Friday, October 30, 2009

New Website

Here is the link to the new site, a lot of work to do on it yet, may lock myself up at home and just keep plugging away at it and see if I can have it complete before Monday

Saturday, October 24, 2009

About the Hurricane Articles

Oct 2009

Is hard to believe that the devastation of Katrina, Rita and Wilma has been over 4 years now and New Orleans, although operational, is still in shambles. It is pretty sad...

As stated by Chef Roy in an earlier post (click here)
I became very involved in a lot of aspects of the relief effort without actually being in New Orleans. I had organized a busload of supplies to be shipped into Saint Johns Parish. My former website "RestaurantEdge" got very involved in having staples sent to us and then in turn we made sure they made it to a relief effort. Organized meals for victims that were evacuated into where I was living at at the time which included working in the shelter, working in the kitchen, seeing needs and supervising the attentions that needed to be met among a hundred other things. It was sad and I took it quite personal if not obsessive. Needless to say there were times when the tragedy initially struck that I did not sleep for days and if I did it was in an office or a nearby car.

If more people put forth the love and willingness to help other people as much as we do in a national tragedy the world would be so much a better place...


Hurricanes Rita and Katrina Destroy New Orleans

The Impact on the food industry due to the tragedies of New Orleans
September 2005

The Impact on the Food Industry due to the tragedy of New Orleans

We have recently witnessed one of the greatest tragedies to ever
strike American soil due to the devastation Mother Nature had on
Louisiana and Mississippi. Although there are thousands of topics
that can arise due to this tragedy, I would like to specifically
discuss the food industry interjected with some of my own personal
opinions and forecasts. Please keep in mind that I am but one Chef,
and this article is of my own opinion.

First, and foremost, I want to address the influx of articles on the
internet and public regarding the future of New Orleans and the
entire gulf region devastated by Katrina and now Rita. Don't believe
everything you read!! Nobody knows for certain what the future of
this Gulf region holds, NOBODY!!! If your establishment depends on
the outcome of the economy of the Gulf Region please attain and study
a reputable commodity report that will give you accurate information
pertaining to the market in question.

The devastation that this bombshell has and will have on the food
industry is beyond words; and to most of us, beyond comprehension.
The effect on the ecosystem can only be described as ecocide; the
destruction of an ecological system. This tragedy will affect
everything from the fishing to the farming communities, from the Mom
and Pop restaurants to Brennan's and Commander's Palace to the street
vendors, from the economical state of Louisiana, Mississippi and most
recently Eastern Texas to everyone that depends on the industries
therein. There are so many variables that have been devastated by
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from human life and sacrifice to rice
patties to farming and fishing industries. The devastation is grander
than any of us could possibly imagine, and as a Chef, these variables
are going to affect the industry for a long time to come.

A case in point is in a recent report published by USFoods that
stated as it stands now; the shrimping industry is only running at
25% of its capacity. It is projected that within the next few weeks
that the shrimping industry in the Gulf and the Delta will be at 50%,
with a projected loss of 50%. And this is just one case in point,
when you think of all the vendors and purveyors that lost trucks,
warehouses, and processing equipment; the fishermen that lost boats,
personnel and machinery necessary to process these foods, the impact
and devastation is something beyond comprehension and belief. And I
am not even going to get into the effect on the catfish or crawdad
industry�(this report was released before the devastation of
Hurricane Rita also)

When someone asks me what my culinary influences are I reply that my
truest love is that of the Cajun/Creole/Acadian styles of the
culinary arts. I claim this as my forte mainly because they include
the fusions of so many cuisines and ethnic groups that came to be
known as such. Three hundred years ago when the Acadians left Nova
Scotia to find a new land who would have thought that their ideas
were going to be married with not only the environment and challenges
of the bayous of Louisiana but with the cultures of the south in the
late 1700's such as the Native Americans, Spanish, French, West
Indians, Jamaicans, etc. In my heart I believe that the
Cajun/Creole/Acadian styles were the original "fusion cuisine" that
has long proven that they have had the ability of standing the test
of time and will continue to do so with or without New Orleans.

The late 1970's-early 80's saw Cajun and Creole cooking come to the
forefront all across America thanks to such culinary artists such as
Paul Prudhomme and Justine Wilson, still today you can find Cajun
dishes or blackened something or another pasted on menus nationwide.
For us gastronomes that have witnessed the cuisines that New Orleans
and other regions of the Gulf and Delta had to offer, I can honestly
say that it is one of the most phenomenal entities of the American
food world.

The impact of this cuisine goes so much further than blackened
redfish or crawfish etouffee. Although the cuisines of such places as
the Brennan's establishments, Emeril's or Commander's Palace are
truly great experiences, subjectively, the true experience of New
Orleans is witnessing the true cuisines of the land, the food that
has been there for hundreds of years and is in and of itself one of
the greatest melds of cuisines internationally, from Jamaica to Nova
Scotia and all of the other cultures that were melded in between,
from oyster po' boys to crawfish etouffee over dirty rice to a
million variations of true Cajun "street food" to beignets and a good
cup of coffee at Caf� DuMonde. THIS IS NEW ORLEANS!!!, not a
blackened chicken sandwich with spicy curly fries at the Hard Rock

Is the system that America has known as Cajun/Creole/Acadian food
been destroyed? I tend to believe it has not. The talent that New
Orleans and the surrounding bayou areas possessed, for the most part
anyway, has been re-located or is in the process of re-locating/re-
establishing their lives and the art that these men and women
expressed there are going to be shared with the rest of the
continent/hemisphere/world. Thank goodness�.

My heart and prayers go out to all those that have been affected by
these tragedies.

Here is hoping that Peace and Serenity find its way into your day
today and everyday.

Peace, Hugs and Shrimp Etouffee,
Chef Michael Hayes

Hurricanes and New Orleans

The Chef's Office
January 2006
New Orleans

This is in sorts a continuation of the "Hurricane Impact on the Food
Industry" an article I had written after the horrendous effects of
Katrina, Rita and Wilma for and The Chef's Office
newsletters. For more information about the Chef's Office Newsletters
read the Special Reports section on the front page of or join our mailing list and visit our archives
at "The Chef's Office"

One important thing that I want to stress is that the need for help
continues for a lot of people in areas from Houston to Southern
Florida. Just because these disasters are out of the limelight
doesn't mean that there is not an ongoing struggle for good people to
do the right thing. Please visit, local chapters of
your American Culinary Federation Chapter, or the New Orleans ACF to
see how we can give back to our community.

