1. Best Day of School -- Taster's Guild Spring 2010
|Team Cajun & Creole|
Taster Guild is an event put on by the culinary program at NMC every spring. All of the World Cuisine classes were split up into groups and given a country. It was our responsibility to come up with a menu that represented our country and design a table to serve our food. My group drew Cajun & Creole cuisine and decided to go crazy with Mardi Gras decorations. Looking back, I think we might have gone a little overboard, but we took 3rd place out of all the groups, so we must have done something right! Congrats again to my best culinary buddies, Steph and Ray, for taking first place! :)
|Our Menu - Crabmeat Cheesecake, Fried Green Tomatoes, Frog Legs, Etoufee, and Cajun Pralines|
|My favorite decoration - King Cake|
The first time I ever tasted panna cotta was in New York City in the summer of 2009. Ever since then I have been head over heels in love. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be definitely be panna cotta. When I came across this recipe last spring, I decided to make it for my birthday instead of a cake. The quark cheese gave it a wonderful salty, tangy flavor to contrast with the sweetness of the vanilla and richness of the heavy cream. Yummm, I will keep this recipe with me for many years to come!
3. Best Dinner Out -- Mother's Day at Plato's in Aspen, Colorado
|Potato Crusted Mahi Mahi with Pickled Beets, Crispy Chickpeas, and Lemon Vinaigrette|
|View from dining room at Plato's|
|Best part of the meal! :)|
5. Best Co-workers -- Steph and Street John
|Cheers! A celebratory glass of wine after a long day.|
|Peach & Prosciutto Mixed Greens with Basil and Honey Chive Blossom Viniagrette. Beautiful!|
6. Best Cookbook -- Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home
|An autographed copy by Thomas Keller himself. The perfect birthday present.|
This fall in Garde Manger my partner, Ray, and I drew salmon as our protein for our final. To be perfectly honest, I was quite nervous about Ray going overboard. Ray started thinking about this project weeks in advance and as the days got closer to our final, the more nervous I became. Being a vegetarian in garde manger was hard enough, but having to keep up with Ray was a little stressful at times. But we ended up making better food than I ever dreamed possible. Thank you Ray for always pushing me to worker harder than I thought possible. You have taught me so many brilliant tricks along the way. Dude..... :)
|Smoked Salmon "BLT"|
|Salmon Terrine Platter|
Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to do a four course plated dinner for 100 people. I had no idea the amount of work I would have to put into this dinner. Luckily, I had family members who were willing to help out. I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. We somehow managed to pull the dinner off without any major problems. Trying to decide how much food to buy to serve 100 without having running out, but also not having too many left overs was definitely a challenge.
|Karla, Joe, and Tommy -- My Sous Chefs|
I'm not really sure how to begin talking about this dinner; it was that good. It is very possible that I will never have a dining experience like this again in my life.
|Jake & I all dressed up for a surprise dinner at Del Posto in NYC|
10. Best Food Event of the Year (and my entire life) -- Food & Wine Classic 2010
I immediately called my mom and told her the good news. I was so pumped that I could hardly breath and started crying with excitement. I would be pouring (and drinking!) some of the best wines in the world. I was going to the same event as Giada De Laurentis, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Mario Batalli, I could go on forever... This was a foodie's dream come true.
|Thomas Keller and Me :)|
|Giada! And yes... she is even more beautiful in person.|
After reflecting on the past year, it is more clear to me than ever that I am headed in the right direction. Two years ago, before my culinary journey began, I never imagined this is where I would be. I have met some fabulous people and been inspired to continue to chase that dream. My mind has finally stopped racing and I'm done worrying about the future. Whatever is supposed to happen will work out perfectly. My goal for 2011 is to simply live in the present moment and take nothing for granted. Happy 2011!!