What We Do

Baez Catering

Every meal is prepared from scratch in your very own kitchen. But, that is just the beginning. All of the grocery shopping is done the day of the service, so the food can be at its freshest.

All of the food for the upcoming week is discussed before hand, and I will pick up the produce and proteins at our local Wegman’s, butcher, or fish monger. I personally examine all of the proteins to make sure they are handled properly and ask them any questions you may have; for example, where is this fish caught?

Key examination of all of the food that I prepare for you makes the dining experience more enjoyable when you are aware of what is on your plate. The chances of cross contamination diminishes entirely when the food is prepared with care and not rushed.

This is just one of the many reasons why hiring…

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Cooking School

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The idea of going to cooking school in Paris is dreamy, filled with images of whisking up soufflés and carving ducks à l’orange. It really is a dream to be taught by passionate chefs with thick French accents. But it was just a matter of time until the dream became very real and I realized that cleaning floors and getting yelled at is also very much a part of life in the kitchen.

I had already spent some time in two restaurant kitchens in Boston and Bangkok and knew the demands of a restaurant, but kitchen culture in France is very different. Here is what it’s really like to go to cooking school in Paris.

Oui, Chef!

Cooking school is unlike any other school I’ve been to. Yes, you learn classic French recipes, but what you really learn comes more from watching, noticing and practicing. While asking questions is welcome in the…

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Congrats to ACF Western Region Competition Winners

We Are Chefs

Chefs and students from the West gathered at the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Western Regional Culinary Salon to battle it out for ACF’s annual regional awards February 5-7 at The Academy of Arts, Careers & Technology, Reno, Nevada. Four competitions took place at the salon to determine who would receive ACF’s Western Region titles for Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Student Chef of the Year and Student Team Regional Championship.

The following ACF Western Region competition award winners will compete for their respective national titles at Cook. Craft. Create. Convention & Show, Phoenix, July 15-19.

ACF Western Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food SolutionsLenard Rubin, CEC, of Phoenix, is executive chef at The Country Club at DC Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona.

ACF Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá® European-StyleAndrew Corrao, CCC, CEPC, of Salt Lake…

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LINE COOKS – THE KITCHEN WARRIORS

Harvest America Ventures

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Every day, every night in the kitchen is the culmination of hours of preparation for battle. Similar to any pre-determined military skirmish or battle on the athletic field – preparing for service requires a definitive strategy, detailed organization, respect for the chain of command, exhaustive training, nerves of steel, and a determination to win. Those who call themselves line cooks are the soldiers of the kitchen or the first-string offense or defense on the gridiron. These are the best that a restaurant has to offer – they are crusty, determined, confident, and full of energy. These line cooks are an interesting breed – they are warriors.

Anthony Bourdain described them as swashbuckling pirates who have an uncanny ability to face adversity with the desire to conquer whatever is thrown their way. They wear their scars, burns, cuts, and bruised muscles as prizes that demonstrate commitment to the end goal and…

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Northwest Culinary Academy Evening Cooking Classes This Fall

ILiveInEastVan.com

NWCABeaterNWCAPICThe Northwest Culinary Academy believes that “The Northwest region is the frontier of innovation because it dares to go against the grain.” And they think that “Vancouver boasts a vibrant food scene”. Well we’d have to agree with them on both of those sentiments. Whether you like to cook food, eat or want to learn more about cooking and/or baking, you may wish to check out the Northwest Culinary Academy located at 2725 Main Street (at 12th Avenue). They have courses for every skill level, whether you are seeking a career in a professional kitchen, a culinary or pastry education, boot camps or just tweaking those home cooking skills. Northwest has a variety of programs available including Summer Camps for the serious foodie. The school has been around since 2004 and was created by two experienced chef instructors, Tony Minichiello and Christophe Kwiatkowsky, and has evolved and grown over the years. Some of their…

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Demonstrated Proof of Learning

We Are Chefs

By David Bearl, CCC®, CCE®, AAC®

Like many young people looking for work at an early age, I found the hospitality industry. I was from a large family, and a need for spending money led me to a dishwashing job at a pancake house when I was 12 years old. Little did I know that this would be the start—though modest—of a career as a certified chef.

I learned the front of the house and prep skills and finally earned a spot on the cooking line. It wasn’t a fancy restaurant, but it was extremely busy. As I went through high school and college, I worked in a number of restaurants, but, like many, thought it was just until I found that other career. After graduate school, I worked for a few years away from the kitchen, but then I returned to catering and, eventually, became director of food service…

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4 H

Cultivating Foodies

This year I have had the opportunity to help teach the local 4H club foods club.  When I first signed up I assumed it would be fairly basic lessons, with a couple kids whose parent’s signed them up.  Boy was I wrong.  The little crew we had sign up are quite a hilarious mix of aspiring little chefs.  Ranging in age from 7 – 13 and all getting along quite nicely I might add.  Not only do they cook at the club meeting each month, they cost each recipe they make so they can see exactly how much each portion costs.  I have to say this blows my mind.  In culinary school we had an entire class on how to do this, and some of the adults in my class still could not handle it by the end.  The poor teacher went over it again and again and again… I…

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The Start of My Culinary Career

Lover, Foodie, and Life Learner

First day of school, we start with introducing ourselves, and getting to know the chefs. In class, there is from high school graduates, to people like me, who are going through their second career. As mentioned in my last post, first day of school, and first quote from Chef  WELCOME TO THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, and I start to panic because I have no formal cooking experience.
I love cooking and love mostly sharing it with family and friends, so I truly believe is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

End of week three at school, and I am thinking how many skills I have learned this days, from knife cutting techniques, kitchen cleaning and organization (which will make my home cooking way much easier), to techniques like pan searing, difference between purees and creams, learning how to do consommes, clear consommes, let me…

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Third Time’s A Charm

We Are Chefs

By Derrick Connor, CCC®

My culinary mentors and yours will tell you how important it is to practice for certification. They are right. After three attempts, I was successful and met all my requirements for Certified Chef de Cuisine® (CCC®). It was not an easy road to travel as there are many challenges along the way.

In 2009, I was a recent culinary school graduate, landed my first head-chef position and made my first attempt at the CCC® practical exam. My menu was 60 ounces consommé julienne, 1 quart velouté, 1 quart espagnole; two first-course portions blue crab-stuffed flounder roulade with lemon/dill beurre blanc; and two main-course tomato stew chicken leg and thigh, roasted asparagus and Israeli couscous.

Needless to say, I was unsuccessful. I listened carefully to the critique to prepare for my next attempt. I also gained my first culinary mentor, and we began to email…

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