Category Archives: Stories and Events

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Founding Farmers and a Long Absence

Greetings Friends,

Wow, It has been too long!  I apologize for my long absence from Thymelife, but life has been a bit of a whirlwind for the last few months and I let some things slide.  Not ok!

One of the main catalysts to this “sliding” was my accepting a promotion to Food and Beverage Director.  Having been a Chef for 20 years I have had to adjust to this new responsibility and for the lack of a better explanation . . .  I had to “figure this thing out”!   In short I have shouldered the extra load and am ready to get back to it!

To complete my last post about Washington DC.  A little about dinner at Founding Farmers.

Founding Farmers is a well known farm to table restaurant in Washington DC.  I had first heard of Founding Farmers while in the process of opening up Texas Spice (a farm to table restaurant in the Omni Dallas). Founding Farmers had a great reputation and a solid menu. Naturally when I had the chance to visit DC, Founding Farmers was on my radar!    I will say that due to my delinquency to post, the menu has changed.  I do believe they are holding on to many of the classics though.

Nice welcome experience, host stand was alert and receptive.  I really like the fact that they had reading material to look at while we waited (although we did not wait long).

Once seated service was crisp and on point.  We did not wait for drinks or food, which is great as this is something I am very sensitive to.  Quick service Is a plus!  The restaurant was busy and had a great buzz to it, a popular spot..

Savory courses were very strong.  I think the concept of a popcorn of the day is cool and hard to resist.  The deviled eggs were well seasoned and rustic, lots of flavor.  Fried green tomatoes were crisp and the sauces were balanced and tasty.  The farm bread was one of the stand outs, warm griddle chiabatta with a tangy sauce and perfectly smoked salmon.  The lobster mac & cheese was also a favorite.

If you make it to Washington DC I strongly suggest you head over to Founding Farmers, really great food and service!

Thyme Back

Jason

 

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Popcorn of the day

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Deviled Eggs

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Farm Bread with Smoked Salmon

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Dogs & Rolls

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Fried Green Tomatoes,  Remoulade and Green Goddess

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Chicken Pot Pie

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

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Cookie Platter

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Red Velvet Cake

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Cheesecake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead Shirley’s Buttercream

 

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Shirley was, to the best of my memory, a mean woman.  Not pleasant and not well put together.  Shirley was not friendly, at least not to us, although she seemed fond of her gaggle of cats.  How my family fell into buying our special occasion cakes from her I cannot say.  I was too young to know the politics of that.  I suspect that she was the relative of a friend and we were under some sort of unwritten obligation to do so.  Whatever the case, I grew up eating birthday cakes and special holiday cakes made by Shirley.  I do not know her last name but the frosting she made, in my mind,  is synonymous with a celebration.  Like many foods from childhood, one bite can take you back 20 years.   Before she passed away we were fortunate enough to get her icing recipe “Shirley’s Buttercream.” After she was gone we referred to it as “Dead Shirley’s Buttercream”.

When I first started cooking professionally I had the opportunity to try many pastries, some of which really were amazing and in some cases just ridiculously good.  Some pastries that really made an impression are baklava, Eaton mess, pavlova, and soufflés.  Not to mention the many awesome original creations by pastry chefs around the country.  One thing that has always left me unsatisfied, however, is the icing on cupcakes and special occasion cakes. . .  it’s always too refined, not sweet enough, not Dead Shirley’s!

I had given the recipe out for a few years to any colleague who wanted it, after singing the praises of my wonderfully unrefined icing of course.  One day, while working at the Ritz – Carlton in Dearborn Michigan, we had a visiting Pastry Chef from the Ritz – Carlton San Francisco.  The most amazing thing was that he was making a recipe called “Dead Shirley’s Buttercream”!  I asked him where he got it and he said from a friend who is a Pastry Chef.  Not being able to resist I asked him if he knew the origin of the name. He did not but speculated that it’s so full of sugar and fat it must have killed someone named Shirley. . .  He may have had a point!

