Showing posts with label cook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cook. Show all posts

May 9, 2011

A Casual Sunday Lunch on the Subway

People from a razor, a shiny knife, a New York restaurant, have done one of the most original pop-up restaurants I have come across...

Prepare a 6-course dinner and serve it out to guests in under 30 minutes... on a New York subway train. Tables were created by hanging them from overhead bars you normally hold on to. At each stop, a waiter would get on and serve the next course and remove the previous one. In the end, guests even received their $100 back because they said it had been more of an experiment and a test to see if it could be done. Brilliant!

December 4, 2010

5-course Menu d'Aquitaine

As part of my exam at the "academie voor Gastronomie" in de Echoput near Apeldoorn, where I took a course all of last year, I have to create a 5-course meal with accompanying wines. At first I only had random ideas of things I like to eat or know how to make well. Then I had trouble figuring out an overall theme to the menu, something that ties all together. Then I could think of a theme or common idea but had no clue about the wines to go with the food.

And then it dawned on me: the region where my parent live, where we used to go on vacation when I was a kid and the Bordeaux region is sometimes referred to as L'Aquitaine region! So... that will be my theme. I can make canard from the Sud-Ouest where my parents are. I have the wines from that region, but also the Bordeaux-like wines from Bergerac. And I have the dishes and seafood I used to eat while on vacation on Ile d'Oléron with the fabulous Pineau de Charente. So I set out creating my courses and used seasonal vegetables of regional combinations and sauces that I like. And the result is on Google Docs. Sorry folks, it is in Dutch. If you'ld like a translation, just contact me. I'll be happy to explain. But wait until after Monday!

In the end, finding the wines was the hardest. What I did was decide on which type of wine would go with a dish and then I'ld search on Internet to find wines in that category, appélation (AOC, AVA) or château. It was surprisingly easy finding an actual bottle that matched my description. At first I had chosen the Bordeaux Clairet to go with the terrine of duck liver. But I couldn't find a good white Bordeaux to go with the "ris de veau". Until realized I could match the Clairet with the "ris de veau" and simply pick a good white for the terrine. I chose an AOC Bergerac. The red (La pie Colette) that goes with the "magrêt de canard" is one I actually bought and brought with me, after doing my intern at Restaurant des Deux Lacs last Summer. So that one was easy and fixed. 

Now wish me luck for Monday! And oh, I only have to make one dish, not all. I choose the Moules Charentaise and I practiced them tonight. Went well. Found a solution for the runny sauce. ;)

August 9, 2010

An introduction to my "cooking" course

I had been playing with the idea for a while already when the owner and founder of the Academie voor Gastronomie approached me and asked if I would like to help out. They had seen my pictures of each day in class and were wondering if I'd be willing to lend them for publicity purposes. They thought it would make a great promotion for the course and give a clear idea of what went on. I thought about mini-websites, blogs and other fancy shit, when finally ending up at a clean and simple solution: a book! Online for candidates, hard copy for classmates.

So I agreed and put together a Blurb book with pictures from the first 12 lessons and added some explanatory text. Check out the preview:

April 13, 2010

Beemster Lusthof

Last weekend, a friend from the academy, where I am taking my course to become cuisinier/host, asked me to help him out. He had to cook a 5-course menu for members of the Beemster Lusthof. It's a cooperation of local farmers, beekeepers, etc. from a special region in Holland - called de Beemster - that grows bio-products. Everything from cows, sheep, milk, cheese and yogurt to honey, fruit, jams, beer, flour, corn and vegetables. The menu was to be created using only their own local, fresh, bio-grown products. My friend, Ronald Roos, needed some help because everything was going to be prepared on-site and the group was a bit too large for one cook.

The day was a lot of fun and very educational. Both logistically as well as food-wise. We had 5 hrs to prepare everything (!) from scratch: roasts slow-cooked "au bain marie" until done; vegetable bouillon, lam, tiny meat balls, a terrine from carrots, mashed potato and French toast for desert. In the end, everything went fine and the guests were very happy. We were both exhausted, though, after standing on our feet for more than 12 hours! O_o I'll have pictures up on smugmug soon...

Update: pictures are up on smugmug

March 19, 2010

Becoming a "gastronoom" at the Echoput

I've been steadily uploading photos from my course "Turbo opleiding Cuisinier/Gastronoom" at the De Echoput in Apeldoorn, so you can get an idea of what I do there: check it out.

