Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Cheese Glorious Cheese!!!!

This is the cheese counter at a local supermarket I visited in Montreal in August. Peter Mavridis  took me there just to see the variety! Pretty Awesome
This selection was presented to us after dinner with some awesome red wine. This cheese is locally produced. If you look close you can see the ash layer in one of them. Very Good!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NAFEM 2015 Anaheim Ca.

Hey Ya'll,
    I wanted to spend a few minutes today talking about some of the other pursuits that are in my life and career. I have been fortunate to be able to work with Groen Equipment on and off since 2001. This relationship has exposed me to numerous chef's that I would not have had the opportunity to meet and work with. The pictures above are from the NAFEM show this past February that was held in LA. What a blast. These trade shows are always a whirlwind of activity, we talk to and meet tons of people. The Unified Brands people have always been very professional to work with, my friends Michael Williams, Steve d'Angelo. This year I worked with Steve and guest chef Michael Goullota, chef/partner in MoPho a New Orleans restaurant. Michael worked with chef John Besh and was the Chef d'Cuisine at Restaurant August, Besh's flagship restaurant in NOLA. Chef Steve d"Angelo is currently the Corporate Chef for Unified Brands and a great friend and chef!!! I always learn something new when I do these events!!!! My other friend not pictured here is John Bardeau - he was the Capkold Sales manager with Unified Brands up until the end of August this year when he went pursue another opportunity, a great guy and a wealth of knowledge on Cook Chill.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Check out this awesome regional opportunity for Education Credits!!
If your local this will be an awesome class to attend. 
The price is steep $699.00

Good Luck!!!

Dear ACF Chefs:

Announcing Cuisine U’s  two day charcuterie and butchery class at Oxlot 9, Covington, LA (New Orleans) on November 1 & 2 by Chef Brian Polcyn co-author of the two top selling books Charcuterie & Salumi. 

Cuisine U has held classes in many US cities the past two years. Many of the top chefs in each city were in attendance, including chefs from TV shows such as Hell’s Kitchen. Taste, Chopped and Top Chef. Plus, nationally known chefs such as David Burke, Morimoto, Michael White, Emeril, Bradley Ogden, Michael Tusk, Kevin Rathbun, Gerry Kaskala, Anne Quatrano, Linton Hopkins, Kent Rathbun, Dean Fearing, Greg/Gabrielle Denton, Michael Schwartz, Danny Grant, Jeff McGinnis, Norm Van Aken and others have sent chefs to our classes.

Whole Hog Butchery • Both USDA & European/Seam Butchery • Sausage making techniques • Proper use of Salt • Fermentation • Whole Muscle Cure • Ground Dry Cure • Uses of Salt, Nitrites and Nitrates • Numerous stories of Chef Polcyn’s travels to Italy & Spain * Pork products to take with you • Wine/Spirit or Beer Tastings w/Charcuterie • Breakfast and More.

Our two day class is a compressed version of Chef Polcyn’s six (6) week charcuterie class that he has taught for the last 18 years at Schoolcraft Culinary School in Livonia, Michigan. During the two day class we make 22/23 items such as, Cotechino, Mortadella, Porchetta di Testa, Zampone and many other items out of Chef Polcyn’s two books.

If you have any interest in attending or sending one of your chefs/butchers to this class, please contact me at Early registration price ends this week, 10/2/15. We do have a few spots remaining. Please note CE points are awarded for our class. Fee free to send this email and attached flyer to all your members. 

Another option for your chapters is to do a drawing and the winner who goes to the class is required to make a presentation to all your members at your next monthly meeting on what they learned at the class. 

Links to our classes: 

Wishing you and your team a great week.