 

Thyme Remembered,

Jason

 

Dead Shirley’s Buttercream

Makes about 1 quart (enough to ice 30 – 35 cupcakes)

Ingredients

360 Grams Confectioners’ Sugar

200 Grams Butter

200 Grams Shortening

15 Grams Vanilla

  1. Combine in a electric mixing bowl with whisk
  2. Start on slow until the ingredients come together then turn up slowly
  3. Beat on high 10 minutes
  4. Store in a cool place covered in plastic for up to a week, you do not have to keep in a refrigerator unless keeping for an extended period (just be careful its covered so it does not take on any off flavors)

 

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Cooking with Friends, 72 Hour Short Ribs, Eggs at 62c, and Walls of Lettuce

I recently had the opportunity to get together with some great Chefs and collaborate on a 4 day general managers conference in La Costa Resort in San Diego, California.  Several Chefs from around the country, including myself,  flew in to help.  We are talking 15 hour days — on your feet the whole time.  There were several creative minds who refuse to do anything standard; who were always pushing the envelope.   At the end of each long day there was always time for a few drinks, because why would anyone want any extra sleep.  Good times to be sure!

It was great to see and cook with my task force brothers once again.  For 190 people we did three days of  breakfast, lunch, dinner, breaks and after parties.  There were also several amenities.  Working with these Chefs barely feels like work!

The whole event culminated with a sit down gala including my sous vide 72 hour short rib.   A great time had by all.  Wonderful to work with the team!

Chef Daven Wardynski

Chef Joshua Hasho

Chef Michael Gottlieb

Chef Breanna Metauro

Chef Marc Therrien

Pastry Chef Jaimie Hileman

Many thanks to the great chefs at La Costa for allowing us to share there kitchens with them!  An excellent team to be sure.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention the awesome team of food and beverage directors who came out to help and support!

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Arrival amenity, healthy snacks

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Table set for a nice picnic arrival lunch

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Trail Mix Break

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House Made Seltzers, fresh pressed juices, carbonated at the last minute

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Nice creative signage for the sliders

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Kobe sliders and crab cake sliders

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Breakfast Breads

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Love the sound of eggs circulating in the morning!  Eggs at 62c with spinach, duck confit            and hollandaise sauce

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Granola and yogurt display

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Nice garden salad buffet

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Carving boards ready for meat!

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Creative signage and garden herbs

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A wall of living lettuce

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A break with a construction theme

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The final gala – butter presentation on tomato chimichurri, black salt

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Butter lettuce salad, blue, candied walnuts, tomato vinaigrette

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The 72 hour sous vide short rib, potato and artichoke gratin

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Tro of desserts to finish it off!

 Good thymes,

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savor Dallas – William Hill Wine Dinner

It’s always a good thing to receive several bottles of wine from a fantastic winery, then task yourself  with tasting them all while thinking of what to serve with each of them!  Makes for a great day. I  really enjoy thinking about and creating a menu like that.  Fantastic wines make it both easy and difficult to pair with food.  It is important to make sure to do the wines justice!

I had the opportunity to do a dinner with William Hill Winery in conjunction with the great annual event, Savor Dallas.  Jim White and his wife Vicky Briley-White were kind enough to include me in the programing.   I had a great time tasting the wines, putting together the menu and ultimately cooking the dinner.  We were lucky enough to have Scott Koze, Vice President of Coastal Winemaking with E. & J. Gallo at the dinner to speak about the wines.  Scott oversees many winemaking teams including those at William Hill.  It was a real honor to have him at the dinner.  I was happy to speak about the food and the pairings.

A few of the pairings were controversial, specifically the pairing of the Venison with the 2010 Bench Blend Chardonnay and then the Pairing of the King Crab with the two Cabernets.  The Sika venison, the celery root and the vanilla pineapple paired so well with the Chardonnay because of the delicacy of the dish.  The mildness of the venison and the vanilla ultimately brought it together.  The king crab was poached with butter and garlic, the sunchoke ravioli was earthy and rich. . .  ultimately the umami of the mushrooms made it work with the cabernet, which had notes of porcini in the nose.

The wines from William Hill are Fantastic!  Great food wines!

I think we had a great success and I hope to work with them again!

Could not have done it without great Chefs and their teams:

Bryce Dahlgren – Chef d Cuisine

Pablo Martinez- Chef Garde Manger

Kristina Kent – Pastry Chef

Good Thymes!

