Chef on the move...

Farmers Market POV

Comments Off on Farmers Market POV 08 May 2015

I was recently asked my opinion of Farmers Markets and how they relate to restaurants and the demand that our volume creates as well as the appetite of our customers. First of all, I am a huge fan of what Farmers Markets bring to a community, a connection to the land that reaches far beyond the majestic, coast-lined landscapes we are so well know for and blessed to call home. The relationships and the appreciation fostered with the farmers who truly plant in faith, prayerfully and patiently coax, laboriously harvest and faithfully haul to market the bounty of their efforts. It is a steadfast reminder of the dependance we have on our earth and why we should go to greater lengths to care for it.  And the populace a farmers market brings together to stroll, taste, smell and feel the riches the earth has offered is a reminder of a simpler time. It’s where I go to enjoy the seasons on full parade and find the inspiration to transform beautiful ingredients into magnificent meals. As one season ends and another begins, I love to watch the colors of the tabletops change like a kaleidoscope turning in the sun. Occasionally finding a new treasure or often reminded of an heirloom, all but forgotten from the previous year. I always find farmers markets a true testament to the creativity of God. Farmers markets are a tool for intercity families to teach children where food comes from, what it means to buy local and broaden their palate for fresh, healthy ingredients. They serve as social gatherings for others to catch up with old friends or to meet new ones, but most importantly they are place of commerce.

Like most Chefs, I seek locally farmed produce, sustainably and humanely raised meats, seafood and poultry. Do I hit the markets each week skipping along, whistling a tune and loading my basket with the ingredients I need to serve my customers? No, it would not be feasible for me to traipse through the market buying up enough produce to last the restaurant an entire week. Farmers markets provide a plateau for smaller farmers and ranchers to showcase the select crops that work well for their plot of land and to sell their crops to the general public. I am incredibly fortunate as the Chef of Tarpy’s Roadhouse to have tremendous relationships with some small farms who bring to my back door, fresh out of the dirt produce several times a week. I also work with some not so small farms that provide me with outstanding products that come to me via my local distributors, who gather produce from multiple local sources. On top of that I also have a 1/4 acre garden on property that provides the restaurant a select crop with each season. Do our customers demand produce from the farmers market in our restaurants? To that I say Yes and No, todays diner demands the very best, seasonal, local and sustainable products available, and they have become acute at understanding the seasons and what should be on the plate and what should not. I don’t believe the issue is whether or not it was purchased at a farmers market or the farmer brought it to us. In the same way a person chooses to shop at the farmers market rather than the Superlux Grocery Store, educated diners seek out restaurants doing the very best with the very best available.

A little Mothers Day Celebration is in Order!

Chef on the move...

A little Mothers Day Celebration is in Order!

Comments Off on A little Mothers Day Celebration is in Order! 07 May 2015

My Friends at the Today Show liked the recipe I shared a few weeks ago with Edible Magazine Monterey in the Spring 2015 edition. They have posted it to their website, check it out for an easy and quick way to celebrate Mom this weekend!


Not planning on cooking for Mom this weekend but still want to celebrate her… I have a little room left at Tarpy’s Come celebrate Mom with us!!

Chef on the move...

The “How” of Becoming a Chef

Comments Off on The “How” of Becoming a Chef 16 April 2013

IMG_7778_LI am asked regularly “how do you become a chef”? So I thought I would take you on the fast forward version of the journey a young eager cook must travel before he or she becomes a chef. Ha, fast forward, like do you even remember the VCR??? Sorry got caught in a 80’s glitch for a second…  totally radical! As we set out on this expedition, I think it is important to understand the difference between a cook and a chef and along the way you may smell the how! Many people believe that you are a chef once you have graduated from an accredited Culinary Arts program and have received your bachelor’s degree in the Culinary Arts. This route is a good option for some but that makes you as much a chef as parking in your garage makes you a mechanic. Becoming a chef is so much more than a punch list of achievements, it is a position of responsibility not all can or want to handle. To be a cook you must obviously know how to cook, unfortunately, I have met plenty of lousy cooks in my career, but know how to cook they did. Albeit bad it was still cooking! These are often the individuals that have landed in this industry maybe by choice or by default and don’t really care what, who or how they are serving food, they are just doing what it takes to collect a paycheck. Unfortunately, this type of cook generally works in a system that does not expect more from them than they are already offering. I believe the root of being a chef starts with being a great cook, you have heard the saying “the cream rises to the top”, well it does, literally and figuratively. Continue Reading

Chef on the move...

Fava Fever!

Comments Off on Fava Fever! 20 March 2013

Fava imageI love that spring has almost sprung and a rainbow of flavors and ingredients are bursting from the ground and artfully displayed at our local markets.

Abundant shades of green announce spring’s arrival like a royal herald and the notes of his trumpet are delicious fava beans, asparagus, fennel, spring onions and nettles.

And if you’re saying to your self what the . ..? Nettles…? Yes, stinging nettles, uber delicious, loaded with good-for-you vitamin C, calcium, potassium, flavonoids, histamine and serotonin — all the great chemicals one needs to re-energize after a cold winter and to combat spring allergies. Continue Reading

Chef on the move...

Say Cheese!

Comments Off on Say Cheese! 07 March 2013

IMG_7904_LDid you know a photographer tells you to say “cheese” before snapping a picture because the pronunciation causes you to do something with your mouth that resembles a smile? Also, the absurdity of it can cause a genuine smile.

What is it about cheese that is so good? With hundreds of varieties ranging from milk type, to age, shape, region, firmness, fat content, additives, the cheesemakers themselves, you could eat a cheese a day for a year and not eat every cheese available.

If variety is the spice of life then cheese is certainly the life of any party. Whether you like creamy or dry, firm or semi-soft, pungent or subtle, there is a cheese for every occasion.

In a world of CEOs, Twitter handles and usernames, there is a title for every job out there except for maybe the cheesemaker. They’re just called “cheesemaker.” We could get a little Frenchie French and call them fromagere, but that still translates to cheesemaker. I thought that was interesting. Continue Reading

Chef on the move...

Bitter Party of One!

3 Comments 19 February 2013

IMG_7764_LWith the bitter taste of defeat still fresh on the tongues of all of us San Francisco 49er fans, it seemed only appropriate to talk about tongues and bitter foods. So with a painful acknowledgement to my few but victorious Baltimore Ravens friends, congratulations and here we go!

Tongues are a rather amazing organ. Not only do they allow us to phonetically articulate, they are the taste factory by which we enjoy the flavor of foods. Tongues also serve as a tool to maneuver and manipulate foods as we chew, then usher that macerated food down our throats on its way to our stomachs. Tongues act as a natural toothbrush to clean our teeth and are critical when it comes to the all important art of smooching! However, I will reserve any further discussion in regard to that function for the after-hours column.

On average, the human tongue has 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds, where receptors for taste detect the five known tastes: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. As the foods mix with saliva, the receptors receive the data and send that information to our brain. Continue Reading

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