OK�so I started the babbles in the last Chef's Office newsletter
about New Orleans�.Cheffy sez�

"�The impact of this cuisine goes so much further than blackened
redfish or crawfish etouffee. Although the cuisines of such places as
any of the Brennan's establishments and Emeril's are truly great
experiences, subjectively, the true experience of New Orleans is
witnessing the true cuisines of the land, the food that has been
there for hundreds of years and is in and of itself one of the
greatest melds of cuisines internationally, from Jamaica to Nova
Scotia and all of the other cultures that were melded in between,
from oyster po' boys to crawfish etouffee over dirty rice to a
million variations of true Cajun "street food" to beignets and a good
cup of coffee at Café DuMonde. THIS IS NEW ORLEANS!!!, not a
blackened chicken sandwich with spicy curly fries at the Hard Rock

Is the system that America has known as Cajun/Creole/Acadian food
been destroyed? I tend to believe it has not. The talent that New
Orleans and the surrounding bayou areas possessed, for the most part
anyway, has been re-located or is in the process of re-locating/re-
establishing their lives and the art that these men and women
expressed there are going to be shared with the rest of the
continent/hemisphere/world. Thank goodness�."Chef's Office-Oct. 2005

***chefmike note: It is pretty sad when we realize that almost a
thousand food service establishments in New Orleans will not re-open,
never mind the people that lost their lives, livelihoods, and homes.
What an impact. It is not too late to give to a charity of your
choice to improve the quality of life.

A good chef buddy of mine, Chef Keith continues with his insight:

Mike, Good article! It got my brain thinking a little bit about the
culinary talent and future of "Nawlins" cuisine.

Cajun/Creole is most definitely Americas most predominant regional
cuisine bar none. The rich historical melting pot of cultural
influences over the last several hundred years has virtually
guaranteed its own survival. These millions of people who are a
living part of this society-even relocated, are still very much
responsible for carrying on its future.

Cooks didn't forget how to cook it, folks didn't forget how to eat it-
and the lifestyle of the region will persist through any crisis. It
is, after all, events like this that cause changes in the history and
influences of cuisine in general. My own opinion on how these changes
will effect our favorite regional cuisine is that New Orleans will
always remain the epicenter, hence the creator- of this style of

But the major change is that it now has had a ripple effect
outward...inland with the influx of people relocating and starting
their lives over in the South! Cities like Houston TX, Jackson MS and
Montgomery AL have all suddenly jumped an index in Cajun/Creole
influences-thus actually spreading this cuisine further and melting
it down more...a further reduction if you will, of your favorite
fusion techniques. Possibly spreading as far as Dallas TX, Memphis TN
or Atlanta GA these areas have all been recently sprayed with the
incoming residents of the region.

Instead of some cooks making the "Meccan" journey to New Orleans...I
see Nawlin's coming to our town instead. It will be very interesting
indeed to see what happens when these techniques are fused with new
local ingredients spawning a new varietals of Cajun/Creole cuisine.
Get ready for the Blackened Georgia Peach Trifle and the Memphis
Spare Rib Jambalaya!!! New restaurants will be popping up in our
cities with the timeless flare of Nawlins-

Just watch!

Amen Keith�

My heart goes out to all that have been affected by this tragedy.

Chef Michael Hayes

Food and Sanitation Part II

Food and Sanitation Part II
September 2002

Quite a few comments in the mailbag about the first Sanitation Issue,
so I am going to quickly address these, I
don't want to get into the CheffyBabbles too much I have a good bit
of information to give, just want to send Hugs out to everyone and
thanks for joining me in the Wild and Wacky World of chefmike. This
newsletter is published on several yahoogroups and the new
chefmikemaniacs are popping up all over the place, so needless to
say, a special CheffyHug to y'all and thanks for joining us.

**And she looks at the meat in her fridge�then flips a coin**

Well, should it stay or should it go???

Whew!! Tough question�this was probably the most asked question I
received in reply to the last newsletter. Like I mentioned in the
last newsletter, temperature is everything, and attaining desired
temperatures in a desirable time is very, very important.

The general rule of thumb is to cool down your product to less than
45 degrees (below 40 is optimal) in less than four hours. If it does
not, then you must ensure that the product is re-heated only once to
above 165 degrees. So for y'all that want to reheat a rare steak and
still want it on the rare side�you're SOL buddy�But it's like it is
with many foods, it is a needless risk we often take�myself included.

**How Can I tell?**

This is real tough one to answer. I have been working with food long
enough that I can tell by smell, texture, coloration blah, blah, blah�
you get the picture. Here are a list of things that I find to be the
most important things to do to ascertain that your foods are being
cooled fast enough.

1/ Cooling and proper storage is very important�numbero uno. When
considering the "4 hour time limit" like I discussed before, you must
consider from the time that the food sat out at dangerous
temperatures prior to your cooling, in both preparation and after it
was cooked.

2/ Proteins and dairy products are the top on the DangerList.(I just
love making up Cheffy words by combining them into one word�ha ha)

Meat, poultry, seafood, soy products, milk, cheese and other dairy,
and eggs especially,are on the DangerList, even Grammie's Pole Bean

3/ Dividing out your product into smaller portions is a simple way to
attain desired temperatures. If it is liquid, cool it down in a
baking pan or some other shallow rectangular instrument. If it is a
large roast or some other piece of meat, cut it into smaller portions.

4/ Different kitchen utensils conduct heat better than others
therefore stainless steel will cool something down faster than
Tupperware for instance.

This really is a deep subject that I can rant on about forever, and I
hope this helped give a general overlook of what is important in
cooling down foods.

When do I chuck it?

Again, this is a hard one. If it dances around in your fridge wearing
flack jackets and humming the Marine Corps Hymn, I'd say get rid of
it. LOL

My general rule of thumb is this:

I reheat only once

I do not keep proteins that have been cooked more than a couple days
unless they are frozen.

I do not keep anything that is cream based for more than two days
unless it contains raw egg, and then I don't keep it at all.

I do not keep dairy two days past its expiration date and always
check the expiration dates of eggs before I buy them and before I use

And like I said, watch out for those guys singing the Marine Corps

OK�enough rambling, feel free to send your questions to

Take me to the Food Cheffy!!

From the Mailbag�

Why should I add wine to my sauce???

This was sent to me via chefmikesworld by my dear friend, and a damn
good Personal Chef, Marlene, from the Chicago area.