Jason

 

The Menu

Passed Reception
2012 William Hill North Coast Chardonnay
2013 William Hill North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Foie Gras “Key Lime Pie”
Buckwheat Noodle and Lobster Spoon – Chef Bryce Dahlgren
Watermelon, Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Balsamic Pipette – Chef Pablo Martinez

Dinner
Sika Venison, Vanilla Pineapple, Celery Root
2010 William Hill Bench Blend Chardonnay

Herb Cured Wild Salmon, Smoked Potato,
Caramalized Onion, Horseradish
2012 William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay

Sunchoke Ravioli, King Crab, Garlic, Wild Mushrooms
2010 William Hill Bench Blend Cabernet Sauvignon
2011 William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

44 Farms “72” Hour Short Rib, Basil Potato, Pickled Rhubarb
2009 William Hill Meritage Red Blend

Lemon Yogurt Cake, Berries and Mint – Chef Kristina Kent
Lamarca Prosecco

Dark Chocolate Cake, Caramel, Cardamom – Chef Kristina Kent
2009 William Hill Meritage Red Blend

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Chasing the “Hummus Ghost”

 

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Years ago my wife and I moved from our relatively miserable neighborhood (actually downright dangerous) to our first “nice” house.  Granted we were in Michigan, not Texas, so the standards of “nice” were clearly different,  As we all know, Texas is the supreme state and is difficult to be rated against.  Specifically Allen, Texas (where the dew falls first from Heaven). I digress….

So we end up in Dearborn, Michigan, a wonderful city.  I was working at the Ritz – Carlton Hotel, all was good.  We loved Dearborn, because it was close to work and . . . . the food! We ate hummus, baba ganoush, shawarma, and falafel almost daily. To us it was as normal as pasta or burritos, and was so flavorful and multidimensional, we ate it often!   We had no idea how special this little area of the world was!  Since Dearborn we have lived in Miami, New York City, Allen TX, Las Vegas, Houston, and back to Allen TX.  I had never even come close to having Middle Eastern food as good as in the “Dearborn Days.”  Not even close!  There was a particular restaurant called “La Shish” that was a real stand out.  Their hummus was legendary, the best I have ever had.  Creamy and rich with a depth of flavor that I could never achieve in a hummus.  It was addictive. One of the great culinary achievements!

For years I tried to get close to that hummus, searching hummus recipes high and low.  I looked in professional cooking books, home style cooking books, text books from culinary schools, the internet . . . you name it.  Never found it. I made hummus hundreds of times, and it was always good, unless you compare it to “La Shish”.    About two years ago I hired a younger cook named Rashid.  He is a Lebanese guy with some good experience.  Of course on my mind right away, hummus.  For 15 years I had been chasing the “hummus” ghost.  I asked him if he knew how to make a great hummus.  Rashid says “I ran the best Lebanese restaurant in DC.  I make the good hummus.”  I was intrigued.  When he said he needed three days . . . I was really intrigued.

Rashid “made the good hummus.”  I could close my eyes and think I was back in Dearborn.  The “hummus ghost” . . . I had it in my sights.

In Rashid’s hummus the devil is in the details.  The chickpeas are soaked in water and baking soda overnight.  Then they are cooked at a slow gentle simmer, for 6 or 7 hours, in the same water they soaked in.  The cooking should be stopped when the water is at the level of the chickpeas, and the chickpeas are very tender.  The chickpeas are cooled in that liquid, which will gel like a classic, well-made stock (Rashid chilled his overnight).  The liquid and the chickpeas are pureed together with tahini, garlic and lemon.  The puree must be very smooth!

Lebanese Hummus

Makes 1.5 quarts

Ingredients

½ quart dried chickpeas

¾ tablespoon baking soda

3 quarts water

3 ounces tahini (Lebanese if you can find it)

½ ounce garlic

¾ ounce lemon juice

¼ ounce kosher salt

  1. In container large enough to hold the 1st three ingredients, combine the dried chickpeas, baking soda and water.  Cover and allow to soak overnight.
  2. The next day, in a thick bottomed pot dump the chickpeas and water in to simmer, do not drain, simmer in the same water it soaked in.  Bring to a light boil then turn down to a gentle simmer and allow to simmer for 6 or 7 hours.  The simmering time will vary greatly depending on the size of you pot, specifically the width because of increased evaporation.  I have had great luck simmering between 5 to 7 hours.
  3. The cooking should be stopped when the liquid is level with the chickpeas.  Do not drain!  Cool in the liquid.
  4. When very cool the liquid will gel like a well-made stock.  You will be pureeing chickpeas and this liquid in the final step of the recipe.
  5. In a food processor (you may need to do in a few batches.  It’s ok, just stir all of the batches together well at the end) puree the chickpeas (and the gelled liquid) with the remaining ingredients.  Here is the final detail . . .  it must be velvety smooth.  You may have to puree in your food processor for 5 or 10 minutes, scraping the sides every so often.
  6. Adjust seasoning a bit if necessary, although you should not need to.
  7. Cool down and store in your refrigerator.  It will last for 5 days but you won’t need to worry about that, it will be gone well before the expiration date.

