivious from anyone else around that they are trying to pick you up! I have even been manhandled…………A story for another time! “Life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you’re gonna get!” LOL!

In Vietnam I would have to say what bothers me is the constant staring of curiosity with a bit of spite or attitude toward others than themselves!

Trying to walk in Vietnam = constantly being bothered by motorbike guys on the corner that will sometimes follow you……………………..

“You want motorbike?”

“No, just walking!”

“Where you go?”

“That way!”

“Massage, boom boom?”

“NO!!!”

“Marijuana???”

****** Pause and think hard about that one……!! “No, I am just walking?”

I then think about…….Monty Python and Holy Grail>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>RUN AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

<<<<<<<<<Don’t forget to eat some great street food while your at it>>>>>>>>>>

August 26th, 2011

New segment: Things that go YUM…Into my mouth! Eat your heart out!

SO……….It has occurred to me that I have found myself taking pictures of me holding things in my hand before I eat them! While going through and editing pictures, I found a trend that inspired me to come up with this segment.  I will keep growing this piece moving forward from now on and make it a point to capture them for your viewing delight! Here ya go………

Fresh Sugarcane juice!

 

Bo Bia Ngot, Sweet coconut rice paper roll!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vietnamese rice field rat, wok tossed with lemongrass! Yum....It is actually good, great fat layer with tender flesh! Dip with salt, pepper and Lime

Fresh turmeric, 1st time I have seen it fresh! related to ginger family, most common form is dry powdered! Use to add vibrant color to any dish.....add too much it tastes like mustard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Real Cookie Monster...Nice, warm and soft Chocolate Chip! I requested these from my Pastry Chef Roberta, she made mine very big!!!

Warm and fresh egg tart in Hong Kong! They were amazing and oozed with warm filling and the crust so flakey!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Egg Shaped Waffle! Great snack for walking the streets of Hong Kong!!

Warm Goat Cheese Curd @ Fruition Dairy Farm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside of Thai Rose Apple!

 

Thai Rose Apple, It reminds me more of celery texture and not as sweet as a regular apple! Never seen before...unique item!!!! All over Asia!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicharrón... Philippines - tsitsaron (a derivative of the Spanish word chicharrón), as it is spelled in Filipino. This dish is usually bought from balut vendors as pulutan. It is prepared by deep-frying the dried pork rind with a little salt. It is sometimes eaten with vinegar, chopped chilis in vinegar or with bagoong, lechón! Vendors will sell on busses if you travel!

Yes I like Balut! These should be eaten best around 17 Day! This is a fertilized duck egg, the form of the baby duck is present...bone structure hasn't really formed yet to notice.....is also eaten more mature..probably not as fun! Delicacy in Philippines! I like them... reminds me of salted duck eggs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Dim Dum, Hong Kong! Sui mai and Hargow..Yum!

August 3rd, 2011

Back to School! Not with Rodney Dangerfield! Though might have been fun with him…….NO…….Guest Chef @ The University of Baguio, Philippines!!!!

Since working in my past few restaurants I have found myself mentoring more and more young aspiring cooks and chef’s!  The though of actually teaching never really entered my mind!  Going back to school?  Younger years, school wasn’t my strong suit, I mean I barely graduated High School!  Flash forward, attending college @ Le Cordon Bleu Chicago was the complete opposite.  Dean’s list, top of class with graduating GPA of 3.9; what happened? I grew up and figured out what I wanted in life, at 26 it was about time!

In the Philippines as I travel, meeting so many people within the hospitality industry, especially here in Baguio; learning that with all the restaurants and universities, that Baguio is a culinary epicenter! As I got to know Ari, the owner of Forest House, his wife is a main administrative/teacher within the hospitality program @ The University of Baguio, Philippines!  Throwing around the idea of being a guest chef @ the university came about.  I though this could be fun!

I was asked to do a talk about “Influences of Ethnic Cultures on Food Service specifically on Introduction to Ethnic Cookery”, based off my travels and my experience; To include preparation of a dish of my choosing!  As organized as I am, I started creating a powerpoint presentation……… in the end I didn’t want to bore everyone with something like this; I also started to bore myself while doing it!!!!!! DELETED!!!!  I decided to just go with what I know and try to create an interactive fun environment, in essence be my goofy “PG” self!!!! (Some of you know what I mean) 

For the dish I wanted to do something fun and interactive that could demonstrate different cooking techniques and be simple.  In my recent trip to Hong Kong, I was inspired by a salad I had eaten there @ Yun Fu Restaurant!

Chilled Lamb Salad, placed @ table and you are instructed to toss it all together!

>>>>Menu for University of Baguio Chef Demo…….2 aug, 2011<<<<

Cleansing Salad of Earth Citrus Herb with Signature…Prusuitto wrapped prawn

Ingredient list:  
Common food items:

*Sea Salt *Fresh Ground Black Pepper *Sugar

*********Cleansing Salad of: Earth Citrus Herb ***** Plate items together and separate by item, mix at table to be interactive!!!!!!!!

Emulsified Dalandan Vin.

*Olive oil *Fresh Oranges like Dalandan *Cilantro *S&P *Sugar

Salad prep

 *Carrots- Julienne *Red Thai Chili- whole for garnish *Red onion- Julienne *Cilantro – whole sprigs *Red & Green & Yellow peppers - julienne *Mint - leaves 

*Bean Sprouts – whole *Pencil Asparagus – cut in half on bias, blanch and shock *Watercress – whole sprigs

************Signature…Prosuitto wrapped prawn **********

Marinade for shrimp

*Lemon *evoo *S&P *Cilantro minced

Shrimp prep

*Fresh Head on Prawn – Peel & Devein, marinate (10min.), wrap with prosuitto and skewer *Metal or wood skewer – If wood soak in water for at least 10min.     *Prosuitto (Sliced Thin)

Creating the Dalandan Vin.

Grilling the shrimp, Nice grill marks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interacting and teaching the students!

Through my eyes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plating the dish!

Composing individual salad!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final plate!

Composed, individual plate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Honored to receive Award from University Chef’s

Award!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To end it all I had a really great time!  This was a new experience for me in my professional development in this crazy thing that I do!  I am deeply honored and thankful  to everyone at the University of Baguio for inviting me into their world and letting me share this great art of being a Chef with their students and staff.  Doing so well, I have been asked to return back to do a 3 day culinary course; I am looking forward until that day!

SALAMAT & KEEP COOKING!!!!!!!

*************See the University of Baguio write up here http://fb.me/tEgQeEYd **************