Vic Rose
Cuisine U

Chef Brian Polcyn is an awardwinning
chef and charcuterie expert.
Chef Polcyn is nationally recognized for
his creativity and culinary talents, and as
the visionary behind some of Detroit's
most acclaimed restaurants.
While still in his 20s, Polcyn honed his
skills at two of Michigan's most
prestigious restaurants, The Golden
Mushroom under Certified Master Chef
Milos Cihelka and The Lark. He created
four of Michigan's most prominent
restaurants before opening the Forest
Grill in Birmingham, Michigan.
In 2000 Chef Polcyn was prominently
featured in Michael Ruhlman's widely
read book, “The Soul of a Chef: The
Journey Toward Perfection”. That takes
the reader through Chef Polcyn’s
grueling weeklong Certified Master Chef
practicum and exam at the Culinary
Institute of America. Chef Polcyn and
Ruhlman teamed up in 2005 to publish
“Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting,
Smoking, and Curing.” “Charcuterie”
was also nominated for a James Beard
Chef Brian has been featured in local
and national publications, including The
New York Times, The Detroit News,
Atlantic Monthly, Gourmet, Bon Appetit,
Playboy, Detroit Hour Magazine, The
Detroit Free Press and Wine Spectator.
His numerous awards include three gold
medals and a silver medal from The
American Culinary Federation. The Hiram
Walker Corporation recognized him as a
"Rising Star in American Cuisine." In
1990, he was first runner-up in the semiannual
American Culinary Gold Cup
Bocuse d'Or, which is a competition that
seeks America's top native-born chefs.
Five Lakes Grill won best restaurant in
2005. Chef Polcyn was also nominated
for Best Chef Midwest in 2006 by the
James Beard Foundation. He has
cooked several times at the James
Beard House in New York City,
participates at the Traverse City
Epicurean Classic, and the StarChefs
International Chefs Congress.
Chef Polcyn is also a faculty member at
Schoolcraft College where he teaches
charcuterie. He is also involved with
many local charities, such as Michigan
Chefs Against Hunger, Share Our
Strength, Children's Leukemia
Foundation of Michigan, and National
charities like the Taste of the NFL.
Giving back to the community means a
lot to him.
Chef Polcyn and his wife Julia, have five
children. He enjoys spending time with
his family. When he is not in the kitchen,
at school or with his family you can find
him in the skies. Chef Polcyn is a
licensed pilot

Squash Bisque

Good Morning Ya'll 
Wake Up and Smell The
Squash Bisque

This stuff is tongue beat your brains out good!!!!!
We serve about 30 gallons a week!!!!

Squash Bisque

Yield 2 gallons
Ingredients and Amounts:
Butter – 1 lb
Diced Onion – 2 lbs
Diced Celery – 1 lb
Diced Bell Pepper – 1/2 lb
Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Seafood Seasoning – 3 Tbs
Chopped Garlic – 3 oz
Diced Yellow Squash – 5 lbs
Chicken or Vegetable Stock – 2 Quarts
Heavy Cream – 2 quarts
Flour – 2 cups (for Roux)
 Butter – 1 lb (for Roux)
Tabasco to taste
Worcestershire Sauce to taste
Season to taste with Salt & Pepper
In a large pot melt butter and sauté onions, celery, an bell pepper until they start to caramelize, add seasoning and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add chopped garlic and diced squash. Sauté until the squash starts to get soft. Add the stock and cream bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. While simmering, make a blonde roux with the butter and flour. Incorporate your roux into the simmering soup by placing a 1/3 of the roux in a mixing bowl and add enough of the soup liquid to the bowl, stirring until the roux is smooth and thin (pour-able), then add this to the soup pot. Bring soup back to a simmer to allow soup to thicken. Repeat this until the soup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Then puree. Allow the soup to simmer about 15 – 20 minutes and season to taste.    

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Eggplant Beauvoir

Eggplant Beauvoir

This is 2 pieces of Eggplant breaded and deep fried. Topped with homemade Marinara sauce (See recipe on previous post), sauteed Colossal Crab, Provolone Cheese and Bearnaise Sauce. This dish has been served along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in one form or another for the last 40 years. The restaurant that was famous for it was The White Pillars, in Biloxi. The owners had such great success with this dish as Eggplant Josephine, that they had the name and recipe trademarked!  I had the opportunity to work there for a year before the restaurant closed it's doors in the late 1980's. Their chef at the time was J.B.Holstien, he was a graduate of the Delgado Community College 3 year culinary apprenticeship program. I have him to thank, for his introduction to formal culinary training through the American Culinary Federation's Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Back to the FOOD!!! J.B. and I worked at another restaurant in the Pass Christian, Mississippi area named the Blue Rose, here we served this dish - Eggplant Beauvoir!!!!