Thyme Remembered,

Jason

 

 

 

Greetings Dear Readers and Happy New Year!

I should first apologize for my delinquency in posts!  Can’t believe it’s been so long.  I have had a very busy holiday season complete with travel, huge plated dinners, off site functions, holiday dinners and a 16 food gingerbread bar . . . who needs a house when you can build a bar!

I spent a lot of time at home with my wife and kids which was awesome,  and I like to think, well deserved!  It’s great to settle down for a bit and reconnect with those you love after a busy season. Watching movies, playing ping pong, and having a good time.  Nothing like being with your family during Christmas.

I had an opportunity to travel to Omaha Nebraska with my good friend John Brand and do a buffet dinner in an office building for 200 people, a tremendous amount of work.  We did all our prep off site at a local hotel kitchen, then rented a U-Haul to transport our products.  Back breaking work and with the possible exception of the “Butternut Squash Soup Incident” a tremendous success.

The Squash Soup Incident

 Squash Soup

Our Menu in Omaha

Jason Weaver, Executive Chef, Dallas

John Brand, Executive Chef, La Mansion/ Mokara

 Cheeses from Texas

Brazos Valley Brie, Pear Jam, Sweet Pecans

Deep Ellum Bleu, Port Reduction, Curried Walnuts

Paula’s Mozzarella, Orange and Vanilla

Texas Gold Cheddar, Chimmichuri Olives

 House Cured Meats and Charcutiere from our Properties

Jalapeno Sausage, Cream Cheese, Pepper Jelly, Crostini

Texas Summer Sausage, Arugula, Parmesan, Capers

Vodka Cured Salmon with Brussel Sprout, Pumpernickel and Havarti

Confit of Duck with Rosemary and Carrot Jam

 Salads and Composed Vegetables

Baby Kale, Autumn Fruits, Toasted Nuts, Truffle – Sherry Dressing

Texas Spice Salad, Blue Cheese, Cucumber, Beets, Crumbled Bacon

Ostra – Quinoa Salad of Arugula, Piquillo Pepper, Avocado and Fennel with Spiced Chick Peas

Las Canarias – Caesar Style Romaine Salad with Grilled Corn, Cotija Cheese, Lime Espelette Dressing and Masa Croutons

 Harvest Soup and Stews

Hubbard Squash Soup, Ginger Cream

Roasted Parnsip and Honeycrisp Apple Soup

Artisan Hearth Baked Breads with Butters, Preserves, and Tapenade

 Sides

Farro Risotto, Herb Cream, Autumn Mushrooms

Barbecue Brisket “Mac and Cheese”

Romesco Green Beans with Peppers and Almonds

Sour Cream Whipped Gold Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

 Stations

Carved Tenderloin of Nebraska Beef, Béarnaise Aioli, Grilled Scallion Cream and Red Wine Mustard

pork Stuffed with Pork, Pork Loin, Italian Sausage, Sage, Cranberry Jus, Rolls

It was great to work and cook with my friend John again.  We had a good time, worked hard, put out a fantastic dinner under difficult circumstances, had a few drinks, and cleaned up some soup from the back of a U-Haul.

Sad News

I had a post ready to put out on the 1st of January to start the year off right but I received very sad news and I could not do it.  On the night of the 31st of December my good friend Lauren Siegel passed away.   Lauren was Assistant Director of Food and Beverage at the Omni Dallas Hotel, and we had worked together for two years. Lauren was a fantastic person and a good friend.  Lauren was also extremely well liked and respected throughout the hotel, the news rocked the Food and Beverage department.  She went home to be with her family after her father passed away the day after Christmas.  On the 31st she suffered a severe asthma attack and she too was gone.  She was way too young.  I hope the Lord Jesus has her close by and her family receives some comfort.  She will be dearly missed.