March 5, 2010

Echoput - day 3

I've uploaded photos from Echoput - day 3 to Smugmug. This time we focused on making fonds, the base for all sauces. We made fresh fish fond from Tarbot scraps and veal fond, which the restaurant will finish cooking for us. And we had a lesson on the difference between wine that had time to air first and the same one without air, straight from the bottle. BIG difference. So think about that. However, leaving the cork off won't do a whole lot. Decant it in a nice carafe or something.

February 17, 2010

Education at "De echoput"

Last Monday, I had my first lesson for the year-long course "Cuisinier and Host". It's a brand new course for people in the food/restaurant business or thinking of going into it. It combines parts of a chef, host and sommelier into one intensive course. Because these professions can all benefit from one another when they know more about the other, without having to be excellent in the others.

The course is given at the Echoput in Apeldoorn and organized by the Dutch Academy for Gastronomy. There was so much to remember, write down and talk about that I forgot to take pictures regularly. But I have a few online. I'll update the gallery as the year progresses.

New photos online

I've uploaded new sets of photos last night. For one, the pictures from Morgins and snowboarding there. Had a great time, but sadly nothing seems to be able to compete with the snow I've had when visiting Ed in Colorado in 2008. It's just plain and simple here.
I also updated an album of Capo Cucina, where I have a monthly cooking class. We usually do Italian cuisine, but this year we opted for Vietnamese on occasion. I uploaded our first Vietnamese session.

January 14, 2010

Career change: Gastheer-Cuisinier

Just before NYE, I decided to opt for a possible career change in a few years. I've always wanted to learn more about the restaurant business, cooking, being a host/maitre d' ;) but couldn't really find a good place to try it. Then I did: the 'academie voor gastronomie' in Holland created just that type of year-long course: Turbo opleiding Gastheer-Cuisinier.

There was an open house last Tuesday and I went there. It was everything I hoped it to be and the other people were nice and diverse from all kins of backgrounds. So that should prove educational in all ways. The course will start Feb 8th, not next week as I first thought. They are trying to seek official approval with the bodies that can decide these things, bu either way: a certificate from this institute will get quite the attention. Nationally as well as internationally. Granted, it's the Gordon Bleue in Paris, but just right for me!

December 28, 2009

Academie voor Gastronomie

2009 was bad year. But instead of looking back too much (already did that), fo 2010 I want to focus more on myself, what I want, like and love and food, cooking, chef, being a host is definitely a big part of that. So whereas last year around this time I had decided to follow a course for becoming a chef at the local ROC, this year my ambition is higher and I'm signing up for a crash course for chefs, sommeliers and hosts at the Academie voor Gastronomie near Apeldoorn.

The course will be the first step on my way to becoming a chef and own a lunchroom somewhere in the world. Don't really care where, not really. Location and placing are more important, besides I've been meaning on leaving Holland for the last 10 years anyway. This is a good excuse. :)

November 2, 2009

HTC confirmed to be cooking up Android 2.0 update for Hero

htc hero android
With Motorola's DROID coming, HTC is a bit jealous and confirmed to be cooking up an Android 2.0 update for Hero. I had a Hero in my fingers while in Singapore, but didn't like the feel and the form-factor. However, if you just bought one and are happy with, it would be a shame to have to buy a whole new phone just to get Android 2.0. So I'm glad HTC will release an upgrade.

October 4, 2009

On the way to Thailand

Well, after a week with my friends Michiel and Molina in Singapore it's time to move on. I need to get away from the city, the heat and the people. Just want to quiet and peace of mind to settle my nerves and thoughts. It's been a weird and hecktic, stressful year so far. Need to unwind, no matter how much I enjoyed Singapore and their hospitality. Was lucky to participate in a Moon Festival celebration with Chinese friends of my friends. Home-cooked dinner, marvelous house, friendly people, lantern walk though the neighborhood... it was excellent and soo different from anything else in the week. Great ending of a wonderful stay. Thanks! I'll try to upload some pics soon...

