Today’s blogger is my dear friend Petrice of The Rosie Review. Petrice and I have been friends since childhood, and let me tell you, you are in for a treat with this post (no pun intended!).
“…YOU’RE DONE!!!” This is one of the things my Culinary Instructor would yell, only half joking as I slid a batch of breadsticks in the oven. I don’t know if it was there in Culinary classes or later down the road of interesting events in my life that led the realization that I indeed have a passion for not only food, but making the food an enjoyable experience for those partaking.
During High School I took a few culinary classes from the local college and graduated with a gourmet cooking certificate (which basically means nothing). Here I learned traditional French cooking (very Julia Child and Jacques Pepin-esk).
I later worked at a gourmet restaurant starting out as the “salad girl” and in less than 5 months was Sous Chef working alongside the very experienced owner/chef. Bob (owner) was a great mentor to me and showed me that I didn’t always have to follow the traditional methods, that I could have FUN *gasp* with cooking.
At age 19, I was living in St. George, UT. It was there, being broke and living with my sister that I had the crazy notion to start my own catering business. How hard could it be?? I called the coordinator of the annual St. George Bridal Show and inquired about a booth for my “catering business” which didn’t have a name, or a business license, or ANYTHING at that point. It was a risky leap, I look back and still wonder what the heck I would have done if I had gotten that booth.
The coordinator also owned Vintage Celebrations (a high end wedding and events company) and told me she was looking for a new Head Chef and wanted me to cook her a food dish of my choice. I told her I was not interested (because I was scared spitless), but she insisted. I ended up making her a simple chicken dish in a pinot grigio reduction. I wasn’t even old enough to buy the wine myself! I had to have my older sister go to the liquor store for me. Debbie (owner of Vintage Celebrations) ended up hiring me on the spot and I became her new Head Catering Chef.
Debbie taught me and helped me develop what I find most exciting about food… the experience.
I don’t care if it’s Ramen! It can either be Ramen sloppy in a tupperware bowl (because all your other dishes are in the washer), or it can be Ramen carefully twisted in the bowl, on a matching plate, with silverware set, resting in steamy broth adorned with a cilantro garnish. You do not have to be a gourmet chef to appreciate a little care given to your food. I know I’m super nerdy, but I LOVE to beautify food, especially for my husband and kids. Seeing their eyes light up for even our scrambled eggs in the morning starts the day off right for me.
Here are a few examples of food that I’ve created. Take the few extra seconds and try these four tips to help your mouth water a little more when serving up your food.
Mixing things together that have a variety of color makes it look so LUSH doesn’t it??
I’m kind of drooling. All over my keyboard.
While these fruit kabobs are not difficult to assemble, they don’t look simplistic in this gorgeous fruit montage.
2- Have fun GARNISHING:
A perfect little blackberry adds the finishing touch on this delectable kiwi cheesecake…
A yellow pepper turned “flower” adds to this simple salad…
Thanksgiving Turkey needed some loving, so we added parsley and little “Cutie” oranges. Now that’s one good looking bird…
3- Add LEVELS:
When you put little cakes on a pedestal…
Or use a two tiered platter, you add levels, which pleases the eye.
Can you imagine if this buffet were flat?
Icky No! Let’s not go there.
You don’t need fancy platters in order to create levels. With this buffet we just put cardboard boxes underneath the table cloth to create the desired effect. It’s an easy way to make your table look like a million bucks!
4- Where is the LOVE?
You are welcome for that song being stuck in your head for the rest of the day.
I think the most important thing about putting the finishing details on your food is the impact it has on others. You can help someone feel more special or like they are getting a better deal for what they paid for. Whatever the situation, you are spreading love.
Here is my cute Hubby and our little boy sitting at the table as we prepare to eat dinner. This is one way I can show them how much I care about them.
I find the most joy in cooking when I serve others. I am certain that by serving others with what you are passionate about, you will be happy. Happy Cooking!
WOW! Petrice and I have been close friends for YEARS, and I never knew all the details behind her fancy-pants cooking skills–don’t all those photos just make you wish that it was lunchtime RIGHT NOW? (Maybe that’s just me). I, for one, can attest to Petrice’s fabulous cooking skills–I mean, she has been cooking for Matt and me twice a week this whole semester.
It’s been heaven.
Thanks so much, Petrice!