Thyme Remembered,

Jason

 

Brown Butter and Sage Mac and Cheese – Venison Frito Pie

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Brown Butter and Sage Mac and Cheese – Venison Frito Pie

Everyone loves chili.  Chili is also a hot topic of controversy.  A spicy melting pot of opinions, demands, facts, lies and recipes! Here in Texas, where the dew falls first from Heaven, we do not use beans, we do not use too much tomato, and we do not over complicate the chili.

In its truest form I believe Texas chili is meat, either ground or diced, seasonings, and a chili sauce made from dried chilies . . . a classic “bowl of red”.  Red refers to the brick red sauce that gloriously presents its self with you puree rehydrated dried chilies.

In this version I have added some beer, which with its bitterness and hoppy flavor, brings some good things to the pot.  I use some tomato, which adds in combination of the sautéed onions, brings a natural sweetness.  The masa harina adds an earthy corn tortilla like flavor . . . love it.

Speaking of chili that is sweetened with sugar or sweet chili sauces, please do not get me started on that immoral process.  Wrong is wrong.

As for Mac and Cheese, what can I say?  The dish is a catalyst for all things happy.  The sauce is the back bone of the dish and for me, its very important.  The ratio of sauce to pasta must be high – almost pasta in velvety cheese soup.  The selection of cheeses is really up to you.  I always add the mascarpone for creaminess.  Also, once the cheese is in the sauce, don’t boil it.  It will ruin the texture.

Why put this chili together with Mac and Cheese?  Why not.  Chili Mac is good, a childhood classic, Frito Pie too.  Sometimes when you are cooking, things like this just happen, one thing leads to another and next thing you know you have something like Brown Butter and Sage Mac and Cheese – Venison Frito Pie. . . Say what!

I was lucky enough to get to make this dish on a demo today at the Travel and Adventure Show here in Dallas.  I was invited by my friend Jim White, who together with his wife Vicky are the masterminds of Savor Dallas.  If any of you live in the area I highly recommend checking out Savor Dallas!  Awesome events.

Venison Chili

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients

1/8th cup bacon fat (or olive oil)

1 pound ground venison (or your favorite meat)

1/2 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato sauce (or puree diced tomatoes)

4 ounces beer

4 pasilla chili pods

2 cups chicken stock or water

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon masa harina dissolved in cool water (optional)

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

More cumin and oregano to taste

  1. Remove stems and seeds from dried chili pods. Cover peppers with hot water for 15 minutes, drain and puree with a small amount of water to a smooth chili sauce.   It should be the consistency of a smooth marinara.
  2. Heat bacon fat in large skillet. Add meat and sear (you may need to do this in batches).  Remove meat. Add onion and garlic and sauté in bacon grease until you get a bit of color.  Add meat back. Stir in the beer and reduce a bit.  Add spices and mix well through the meat, add the tomato.  Hit it with a pinch of salt.
  3. Pour dried chili sauce into kettle with meat, dissolve the masa in a small amount of cold water and stir that in too.  Simmer for 1 hour, or until the chili is at proper thickness.  You can spice up with some cayenne, tobacco or even some slices of jalapeno or habanero at the last minute (or early on with the onions).  Season with salt a little during the cooking process, taste as you go.

Brown Butter Sage Mac and Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients

3/4th quarts half and half

1/8 cup butter

1/8 cup flour

1 tablespoons sage, fresh, chopped

½ cups cheddar, local, shredded

½ cups Swiss shredded

½ cups cotija cheese

½ cup mascarpone

1/8 cup butter you will be browning this at the end and using as a flavoring

Salt, pepper and lemon

4 cups of cooked pasta, I really like shells because they hold the cheese

½ cup of extra cheese to put on top if desired

¾ cup bread crumbs to put on top if desired

  1. Using a thick pot, put the butter in first and turn on high heat.  Allow the butter to cook until it takes on a nut brown appearance  and a nutty smell.  Be careful, at this point its very hot. Remove from the heat and quickly add the flour using a whisk which the flour and the butter together.  This will be your brown butter roux.  Add ¼ of the half and half and whisk well to remove all lumps.  Then return to the heat whisk and add the remainder of the half and      half.
  2. Simmer for 15 min to cook the  flour taste out.  Add all remaining  ingredients and whisk well.  Adjust seasoning with salt pepper and lemon.

To assemble, mix the warm mac and cheese sauce with the pasta, heat gently and adjust seasonings again.  At this point you have a few options, but first you must make a decision if you are serving everything separate or made into a finished dish.  You can just serve as is in all its creamy glory.  If you are in a casserole frame of mind you can pour the mac and cheese in an oven safe serving dish or dishes, top with the optional cheese and bread crumbs and bake in a 350f oven for 10 minutes until brown and bubbly.