Marlene is helping Cheffy with his latest addition to his website
that will focus on treats and recipes for our four-legged buddies.
The recipes are going to highlight one of Marlene's concepts as a
Personal Chef, and as always, am glad to help her anyway I can with
any questions she (or anyone) may have. (and boy does she have a lot
of questions�LOL)

The general gist of what Marlene and I were discussing is that I am
encouraging people to send me a recipe I can comment on from a Chef's
point of view. Explaining methods of why this works and why this
doesn't, if I was preparing the dish what I would do differently etc.
If you wanna get in on the fun please join us, it is becoming rather
enjoyable and informative answering questions from around the globe.

Before I was answering these questions strictly by email but it seems
that it would add a nice twist to the many recipe sites and food
information sites on the internet. Come join the fun, send your
recipe and see what Cheffy has to say about it. The only thing that I
ask is that if you take the recipe from another site or from another
source is to give credit to the original author if possible, or post
the link from the site the recipe was taken from.


Butterflied and stuffed with a mixture of dried fruits and hazelnuts,
saut�ed shallots, fresh bread crumbs and herbs, they are roasted,
then sliced and topped with a sauce. The tenderloins can be prepared
several hours ahead.

3 � cups chicken broth (plus more if needed)
1 Pkg. Of Trader Joe's - Golden Berry Blend of dried fruit (8 oz.) it
has Golden Raisins,
Cranberries, Blueberries.
1 Pkg. Dried apple pieces - I had left over apples, cherries,
cranberries and used them all up in addition to the package
of Trader Joe's that I used.
3 T unsalted butter (divided)
1 Pkg. 2.5 oz of Hazelnuts (if whole with skins roast for 15 minutes
and rub skins off)
� cup chopped shallots
� cup fresh bread crumbs
� tsp. Dried thyme leaves
� tsp. Dried sage leaves, crumbled
1 Pork loin that was two pieces fat trimmed - I pounded both and made
2 roast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T Vegetable oil
1 Cup dry white wine
� cup apricot fruit spread or apricot preserves

Bring � cup broth to a boil in medium, heavy saucepan. Add all dried
fruits and remove from heat and let them stand for say 20 minutes.
Strain fruit mixture over a bowl and pressing down on fruit with back
of spoon extract as much liquid as possible. Save juice and transfer
fruit to a bowl.

Melt 2 T butter in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add shallots
and saut� for a few minutes, until softened. Add bread crumbs, thyme
and sage and saut� for another minutes. Add to fruit mixture and add
hazelnuts (remember to roast if necessary to take skins off - rub in
a towel this makes it much easier to remove).

Place pork on board and cut down center only cutting two-thirds of
the way through. Open it like a book and put plastic wrap on it and
pound it so that it is the same thickness throughout. �" is best and
salt and pepper both sides. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread one-fourth of the stuffing over 1 tenderloin, leaving about �"
border on all sides. Using plastic wrap and starting with long side,
roll up meat, into a jellyroll style. Tie with kitchen string at
approx. 1 �" intervals to hold shape.

Melt remaining 1 T butter with oil in a large, heavy roasting pan
over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 7
minutes. Remove pork from pan and do not clean pan. Place rack in
same roasting pan and set pork back in. Mix reserved fruit-soaking
liquid and 3 cups of broth. Pour mixture over pork. Roast until a
meat thermometer inserted into center of port registers 150 F,
basting every 10 or 15 minutes with pan juices, about 35 to 40
minutes. Transfer pork to a platter and tent with aluminum foil and
keep warm.

Place roasting pan over medium-high heat on stove. Add wine and if
needed broth so that it totals 2 cups. Bring to a boil, scraping up
brown bits, mix in apricot spread or preserves. Add cornstarch if
needed adjust salt and pepper.

Remove strings from pork. Slice pork and overlap slices on platter.
Spoon some sauce over and garnish with thyme and sage sprigs. Put
remaining sauce separately in a bowl.

Deglazing Sauce Pans

"� Ok Cheffy,I would like to know if you would do anything different
on the sauce. Also I am not always sure on which wines to use in
cooking. In this recipe I would try and pick one that had some fruit
or citus flavor but would have to depend on the store for help. Do
you have favorites that you mostly use??


OK we go...

Dark meat, dark wine
Light meat, white wine

Pork is probably one of my exceptions to this rule. Although there
are many exceptions, this is just my general rule of thumb.

I choose something that is fruity. Some form of nice red is good, I
like burgundy with pork personally. I also like to use balsamic
vinegar to compliment the burgundy.

So why do we put wine in the pan anyway?

This method is called deglazing. Deglazing can be used with a stock
or broth but is best with something acidic like wine, vinegar or an
acidic fruit juice (lemon, lime, apple, orange, pineapple are some
good ones)

What the acid does is break down the particles in your pan first of
all and opens up the pan. What I mean by that is that pans are metal,
and metal is porous, when we heat any metal the pores open up due to
a molecular change in the substance (metal), when we add the acid it
cleanses the pores in our pans therefore reintegrating the flavors
absorbed by the pan back into our sauce.

Would I do anything different to the sauce?

Adding the slurry is good, but personally I do not like using
slurry's in sauces unless they are Asian dishes. For a nice sauce,
(although not all that healthy...LOL) I like to finish my sauce by
emulsifying butter to finish off the sauce.

I am not condemning your recipe by no means, it sounds great...
(when's dinner?) but if it were my dish...

I would put the roasting pan back on the stovetop, deglaze with a
nice Burgundy and some dark Balsamic vinegar and scrape my pan. I
would reduce this by 1/3 the original volume with a pinch of fresh
thyme and sage and my remaining fruits and liquid. I would have some
cold,unsalted butter in chunks (about 1T chunks)when the acidic
liquids have reduced I would add one chunk of butter at a time and
swirl or shake my pan or gently stir (do not use a whip, you do not
want to incorporate air into the sauce, you just want to cream the
sauce) until the reduction takes on a nice creamy essence. When I
attained my desired consistency I would add a little bit of heavy
cream to stabilize the sauce.

Chungachungabam Baby!!!!!! We're there...Cheffy-Style

Something sweet for my kid sister

This one is for one of my kid sister's whom just loves Mudslide
Mudslide Brownies

2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Unsalted butter
4 ounces chocolate chips
3 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Sugar
4 tablespoons Coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons Irish Cr�me liqueur
1 tablespoon Vodka
3/4-cup coarsely chopped walnuts (opt.)

Kahlua Glaze:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Coffee liqueur

Sift flour with baking powder and salt. In small saucepan, combine
butter and chocolate.

Set over low heat, just until chocolate is melted. Set

In bowl, beat in dry ingredients, chocolate mixture, coffee
liqueur, Irish creme liqueur and vodka.

