Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011


Many blog posts to come, but for now all you get is a teaser!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Searching San Sebastian

 So today was spent mostly getting a feel for the big city near where we are staying, San Sebastian.  A couple of the more exciting parts of the day were going out for tapas and going hikingish.

 The first tapas bar that we went to was Marti's favorite, Zeruko.  It was a great way to jump into tapas bars.  It was relatively modern but had a pretty casual environment.  The chalkboard menu really shows that and is actually a pretty popular trend in tapas bars.

 Marti giving the low down on what to order.

Pistachio covered Iforgottoaskems.


Foie gras sphere with mango.

 Soo maybe I have more than one Iforgottoaskems, but theyre great food porn!

Next stop was Borda Berri, another pretty cool tapas bar.  This place was a little bit less modern, but the things we got won in flavor hands down.

 Pig ear with romesco and chimichuri.  So far this has been the best thing Ive eaten the whole trip.

Braised veal check inside of a roasted pequillo pepper... OM NOM NOM NOM.  Kind of reminded me of Brownings oxtail marmalade.
Once we had decided we couldn't eat any more we decided to walk it off by heading up that big mountain (Castillo de Mota) in the background there.  The plan was to go meet Jesus up top. 

As you head towards the mountain you are forced to enjoy the beautiful view of this little San Sebasstian oasis, Concha bay.  If it makes you feel better it was exactly the sunniest day out so we didn't go in the water...real horrible I know.

Then there's the view from the top.

and into the castle we go...

To say whats up Jesus...(as he points to the sky.)

On our way down the back of the mountain I make you extra jealous with these sweet pictures of the water.  It honestly smelled so clean and refreshing.  Nothing like the ocean breeze as advertised on my air freshener.

Thats all you get for now, though trust me there are plenty more adventures ahead.

Spoiler alert...ARZAK.

Settlnig into Spain

So after an a flight to Madrid, another to Bilbao, and a road trip to Lasarte Oria we finally made it to our new home, after a stop for some tapas in Bilbao that is.  None the less, heres some photos of where im going to be living for the next 6 months.  Gotta say im pretty excited to have a balcony.  A big difference from the garden apartment ive been in for so long.

   I love the fitness center we have in front.

True to my word, after landing in Madrid the first thing I ate was some Jamon imberico.  A little olive oil on some bread, simple.

The Sign that welcomed us into our new home.

In Bilbao we went for a walk around the city and went by the Guggenheim museum, as well as this beast called "mother"

Guggenheim museum...look familiar chicagoans?

 View from our apartment balcony...yeah.

Beautiful blue kitchen with a door to the balcony.  Super secret washing machine is under the sink.

aaand the view from our other balcony... double yeah.

The one and only thing I cared about and was most excited for... THE BIDET!!!  T.P. is for chumps.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Kraft photo shoot

Little bit of a two part post for this one.  First off are some photos from the Grey Poupon competition.  The concept was to create a healthy fish recipe using grey Poupon mustard.  So the dish I ended up making was a honey mustard glazed Black Cod with a Barley and mushroom salad, pea puree, mustard seed compote and smoked yogurt.  Unfortunatley I dont have a photo of this dish from the event, but it looked great... I swear!

Speaking in front of the guest judges and audience explaining the inspiration and difficulties of the dish.

First place!

 The top four finalists with our awards.

The people who teach, inspire, guide, motivate, energize, and push me every single day even when they're 2,000 miles away...
-Michel Coatrieux
-Benjamin Browning
-Anna Marie Sosi
So one aspect to the competition was the opportunity to have my dish published in advertisements and trade magazines for Grey Poupon if the marketing pros liked it...fortunate for me they did.  So Right before leaving to Spain I was off to the kraft corporate facility where they do lots of work on marketing, R&D and testing in their test kitchen.
They day consisted of me overseeing that the dish stayed true to the direction I had in mind as the pros they had their did what they do best.  The team consisted of food stylists, an editing team, photographer and test kitchen cooks.

The team working on my dish in the Kraft Test kitchen.

Food stylist secret- brown your fish with a blow torch and paint stripper.

The photo booth set up for my dish.

After the dish was set up in the kitchen it would be tweaked in the photo booth.  Changing the shot by things as small as adding one cut piece of parsley and changing the angle of the plate by 1-2 degrees.

On the screen you can see the original image taken on the right and then what it looks like in the rough draft advertisement to the left.

A bit off from what the competition dish looked like, but this is for the camera magic!

So this looks good with one piece of sun dried tomato...now lets try two...yeah I liked it better with one.

The R&D test kitchen.  Yes those are giant bags of red and blue kool-aid and a half pan of mac and cheese.  Mass amounts of hours in the kitchen and tests taken to prove its the cheesiest.

The whole thing went from about 9 am till 3 p.m.  Overall it was a really cool experience and was defidently very interesting to see a different side to the food industry.  Be sure to keep an eye out for my dish!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

abc7- bison burgers

So this memorial day weekend I took another visit to the abc7 studios where I did a short segment on bison burgers for the memorial day weekend.  The process for it was pretty similar to last time.  Basically I get the word from salt (the marketing company for pellegrino) about doing a segment and after we make sure the dates worked I come up with an idea to be approved by them for the TV segment.  So I figure everyone wants some good ol american burgers, so why not do bison burgers.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WCIU t.v. spot

 So this is the footage from the WCIU interview I did.  The concept for this was was a spring strawberry salad.  It was pretty cool checking out the studio, wish I would have taken more photos.  Great crew and the host was really nice.