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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Eat my Words – Chef Kayne Raymond

Monday, September 29th, 2014

This week we talk with Chef and adventurer Kayne Raymond. Chef Kayne commenced his passion with food very early on in his life and has travelled the world as a  Private Chef. He has also appeared on the US TV network BBC America in an adventure cooking show called No Kitchen Required.

Kayne you developed an early passion for cooking from your Mother. What is a fun or special moment you shared with her when learning to cook as a child/teen?  

I have quite a few good stories about food and growing up in the Raymond household.

I think I will share these two goodies…

My mum is a great cook! As a child I remember vividly my love for her pikelets. Most weekends started with warm pikelets, strawberry jam and whipped cream for breakfast.

I would constantly harass her to make pikelets at any opportunity! So one day after obviously having enough of me asking she told me to go ahead and make them myself.

I had the recipe and knew how it went as I’d watched her make them numerous times. I made the batter carefully adding everything and continued to cook the batch of pikelets.

They looked awesome. My brother and mum tucked into them and spat them out instantly. The recipe was completely correct except for the fact that that I had added salt instead of sugar to the recipe. I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Mum stepped in and remade the pikelets and all was good. I have never done that again!

Something we laugh a lot about these days also is how when I was a kid I would smell all my food! I still do whether Iʼm at home or a restaurant. I have always leant down and taken a good whiff! I would do it at the dinner table as a kid and it would drive my mum crazy! She would yell at me how that was terribly bad mannered and not to do it. There were a few occasions where there was a clip to the ear. 38 years down the track and I’m still smelling my food but she understands that it was those smells that drove me to follow my scent into a career as a chef. I haven’t been yelled at or had my ear clipped for a loooooooong time. Love you Mum!

When did you know you wanted to be a Chef professionally? At what age or particular moment in your life?

I started working in kitchens probably when I was 16 years old. Doing dishes and food preparation. I was the bloody fastest, most thorough dishwasher ever. I think I always pushed hard to be the best at whatever I did. I think that has something to do with being the middle child also. I remember working at a restaurant “Cin Cin” on quay in Auckland and I remember watching the chefs in awe. I felt that if I busted my ass doing the dishes and doing a good job with the food preparation they would notice me and give me a chance on the line. That didn’t happen but it really was that moment, at that restaurant that ultimately led me to want to be a chef.

You’re based in New Zealand and have travelled around the world working with many Chefs and have also worked as a Private Chef for the rich and famous. What would be one (or a few) tip/s you would give to those Chefs looking to work for wealthy clients on a one-on-one basis?

I think the most important tip I could give a chef wanting to get into a personal chef career is to be themselves, be personable and really make an effort to read and understand your client’s needs. Very Important!

Yes, you have to be a great chef but you also want the clients to feel comfortable and at ease around you. Your clients may have children, there are guests and friends that drop in etc. Its important that they trust you and feel safe. I treat my clients as I would treat anyone that was a close friend or family member. For me it has created great trust with my clients that gives them the freedom to be who they are around me. Its important not to pretend to be someone who you aren’t, to just please the client. I can’t express that enough, to just be yourself.

On another note I think a great tip is to broaden your repertoire of food. If you can cook Italian one night, Japanese the next, French, Indian etc it keeps the clients and yourself interested, excited and employed longer. Bonus!

Aside from excellent knowledge of food preparation, what are the soft skills that you think are needed for upcoming Chefs to have when looking to enter the Private/Personal Chef arena?

I think when entering the private chef arena you need to have a balance of several things. You need to know your profession well obviously, but private chef work is a lot more than just the food. You are sometimes working closely with wealthy high end clients from all nationalities and backgrounds who at times can be very demanding. I think you need to love food no 1 but also get on well with people, have strong social skills, honesty, integrity, patience and flexibility. This helps to navigate the demanding schedules that can occur not just from a “food” perspective but from a mental perspective. You have to be able to think on your feet and adjust at a moment’s notice.

What is one thing that you’ve learnt from your mentor/s that you still do to this very day?

My mentor always would say to me “life’s short, cook hard” I do this to this day and have never forgotten this!

