Thoughts For Food

Insights into the Mind of a Culinary School Student


Life Update!


Hello everyone! Long time no see!

I am terribly sorry for the radio silence. I was so busy with my job that I barely had time to write! It was terribly frustrating to come home each night, want to write and update this blog, and find myself too tired to accomplish anything. It’s a sad feeling to be quite blunt. But, I’m back to updating on a regular basis! I’ll try and start a regular schedule of updates in order to make up for lost time. I will be sure to let you know what that schedule is once I’ve finalized it!

First bit of news is sad news. I left my job at BG Restaurant in November after only 8 months of working there. It was a tough decision for me to make, considering how long it took me to secure that job in the first place. It was an unfortunate situation that led me to quit but I won’t go into detail in order to remain professional about the whole ordeal. I left on a positive note with my coworkers and management, and I wish them all the best and thank them for the experience I gained while a part of the team.

Is this the end of my culinary career? Of course not! It is just the first step on a much larger journey! As of right now, I am still unemployed but searching in earnest for the next big opportunity. I am also considering other options, chief of which is making a return to school. I’ve given serious thought to going back to school to get my degree in Journalism. Coupled with my degree from the Culinary Institute of America, that should give me an edge in the wide world of Food Publications. It’s been my ultimate career goal since I entered the CIA and the way I see it is that I’m just taking another (albeit longer) route to get there. If I do take that course of action, wish me luck!

Finally, yesterday was my 5-year anniversary here on WordPress. If you’ve been following me for that whole time, then I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for following me and enjoying what content I bring, however sporadic it may be! If you’re new to my blog, welcome and I hope you enjoy whatever new journey I may go on!

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Exciting News!


First of all, I want to thank each and every single one of you, from the bottom of my heart, for following me and reading all of my entries. You’re all wonderful!

And before you ask, no I’m not ending the blog. That’d just be silly! I do, however, want to share a couple bits of news.

First, I apologize for missing today’s usual post. I’ve been incredibly busy lately and didn’t quite have the time to write. A new entry will be up tomorrow, so hang tight!

Secondly, after many months of searching, I’ve finally found a job! I start as a Line Cook for Bergdorf Goodman’s BG Restaurant on the 21st of this month! I’ll be working 5-days a week, so the update schedule for the blog may change. I’ll be sure to let you know when that change will begin. Rest assured, I’ll get plenty of inspiration for more entries and thoughts to share.

Thanks again for your support everyone. See you tomorrow!


The Chef’s Table


Chef's Table at Victoria & Albert's, located at the Walt Disney World Resort

Chef’s Table at Victoria & Albert’s, located at the Walt Disney World Resort

There’s one restaurant trend that seems to have been around for as long as I can remember, but one I have yet to try myself: the Chef’s Table. It’s a concept so simple and yet so alluring that people are willing to shell out $200 or more, per head, for it!

Basically, a chef’s table is a table inside the kitchen itself. The diners have the pleasure of watching their meals prepared by the chef and his staff, and sometimes even have their meals served by the chef himself. For the diners, it’s a nice little touch of flair that makes an evening out go from memorable to unforgettable. For the kitchen staff, it’s a way for the chef to keep everyone on their best behavior.

There are two caveats about a chef’s table, however. The first is that due to the immense amount of concentration it requires from the kitchen staff, it’s only run on off-peak days where the restaurant isn’t as busy. The second being that they’ll most likely run a Prix Fixe Menu or a Tasting Menu, just to ensure that everything is served quickly. This doesn’t mean that the quality of food goes down however. These measures are to ensure that both kitchen staff and diner are all enjoying themselves and not losing their collective sanity.

I can really see the appeal of a chef’s table. It’s dinner theater and some culinary education all rolled into one wonderful, albeit expensive, package. Diners are always curious as to where their food comes from and how it’s produced and made for them. The chef’s table is the perfect chance to showcase all of that, especially if the chef is nice enough to field questions or just chat with the diners. It forges a connection between the kitchen and the diners that you just can’t achieve through waitstaff. Also, it gives the diners a chance to give the chef instant feedback on dishes, which is a plus for everyone involved.

A chef’s table is also a great way for a restaurant or hotel to show off and impress VIP clientele. Having an important guest and his or her party dine at a chef’s table is the perfect way to ensure their patronage and wow them into coming back. It’s a wonderful concept and one I must try at some point, and so should you!


Restaurant Review: Billy Bob’s BBQ


The best BBQ in Poughkeepsie!

