The Holidays are getting closer, but I will try to also snap some shots of what we do at the restaurant when I can (when my charcuterie is at a standstill) in order to have topics to post about. It is slowly starting to pick back up with the families starting to trickle in(Disney World is a busy time during the holidays), so don't know what I'll be able snap shots of. Nevertheless I will try my best.

Tonight the Sous Chef, Danny (a.k.a. Richard) was brainstorming and came up with this pasta which allowed us to utilize product we had lying around the kitchen. We get crazy amounts of organic produce from Hammock Hollows Herb Farm based out of Gainesville, Fl, but never know what he is going to send us. Today we had 8 cases of organic greens come in consisting of Red Romaine, Arugula, Carolina Mustard Greens, Blue Tuscan Cale, Baby Collard Greens, Mizuna, and also cases of Sunburst Tangerines and HUGE!!! Meyer Lemons (I have to try to remember to snap a shot of them... they are seriously bigger than naval oranges). We also get beautiful root vegetables, such as turnips, watermelon radishes, and kohlrabi from them. But back to the pasta....

So the Chef's pasta special tonight was 'Confit Chicken Thigh, House Pappardelle, Truffle Cream, Fall Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula, and Glazed Turnips.' It came out really nice. The great thing about running the Chef's Pasta special is that with the amount of great produce we get in, the possibilities are endless.

Pickle Crazy

It was a few months back for my third wedding anniversary that my wife and I traveled up to Charleston, South Carolina. We stayed in a hotel just outside of town, but spent most of our time in downtown.

The first day we were there, we were lucky enough to have been greeted by the Sunday morning Farmer's Market. It was awesome!!! There was great food, crafts, produce.... I mean, what an experience. Later that night we had dinner at McCrady's restaurant, and it was a wonderful meal prepared by Chef Sean Brock's staff(if your ever in the Charleston area you must go). But one thing that I had noticed while at the farmers market, and that stood out to me while dining at McCrady's was all of the different pickled items. What a great way to add contrast and/or balance to a dish. You can have salty, sweet, sour or fermented pickles.

So, needless to say, the next day when my wife and I went shopping I bought a couple of old southern pickling books and have been at it ever since. If there is anything lying around the restaurant unspoken for, you better believe I'll take it in a heartbeat. Here are some of the things that we have done. Once again, most of these pictures were taken with my cell phone, so apologies for the quality.

From left to right:
Balsamic/Port Cherries, Spicy Vanilla Cherries, Gooseberry Preserves, Pickled Sunchokes.

From left to right:
Spicy Mango Vinegar, Hasta la Pasta Squash Preserves, More Gooseberry's, Longpepper Cherries.

From left to right:
Sweet Pickle Chips, Chef Windus' Schichimi Carrots.

Pickled Organic Okra

Pickled Hot Peppers


So Chef Windus told me the other day that he is planning on clearing off some land he has. I'm pretty stoked about it. He told me that he plans on raising pigs at first, and then seeing how it goes from there. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of farm to table and buying local produce, however am a bigger fan of MEAT. So, I will be helping him clear off the land and hopefully will be able to have my hand in a good bit of learning how to raise the pigs and will be able to help as well. I'll probably do some mini posts about it, but it can be followed to the full extent @bluechef. Here is picture that Chef took of the land.