Keep in mind Fritos, sour cream, extra cheese, chives or scallions are ideal companions to this dish.

Thyme is money,

Jason

The Hotel Opening Bug

The Hotel Opening Bug

I have identified a peculiar virus that, every so often, makes its way into the back hallways of hotels.  The virus targets an area of the brain, causing a confusion, resulting in the unsuspecting victim agreeing to participate in the opening of a hotel.  Interestingly enough it only seems to strike certain people, over and over again. The symptoms that rapidly follow are at the very least abnormal and very often not rational. As of yet there is no cure.  If you have one or more of the following symptoms seek help immediately or you may be opening a new hotel soon:

  1. You feel like your normal, very busy, 12 to 14 hour days are just not cutting it.  You want 15 to 24 hour work days.  You don’t want to be busy, you want to be in a sheer panic.
  2. You begin to loathe the fact that people you work with have been doing there jobs in the same area for a while and are therefore organized, prepared, and ready to help.  You dream of a day when everyone is desperately trying to figure it out at the same time, depending on each other but not completely knowing what to do and when.  That way you can add to the sheer panic of bullet point one, and that sounds good to you.
  3. You look around the area you work at and realize you know where most things are, and where to get them.  You hate that.  You want to search for hours for things like a slotted spoon or a sheet pan.  Knowing for sure that there are 4000 of them somewhere.  If there are several floors to search on… all the better.  Awesome!
  4. You realize that most days you know at least 85 percent of what is going to happen, you have a good game plan and can handle most things with grace.  That sounds terrible to you, you want to go into each day with only the vaguest of plans, you want to shoot from the hip with little ammo, which you cannot find, and an untested gun which may or may not have even arrived yet.
  5. Your feet feel fine, no good! You feel the overwhelming desire to wear out a pair of shoes that are supposed to last for a year in 14 days.
  6. You feel that even at the worst state of exhaustion you will be ready to go out for a few drinks.  If someone could carry you there and back… all the better.
  7. You long for the day when you and your fellow “affected comrades” have the appearance of well weathered tombstones and the gaze of someone who has seen a terrible future.  Dusty, worn out and tired, you want to limp through the halls …trying to find things.
  8.  You hate it when people make schedules and stick to them.  You need chaos and uncertainty.  The more people that can interrupt your hard and very important work for training classes and meetings the better.
  9. You begin to abhor your normal meal schedule.  You long for a time when you work all day long, but are so busy you forget to eat.  You envision yourself late at night, hungry, eating a chicken skin and butter sandwich on stale bread because it’s the only thing you can find.
  10. You don’t want to do things once!  No! you want people to change their minds so you can do then several times!  Yes, now you’re talking!

My friends, again I tell you, if you are noticing these symptoms there may be a hotel opening in your future!  Get some good shoes and some rest because you are in for a wild ride.  However after it’s over you will always be able to look at that magnificent structure and know you were there!  Grand Opening!

Congratulations Omni Nashville!  It was an honor to be there with you!

To the Families of those affected.  Much Love for the support and understanding!  You are the best.

There is no Thyme like the present,

Jason

 

Crickets and Culinary Diplomats

Crickets and Culinary Diplomats

The amazing thing about being a cook is that there is always so much to learn.  Recipes, techniques, ingredients, technical skills, intuitive skills, and cuisines of other cultures. Could cooks be diplomats?  Indeed.  We were lucky enough to have a Ugandan chef come to visit us in the kitchens.  He was cooking for some Ugandan people who were in town for a convention.  His goal was to make them feel at home.

Chef Frank was kind enough to bring us some food he prepared.  We all shared a nice snack of spice roasted Ugandan crickets and a very unique cake made from banana, yucca, and ground cricket.  Chef Frank went on to explain that although to us the use of cricket is strange, it’s a plentiful recourse where he is from.  They use ground crickets in man dishes and sauces. It’s a great source of protein and nutrition in Uganda.

I really enjoyed watching Chef Frank, surrounded by 15 or so American cooks, teaching a little bit about Uganda, the food, and its people.

You never really know what is going to happen each day.  One day you can be minding your own business and then you realize you had crickets for lunch.  Crazy!

Thyme waits for no one,

Jason

 

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