The best BBQ in Poughkeepsie!

I spent 3 years in the Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie area of upstate New York and I can definitively say that I have found the absolute best BBQ joint I have ever been to. As a CIA student, I can tell you that you cannot go wrong with this joint. The food is absolutely fantastic. The Brisket is smoky and juicy. The Pulled Pork is to die for. It’s THAT good. The food is absolutely delicious and he atmosphere is very comfortable. I’m talking about Billy Bob’s BBQ!

Located at 35 Fairmont Ave. in Poughkeepsie, NY, Billy Bob’s BBQ is a great local BBQ joint with a fantastic menu. They have BBQ classics like Pulled Pork, Brisket and Hot Wings, alongside other great dishes like their Boom Boom Shrimp and Blackened Chicken. Combine that with some reasonably priced drinks, $1 Taco Night every Wednesday, 50 cent Wings every Tuesday, and live music, and you have a great local joint that always has something to offer locals, tourists and college students alike. There are two dishes that you absolutely must try if you go to Billy Bob’s: the aptly named Pork Explosion and their signature dish known as Piggy Mac.

Bring your appetite for these dishes. The Pork Explosion is exactly like its name implies. It’s Bacon wrapped in Pork Sausage then wrapped in more Bacon. It is the quintessential meat-lovers entree, available in sandwich and plated forms. Both, equally as delicious. Fair warning, the portion is quite large! The other dish, the Piggy Mac, is honestly the single most delicious thing I have ever tasted from Billy Bob’s. It’s a bed of their signature Puled Pork topped with a healthy scoop of Mac & Cheese, then topped with more cheese and bread crumbs. Oh yes. It’s a match made in heaven. Hands down my favorite thing on the menu. If you have just one thing from Billy Bob’s, get the Piggy Mac

If you’re anywhere near the Poughkeepsie area, take some time to visit Billy Bob’s BBQ. It’s absolutely worth the trek!

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Pulled Pork Sandwich

Smoked Brisket

Smoked Brisket

Pork Explosion

Pork Explosion

Pork Explosion Sandwich

Pork Explosion Sandwich


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Recipe: Chocolate Nutella Brownies


This is one of my favorite brownie recipes of all time. It’s incredibly simple and absolutely delicious. The end result are brownies that moist, chewy and absolutely addictive!

Chocolate Nutella Brownies – Makes 9 (fairly big) BrowniesNutella-Brownies

  • 1 ¼ C Cocoa Powder
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • ½ C All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Tsp. Salt
  • 8 oz. Melted Butter
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 4 – 5 Tablespoons of Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 300-degrees
  2. Spray sides and bottom of an 8” Square Pan
  3. Sift together Cocoa Powder, Flour, both Sugars and the Salt. Set aside
  4. Whisk together Eggs, Butter and Vanilla, then mix in dry ingredients. Mix only until just combined
  5. Pour into pan
  6. Swirl Nutella into the Brownie mix
  7. Bake at 300-degrees for 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
  8. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pan and cutting to serve


Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake Muffins


404643_710425609406_699123801_nThis is my all-time favorite muffin recipe. I actually learned this recipe while I was on Externship and it quickly became my favorite item to make. They smell wonderful while they’re baking and they taste just as good. Whether for a party or just for the family, these muffins are most definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Cinnamon Pecan Coffeecake Muffins – Makes 24

Dry Team

  • 400g Flour
  • 290g Sugar
  • 9g Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 160g Butter

Wet Team226177_630386438546_276449_n

  • 360g Sour Cream
  • 100g Eggs
  • 60g Egg Yolks
  • 15g Vanilla Extract
  • 30g Canola Oil

Topping

  • 120g Toasted Pecans
  • 100g Dark brown Sugar
  • 6g Cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 400-degrees
  2. Combine the ingredients for the topping in the Food Processor and pulse until the Pecans are chopped small. Set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes and combine them with the rest of the Dry Team in the Food Processor until the texture is similar to wet sand. Set aside.
  4. Combine all the Wet Team ingredients in a large bowl, then mix in the Dry Team ingredients until only just combined. Try not to overmix.
  5. Fold in 2/3 of the Topping mixture. Leave the rest to top the muffins.
  6. Spray the muffin cups with a little bit of no-stick spray and then fill them about 2/3 of the way. Don’t over fill them or else they’ll flow everywhere in the oven.
  7. Bake for 400-degrees for 10 minutes, then drop the temperature to 350-degrees and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before serving