Saturday, October 28, 2006

Food Art by Chef J Cooney and Nama's Sushi Bar

Sushi J and his staff just rock my world!!!

Click on photograph for larger version

Chef's Roundtable Babbles

Salmon Sashimi drizzled with chili-basil oil with candied garlic shrimp (that blew me away) and shredded nori.

What happens when you get some Chef's together around a table with a couple cocktails (and Shirley Temple's) talking about food?????

The stories were hilarious, the bonding was unbelievable, and the evening went on forever....

What an experience, I love this stuff...

Cheffy savors a happy moment with his Toro Belly

The Chef's Roundtable kind of existed over two days. The first was a group of us together over cocktails at Baker's Peter's in Knoxville and part deux was at Nama's Sushi Bar enjoying the food art of Chef J Cooney and his staff, and is definitely going to become a monthly occurance with the Cheffy Boy and Friends.

It was pretty comical to sit and listen to the different stories of nightmares, dreams, the corporate schmucks that enter and exit our lives and more...words could not express how much fun I had.

Some of the items we discussed:

One question that I posed that got some pretty good feedback was I asked "If you could snap your fingers and fix one thing in your establishment immediately, what would it be?" Is a pretty good question to ask yourself if you are in the industry...

Other topics:

Tricks and practical jokes we have played on waitstaff and staff

The frustration of playing into the politics of being a profiled chef in communtiy events like Chef's Auctions, Taste of the Nation, ACF Meetings etc.

Complex fusion flavors and how excited talking Asian food makes the Cheffy Boy. Sambals and why you should not send someone to the Asian Store for products, why Chef's should not go to the Asian/Ethinic stores during working hours.

Different viewpoints on why none of us can seem to find and keep good waitstaff and why some of the best waitstaff in our community wind up in corporate chain restaurants instead of higher end restaurants and catering facilities.

Man, was this a lot of fun...

During part deux it was kind of hard to carry on conversations because we kept discecting Chef J's food trying to figure out how he did this or how he did that, trying to guess his combinations of flavors and methods of execution. He just blows me away.

Will post some pics of the food art of Chef J and his staff in another entry.

So keep in mind, that if you are interested in having a Roundtable in your town email me and the Culinary Evangelist may be coming to a town near you...

Peace, Hugs and Cookies,


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chef's Roundtable

On Thursday, October 26, Restaurant Edge and Chef Michael Hayes will be sponsoring our first"Chef's Roundtable" at Nama's Sushi Bar in Knoxville, Tennessee featuring the impressive food art of Sushi Chef J Cooney.

The premise for the Chef's Roundtable is to get local chefs around a dinner table discussing what Chef's love to talk about the most: food, their jobs and themselves.

Unlike organizations and organizational meetings, these gatherings are designed so that the passionate can discuss our industry, new and old products, systems that we use and facing/dealing with common problems that often arise in our kitchens/establishments.

Our first Roundtable will feature Chef Mike discussing RestaurantEdge and the advantages of its use for all phases within our industry. The Chef's Roundtable will feature local chefs from diverse backgrounds and special guest, Chef Rob from Aspen, Colorodo.

Hopefully, this will be the first of many Chef's Roundtables sponsored by Chef Mike and RestaurantEdge. So, stay tuned, the Culinary Evangelist may be coming to a town near you...

For information on hosting a RestaurantEdge Chef's Roundtable email Chef Mike at

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Cheffy and Greg Do Sushi

A Little Cheffy Babble About Sushi

Sushi really rocks my world.

It is one of the only purist cuisines readily available and affordable for the general public, and not only that, no matter where you go, it's always real food by real people.

There are people that push the envelope as far as sushi and variations of sushi goes but the bottom line it is pure food prepared in an ancient technique.

I am pretty good with sushi, but to hang out with a sushi chef and be in constant awe of his ideas and knife skills is something that always captivates me.

Last year during the holidays I had taken Greg out for Sushi, and as the saying goes, "the rest is history..."

I was able to take Greg to a level that I once was taken by Chef Scott. It is so much fun being able to play with stuff that you don't normally get to play with, or learning stuff that you really don't know anything about.

The Sushi Bar that Greg and I went to we pretty much found by accident and man did I freak out. The sushi chef was a young white guy that was totally phenomonal. I was so captivated by Chef J and his taste, color, texture, presentation, combination of flavors that Greg and I commenced on eating his entire menu and then some...that was kind of wild...

I featured Sushi Chef J on RestaurantEdge as a "You've Been Spotted By RestaurantEdge" spotlight and I published the article for him and now it is hanging on the wall in Nama's Sushi Bar in Knoxville, TN

Culinary Evangelist?????????

My buddy Chef Dave from Pennsylvania had jokingly called me the Culinary Evangelist due to the fact that I try to be somewhat motivating to other chefs and cooks with my uncanny outlook on of our somewhat crazy business.

These are pics from my giving the commencement speech for the graduating class of Second Harvest's Culinary Program in August.

At first I thought the "Culinary Evangelist" thingy was kind of funny, then Dave had sent me his reference list and descrips because I was one of the people on his reference list. I was listed as Chef/Culinary Evangelist...ha ha....Cheffy thought that was pretty funny and then when I saw the pics from the commencement I automatically thought of Dave...

You rock Buddy!!!!