Fond: The dark brown bits of meat left behind from the high-heat cooking are called "fond" and are as intensely flavored as pan drippings from roasted meats.
OK, a somewhat clever title for random musings and rants about everything food. I think it's important to preface that by no means am I professional writer, nor do I profess to be. However, what I hope to accomplish with this blog is an exchange of ideas, experiences, opinions on the culinary world, how it relates to all of us, and ultimately entertain not just myself, but you, as well.
I've been eating for almost 41 years, cooking for 26 years, and have had the privilege of working with some of the country's top chefs and restaurants. I did not attend culinary school, but if you've met me, you might notice I affectionately "wear" my degree.
I've been fortunate enough to have worked in many different aspects of the hospitality world, from fast casual service, ma and pa restaurants, catering, 1,000-room plus hotels, independent stand-alone restaurants, some corporate chains, a casino, 4- and 5-diamond restaurants, even a steakhouse and now the state's No. 1 boutique hotel.
That's 26 years reduced down to a paragraph, but it didn't really start there. It started, I'm sure as for many chefs, maybe unbeknownst to them, in their own homes. I had no inkling of my future as a chef; I was to be destined for art, theater or music – certainly not cooking.
I owe quite a bit to my parents. My mother helped me develop the emotional connection between food and loved ones, and my father grew up growing sweet corn, soybeans and raising sheep in Illinois. This was the foundation that connected the concept of farm to table cooking for me. Which once again has become the new trend that really isn't new at all. But I'm glad that it's in-the-now.
It makes my job that much easier to have access to incredibly farm-fresh ingredients, which can only enhance your experience.
In the coming weeks, I welcome feedback, questions, comments and points of interest for debate. I believe one of the last common pleasures we all share, is no matter your race, gender, lifestyle, political beliefs or religous affiliations, is that we all can appreciate a memorable meal with family and friends.
So, hello and tag ...
I had the pleasure of experiencing the tasting menu back on 4/19. My friends and I couldn't get enough of the 5 courses! My personal favorite was the Two Jeff's Gouda with the foie gras encrusted toast point. I loved the fact that we didnt' know what the next course would be until it was set in front of us and explained. The wine pairings were spot on as well. Milwaukee is fortunate to reap the benefits of your talents in a venue such as Branded.
I'm glad that your going to be on here. when I heard that you were moving to the Iron Horse I was quite excited. while I havent been to Branded yet, I will. You have the honor of cooking my single most favorite dish ive ever had, Ive eaten at some pretty nice places including "celebrity" chefs' places, but your take on Rumaki at Dream Dance was by far the greatest so far. I'm
looking forward to try the tasting menu at Branded soon.
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