Check out the recipe for Bearnaise:

 Sauce Béarnaise

24 Each Egg Yolks
Béarnaise Reduction – (¼oz black peppercorns, 5 tarragon stems, 2 tbs chopped shallots, 1 cup white wine, Juice of 2 lemons, ¼ cup white vinegar – Reduce until almost dry - 1/4 cup)
Juice of 3 lemons
12 tbs. White Wine
1/8th tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce
½ tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

4 lbs. Butter – Clarified
Pinch of Kosher Salt
2 Tbs Fresh Chopped Tarragon

Mix yolks, lemon juice, white wine, strained tarragon reduction, and cayenne pepper, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Cook over a double boiler whisking constantly until the mixture is cooked to the finished consistency of hollandaise. Whisk in clarified butter to form an emulsion; add butter in a thin stream until all butter is incorporated, season to taste with pinch of salt, and hold for service.

We make this sauce twice a day - everyday!!! Sometimes 3 times a day, depending on business. My man David Barnett is a Master!!!! His sauce is awesome, like eating liquid velvet!!!! I am serious he has MAD skills! I told him when he asked to learn to make this sauce, that this recipe may not be the best, most accurate in the world, but that if he would learn the procedure, the look, the feel of this sauce, that he could walk into any kitchen in the world and put out a sauce he would be proud to serve to any chef. It may not be that chef's recipe or his exact flavor profile, but, that sauce will stand on it's own!!!! 



This article was posted on  about a dish I have become very familiar with over the last summer. I have had 5 trips to Canada since last October in support of a Cook Chill project for Corrections Canada - more on this later. Back to the food!!! Poutine is a sinful indulgence! Loaded fries does not even begin to describe this dish. French fries smothered in rich beef debris gravy with fried cheese curds on top, sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese. WOW!!!! Is was so inspiring that we put a similar dish on our menu here at C&G grill. GREAT DRUNK FOOD!!! Good an greasy, perfect for coating the tummy after over indulging in your beverage of choice!!!!!

Move over, maple syrup! A new Canadian food export is stepping into the limelight.
Long a French Canadian staple, poutine (pronounced "pooh-teen") is beginning to gain traction in the U.S. More restaurants such as casual dining chain Red Robin and Smoke's Poutinerie sell the dish, which typically consists of fries topped with gravy and cheese curds.

gravy, garlic and cheese curds

Smoke’s Poutinerie’s Bacon Poutine
Photo: Geoff Kowalchuk
Smoke’s Poutinerie’s Bacon Poutine
Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, said the item is just now starting to go mainstream since Red Robin debuted it recently.
"When you see a brand like Red Robin pick it up, that's a great indication that the trend has become mainstream. When you see a brand like McDonald's pick it up, it's over," Tristano said.
Brands like Red Robin have helped fuel a rapid rise in poutine offerings in the U.S. In the second quarter, there were 52 of those dishes on various menus, up from just six three years ago in the same period, according to Technomic. It's also surging in Canada—more than tripling to 730 in the second quarter, from 204 in the same period in 2012.
With the dish proliferating in restaurants, poutine comes in numerous incarnations. Red Robin's version consists of steak fries covered in gravy, garlic aioli, sautéed mushrooms and fried cheese curds.

Amy Woolen, the chain's director of field and franchise marketing, said the fries performed significantly better than its benchmark norms in testing.
As it brings poutine to its American audience, it is not choosing to downplay the curds. In fact, it is highlighting them in promotional material and selling them separately as a standalone appetizer.
"We're definitely not shying away from the cheese curds; we love them," said Woolen during a phone interview.

