Everybody in the kitchen…

Photo from the book "The Family Meal"

After honing my cooking skills more in the past year, I have noticed many of my friends doing much of the same.  Now I don’t know if this is just me noticing more or if there is an actual increase.  It could be the former or a little of both.  I don’t know.  Either way, I’m really happy about the increasing amount of people having a good time in the kitchen and preparing food for themselves and people they care about.  Overall, this is great for our health, our environment, and our community as a whole.  When we make our own food; we know what’s in our food.  When we know what’s in our food; we care what goes into our food.

If you are a novice beginning to wander into the kitchen or somebody who just invested in a new set of cookware (THAT’S ME!), then I have a quick recommendation that has been very helpful for me in the past months of increased gastronomy.  It is a cookbook that I kind of wandered into.  It is titled The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adriá.  This book has just blown my mind!  First off, it’s very easy to use and has hundreds and hundreds of pictures so you can see what things should look like.  This has been indispensable for somebody like me who is doing these recipes for the first time.  Secondly, the recipes found here are not hugely time intensive.  They’re arranged into three course meals and each grouping is designed to take less than two hours.

Lastly, this book is from one of the best restaurants and chefs in the world.  Ferran Adriá’s three Michelin star resaurant, elBulli, won top restaurant in the world five years in a row.  That’s a pretty big deal!  The basis for this cook book is that before each night of dinner service at elBulli, a group of designated staff would prepare a dinner and then the entire crew would gather in the kitchen to eat the prepared meal.  This book records 31 days of those meals.  The emphasis is on cooking relatively basic meals superbly.  Adriá’s philosophy here is that a staff who eats good food together, ultimately prepares better food when the food service begins.

I highly recommend this book and I look forward to seeing more of my friends in the kitchen!  Below is a clip from the elBulli website that will give you a glimpse as to what they are preparing in 2014.

Closing by choice in 2010, they plan to reopen in 2014.  Good luck getting in!



How to make a “Hollywood Sandwich”…

Disclaimer:  I love food.  It’s not just about eating it (I have to keep telling myself that).  It’s about the tradition, preparation, process, and the sharing of a well made meal with friends and family.  I love to make meals and it’s enhanced when I have some friends to keep me company.  So, from time to time, this blog will include some food porn posts.  I hope you enjoy as much as I do.

Hollywood Sandwich

Some may be asking, “What the hell is a Hollywood Sandwich”.  Well that’s what I’m about to show you!  This sandwich is one of my absolute favorite things in the world.  This is because it encompasses most of the things that I love about preparing and eating food.  Let’s start with the history.

The Hollywood Sandwich found it’s way into my family via my mother’s father.  Back in the day, he was a professional musician in Los Angeles and often recorded for the major studios.  He even managed to play trumpet on the old Batman TV show!  But I digress.  On mornings when he would arrive on the lot, craft services would serve the musicians and talent these hot s’wiches that consisted of fried egg, cheese, and ham, all stuck between buttered french bread and then all of it toasted in a pan like a grilled cheese. Ever since I can remember, my grandpa would make these tasty sandwiches on the mornings of holidays.  I always loved the way that he prepared for this task and as I grew older he tutored me in his procedures and method.  First he would butter the toast, then comes the chopping of the cheese and ham.  Next, fry the eggs and then put it all together in between the bread and sizzle away!

Adrie gets ready to cut some ham.

Kait preps the bread.

Thick cut ham.

Adrie, Kyle and Kait hamming it up.

As I’ve grown older, I have assumed responsibility for this morning task and have, over the years, taught my sisters my process and method for this traditional family meal.


Now days, I prepare this with my sisters and we all work together to complete our parts of the preparation.  Grandpa can finally sit back and just eat a couple of sandwich halves (they usually come out by the half and people eat them hot out of the pan).  They’re delicious and I can’t wait for the next holiday.