Tuesday, April 26, 2011


We have many people come to the hotel, which the catering department wants to wine and dine them for potential business. It is our job as chefs to meet that request from catering to produce many beautiful menus. We recently did one of our many FAM dinners that we have comming down the line.
Sous Vide Ossobucco, Logan's Turnpike Polenta, Deconstructed Gremolata, Parsley Puree

White Bean Tortellini, spring vegetables, roasted vegetable jus

Not shown in picture is the first course, which was Tuna "Nicoise Salad".. tomato fondue, heircot verts, olive soil.

Friday, April 15, 2011

VIP Summer Menu Final

Well after days of ordering and prep, we finally finished the summer tasting menu that we will do for site visits and VIP events. We tweaked and changed a few things from the initial menu but everything came out pretty good. A few things we are going to change once the summer time comes around and more product becomes available. We have many VIP FAM events coming up during the next few weeks, one of which was tonight (i will post the menu and some pics later.)
Tuna Two Ways...summer corn air, red pepper fluid gel, bruniose fava/heirloom tomato, olive-caper vinaigrette, micro anise blossom.

Melon "Minestrone"...Cavallion melon consomme, compressed Cherante melon, compressed watermelon, compressed watermelon radish, cucumber-mint cubes, pickled watermelon radish, lemon verbena oil, micro spearmint.

Grilled Dorade.. Adirondack pink potato, garbanzo beans, white asparagus, crooked neck squash, heirloom carrot, spring garlic powder, and micro tropical spinach.

Pork Two Ways... Braised and pressed shoulder, sous vide and smoked loin, Logan's Turnpike polenta, white peach gastrique, brunoise peach and artichoke, artichoke barigoule, blistered heirloom tomato, peach chip and micro midnight spice.

Over the next few weeks we will be creating our Autumn menu and the same process.... Alot of prep, working with great prducts and showcasing our talents. I will post all the FAM dinner pics over the next few weeks as well.

Monday, April 4, 2011

VIP Summer Menu

Today we did our brainstorming for the summer VIP tasting menu, we all brought our ideas to the table with the executive sous of the hotel. I wanted to make sure that this time I put as much input and come with some great dishes and ideas for this summer menu. Many of my ideas were put on the menu and the first course is my dish that I created. All the ideas that were put on this menu, I feel were great, some tweaking on a few things and we should be a go. Being that it was 87 degrees today in central Florida, we probably should tweak everything soon! Anyway, always fun to come together with other chefs and brainstorm for hours about different ways to twist, play, tweak and manipulate food all for the satisfaction of creating dishes.
Here's the tentative menu, I will post the final menu, the development and pictures when we make them.

Ivory Salmon Crudo... summer corn air, red pepper fluid gel, fava beans, heirloom tomato, olive-caper vinaigrette, black olive dust, and garnished with a caper flower.

Melon "Minestrone"... cavaillo "consomme", Charente melon, cucumber-mint noodle, compressed watermelon radish, lemon verbena oil.

Grilled Rouget... Oca Rosa pink potato silk, garbanzo beans, spring garlic powder, micro tropical spinach

Pork²... braised shoulder, sous vide and smoked loin, Logan's Turnpike polenta, baby purple artichokes barigoule, black cherry "soil", peach gastrique.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

VIP Winter Menu

When you work at a restaurant that is corporately owned that leeway to change the menu or items is very difficult. Chef and I try to alleviate that annoyance with weekly specials that go above what we "normally" do at the restaurant. While I have been here only 5 months, we have written down countless dishes that we would like to create. Wreck fish with farro, braised short ribs with organic veg, ramp tagliatelle, fava ravioli with morel ragu. So we were approached by the Executive Chef of the resort and were told we had to create a winter menu for VIP people and events at the restaurant. Initially we created what we thought he would want for this restaurant so I didn't really utilize much modern techniques. Come to find out it was just a test of our collective minds and he already had a menu in place he wanted us to do. PREP PREP PREP PREP and then the tasting of the 4 course VIP winter menu.
Carne Crudo - Waygu Beef, Truffle Salsa, Parmesan 2 Ways(Disk and Kiss) Oyster Mush.

Zuppa - Prosciutto and Fennel Soup, Fregola, Razor Clams, Baby Turnips

Canestrelli - Nantucket Bay Scallops, Braised Endive, Pomegranate, Pistachios 3 Ways

Bistecca - 50-Day Aged Waygu, Bone Marrow Panzanella, Heirloom Tomato, Sunchoke Vin.