Fold in nuts. Pour into 13x9-inch pan and bake at 350F about 25
minutes. Cool in pan. Spread with Kahlua Glaze. Decorate with whole
coffee beans, if desired. Cut into squares and serve.

OK�that's enough for the CheffyBabbles�see ya next time and Happy

May Peace and Serenity find its way into your world today and everyday
Peace, Hugs and Cookies,

Focusing on our Art Part II

Focusing on our Art
The Continuing Saga

Thanks to everyone for continuing to join us in the Chef�s Office,
although the newsletters have been few and far between, we are getting
there slowly but surely. Well, not a lot of CheffyBabbles, you have some
reading to do�

The first is from my friend and culinary mentor, Chef Bento, whom has
taught me the importance of taking my knowledge and expertise in this
industry to the next level of awareness, and the second is by my good
friend and Personal Chef, Marlene. Hope you enjoy it and look forward in
hearing from you on suggestions for future issues.

Focusing On Our Art
(A reply to an instigation)

Perhaps it is appropriate to start by stating my belief that without a
certain attitude to our craft, information, knowledge and skill are of
little value. It is what we do with what we know that ultimately
matters, not only the results but also the doing itself. After all, when it
is all said and done and only bones and breadcrumbs remain on the
table, we are once again back to work. What we find is a passion for the
process where the enjoyment comes from the labor rather than monetary
value or recognition.

Culinarians are a special breed. Rarely do we begin with the premise
of fame and fortune. It is the love of the work. Many times our work
evolves and ends up do be something different than what it began to be.
We begin with the textures, smells, colors, tastes and the
environment-and before we know it we are involved in the science and economics of
food. Perhaps this where many are led astray into a world of
percentages and cost and quality cutting. Subtly, often unnoticed, we turn from
the painstaking and dedicated side of our art to the shortcuts. On our
way to conventional efficiency we often neglect our emotions and miss
the true joy of what we do. We drift into competition. Less romance,
and more reality. Less time for discoveries and following them through
to the rewarding end.

Is food just food? Are all rice grains created equal? Why do some
people love to kneed dough, others pull sugar and still others create
sauces? Some people enjoy working in small intimate establishments while
others seek the challenge of large operations. There is no one way to
cook. For every level of work there should be a consciousness of doing
that work well and constantly striving for the next level of quality
and enjoyment of the process. All people are different and have
different goals. But if there was a common goal among us, let it be that we
focus on the enjoyment of the process.

Often we cross a threshold were one discovery leads to another. Food
is a sensual medium with an infinite amount of creative possibilities.
We can create exquisite flavors and presentations or we can hack out
unrefined impulsive messages. Without the underlying satisfaction of the
process we would be unable to grow and to teach others, there by
assisting in the evolution of the gastronomic process of food.

Focusing on our art is more about finding out who we are as individuals
first and applying who we are to what we do. We can not expect to be
detailed oriented, organized, clean and creative if that is not what we
are to begin with. Yes, we all can learn these traits and are
constantly seeking higher levels of awareness, but we can not clock in and
become what we are not. I have found that as I become more aware as a
father I become a better teacher and mentor in my job, as I excel as a
chef/manager my ability to take care of my personal life becomes easier.
All areas of our life are symbiotic of one another and none are void of
similarities. The challenge is to balance the two and give each the
attention that it deserves and you deserve.

It is imperative to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to
grow. Constant trustworthy feedback is the greatest tool for us to see
where improvement is necessary and to help notice our accomplishments.
Given a clear path and direct goals, we can enjoy the process of
working, learning, growing as an individual and living life to its fullest.
So go out and plant a rose, you will be a better chef. Sit down and
talk to your cooks, you will be a better parent. Enjoy the challenges in
the process, you will be a happier more fulfilled human being.

Scott Monteverde
AKA: Chef Bento

Focusing On Our Art-Marlene�s reply

We are all taught the invaluable lesson of staying focused early in
life, being and staying focused reflects the quality in everything that we

We are born with that almost as an instinct. As infants we focus on
moms and then surrounding family, and as we grow so does the circle of our
focus. As we mature we perform the tasks that go along with the focus
or learn to really concentrate. As we put these two together we create
our own little world where we can measure ourselves and be individual.
That is what drives me more than speed or any other components. I don't
want to be cookie cutter. That is one reason why I enjoy being a
Personal Chef, I get to do a different menu or style of cooking made to order
just for that client. I still focus on being creative and possible
meeting special diet issues if required.

To me there is nothing better than to distress or shut out frightening
news of war or problem solving then to cook in my own kitchen and test
recipes. Once I have created a dish I get to further enhance my
enjoyment by presenting it on a plate and seeing how many different creations
I can do. I have involved all of the basic senses and felt such great
satisfaction, more so than in a corporate world of paper pushing. I
might even be helping a type 2 diabetic or a heart patient to improve there
life. Now I know that I have purpose and have made a difference and
have true meaning. Now my favorite signature is "Life is to short for
'Fast Food.'


In referring to both articles, it is all about taking care of the
little things. When you take care of the little things you prevent big
things from happening. A very valuable lesson I learned from a friend and
sometimes employee of ours, Chef George. It is when we take the time to
smell the roses that we can really put into perspective the light we add
into someone else�s darkness�

Peace, Hugs and Cookies to All,

Michael Hayes
AKA �Cheffy�

Focusing On Our Art

Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement.

Rita Mae Brown

We are all taught the invaluable lesson of staying focused early in life, being and staying focused reflects the quality in everything that we do.

One of my favorite stories about concentrating and focusing evolves around my daughter. As a parent, we attempt to instill the importance of focusing and concentrating, by such brilliant phrases past down through the generations "I don't think you are trying hard enough...", " can do anything you set you mind to...", etc. we all know the routine. One of my favorite lines was simply stating the word "concentration".

I value myself as being a quite good cribbage player. One year when she was about 8 or 9 I had entered a cribbage contest that was being sponsored in our little town of Dexter, Michigan. She was out playing with her friends and decided to come check up on me. Upon finding that Dad was getting his butt whooped, she lovingly slapped me in the back of my head and told me "...Dummy!!! you're not concentrating hard enough!!!" ha ha...I still lost the match, but it was one of those moments I will remember the rest of my life. It is funny when you are forced to realize that sometimes we need to practice what we preach

Focusing on tasks, no matter how menial, is a lesson that can be applied to each and every one of us, not only in our personal lives, but professionally as well. There is not a career known that can not learn a valuable lesson by evaluating the focus of the people that are our associates and developing that focus into newer, faster, more efficient methods of completing these tasks.

