Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chef Kevin in Singapore

  Recently, IFF's Chef Kevin, based in our South Brunswick Creative Center, visited Singapore and Shanghai to work with a customer.  While there, he took the opportunity to research some culinary benchmarks, share the CulinEssence approach with colleagues, and to do some serious culinary exploration for himself and his fellow chefs. 
"We had some specific benchmarks we were working on for our customer there," said Kevin, "but it would be impossible to not do some exploration of my own in these incredible cities.  And when you take these very big trips, you feel an obligation to squeeze every opportunity you can out of them - both for the company and for your own natural curiosity."
Singapore and Shanghai did not disappoint. "The markets, the street vendors, the high-end restaurants all have something to teach you," Kevin continued.  "One of the things I find so fascinating is the ability of everyone - no matter where life has brought you or how humble your tools - to make food that is exciting, comforting, delicious, and nourishing.  Look at this cleaver and this stump.  The knife is old, but it cuts.  The stump works well as a cutting board.  In the hands of the right person, these humble tools can make great meals out of the most basic of ingredients.  As a chef, I find inspiration in this."
Singapore and Shanghai serve as culinary centers of excellence for IFF, but Chef Kevin expands on that: "These are great culinary cities with long histories of great food, everywhere you look.  I kind of see them as culinary centers of excellence - period."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Cranberry Cake recipe from vanillagarlic
to all our American friends around the world!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chef's Favorites: Childhood Foods

For the final chapter in Chef's Favorites, we ask our culinary team the evocative question: What food most brings you back to your childhood and why?

Chef Kevin:
Egg and Cheese on a fresh baked roll ( It's a Jersey thing).
 Chef Bryan
Grits, This was a Sunday  morning tradition at my house. sometimes they had bacon, other times cheese, but always in one form or another.

Chef Ingreth:
Mashed Potatoes with ground meat, my mother prepares it like nobody else.

Chef David:
Tinfoil wrapped dinners.  This consists of ground beef, onions, carrots, and potatoes heavily seasoned, then wrapped in foil. The foil wrapped food is then tossed onto the hot coals to cook for about 30 minutes. A must-have for camping, something we did often growing up in the Rocky Mountains.

Chef Michael:
Scots Broth (Lamb) (in pressure cooker) cooked by my mother.

Chef Jenny:
I always seem to make a version of Bibim Bop once a week mainly for my son which is a Korean
rice dish traditionally made with rice, bulgogi beef, mushrooms, spinach, bok choy and flavored with a red bean paste, sesame oil and soy sauce topped with a fried egg.  I make variations of this depending on what leftovers I have.  This dish particularly reminds me of my Korean roots.

Chef Sarah:
 I think Autumn comfort foods, like apple pie, cold and mulled cider, candy apples.... I am biased but you can't beat upstate NY for that stuff.

Chef Florian:
Pancake with wild cranberries marmalade.
When I was a child and came back from school I smelt the pancake made by my
mother.  The great smell from brown butter, caramelized sugar, a little vanilla andthe fruity note from the cranberries, flavored with cinnamon was really a big treat for me. At that time I did not realize that the flavor pairing with sweet from the pancake and sour from the cranberries fits so well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chef's Favorites - Cookbooks!

Today, we asked our team the burning question:
What is your favorite cookbook and why?
Chef Florian:
 Grand livre de Cuisine, written by Alain Ducasse.

It is a fantastic cookbook with the most traditional Authentic and contemporary recipes, completed by clear description how to finish and how to present

Chef Sarah
For everyday at-home meals, I like Elie Krieger's The Food You Crave, because she uses a minimal amount of fresh ingredients that pack a lot of punch, nutritionally and organoleptically. I also like The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg for helping me to get through pastry school, and as a continuing resource for all things baking-related.

Chef Jenny:
I always go back to the first cookbooks I looked at when I was growing up that sparked my interest in cooking and helping out my mother in the kitchen which are Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cook Book and Joy of Cooking.

Chef Michael:

Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson. I love it's simplicity and indepth look at meat recipes and cooking tips. It shows you how to extract every bit of flavour out of an animal ....... Not for vegetarians

Chef David:

On Cooking - all of the recipes inside the book are spot on, restaurant tested, and reliably good. It's recipes have always been a great place to start to find something to work off of.

Chef Ingreth:
The History of Alimentation, is a book that talks about recipes and cooking methods from the ancestors until current day and many times i use as a guide .. 1001 Foods You Must Try Before you Died. Both are good to take ideas of ingredients and cooking methods.

Chef Bryan:
Culinary Artistry. I received this book when I was 16 it was the first time I really started to think about flavor combinations.

Chef Kevin:
Tough one, so many good ones. For technique, Jacques Pepin's, The Art of Cooking (Much of what I learned in my apprenticeship is in here). For food and recipe, Thomas Keller Bouchon or Ad Hoc for the home cook.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chef's Favorites: Food Cities

This is the second installment of Chef's Favorites, where we ask our global team the following burning question:

What is your favorite food city in the world and why?

Master Chef Florian:
Amsterdam--the multicultural city. It has so many different restaurants. One of my favorites is the Restaurant Nursery de Kas. Situated in the former Amsterdam city greenery from 1926. Extremely fresh reaped, seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruits. Rural Mediterranean kitchen..

Chef Kevin:
 NYC - not just the upscale joints but more the down and dirty ( Chinatown, Little Italy, bakeries, markets and street vendors) The smell of pretzels warming our coals on a cool fall afternoon

Chef Sarah: 
My best and most memorable food experiences came from touring around France (Auxerre, Beaune, Dijon, Paris). It was simple food prepared well. Great coffee, even the yogurt was delicious. And I was introduced to more adventurous stuff (for me) like escargot.

Chef Jenny:
New York City is the center of the universe. "If you can't find it in New York, it doesn't exist."  This is according to my mother in law who has lived there for over 50 years and I think I may agree with her. Every ethnic group is represented throughout the 5 boroughs so of course you can experience so many different cuisines. Every neighborhood is like globe-trekking to another part of the world.

Chef Michael:
Naples - great restaurants without pretence. fantastic fresh ingredients (fish, vegetables), great coffee and the best Pizza in the world.

 Chef David:
New York: you have to respect the diversity. "The City," has everything from the best street food to the hottest restaurants. Every time I visit, I am humbled by the cuisines I encounter.

Chef Ingreth
Brazilian Northeast food, is the one of most richest cuisines because of the big influence of Indians, African Europeans (Portuguese) and Others. This culinary has several types of ingredients from inland to coast , and also spices, peppers, herbs and so on.
Chef Bryan
New Orleans, because it is a melting pot, the food has inspiration from all over the world to include the French, Spanish, and African