The prep put into this menu was well worth it, great opportunity to utilize other ingredients that aren't a regular thing. We now have a meeting in 2 weeks to create a VIP summer menu, which may be the same situation as this one, but I will be ready with a great menu of my own if it's not.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Prior to my vacation we had a VIP function which required us to create a cheese platter, passed apps, and wines to pair with them. We stay traditional with Italian cheeses, which in my opinion isn't a bad choice since I am a huge cheese lover. We started with:
Gorgonzola- A cow's milk cheese, streaked with bluish-green veins, rich and creamy with a pungent flavor.

Biancosardo- A sheep's milk cheese, earthy, sweet and nutty flavor.

Fiore Sardo- A sheep's milk cheese, a firm cheese with a slight similar profile like Parmigiano.

Caciocavallo- A sheep or cow's milk cheese, hard edible rind, tear drop shape, an aged provolone.

Once we received all the cheese, we let them sit out and come up to temperature so that the full flavor could be achieved. We added some dried fruit and candied walnuts that I made the night before, overall the cheese display went great and we got a lot of requests for a cheese platter on the menu.

OF COURSE........... Ask and we will deliver, so chef and I played with the plate up and we added some toasted cibatta bread 2 ways. 1 was with honey and the other was with minced thyme and roasted garlic oil. We also added some Cherve and used it 3 ways, which was with a Chianti gastriqe, herb rolled and regular. Simple,but great flavors.

On a side note I added two more hot sauces to my collection from other countries.
Busha Browne's Pukka Pepper Sauce (Jamaica)- Intense vinegar taste, really spicy and thick.

Walkerswood Jonkanoo Pepper Sauce (Jamaica)- Full of flavor heat, but mellows out.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ravenous Pig, Part Deux

First off we have been extremely busy at the restaurant the past week and a half. 510on Saturday, 485 Sunday, 450 Monday and then 380 Tuesday. The Executive Chef, myself and the other Sous Chef have to come up with 5 seasonal menus for VIP functions at the restaurant within the next week. In between all of that I still managed to get to the Ravenous Pig for lunch again. We started off with two apps this time which were the House made pretzels with Talaggio Fondue and whole grain mustard.
We also tried the Lobster Tacos, avocado creme, pickled jalapenos. The tempura batter on the lobster was very light and flavorful.
This time I was faced with the same problem that plagued me the first time; The dish I wanted was 86'ed!!!! Instead I tried what I felt would be the next best thing which was the Grilled Steak Torta. Medium Rare steak, a white cheddar omelet, avocado relish, garlic aioli on a toasted baguette and washing it down with a pint of Highland Gaelic Ale from Ashville, NC.

Monday, February 14, 2011


First and for most I would like to thank all those who have help me get this blog off and running. I now have reached over 1,000 page views in just a short amount of time, I look forward to continuously cataloguing my work and the work of others in and around my area. With that being said I will catalogue the next dish of mine which we recently put on the menu. We got some Wreckfish in and also alot of Hammock Hollow Farms produce like organic baby spinach, romanesco, purple cauliflower. The final product was Wreckfish...purple cauliflower puree, beet reduction, roasted romanesco, farro salad (tomato, cucumber, roasted red peppers), and spinach pudding.
I had some samples from Anjimoto of Activa RM, GS and Ti. I did a demo , teaching the cooks and even the executive chef on how to use it and some ideas we can play around with. I made a roulade out of some Wreckfish belly and scraps we had and used some Activa GS, came out nice and tight. Its always a nice feeling teaching others about food and food techniques and challenging them to be more creative.

Wreckfish "Scallops"

People always ask chefs, since you make all this fancy food at work do you make that kind of stuff at home too? The answer is sometimes, there have been plenty of times I have gone out of my way to make a really awesome dinner and then there are times when just a burger would suffice. The Superbowl I went in the middle of "fine dinning" and "casual", and made sliders. I got some ground beef, pork and chicken and did three different types of sliders for the big game.

The final products were:
Beef.. jalapeno, smoked bacon, aged cheddar, caramelized onions, guldens mustard
Pork.. Escevhiche(Spanish pickled onions), plantain, spiced ketchup, baby red oak
Chicken.. grilled tomato, arugula, remoulade, Myer lemon
The next time I had off we decided to make tacos which is one of my wife's favorite things since I put some much effort into making them minus making fresh corn tortillas. I decided to get some beef, braised it, and made some Avocado creme, black bean/roasted corn salsa, queso fresco and some pico di gallo to dip the chips in..
On a final note, I was informed that my housewife recipe was the best one out of 14 other recipes and that I will be going up on the website first. You can take a look, and get the recipe by visiting this site within the next few weeks: