Sunday, April 24, 2011

For the last five months I have been working in Park City Utah doing my externship for school. The externship is a five month intern for a well established restaurant or resort that a student works for. My externship was at Stein Eriksen Lodge with executive Chef Chef Zane Holmquist a graduate of the CIA. Deer valley "the mountains in P.C." is the ski destination for world travelers and is home to some of the best snow in the US.

Stein Eriksen is the largest kitchen i have ever worked in . The Kitchens range from the lunch line, apres ski line, and dinner line, there is a room service kitchen , a banquet kitchen, a pastry ine, and a bake shop. the employment for all of these kitchens range from 60 - 80 people just for the kitchens and can hold 50 people for one shift this does not include servers , bussers , dish washers , or management. Its quite a site to see the ins and outs of how service works.Masses of people moving around each other with blazing hot kitchen materials or trey of food, avoiding to get into each others way. an average day for breakfast buffet and lunch can run from 200-600 people so prep is sometimes carried through service depending what is needed. As one of many externs the rotation to different stations is important to get good exposure to how things are running. You could be on action station which is a par cooked buffet that sits on the dinning floor , The menu changes daily and depending on what it is we cook the items fully with an electric stove top and saute pan . These menus range from, an omelet station, Philly steak sandwiches, fajita days , dim sum day, stir fry day and so forth . these stations will be decorated to the the themed food and all different types of condiments, parings , and sauces will be maid for guest. Another station is the room service kitchen where one does there daily prep of making sauces ,heating soups, toasting croutons, and setting up there low boys " fridges". On average the room service is generally not as busy but the menu is much more fancy cuisine , and takes little longer than normal . During Christmas i served more kids food than i could imagine that consisted of chicken fingers, and hamburgers, pb & j's ,small pizzas and all sorts of fruit assortments. The lunch line consist of a grill cook saute cook "generally the chef",and a pantry position. all externs were on the pantry station that made salads, sandwiches, kids food , and was in charge of the fryer.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

its 3:25am and im in my new home in Utah . Sleep has been on my mind for the last couple of hours, laying in bed i understand that it will come but when ? so i decided to write, sleeps over rated any ways . Utah ... what can i say its seems so foreign and yet the feeling is familiar from living in Lexington ky , Seattle wa , Hyde PARK ny , I just dont know yet, theres no synopsis just questions and pieces that will later fall in to place . Very cold for sure and where i live is not in walking distance from the main strip , but everyone i live with has a car ill just miss the independence in a coffee shop or bar . so i know this is short very chaotic and probably not the best post but im tired and tired of not sleeping so wish and pray for my sleep but all is well and on its way which in ways is more exciting . wow im tired

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Matt Comes Home To Cook

I am briefly hacking Matt's blog to show that his trip home brought him to all parts of Southern California, including a Metrolink train, that sent him further east than any of us should ever need to go. Making a brief stop in Long Beach, he cooked for some friends and his two sisters, one of which is writing this. On a Wednesday morning waking to the smells of coffee brewing and the sound of bell peppers hissing from the flame of the stove, we watched Matt wield his knife, roast tomatoes and talk of his experiences at school. He made us breakfast pizza, which if you have not had I highly recommend. Take everything you like about pizza and breakfast, a little more than half way through crack some eggs on top and it looks something like this.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My time at school is flying by so quickly i feel so distant from where i started , theres some familiar faces but its almost never enough to make any real connection. School is interesting for the reasons of a new class starts every three weeks and one older class graduates its a rotating door that never seems constant . Im happy being here i just think that i get anxious to see where im at , so far from home, surrounded by the Hudson valleys beauty and remote location , and by a sea of people whom love food or love the food network. I intend on making this world mine , im just puzzled and curious to see how this step will guide or aid me in doing so . confused puzzled and feeling as if my world is incomplete ,on my way , or on my way out time will tell i just observe and take stock in peace of mind, the chicken scratch of my thoughts on paper are not grim but truthful