Now on way to Krabi, through Bangkok. Flight was delayed and had mechanical troubles. So I missed my connection here on Bangkok. :( Had to go through customs and check back in. Sadly, I had to pay the difference for a new ticket because I had not allowed enough time (3 hrs) between my flights. Thieves! ;) Didn't read that anywhere on th website. Complain later... However, now I got to eat some Thai lunch and surf the Net for an hour. So there are good things and bad things. Win some, loose some. :) And the difference was only 588 bath, which is just over €10 so what am I whining about! ;)

Read the Lonely Planet on Thailand on the plane and decided to stay in Krabi for a night. Then plan my day accordingly and charter a 1.5 hr boatride to Railey Beach. Or perhaps goto Phi Phi after all. I'll see...

September 19, 2009

Capo Cucina

Wednesday was my monthly cooking workshop with a group of guys I met through Marc. we gather at Capo Cucina where chef Romano teaches us Italian cooking and shows us tips and tricks during preparation! Have a bunch of our work in progress up on SmugMug.

September 7, 2009

Netherlands wins 2 gold at Asia Culinary Cup 2009

The Dutch team "Nationaal Team" has won 2 gold medals at the int'l Asia Culinary Cup in Bangkok, Thailand. The team of Wynand Vogel won in the categories 'Cold Buffet' and 'a la minute'. Source: Misset Horeca

August 23, 2009

Culinary Antwerp

mussels with ricard and cream
Went to Antwerp yesterday with friends and visited Culinair Antwerpen, also known as the "Bollekesfeest" after the shape of the official glas for De Koninck beer that is made here. Was a beautiful day with Michel, Marleen and Marianne. Thanks guys! My favorites were the mussels with a Ricard&cream sauce and the Poll Fabaire crémant from Luxembourg. Yummie!

Uploaded a few early photos to my smug. More to follow.

August 21, 2009

QUAKE LIVE - Linux and OS X

Ladies en gentlemen: they got 'em! :)
QUAKE LIVE is now out for Linux and Mac OS X (Safari only so far, due to bug in Mozilla 3.5). w00t

Today is a good day to die! Too bad I gotta cook now :(

August 10, 2009

Cooking again!

Last week of Juli, Dee called me saying her brother - the chef - at Square had been getting rid of some people and was looking for good and dependable people again. So I went and talked, got €12/hr and started working on Thursday and Friday again! :)

Thankfully, the vacation makes a bit better to get "broken in" because it can get really busy there. So far, I've had a nice couple of evenings and am already starting to get the hang of it. Amazing, how much I've actually learned already over the past 2 years. :)

I also kinda decided that I'll seriously look into opening my own lunchroom somewhere. In Utrecht, there is a perfect spot appearing. Might be good, might not. I could even sublet my house, rent a small place somewhere else and just try it. I love cooking so much, having the lunchroom seems inevitable.

July 29, 2009

Aquarium update


Last weekend, I did some more work on my tank and now it looks a bit like a real aquarium. Albeit a little deserted. This weekend it's time to get more fish and plants and try to give it its final look before getting the rest of the fish mid next month.

Strangely, I discovered some gunk growing on the decorative wood I put in. I realized I had forgotten to clean it, so I quickly removed it and scrubbed in clean. A day later, it was back. So I called the store and asked them and they said it's normal and harmless. If I wanna get rid of it, cook the wood in some water and scrub it or pour boiling water over it. It would disappear anyway on its own. Hmmm, all right we'll see.

Update: the 'Net also says the white fungus growing on the wood is harmless. *sigh*

July 23, 2009

Restaurant Square

I will be a (part-time) chef again at Square in Den Haag at "het Plein", right in the backyard of the Dutch parliament. It's a nice place but management has its issues. They try though. So it's not the best places, but my old friends Daniel (chef), Deborah and Gio from Doen! are there and for 2 days it's good enough. Gonna work Thursday and Friday evenings. Busy times but that's what I want to learn anyway. The rhythm of the kitchen when the going gets tough, I can handle the rest. How do you optimize? Where to cut corners and where not (NOT the quality!).

Should be interesting and I'll be tired on the weekend again. But I can sleep in on Friday morning, so that's important. Yey!

July 19, 2009

BBC - MasterChef

I know there are a few cooking and kitchen related programs on TV these days. But I'm am baffled by Twitter storm related to BBC - MasterChef! O_o psych! It looks all right and original (how come BBC keeps coming up with these amazing good ideas?!) and the things the amateur chefs have to do are simply astonishing, James! Totally stupendous! Wonder if RTL/SBS/NET will license it here in Holland. ;)

update: hype is over the Australian version