Dick Brennan, the son of the world-famous Dickie Brennan. of Dickie Brennan's Palace Cafe in New Orleans had once said that the key of getting and staying on top is specifically focusing on the three basics; good food, good service and good atmosphere.

Although the concept sounds easy enough, it is impossible to achieve any of these without disciplining ourselves to focus on details. From a chef's point of view, this can be broken down into a variety of sub-categories, such as purchasing the best food possible, preparing it with the care and expertise that our envisioned product demands, not only on a single ingredient, but each and every ingredient. Focusing on the entire method of preparation, execution and presentation. Giving one hundred percent of our focus on the task of completing our visions and ensuring that if we are preparing food for 2 or 2000 people that each and every dish is prepared perfectly and that the 2000th plate looks and tastes exactly as the first one. Without a vision and 110% of being focused this task would be impossible

As is with human nature, I take something that I think is well executed and attempt to find a quicker, more simple way to make it so that the next time I attempt this dish, this plate, that sauce or that next batch of 700 pounds of pork loin I have to prepare. I always evaluate the triumph of surviving the culinary war I just went through and wonder what I could have done differently. A Chef's ability to maintain focus in everything that he does as a chef, a cook, a culinarian is ultimately reflected in each and every thing he permits to leave his kitchen.

Although I have been in this business for quite a long time, thanks to my current mentor, Chef Bento, I have become more self-aware of this importance, thus taking me to another plateau of becoming a better chef and culinarian.

I personally have witnessed (and fallen prey to) the lack of focusing leading to a rough road right on the brink of failure, or un-success, if you will. When we take things for granted, is the time when we are setting ourselves up to fail. It used to be that I found doing a party of 25 more difficult than doing a party of 1250. In the words of Chef Bento I "...didn't respect the event...". A party of 25 demands just as much respect, discipline and focus as a party of 2500. For those of us that are serious about food and the hospitality industry, this is a very valuable lesson.

The old saying that practice leads to perfection, has never been more true than it is in our profession. Wolfgang Puck once said "When you have made as many mistakes as I have, then you will be as good as me". What it all boils down to (every pun intended) is that it is all about the basics. Discipline, staying focused, watching, listening, smelling, tasting, touching, slicing, dicing, marinating, teaching, learning. Mastering the basics of our art leads us to becoming better chef's, culinarians and gastronomes. But more importantly, it keeps us on top of our game.

This is who we are and this is what we do baby!!!!!

"Happy and successful cooking doesn't rely only on know-how; it comes from the heart, makes great demands on the palate and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life."
Georges Blanc, Ma Cuisine des Saisons

Well, thanks for hanging out at the Chef's Office and reading the CheffyBabbles. If you care to comment on what you have read, would like to make a contribution to The Chef's Office on this topic, or have anything else you want to address please feel free to contact me at

Peace, Hugs and Cookies,


Fire Up The Grill

Fire Up That Grill

Well it�s that time of year again�and for some of us it never stopped,
just ask Chef Tom�

This edition is going to be offered in two parts. This issue is going
to be on grilling and the second part is going to be on brining,
marinating and smoking meats and seafood, along with fun stuff that we could
do on the grill including Chef T�s grilled pizza.

Like a lot of people, there is nothing better than firing up the grill
and cooking up some steak, smoking some pork butts and seafood and just
enjoying the life that comes with doing BBQ�s with family and friends.

This newsletter was inspired by Sean, one of our new members at
Culinary Artists Chef It Up, asking about grilling steaks so that they don�t
resemble marinated Birkenstock�s. I hope you enjoy this issue and that
we add some insight to help you have a great time with friends and
family this summer�

Happy Grilling�

Sean wrote:

I have enjoyed being a part of your group I have learned a great
deal. It�s summer and I want to learn how to grill steaks so that
people will come back for more. What kind of steaks should I look for,
what should I be looking for when it comes to steaks. I tried grilling
the steaks one time and my shoe was softer. So If anyone has any
suggestion or tips I would greatly appreciate any and all help

Heather got to Sean�s question before Cheffy got to it and I really
didn�t have a lot to add, she definitely touched base on a lot of the
important factors in assuring that you wind up with an excellent
product�Good stuff Heather, thanks for sharing�

Heather replies:

Hello Sean,
The key to great steaks relies on 2 important factors....the cut of
meat you have, and the temp of your grill.

Choose cuts of beef from either the loin or rib section and with either
a prime or choice USDA grade. The name of the cut will usually have the
section it came from in the same...such as "rib eye" or sirloin
etc...sometimes not such as porterhouse...which comes from the loin. The meats
from this section are muscle groups that arent "worked" when the animal
is alive, and therefore more tender due to lack of certain tissues that
build during physical activity.

Most meats from the rib or loin only need very hot and quick cooking
methods such as broiling or grilling. The hotter your grill and the
quicker you cook the meat will determine the outcome of the tenderness of
your steaks. Also...knowing the different temps for well...well are important. It takes some experience to get the
feel when a steak has reached a certain temp inside without having to
poke a thermometer in it to make sure.

One trick that I learned is a little bit easier. By looking at the palm
of your hand...note the meaty part of the bottom of your palm starting
from the base of your thumb to the top of your wrist...starting at the
wrist, press with your finger to feel its firmness...the closer you are
to the base of your thumb, the higher the temp or the more done your
meat will be. The steak will have a similar firmness to this part of your
palm. Soon...if you practice wont need to measure with
your palm...or a thermometer.

The idea in cooking steak is cook them quickly. The grill is a source
of dry heat which can rob your steaks of precious moisture if cooked too
long. the grill must be at temp before you place any meat on it. Once
hot, place your meats on the grill...if making med rare for
example...cook about 2-3 mins on each side. Cooking them quickly like this on a hot
grill...sears in the juices so they wont leak out of your steak,
leaving them dry, tough and flavorless. Speaking of flavor...definitely
season and flavor your steaks before the grilling process...however, if
using a bbq sauce or any other marinade that has a high sugar content,
place on the meat just before it is ready to come off of the grill to
prevent the charred, burnt to a crisp crust of burnt sauce. Perfectly
beautiful steak will have those lovely grill marks on achieve those
you must place your steak on the
grill...after 30 secs to 1 min you will see marks...once the first
marks can be seen without turning the steak over...rotate slightly to
either the right or left to create another set of marks...hopefully making a
"diamond" shape when crossed over the first marks. Do the same to the
other side when steak is ready to be turned over. Also minimize turning
the steaks over...they should only be turned once. handling them will
release the juices inside and leave your steaks dry. Dont ever walk away
from your grill when you have steaks on them. They change temp in
seconds...not minutes and you don�t want to disappoint those you are cooking
for with a steak that is overdone.