Monday, June 21, 2010

Its 9.43am and light sneaks its way through my blinds , the Hudson sits reflecting the sun off its back. My first day of a production kitchen is well on its way and surely ill feel it really sink in once i have my coffee. "Seattle Habits" Viewing the Hudson moving constantly is a nice vacation off your mind, you forget for a little that you cant walk anywhere ,and all your friends and family are half way across the country ...its a nice distraction. well wish me luck and i hope to write soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

i must apologize The sun has kept me from any new post. Waking up to see the warm sunshine reflecting off the Hudson river is amazing. Hearing West Point and Vassar Crew teams gliding against the water was once an annoyance but now a welcomed daily tradition. It has been the turning point in the understanding why people live and have homes out here. It was a hard idea to swallow knowing one of the largest and coolest epicenters of the world is two hours away . ITs a clear understanding people like separation either living here daily or your vacation home away from the city.I can understand why people enjoy the Hudson valley whether its the small town atmosphere , Old Industrial history , the amazing (mostly locally driven) foods, or just how epic the scenery is . A month ago i couldn't fathom the idea of staying but as the weather changes , so does the attitude.
This weekend was spent outside ,a group of friends and myself basked in the sun at the Vanderbilt mansion . There we laid like seals in the hot sun trying to remember the last time it was available on the weekend . Throwing the Frisbee ,running around the tall grass , cheering the numerous glasses of wine in celebration for the dry alcohol never tasted better in the scenery and company of each other. We Listened to music ,philosophizing about life and what is to come of it, through are past and the directions we would like to head. I painted trying to use the facets of my surrounding searching for inspiration ,and to transcend the excitement of jubilation on to canvas. I had expressed there was nothing to do here in Hyde Park which is still true ,however what i realized is that this small town offers a slow pace of life i had not really delved into. It strikes me a little off when i right this ,but the simplicity of good company in a nice surrounding made it much more enjoyable. Not having to look at a watch, no emails, no deadline or homework to worry about was as much physically as well as mentally calming .I can only hope to never forget the simplicity of disconnection ; for i know that the stress of this world will continually try to lead us astray .
That night we went to dinner at the Rhinebeck Inn one of the oldest inn's of America . We were treated with a level of respect and generosity that i have never known . The Executive Chef was a CIA Grad. and welcomed us to a few samplers with a wine pair for each cheese , cracker, preserve , and moosh boosh (teeny tiny food). I had not ever had the chance to hear what inspired the layout of a menu, and why it was. We started out with (the Tower) it was a three leveled platter that was filled with all sorts of culinary treats. Smoked cured salmon with fried capers some sort of tartar sauce on little pieces of soft toast, miniature short ribs with meat that was so tender it fell right off the bone, beer battered home made onion rings and cod fried fillets, home maid chips, bacon ale macaroni and cheese, and cheeses and jellys were every where it was awesome. It was a general consensus that we were all going to eat some of each others food so we could all equally enjoy the food with out having to hold back any description or flavor. I ordered calves liver with confit onions and frisee salad ,i thought there would be a good chance of an introduction to a new protein there and felt adventurous for it. My pal Brian ordered the casuelay which was packed with Salmon , salted Cod, and shell fish in a yellow broth . My other friends Jake and his girlfriend Liz ordered the 170z Rib eye that had a puree of foe gras and black truffles with fried onions on top "amazing" . It was the first time being able to enjoy a beautiful decadent , meal with people my age whom truly appreciated the service and finesse of the culinary application. We ended the night with sticky bottom toffee ,it looked like a simple bread that had been cooked in a mini cast iron pan , however it was everything the perfect meal needed to be finished off with . every little morsel of that bread was an explosion of flavor and sweetness that gave you a better out look on life. Any person that took a spoonful of that dessert felt good about where they were in life . We paid the bill and enjoyed the rest of the night in what i can only refer to a swollen state of bliss . That night i rested my head on the pillow wondering of all my friends and family back home , falling asleep i said silently "im on my way"

Monday, March 22, 2010

Its been awhile since sitting at my desk looking at this blank blog entry where i look for things to mention ,how this new setting has so many different things ,but what to mention still haunts my brain. Well coming from Seattle weather is always appropriate . last weekend was amazing the sun graced us with its presence and warmth, kids were running around neglecting homework and taking advantage of the energy that comes with that. On Friday we celebrate the weeks end and people are moving in every direction except academia ,on Saturday we rehydrate and try to find any remaining students stuck on campus to hang with ,on Sunday you understand the mistakes of your procrastination and you buckle down hitting the books again. Today being Monday and a gray ,rainy ,wet Monday at that is perfect to find your focus on school. I'm still finding myself figuring out this place , Its not very confusing ,or hard to navigate ,but still keeps your eyes alive with little bits of information ,and mysterys unraveled. I know that by the time i don't have any rocks unturned ill be bored out of my mind but when this obstacle comes all be ready , or swamped with school.
Its truly a beautiful place ,but truly different i cant wait for spring if only to see what is next, i wont hold my breathe ,but i will keep you posted take care all , i hope i find some inspiration to guide me through this literary journey .