La Cucina Stagionale

Blog for A Posto Personal Chef Services LLC in Newport, Oregon

Archive for the tag “cooking classes”

I Miss Julia, Emeril, Jeff and Ming

Ya’ll know I love to cook.  It’s why I left my very cushy career as a corporate senior project manager behind to become a chef.  I always read cookbooks like novels, spend time shopping for food in the local stores and markets when traveling, and I think nothing of spending an entire day in the kitchen working on different projects—which I did yesterday as a matter of fact.  Preparing food is fascinating to me; whether it’s making homemade stock, preserving lemons, fermenting vegetables, or grilling a steak—I love it all!

While I did attend culinary school, I am self-taught in many cuisines and techniques.  I will read, watch videos, and practice until I’ve mastered whatever it is I am trying to make.  So, this post is a lament to the loss of the real cooking shows.  I learned how to laugh at myself when I watched Julia Child.  My favorite episode is when she dropped a leg of lamb on the floor while preparing it, picked it up, brushed it off and just kept going.  I loved watching Emeril get people excited about pork fat, Jeff Smith teaching us about frugality, and Ming Tsai teaching me about exotic ingredients and how to meld them with common ones to make a fantastic and memorable dish.  What is presented today as cooking shows are vapid and insulting.  I don’t learn things from a chef who wears an anchor around her waist trying to compete with another chef who is preparing food in an Easy Bake oven.  I don’t learn from chefs who criticize dishes that are made with gummy bears and seaweed.  I don’t learn from chefs who scream at their employees until the veins pop out in their neck and spittle flies into the camera lens.  These are not educational or intelligent representations of what chefs have to offer to the general public.  They are better than that and they should know better, but money talks loudly and wearing an anchor for fame and glory is not so bad, or is it?

I teach recreational cooking classes as part of my business and I take the task very seriously.  I have been given an opportunity to pass along the knowledge I have gained to those who have hired me.  I love it when I run into a client somewhere and they tell me that they made the recipe I had provided and the dish came out delicious, or that they were inspired to buy a pasta machine and now make their own fresh pasta.  It makes me feel good and that I have done my job well.  That’s what Julia, Emeril, Jeff, Ming and a host of others have done for me.  It saddens me to see the cheapening and dumbing down of cooking programs today.  When there is actually a cooking program on one of the channels, it’s lacking in energy and enthusiasm, or there is more cleavage and makeup than real cooking.  I can only hope that someday, those real educational shows will come back and enable us to learn again how to laugh at ourselves and pick up the leg of lamb off the floor, rub it with more butter and carry on.

A Posto had a Birthday on September 1st

Yeah!  We had our third birthday on September 1st.  It’s been a very busy year so far, and I am so grateful I was able to make my long-time dream of cooking for a living a reality.  Grazie Mille to all of those who have offered support, love, good karma, positive thoughts and taste buds throughout this journey; especially to Bruce, my husband, without whom I couldn’t have done any of this.

We’ve done the usual mix of wedding, birthday, anniversary and other types of celebrations.  The most memorable was a lesbian wedding we cooked for back in April on a miserable Thursday afternoon at a boy scout camp in the forest north of Pacific City.  The family and friends in attendance didn’t care that it was pouring down rain; they were there to celebrate the special day of two special people—a beautiful event.

I’ve increased the number of cooking classes I teach, both privately and at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City.  My ultimate goal is to become a full-time cooking instructor and I believe that I get closer to attaining it every year.

We implemented a mobile website in June, so we have a smartphone presence now; obviously an important investment with the myriad of smartphones and tablets in use on a daily basis out there.

We also continue to give back to the community as often as we can.  I’m lead chef for a farm to fork fundraiser dinner this upcoming Saturday in support of the Siletz Community Food Program.  90% of the food we are serving is coming from within a 50 mile radius—pretty cool!

I am excited to see where this journey leads over the next year; I haven’t missed my old corporate life yet!

Buon Compleanno A Posto!

Buon Compleanno A Posto!

ChefShare Podcast Episode 5: Year 1 in Business

Believe it or not, it’s been almost a year (September 1) since we started the business.  A lot has happened and I talk about some of it in this podcast.

 

If you would like to download this podcast to listen to later, right click on the link below and select ‘save as’ or ‘save link as’.  You will be able to save the file to your hard drive.

 

Download this episode (right click and save)

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