Chef Colin

A catering chef for going on 14 years.
Life's a party, and I'm catering.

  • Website
  • Location: Tacoma, WA USA
  • Favorite foods: I'll try anything once.
    Twice on a dare.
  • Last bite on earth: A slice of my mother's home made pizza.

Latest Comments

Befriending Chefs/Restaurant Staff

Booze, Money, and Praise.

In that order and the heart of the the chef will be yours.

Serious Salsa: Salsa Amarilla

I usually add Tahini to my salas provided I'm not catering to anyone with nut alergies.

What's Inside a Slim Jim?

Oh wow, I actually threw up a little when I read "mechanically seperated chicken." It's like a Culinarian Abortion.

Foodie vs. (Vegan) Foodie: Let's Stop Dropping Anvils Already

As long as you pay the tab, I could care less what you order.
It's all money to me.

French in a Flash: Drunken Angel Hair with Leeks and Cream

I suddenly wish my parents leaned more on their French Heritage than their Irish. . .

Healthy & Delicious: Avocado and Corn Salsa

This is like declaring sauted veggies are vegan.
Sure, by the most basic classification it very much is.

But you should only take pride in "turning some one" if you take a dish that traditionally does have non-vegan things like lasagna, stir-fry, and the like and make it equally nom-able.

You make a chicken caesar salad taste good vegan and my hat is off to you, other wise you're just spinning your wheels.

Brooklyn Water Bagels in Delray Beach, Florida

I wonder if we'll ever get one of these on the West Coast.

I won't pretend to think our West Coast varrietals can stand up to it's East Coast brethern but aside from a long and unnecessary flight I wouldn't be able to compare them othewise.

Cook the Book: 'Bite-Size Desserts'

Mini-Mt. Rainier Truffles

I was first innoculated to these devilish desserts when my mother was working at Affaire's Chocolates and Desserts in Tacoma, WA on the East Coast. A jr. sized version of the adult truffle, the fluffy minty insides were the perfect foil to the dark chocolate shell. Complete with green colored white chocolate "snow" draping the top after it's mountainous namesake.

Five pounds I was happy to gain that summer!

'The Next Food Network Star' Runner-Up Jeffrey Saad Gets His Own Show Too, Sorta

When will be get another Alton Brown, or Mario Batalli?

Some one that actually wears an APRON more than designer slacks!

Caffeine and Calories Chart

This is excellent ammo for the girlfriend when she frowns at my cheese burger while she orders another cappachinno!

When Is It Socially Acceptable to Share Food?

I haven't seen much from the prepatory side of things but as some one who's worked in a restaurant before it's annoying as HELL for a table of 6 to order one thing from the whole menu.

Especially when they realize they're ordering full meals with sides and not appetizers to which they leave 1/2 to 2/3's full plates. It bogs the kitchen down, is wasteful and defeats the purpose of a large menu.

The point is to get you to come back and try something DIFFERENT again and again if you like our style!

Cook the Book: Eugenia Bone's 'Well-Preserved'

I'm a resident of Washington State (that one up in the Northwest) and I make a Cougars VS. Huskies Veggie Platter when they're playing against each other on tv.

The two home grown items I pickle are White Basalmic Golden Beets and Marsala Harvard Beets. I then pair them with roasted jicama and sweet potatoes to finish the team colors. I find the white basalmic really brings out a hidden sweetness in the golden beet and the dark marsala intesifies the deep purplish red of the standard red beet.

Needless to say, I never have to bring anything home with me when the game is over!

What to do with leftover refried beans?

Blend into a paste with a little cheese and panko, or ground up tortilla chips if you want to remain truer to the original dish.
This becomes the filling for a pocketed chicken breast that gets a salsa burre blanc.

I usually serve this over rice with a side of more beans!
And thus the process resumes. . .

Long Flights - BYOF?

I usually bring my home town's fruit with me.
And Apple a day keeps the flight attendant away.

Meat Cards: Business Cards Made of Beef Jerky

I would order some but I know on those long events I would end up eatting the little guys instead of handing them out. . .

Would You Eat Stinging Nettle?


Because it's new, and daring. And if they wanted those everyday eats my clinentel could eat them anywhere or at home.

