Birthday Dinner

It takes quite a bit to be an executive chef. The planning of menus, the sheer amount of math involved with food cost and making a profit, and the ability to lead while under extreme duress are just some of the necessary characteristics needed to be head of a kitchen. Since yesterday was my dad’s birthday, I knew of no better gift to give him other than to please his culinary taste buds with some good old fashioned cooking. This meant that I’d have to make everything perfect, since this being a gift, sloppyness would not be tolerated.

In my head, I thought of all his favorite dishes, should I make beef wellington or crusted salmon? Then I realized I’d need to actually think outside the box. So I took a stab at 4 brand new recipes that I had never tried before. If all four could come together as one, then the meal would be a success. I decided to do a green bean salad, complete with gruyere batonettes and diced prosciutto, a roasted pepper salad with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins, and some stuffed mushrooms with hot and sweet sausage. For the main course came my real pride, the guava glazed baby back ribs.

The side dishes seemed simple enough to prep early on, whereas the ribs would take 48 hours to truly prepare. On a very sleepless night I decided to begin the ribs by soaking them in a mixture of spices, acids, and some red wine vinegar. Stuff looked like soupy grass clippings but it sure tasted great. After a full 24 hours of marination, i removed the ribs to be cooked exceptionally slow and low on the grill. As they became a spectacular caramel brown color, I lathered a guava based glaze making sure to turn the ribs every few minutes. After a solid 2 hours of cooking, we ate like kings.

Executive chefs know all aspects of the game, and they can handle the stress of multitasking with ease. While I don’t consider myself of that caliber just yet, my ultimate goal would be to master everything just like they do. I know that so many culinary students dream of being famous chefs, being masters of their domains and being respected by public and peers alike. It just takes hard work and love for the art, and lots and lots of birthday dinners.

Next week we’ll finally begin the series on techniques, which I unfortunately couldn’t start this week because of my schedule. Til then!

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            • Instructors are typically real-world professionals with many years of experience in their career fields.
            • Ranked #3 in Best for Vets: Career & Technical Colleges 2014 by Military Times.
            • Presents the full tuition cost up front. In most cases, even textbooks are included in the total price.
            • Provides career services associates to help students review their resume, provide career counseling, help with job searches, and more.
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            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
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