It’s also a bad ass saying. Give it your best or go home.

Who in the industry is your favourite Chef or is there anyone in the industry you would like to cook with?

I don’t really have a favourite chef as such. There are so many chefs that are incredible in their styles and techniques that it’s impossible to choose. If I had to pick one I would feel I let down another. That being said, one of my most memorable meals was at a restaurant named “Sant Pau” many years ago in Spain. The chefs name is Carme Ruscalleda. It was one of those life long memories that I will cherish. From the train ride north of Spain along the coast (stopping outside the restaurant) to Carme cooking the most incredible dinner ever then coming out to our table and taking me for a tour of the kitchen, it just went on and on. It was awesome. Not many people I knew had known anything about her. She is a self taught Michelin star award chef, which at the time really inspired me to go there instead of El Bulli. She had the goods and it was one of my favourite food memories to date. I’m sure many people know who she is now.

What is the strangest/quirkiest request you’ve had from one of your Private clients?

Wow there has been many crazy things I have seen in the last 7 years of private chef work. Here is a G rated one for you.

One of the strangest or ridiculous things that happened was one Christmas when the client brought their 235 foot Mega Yacht to San Francisco and moored it down by the ferry building. I was to cook an elaborate dinner for 100 guests on the yacht.

I employed a team of chefs to assist me in preparing an enormous Christmas banquet, appetizers, midnight snack menu, etc. It turned out that all the food was for the clients and a couple of friends. I think 7 people showed up. My pastry chef was making bonbons and needed to run them to the freezer on another other level of the boat and had to have a security escort. It was a bloody waste of time, money and food. It was a total self indulgent waste of Christmas cheer.

What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

My three favourite places or dishes to eat are dim sum. I love soup dumpling, shumai, congee and make congee often. My favourite is Dungeness crab, pork and green onion.

Anything from New Zealand that has green lipped mussels in it. In particular I make a killer green lipped mussel fritter. It goes great with a little shaved beet, fennel and arugula salad.

I also think one of my favourite things to make is risotto! The fact that you have to “nurse” the risotto throughout the cooking process and stay with it from start to finish, from pan to plate I love. It a very versatile dish that lends to many types and styles. This is a dish I like to cook for friends.

I definitely cannot forget the Kiwi BBQ!!!!! I’m a GRILL-IN VILLAIN

If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Probably the All Blacks rugby team (and I’d ask pro surfer Kelly Slater to turn up also)

If you don’t know who the All Blacks are you better act like ya know :-)

Do you have plans that you can share with our readers about your future projects or aspirations?

Right now I’m heading to NYC for another TV show test and working hard on some adventure cooking television shows.

I have been working on a nutritional juice company for the last seven months and hope to get that off the ground early 2014. Hopefully that will pan out. If not I will just hang out with my beautiful family and keep living the dream surfing cooking and paying the bills.

Life’s short cook hard!!!

Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers? 

Polynesian Halibut Ceviche serves 6-8

  • 1.5 lbs halibut diced in half-inch cubes
  • 5 lemons juiced (enough to cover fish)
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • ¼ c fine diced red onion
  • ¼ c sliced green onion, green parts only
  • 1 large celery stick finely diced (about half a cup)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt + more to taste
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed ginger juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ¼ c chopped cilantro

-Dice halibut and cover in lemon juice
-Marinade at least 5 hrs, no more than 10
-Add remaining ingredients and mix
NB: Do not use bottled lemon or ginger juice for this recipe.
To make ginger juice, simply grate fresh ginger (skin and all)
and squeeze juice through cheesecloth, paper towel or your
hands!

Many thanks Kayne for sharing your love of food and of your professional experiences as a Private Chef. For our readers who would like to follow Kayne’s activities, visite his website at: www.kayneraymond.com , follow him on Twitter @kayneRaymond and his Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/CHEF.KAYNE.RAYMOND Thanks Kayne and we look forward to seeing you do more adventurous cooking!