I hope this info could be of help to you and start you off in the right
direction to some great steak. Happy grilling!!

Cheffy�s reply to Heather�

Hey Heather,

This sounds like the next couple editions of the Chef's Office

Grilling Meats

So tell me about your favorite marinades, sauces, rubs, cuts of meat or
other favorite proteins to use, woods used to smoke with, blah, blah,
blah... you get the message

(Chef Tom's 'Chef T's Chipotle BBQ Sauce' definitely included)

Heather that was very informative, pretty much hit everything on the
head...I was originally going to answer the question but you hit on all
the important issues...good stuff

Chef Tom of Excalibur Foods replied:

Hey Mike...
Thanks for the plug...just made a batch of sauce this past weekend.
It's always time to's just more enjoyable when you aren't the
only one by the grill freezing your "pork butt" off in the winter or bad

My favorite things to grill (or smoke) are... pork (any cut, but the
most used by myself are butts and tenderloins), tuna, grouper, marinated
vegetables, pizza over mesquite.

My favorite woods are apple, cherry, hickory and mesquite (in that

I was in Jamaica in '93 and tried authentic jerk for the first time and
they use Pimento wood...very nice.

Favorite styles of marinades and preparations...
Southwestern / Asian are equal favorites (It's those damn hot
peppers...I just like that flavor!), Caribbean, Southern / Cajun

My favorite sauces and rubs are by this guy who I know quite
well...these are his products.

Say no more...time to find something to throw on the fire.

Tom (Chef T)

Cultivation of Kitchen Spirit

Cultivation of Kitchen Spirit

Ah�.the day is finally over, paperwork is done, kitchen is cleaned
and closed down�or is it?

Party of 750 tomorrow, one for 200 on Saturday and a ton of
reservations for both days. Went over banquet event orders and
reservations with my Chef de Cuisine and my Sous Chefs, all the
ordering's done, all the systems in place, scheduling is completed,
produce called in, final prep mise en place for the morning is
accomplished. Man, I love my job. Not only do I love it, I love
sharing it, which is one of the great things about being a Chef,
cultivating a spirited staff that I can depend on.

As a Chef, we must take it upon ourselves not only to set the pace
and quality in our kitchen but having the type of staff we can rely
on, especially one of the most important factors of our profession,
our Chefs de Cuisine, and our Sous Chefs.

As a culinary professional although it is important to express so
that others understand our philosophies of our food---taste, color,
texture, quality, final product. It is our job to develop our
management staff into being all that they are capable of being
without having the fear of "pushing the envelope".

Our world today, is much different than it was when we were growing,
studying, learning-we have come to learn that compassion goes a lot
further than the insanity of the "old school" methods of developing
culinarians. Many of us will remember the norm as having the chef
screaming, throwing tantrums and slinging rondos across the kitchen,
telling you that your food looks like crap, pulling plates out of the
window while he is asking if you would rather wash dishes that
evening. We sure have come a long way baby!!!

The growth in my management style I can honestly say is a tribute to
my friend, teacher and mentor,Executive Chef Scott Monteverde. There
are important factors that you must address continuously with and
through your Chefs de Cuisine and your Sous Chefs, they are the
backbone of not only your establishment, but of you , your image and
your food.

I have acquired a certain amount of ideologies from Chef Scott that I
attempt to always share with my entire staff, both front and back of
the house, it makes for a better work environment and a strong spirit
in our kitchens.

Cook together
Rubbing elbows and exchanging sweat with your cooks and chefs is one
of the greatest teachers of them all. Leading by example. You can
teach your staff what you expect not only from flavors, colors,
textures and presentations, but what you expect them to be-everything
they can be... It doesn't even come close to stopping there, because
our world is so much more than food, food is only one point of a our
extreme multi-faceted circle---from cleanliness and sanitation, from
ordering, scheduling and punching numbers, to having that sense of
urgency, quality, efficiency, to being cool and level headed in the
heat of the pressure. They say that children live what they learn,
well, so do our cooks and chefs�

Share everything
This is not the type of business where we should pull punches (never
mind throwing them). If costs are out of line, if cleanliness and
sanitation aren't up to standards, if food presentation or quality is
lacking, (among a hundred thousand other variables) and
these "variables" are not what we expect, we need to share this
information. The key of this being successful in the development of
your staff, is undoubtedly in the cultivation of their spirit ,
having the ability to express your thoughts, never compromising your
ethics, and never unjustifiably alienating anyone. I refuse to
sacrifice my ethics for any reason, but in the same token, I make it
a point to express myself in a clear, decisive and non-intrusive
manner. I feel that this is very important in the world of
communication, not only with your staff, but with everyone in your
life. Also, the same goes with the positive situations as well, if
they rock and roll, then tell them, if they develop something that is
awesome, then tell them, positive re-enforcement is one of the
greatest things one person can receive from a mentor.

Nurture independence and personal growth
Although there may be questions concerning flavors, textures, method
of execution, so on and so forth. The staff that gets micro-managed
often becomes a dependent staff. Everyone at one point or another
should be able to bring something to the table and should be
receptive to all ideas and suggestions of their managers as well as
their peers. As far as our Chefs de Cuisine and our Sous Chefs, they
should constantly be able to bring something to the table because you
want them to grow and accept ownership of the products they are
permitting to leave your kitchen. Chef Scott once asked me what I
considered myself to be (I was Chef Scott's Executive Sous, we didn't
have a Chef de Cuisine) and I explained to him that although I
consider myself an accomplished culinarian that I was an extension of
his thoughts, visions, flavors, textures and quality. This is exactly
what I expect from the culinarians under my tutelage, although I
always give them the opportunity to express themselves, I encourage
them to have their own independence and make their own decisions.

Give room

Going with my independence and growth thought, it is up to us as
managers to give our management team the room to grow and expand
their horizons. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to some of our
strong people leaving the establishment, but we must expect that some
of our best culinarians will one day want to branch out and either be
on their own or find another culinarian to study under to improve the
overall professional that they are/desire to be. I personally never
criticize a person for wanting to expand the individual that they
want themselves be. One key that I have found is to give them room to
be who they want to be, give them a sense of direction of where I
would like them to go, give them the tools to recognize and attain
that next plateau and above and beyond that, support them win or
lose, success or failure. After all we are their teachers.