Loaded and spicy

Canada-based chain Smoke's Poutinerie is taking a different tactic by branding the dish as loaded fries to American audiences.
"They don't know what poutine is. They definitely know what loaded fries are," said founder and CEO Ryan Smolkin during a phone interview.
Smoke's has expanded quickly in its home country. Since launching in 2009, it has opened more than 100 units in Canada and expanded south to the U.S. in December. It now has two locations in the U.S., but plans to open 800 locations in the next five years there.
Its core demo group is 18 to 25. Units are primarily in university towns, urban centers and nontraditional locations such as sports arenas. Its strategy so far has been "going where the target is or where they go, where they get the munchies," Smolkin said.
As poutine migrates south, Tristano says restaurants are putting a higher-end spin on it along with a spicier one.
"I think in Canada it's been traditionally a more bland item. I think here you're starting to see the introduction of spicy flavors that are on trend with American customers," Tristano said.
As for highlighting curds to an American audience, Tristano does not think brands will hesitate.
"It probably inspires curiosity," he added. 


Good Sunday Morning Ya'll,

 The restaurant, C&G Grill was very busy yesterday we served over 700 covers!!!! 

 Look at those tickets. It stayed this way all night!!!!! I gotta tell ya these cooks ROCK!!!! We have a staff of 4 sous chefs and 16 cooks and we serve about 3500 covers a week. That's no joke! That's a lot of food!!! We are a very busy restaurant with 220 seats. All I can say is gotta get it!!!!
I have worked in the casino industry as a chef since 1993, and I have worked with a lot of good cooks! Most of the time successful restaurants have a core group of people that work and cook together, sometimes for years. When you work with someone on a line like that you develop a rhythm, the whole line buzzes with energy.  
This restaurant/casino experience has been a little different. We will go for periods of 6 maybe 7 months as an average before we have a turnover. The bulk of this crew has been in place for over a year, and they turn and burn!!! That has not always been the case here. I have seen whole kitchen staffs come and go!!! The work is hard, hot and the hours can be long. Kitchen work is not for everybody, most of us are adrenaline junkies. Well not so much anymore. The years do have a way of taking that fire out of you. I know when I have a couple 12 - 14 hour days in a row, I don't just spring back into action like I did 25 years ago. It takes me a good 3 days to recover. Now I am just rambling. I guess turnover is normal in the industry. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. The work stays the same though!

Saturday, September 26, 2015


These are some BIG POTS!!! That is 3/100 gallon kettles and 3/500 pound cook tanks!!! Just think for a minute  if you rolled these 3 kettles 3 times in an 8 hour shift - THAT'S 2700 GALLONS OF PRODUCT IN 8 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then just for fun we'll cook overnight in these 3 cook tanks, let's see now we need 500 pounds of beef, 500 pounds of chicken halves and 500 pounds of rice cooked tonight while i am asleep... not a bad days work!!!!!!!!!


Check out this Dry Age counter at a grocery store I went to in the Montreal area. These primals go from the youngest on the bottom and the oldest on top the oldest are at 28 - 32 days at this point. Note the loss in size after that amount of time! BIG FLAVOR!!!!!


Big Pot Recipe #1

Hey Yall!
   Today we are cooking Marinara Sauce!!!! This pic is before it is pureed! We cook 25 gallons of this about 2 times a week, and Man does it smell good!!!! This goes in our Chicken Parmesan and Eggplant Beauvoir here at C&G Grill!  It is awesome!!!

Marinara Sauce

1 quart Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 lbs. Diced Onion
2 lbs. Diced Celery
1 lb. Diced Carrots
1 Cup Chopped Garlic
½ Cup Granulated Garlic
6 Cups Italian Seasoning
¾ Cup Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 Gallon Red Wine
1 and 1/2lbs Beef Base
5 Gallons Water
3 cs. Italian Tomatoes
3 #10 cans Tomato Paste
1 container Pesto
½ Cup Kosher salt


In large kettle heat EVOO then add diced onions, celery and carrots. Sauté until onions start to clear, add chopped garlic and dry seasonings, cook an additional 2 – 3 minutes, Deglaze with red wine, and cook 5 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, tomato paste and pesto. Puree well and simmer for 2 and ½ hours, season to taste with kosher salt. 


Hey everybody!
  I am chef Walter Smith. We want to have some fun on this blog!! I want to share some of the lighter stuff that happens in kitchens all over the world everyday. Some of this happens to YOU, I am sure, because it certainly happens to me!!! So check back with us every once in a while and see what we are up too here at Big Pot Cooking!