Company

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of having one of our editors, Breanne Cooley, and her parents, Leslie and Kevin, in town for dinner. We were joined by several friends of mine, and of course my own family. My father had sprung this upon me roughly two weeks ago, without actually asking me if I had wanted to cook. I was more than happy to oblige them, (after some careful prodding) nonetheless. So off I was reading cook book after cook book, scouring for recipes that would provide a simple yet elegant tasting menu. I wanted an earthy theme to the meal, so that my guests would be comfortable with what they were eating and still excited to try new things.

Armed with cookbooks, I gathered my supplies, and my friends and set up the menu. Eight courses, one after the other, beginning with a smoked salmon tartare, which was a strange but quick hit. As I brought food out, the next course would be prepped in the kitchen, so we had something of an assembly line going. The next course was twin salads, one based with bacon, balsamic, and romaine; the other with chicken salad, cranberry relish, pears and pineapple. Compliments came trickling in, as we continued our marathon meal. Every time I set foot on the outdoor deck I was assaulted by compliments and questions. While my friend Alex continued to work the main course in the smoker, I began the secondary courses.

My sous, Bryant, and I began to prep what was an early hit, our herb-nut butter stuffed mushrooms. A tremendous hit with the guests, and quite a bit of humor we got out of the name as well. As Bryant finished bringing them out, the next big thing came, our apple goat cheese tarts with candied nut topping. I actually got to eat one (which is rare cause I usually never have time do anything more than taste) and it truly was exquisite. After that, the roasted red pepper leek salad in vinaigrette.With each course that was served, I grew more and more fatigued. My strength was fading, but I knew I had to continue! Finally, it became time for the final dishes.

My Carolina-BBQ rubbed smoked pork loin was a treasure. Just beautifully smoked, juicy, tender. How its supposed to be. We served this sliced, along with potatoes stuffed with rosemary wrapped in prosciutto. The real finale was the figs. Ah, such a beautiful poached figs in port and peppercorns, topped with just a little candied peel zest. I sometimes amaze myself. This was one of those times. I needed perfection, and I needed a drink after it was all over. I’m ecstatic that everyone came and I was able to treat them to such a meal.

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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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            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            • Received the 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).
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            • 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.
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            • Offers career-focused programs in allied health, business, and computer technology, and more.
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            • Day and evening class options are available for flexible scheduling.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
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            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
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            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
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