Michael "Cheffy" Hayes

Chefs Talk About Food TV

Chefs talk about FoodTV

Hey Everybody,

This was, in part, an interview that I was given this week with some
replies from a couple of my chef friends.

I have since passed some of the interview questions to some of my other
friends so this may come to be a series of articles offering different
perspectives about culinary programming, and our industry as a whole.
Stay tuned and please feel free to forward this to people that you think
may find subjects such as these interesting.

When was the last time you watched Food TV?
Am watching it now.

When was the last time you learned something off of a TV chef?
Last week, I learned that the smoking of meats was initially done
because it kept the flies away from the product and then they discovered
that it preserved the food as well.

What was it and on what program?
Alton Brown's "Good Eats"

What impact do you feel that programs like Great Chef's, local PBS
Cooking Shows and FoodTV programming has made on our profession?

I have had this conversation several times with different walks of
life, both personally and professionally.

Personally, I do not watch cooking show programs too often, although I
do find myself, at times, listening to a cooking program while working
on the computer. I feel that it sometimes makes for provocative
thoughts and ideas.

As far as the impact that I feel that the culinary programming has made
on the industry, I feel that the impact has been an immense one.

People that frequently watch this genre of television shows have found
their own reasons for watching cooking programs. Some for education,
some for new ideas, yet others for principally the entertainment value of
the programming. Aside of this, it has brought to showcase finer foods
that 20 years ago you could hardly find if you were not an epicurean or

Celebrity Chefs like Emeril, Wolfgang, Mario, Alton Brown among all
the others have taken the simplicity of food and shared it with the
world, bringing a new realization to the general public of what our
profession is all about. The cooking shows of the past 15-20 years have made
personalities such as these household names, placing these celebrity
chefs into the limelight and for the first time in history placing them
into the Fortune500.

As a culinary professional, I sometimes find these programs of little
use in the workplace, but as Nancy, a friend and distinguished Chef in
NYC stated, she often watches culinary programming just to see if she
can catch that idea that makes us go “Duh!!! Why didn’t I think of

In reference to this, I believe one of the greatest things of being a
culinary professional is being our own worse enemy. Being able to take
an idea, a method, a recipe, a situation and take it to the next level
to make ourselves better chefs, cooks, managers, humans which
eventually leads us to professionally host our customers ultimately by
providing the best experience, staff, and product the market has to offer.

Do I think FoodTV has made an impact? Heck, yeah!!

Chef Kevin a cyber buddy from Canada replies:

Hey Mike!

As to FoodTV, I don't have much time to watch it these days, but I used
to quite a bit. I'd say it's been 6 months since I've turned it on.

Last time I learned something from a TV chef.... gotta go back into the
recesses of foggy memories.... I'd have to say either some tidbits from
Christine Cushing on her show (up here in Canada anyway), or something
from Emeril, which I like to watch 'cause I like his personality and
style. I also like Alton Brown because he really delves into the why's
and wherefore's of food... really an informative half hour.

Like I said, it's been a long time since I've actually sat back and
watched FoodTV. When I do, I'm always on the lookout for some little thing
to inspire me... more so than teach me. We all need some idea to get us
"outside the box" on occasion, and what better place to find it than
watching professionals in action.

I've always been of the opinion that anything to get people interested
in food is good, even if it's not a good show. I once watched Emeril do
a show on beer and beer making, which I've done quite a bit of. I
thought his shaking of the carboy, and watching it foam everywhere, was
hilarious because I would never do such a thing. Doesn't mean I would never
watch him again, just made me think "He's never made beer before!"
Everybody's human, even a superstar, and they're allowed to screw up, too.

I tell people, especially those who come to my classes and demos, that
the past 10 years or so has been very good for the cooking/chef
business due to things like FoodTV, TV chefs, and of course... the internet.
Information is now everywhere for anyone to see, and as a result,
products that were never available in places like little ol' Nova Scotia, can
now be found pretty easily.

Also, it has influenced cooking techniques everywhere, and I mean
everywhere. I'm certain there's "fusion" in every country as people learn
about other cultures, and their individual techniques. I know I haven't
had the opportunity to travel and "Chef my way around the world", so
I've learned a lot from watching & researching via TV, cookbooks and the
internet. Learn when and where you can, I always say, as long as you're

What all of this has done is begin to remove that mysterious line
between us (the professional chefs), and the home cooks, giving them the
confidence to grow personally. That's all good! That's my biggest purpose
for teaching, getting rid of the mystery in cooking, and making it
easier for people. I think it is for nearly everyone on FoodTV, too.

Chef Kevin

Chef Kevin made some valuable points that I thought I would touch base
on before we get on to Chef LouAnne’s reply.

LEARN!!!! No matter what the source, be it FoodTV, a cookbook or
searching something up on the internet, no one knows everything. The success
of our industry is based on the Chef, the sommelier, the manager, the
line cook that never stops learning and never thinks that he has reached
his ultimate plateau. Always think outside of the box!!!! ( or being that I am a chef maybe I should say “Think outside the pot”
The ultimate plateau is the one that is just beyond our grasp at all times.

As a professional, I often have found myself criticizing the
programming versus accepting and analyzing what I just experienced. Chef Kevin
here makes a valid point. No one is infallible, whether we are in a
kitchen or in front of a television camera. Emeril is a case in point. I
have often found myself laughing at something ridiculous that has
happened, but being humble, he makes a joke out of his mistakes, which often
makes the mistake turn into a learning experience for both himself and
the viewer. Things such as this add to the entertainment value of the

In the words of Wolfgang Puck “…when you have made as many mistakes as
I have, then you will be as good as me…”

And just for the record Alton Brown is the only show I will sometimes
go out of my way to watch

OK next….

This is an excerpt from my friend and Pastry Chef, LouAnne who works
for Bon Appetit Management Company in Missouri. Her reply in its entirety
can be viewed at

“Well I have many loves as well as dislikes to be honest. I like to
watch Great Chefs, but have you ever really watched them? Close up of
hands? Band-Aids on fingers and such, with no gloves?
.....arghhhhhh.....and the hoopla we take for such actions.

I watched a show the other day something about Carmen Electra’s shower
and the guy was licking his fingers...this infuriated me!!! How many
food safety and sanitation videos have I had to
watch?...OMG, I do not wish to remember!!! Didn’t these professionals
have to watch the same set of HAACP and ServSafe videos?

