September and October were busy months in R & D. Carl and I traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to talk to guests about four new breakfast ideas. During focus group research, we invite six to eight guests who are recruited for five different sessions throughout a two day period
Bringing the Heat with Hot Chilies
In Mexico, the word “chile” simply means pepper. While the majority of the chiles used in Mexican cuisine are spicy (hot), a chile can be sweet as well. I want to focus on the hot chiles and talk about where they are hottest and why.
Eating Internationally with Friends
I grew up in a blended ethnicity family, third or fourth generation in the United States, with not much of our original ethnic connection left. My grandmother made Polish sausage for the holidays, but after she left that went away. I am not sure if it is missing those iconic ethnic food connections I grew up with or just my overall passion for food and its roots, but when someone cooks and teaches me about their “home food,” I am humbled.
Discovering Austin, TX Food Trucks
My last visit to Food trucks | wilbertbaan | Flickr
Austin was unfortunately the week after the city had been taken over by South by Southwest. I may of missed this amazing music festival but had another amazing opportunity to experience the city's eclectic, taco trendy and tasty cuisine!
I know there have been many books published about life lessons we learned in kindergarten. Here’s another life lesson I never learned in culinary school but should have: never pass by a restaurant that has a pig on the roof.
Every year the city of Cheyenne hosts Cheyenne Frontier Days. For 10 days, the old west is brought back to modern day where daily rodeos, night concerts, carnivals, and many more activities that capture the Wild West are celebrated. It is a pretty big deal that has been a tradition since 1897.
At a recent chefs convention I had the chance to visit an avocado grove just outside of San Diego. Mike Sanders and Chris Ambuul are the owners of the grove. I always find after visiting the source, my appreciation for all the effort it takes to grow almost anything increases. The Haas avocado is a true California native, although it is grown in other parts of the world. All trees are the kin of one tree founded by Southern California mail carrier and amateur horticulturist, Rudolph Haas. We actually have his kids to thank because Rudolph bought three trees, and after a while thought one tree wasn’t doing as well and was ready to pull it out. His kids said, “Dad, have you tried the fruit from that tree? It’s delicious,” and the Haas avocado was born.
Paletas are frozen fruit pops on a stick, similar to our Popsicles but made from the freshest fruit of the season. There are two types of paletas: Paletas de Agua, which are typically made of fresh fruit, water and sweetener (typically sugar) and Paletas de Leche or Paletas de Crema, which are made of milk or cream with fresh fruit and/or flavorings like nuts, chocolate, etc.
Rubs are seasoning mixtures rubbed on meats before grilling to boost flavors; they could be spicy or smoky, etc. The best rubs enhance the flavor of the meat without being overbearing and are often blends of strong and mild spices and herbs. When you add oil or another wet substance, it is called a wet rub.