Now, nettles? There's an adventure. And a story to tell their other foodie friends.

Served: Why Tipping Makes Everyone Uncomfortable

Preach on sister!
If they're going to get their panties in a bunch over why they left you two bucks on a 98 dollar ticket a little discomfort SHOULD be coming their way!

Cook the Book: 'The Asian Grill'

This tale conscerns my first time attempting to smoke meat.

I have a fairly large gas grill which I inherited from the previous home owner. It's some what new, and wasn't used very much. And being a Pacific North Westerner I love smoke salmon. So I had my twenty pounds fresh from that seasons catch and had salt cured and rubbed my fish and set it up for a slow hot smoke.

Being a neophyte, I walked away to the front yard where the ladies were playing frizbee and the guys were drinking mojitos on the porch. Well, we all live in a urban sprawl with alot of feral and out door cats. So as the smoke started to really go on strong the sent was strong enough to smell all down the block. Apparently, based on the paw prints, the tube connecting the smoke chamber to the grill got knocked loose and rolled into the house. The grill was on the upstairs deck outside the main bedroom on the opposite side so none of us saw it.

Half hour later our frizbee drink fest is interupted by the sound of sirens and firemen coming out my front door. Apparently, the house had filled up with so much smoke, folks living in a neighboring block thought the house was on fire! So they had shown up, came through the back door, and discovered that my home was not ablaze but filled with the delectable scent of cedar.

Needless to say the salmon was salvagable but we didn't get out deposit back on the home. No matter how well we cleaned we couldn't get that smoked salmon scent out of the carpets, walls and ceilings!

Easter Side Dish Help

Well, if you can find them, I would suggest doing the potatoes augratin.
But mix it up with some Peruvian Purple Poatoes and Yukon Golds!

We did that for a Huskey Football Party last year and they not only held up well, they require little extra fat and dairy to make the dish pop. Best of all, kids love food that doesn't look like their usual fair. And I still get full grown adults that've eaten out for years still ask if I use food dye on the potatoes.

Serious Heat: Cajun Deep-Fried Ribs

I'm acutally a little surprised.

I always thought that ribs benifited from a low and slow cooking method but then again so does Turkey. So I suppose a dip in the fryer wouldn't hurt these either.

Giant Cheetos vs. Regular Cheetos

Tempting as that is, if by some miracle of the culinary gods, I did become rich and famous because of a blog started with such a dish. I could never look my future fellow Food Network associates in the eye knowing I got my start with a culinary joke.

Then again, empires have been started on less.

Cook the Book: Smoked Ham with Avocado and Butter

Wait, you're supposed to eat those? I thought they were just sandwich filling. . .

In all seriousness though, I use them in my flat bread roulades instead of beansprouts like in a Spring Roll.

I cheat though, I usually pat them into the flavorful spread that holds the roll together so you gain all the health and none of the texture.

Serious Cheese: Beecher's Handmade in Seattle

Not a day goes by I don't thank the mighty culinarian in the sky for the fact I live a meer 30 minutes away from thise haven for cheese lovers.

It used to be considered one of the better kept secrets of the labyrinthian Pike Place Market but now that it ends up in blogs like these those days are over. The line going out the door for handcut cheeses every saturday and sunday (regardless of weather) is proof of that!

I've also found that more and more people are switching from the giants in the dairy industry to smaller purveyors whom as often show up at farmer's markets as they do fine grocerry stores. Something about that hand crafted quality that only comes from the same poeple handling the same batch of cheese each time that commercial providers can't compete with.

the best cookbook for beginners

I would suggest "On Cooking", the first manual they handed out at culinary school.
It's got an awesome glossary of terms, plenty of pictures with step by step instructions that even those that cut themselves looking at cutlery can follow. It runs though all the classic french, as well as new american and some asian notes as well.
Best of all, they can be found dirt cheap used at any culinary school store with just a few gravy stains for character. I got mine back in 02 and still use it today!

Chewing the Fat: Batali and Bourdain on Paris Hilton

If only they could get Alton Brown as well, we'd have a new holy trinity of cooking.

Batali, Bourdain, and Brown
The Good, the Bad, and the Nerdy!


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