I like iron chef notably because of the time limit or reality as I see
it. I dont know if they get any sort of clue of what they will be
cooking but in my book those are the real pros....the ones that can
pull my ole"rabbit outta the hat trick"...ha

Acting on knowledge not formulas and recipes

But I guess my favorite individual is Julia. She has the best demos I
think. More casual atmostphere, kinda gives that cooking at home feeling

All in all, I prefer to really see the chef doing the work....not all
the product created by
the people in the background put on show by the chef persona..."

Chef LouAnne made some very valid points, which we can discuss all day
long, especially her food safety and sanitation issues. How many times
have you watched a program and the host was wearing gloves? In today’s
kitchen it is pretty much mandatory, why not on this type of
programming? How often have they cleaned their hands during the programming? How
many times have they wiped their hands on their aprons and then
continued food handling? Just a couple things to make you go

Well, I hope you enjoyed the long overdue newsletter�feel free to email
me any rebuttals, I have already started on the next one and am looking
for some other points and points of view�

Cheffy instigates yet another one�

May Serenity find its way into your day today and everyday�


Tao of Being A Chef Articles-CheffyBabbles and Recipes

In the next several post I am going to post a bunch of articles that I had written over the years, some of them will be included in my book "Food & Other Four Letter Words"

Most of them are Cheffy Babbles but there are quite a few recipes mixed in the articles. There will be another post that will have hundreds of recipes linked to my yahoogroup site that you can view but cannot comment on unless you join the group. As of now the group is pretty much inactive but it still does contain a ton of information so the links that I have organized weeds through a bunch of the BS that often accompanies message boards and gives you the opportunity to Copy/Paste or to print the pages that interest you.

Closing Websites and Miscellaneous Stuff

On 26 October all of my websites are closing due to the server discontinuing the service.


Am undecided on how I am going to handle this, there is so much information between the three sites that I may just load up on free site for the time being or just load everything up on here.

The blog has been getting quite a following so perhaps I will just turn the blog into a place to put all of the miscellaneous CheffyBabbles that I have been writing for the past ten years.


My visit with my daughter and the kids was as always pretty grand-daughter was in a cheerleading competition that was very, very cool. She was happy that Poppa took the trip and hung out with her for a couple days. I got pretty weepy at one point really missing her grandmother, wishing she was there with us, it definitely was a special day.


It was football homecoming that weekend as well so I got to go see one of my grandson's play football and he was pretty surprised I actually made it to one of his games even though I promised him I would be there, am not sure that he believed me.

Other than that it was cool to hang out and get out of town for a couple days, as it always is.

More pics and a bunch of CheffyShit coming up in the next couple days....

Finding Sereniity in Madness

Sometimes it does your heart some good to be thankful for the little things in life that happen…

On my trip this time I had lost my brakes to my truck in the mountains of Tennessee on my way down from the Foothills Parkway in Chilohowee, TN

Needless to say it scared the hell out of me and I was very thankful for a safe resting spot…

It was very introspective into my temperance and the person that I have grown to be…there were moments when I have totally lost my cool over things that I could not control, this was very different.

I felt thankful and blessed. I could have easily been killed.

I could have been in a more difficult road in the mountains (which would have happened in another 5 minutes of travelling), I could have trashed my truck, hurt someone else, myself or my dog, Julienne…

There were a lot of variables, and yet at the resting stop of the truck I found so much beauty in the lake, the sunset, my own unheard words…not to mention kinda bummed that I was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, with a cell phone that doesn’t work in the mountains, no houses for miles on end, a straggling vehicle every now and then…definitely stranded….LOL

Special thanks to my Supreme Being and my
Angel on my shoulder for watching over me and showing me the light in my darkness…

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Word from Chef Roy

For those that have been following the CheffyBabbles for a while have heard me refer to my mentor Chef Roy before...

Chef and I have been friends for over 20 years and at one time I was his little psycho-pup, head cook and bottle my life has changed, although gone in complete circles to justify my karma.
The above picture is Chef Roy visiting me in Wisconsin teaching me the ins and outs of major pizza shop production for a hotel that I opened up in Mineral Point, with Chef slapping my hands every time I did something other than the way he was teaching me...some of my staff got a kick out of someone yelling at me and slapping my hands when usually it was me raising my voice and slapping their hands...LOL

This is an email that I got from Chef Roy the other day that really made me feel good knowing that he is proud of the Chef that I have grown to be...

Here is Chef's letter in part...


Just to let you know, you have always impressed me with your ability to live your life to your own standards and still give more, beyond what others in more socially or monetary imaginary status would, with half the satisfaction.

We or should I say just you now, CHEF MIKE spend the personal hours planning, ordering, finding the funding, finding the location, finding people to support your cause. gathering equipment, moving food and equipment, setting up, breaking down, cleaning-up. paying the bills, adding up the profits, finding theirs not enough, and adding what you can to make it seem a little bit better.

As your first Chef, I am proud of your achivements and brag of you often. Your fire for knowledge of food has seemed to out shine mine, a spark I selfishly take credit for.

I love the talks we have, especially the one on how huricane catrina would effect the flavor of New Orleans, how you set up a shelter with food and beds for the victims, and the goverment that never capitalized on your efforts, leaving you with sleepless days and favors cashed for people, Americans

You're a great man, and Chef, good luck in your charity work, and I hope all who reads anything from Michael's many internet connections, anyone who has used a recipe of Michael's (probably mine) or any one who has eaten any of his creations, should contribute to his cause, till it hurts !

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cancer Fundraiser-Nov 12

On November 12th, NV Salon in conjunction with Chef Michael Hayes and Chef Scott Roark will be hosting a Cooking for the Cure Sushi Fest at NV Salon, 314 Stone Avenue, Greenville to benefit Cancer Research. All profits for this event will be donated to the American Cancer Society for Cancer Research in memory of Chef Michael’s late wife Jamie Ruth, who lost her battle with Cancer in November 2004.

For a $12.00 donation you will receive one large Sushi Roll (choice of Smoked Salmon or Vegetarian) with a side of Wakame Salad and be entered to win a “Stump The Chef” Cooking Class performed by Chef Michael. All monetary donations (regardless if you order Sushi or not) will be entered into this drawing.(estimated value $300.00) To find out more about the “Stump The Chef” cooking class go to

NV Salon will be accepting orders for curbside pick-up via telephone and fax. Phoned and faxed orders must be placed by 8 PM on November 11th for lunch and by 2 PM on November 12th for dinner service. All curbside pick-ups will receive a complimentary gift from NV Salon.

So Roll into NV Salon and help us help others!!!!

370-0751- NV Salon

370-0726- Fax