"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Menu Planning > Special Events Planning & Holiday Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-23-2006, 07:19 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
Latin Fiesta

I work for a large dining service in the campus division. There are 3 major universities in my division with a total of 4 executive chefs (Me and three others), 2 chef managers, and 2 sous chefs...and a plethora of assorted prep cooks, etc..

We used to host a chef from either Europe or South America to tour our kitchens and serve our customers. They made native dishes using their own recipes. (My company had to foot the bills for all this...but hey, they're huge) This all worked out wonderfully until last term when the visiting chef from Chile racked up a series of hotel charges, private transportation charges dining charges to the tune of $15,000 in just under 2 weeks.

This year, marketing has come up with a new idea. It's a cross between a throwdown and an iron chef competition. Between the 6 chefs, we're going to go to different campuses and compete against each other. It's worked out that I am competing in all 8 competitions, while the other chefs get to rotate more loosely. I should say I'm the only female chef, so I guess they need me to make it more interesting.

Anyway, the first one is on Sept. 21 and the theme is Latin Fiesta in honour of Hispanic Heritage month.

I'm very comfortable with all types of ethnic cooking, but since this is a competition, I'd like to have some lead time to get the feel of how a dish should finish.

This is where you come in. I've got a professional kitchen to work in, a decent size staff to work with and a good size budget, to a point. I'm either going to have an entree station (which would include sides), a grill station, or a charcuterie station. I am not sure if dessert or soup will be included, but I'd not turn away from either of those.

Can you throw any links or ideas my way? Being the only woman in the competition, naturally, I want to kick some testosterone. Thanks

ps..chefJune, I'll be right around the corner from you on the 21st!

__________________

__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 07:28 PM   #2
The Dude Abides
 
TATTRAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bermuda Native in D.C./NoVA
Posts: 5,324
Send a message via AIM to TATTRAT Send a message via Yahoo to TATTRAT Send a message via Skype™ to TATTRAT
I would for sure do an upscale paellea(sp?). Always a crowd pleaser. Lots of chirrizo and shell fish, some dark meat chicken, I'm sure you know the deal...


Sounds like you have a neat job. I get tired of the same Hotels.
__________________

__________________
flickr
TATTRAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 07:51 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
Paella! wonderful, I even have a pan here at home to work with. I've seen some huge paella pans in mags and on line. I'd love to get one of those big ones. More than likely, I'll have to prepare for 300-500.

The job is great. I love the daily challenges and getting to new or different accounts is always like a field trip or like when we had assembly in school.

Thanks for the idea.
__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 07:56 PM   #4
The Dude Abides
 
TATTRAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bermuda Native in D.C./NoVA
Posts: 5,324
Send a message via AIM to TATTRAT Send a message via Yahoo to TATTRAT Send a message via Skype™ to TATTRAT
I also love to do pork shoulders...marinate with sazon, chimmichuri, lime, onion, vineagar, a little liquid smoke( or whatever floats your boat) for a day or three, then either slow cook wraped in banana leaves for hours on end, or par cook, cube and deep fry for some bomb a** carnitas.
__________________
flickr
TATTRAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 08:10 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
how hard will it be to get my hands on banana leaves? Think my produce guy will have em?
__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2006, 08:33 PM   #6
The Dude Abides
 
TATTRAT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bermuda Native in D.C./NoVA
Posts: 5,324
Send a message via AIM to TATTRAT Send a message via Yahoo to TATTRAT Send a message via Skype™ to TATTRAT
Easy...i get them thru next day gormet(US Food Service), or My local produce guy has them for $32 a box...approx. 14 leaves, BUT THEY ARRE HUGE!

If I can get them in boring ol east coast resort town VB, you should have no problems up north closer to a real city.

Forgot to mention Kulantro(sp*)...it is like cilantro but long broad leaves and very pungent. very common in Puerto Rican cuisine.
__________________
flickr
TATTRAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2006, 08:20 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
You have been a font of information, and I do thank you
__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2006, 09:28 PM   #8
Sous Chef
 
cliveb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Caracas, Venezuela
Posts: 655
[quote=VeraBlue]I work for a large dining service in the campus division. There are 3 major universities in my division with a total of 4 executive chefs (Me and three others), 2 chef managers, and 2 sous chefs...and a plethora of assorted prep cooks, etc..

This year, marketing has come up with a new idea. It's a cross between a throwdown and an iron chef competition. Between the 6 chefs, we're going to go to different campuses and compete against each other. It's worked out that I am competing in all 8 competitions, while the other chefs get to rotate more loosely. I should say I'm the only female chef, so I guess they need me to make it more interesting.

Can you throw any links or ideas my way? Being the only woman in the competition, naturally, I want to kick some testosterone. Thanks

quote]

Well I ain't a pro chef, but I might be able to give you some pointers from good old Venezuela.We're a Caribbean country, a Latin-American country, an Ethnic food country - and the gateway to S.America.
Vzla and Colombia have a signature dish called "Pabellón Criollo" ( National Flag) - as do many L.A. Countries. Basically, twice-cooked skirt of beef ( boiled, then fried with sofrito) plantains, black bean, rice. A pretty dish visually, and a tasty dish however you look at it - the sofrito is made with onion, sweet chilli ( mild hot pepper would do), bell pepper, garlic, and cilantro.
You could make a spectacular soup called sancocho - basically you toss in all the root veg. you can find ( yuca, yams, taro root, sweet potato, pumpkin, onions, etc) then add your fave meat ( fish, chicken, what ever).
Or you could be more mountainous and make a Colombian ( I believe from Bogotá) soup called Ajiaco ("a-he-YA-kko"), which is basically a chicken soup with avocado, capers, and white cheese cubes added just before serving.

If you want something REALLY wild, make an hallaca. Cornmeal, spiced with annato, cumin, paprika, olives, capers, garbanzo beans, bell peppers, onions, chopped pork, chopped chicken, tomato, almonds, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed....

Simpler? an Asopadao; a sort of runny risotto soup with loads of seafood in it.

Wierd little extras? Try an Andean Hot Sauce - made with milk.
Blend together onion, pepper, hot pepper, cilantro leaf and stalks, garlic, cooked chayote squash, fresh cream - and use it to condiment your food - or as a sauce. It's called " Ají de Leche".

How's about empanadas? We buy them on the beach made with baby shark - which I believe is really dogfish.. yummy though.
__________________
cliveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2006, 06:20 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
VeraBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: northern NJ
Posts: 3,683
CliveB
Thank you so much for all those ideas. I'll do a google search to see if I can locate actual recipes. The cornmeal in banana leaves recipe sounds wonderful.

It all sounded wonderful!
__________________

__________________
How can we sleep while our beds are burning???
VeraBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.