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The 21 Most Romantic Foods to Eat

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Valentines Day is seen as a symbolic day of celebrating your relationship with your partner, spouse or lover. Legend has it that Saint Valentine of Rome was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. During his imprisonment he also healed the daughter of his jailer and wrote her a letter titled “Your Valentine” before his execution.

It is therefore seen as a day to write a letter and/or send a card to your loved one to acknowledge and celebrate your love. Along with celebrations, there is always food and if you need ideas on what to eat then the following list will get you on the right track.

This list is compiled as being the most romantic foods and some with aphrodisiac qualities!

  1. Whipped Cream – accompanied with any romantic dessert one can’t go wrong!
  2. Chocolate – eaten as is or cooked within a dish, it is seen as a the universal romantic food. It has a similar alkaloid to caffeine therefore giving us a good feeling
  3. Fondue – chocolate or cheese, a beautiful way to share a romantic evening together
  4. Champagne – a definite must when celebrating with food
  5. Steak  – cooked perfectly with accompanying vegetables, this dish will hit the spot
  6. Oysters – seen as a food with aphrodisiac qualities as they are high in zinc which raises testosterone levels… this is a great way to start the celebrations
  7. Coffee – in many cases most couples may have met over coffee, so it makes this drink a romantic hit
  8. Chicken and creamy mushrooms – this delicious combination makes this a tasty hit
  9. Spaghetti and meatballs – made from scratch, this meal can make a delicious impact
  10. Fruit Salad – especially with strawberries, blueberries, bananas and covered with honey
  11. Basil – known as a herb for lovers, it can heal headaches, promote circulation and has an alluring aroma
  12. Avocados – the Spanish saw this fruit as so sexy that the Priests banned it!
  13. Truffles – Since times of Ancient Rome, this was seen as an aphrodisiac. It emits a pheremone compound called Androstenone, which is similar to male sweat and will certainly be a hit for most women too!
  14. Chilli Peppers – They release endorphins and can increase the mood. It was famously used in ancient times by ruler Montezuma by being mixed in with a chocolate drink to stimulate his tongue and pulse before he met with his concubines
  15.  Watermelon – after research it is found that watermelon is known as nature’s Viagra for men. It has a phytonutrient in it which helps to relax the blood vessels similar to Viagra and is a great source of lycopene which supports heart health
  16. Figs – Many cultures associated figs with fertility, seen as a sexy fruit by many cultures
  17. Goji Berries – also seen as an aphrodisiac, this fruit is used in sweet and savoury dishes and are high in Beta Carotene. The Chinese have also learnt that this fruit treats metabolic syndrome which can lead to the onset of erectile dysfunction
  18. Ice Cream – Made in every flavour possible, this is the dessert to share and enjoy with a loved one
  19. Strawberries – Dipped in chocolate, or whipped cream, you have a perfect romantic match!
  20. Bananas – not only for the phallic shape of this fruit but it also contains Bromelain which is an enzyme  that triggers Testosterone production and along with its Potassium and vitamin B levels it gives you energy too
  21. Honey – It is a symbol of procreation as it is created via pollination. The word ‘Honeymoon’ also got its name from an alcoholic beverage made from honey given to the bride and groom. It also contains boron, which regulates Estrogen and Testosterone levels and provides a natural energy boost.

Enjoy creating some romantic meals with the above foods, they are certainly a great way to celebrate with your love. If cooking yourself is not your style, why not think about getting a Personal Chef for the night, make sure you give them this list and they will be sure to make you a perfect romantic meal!

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Eat My Words – Terri Moser

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

If you think you could never do a career change, then you will enjoy our interview this week from Terri Moser, who runs her own In-Home Custom Catering service in Baltimore &  Harford areas in the state of Maryland the USA. Terri had a career of nearly 27 years in public health before retiring and starting Terri’s Table, a personal chef company.

1. What do you love in particular about being a Private/Personal Chef?

My favorite part of being a personal chef is the cooking! I love being able to provide healthy, home cooked meals for busy families. I grew up with that tradition in my parents’ family, and made sure that my kids grew up with home cooked meals. The slow food movement and the other efforts in this country to direct kids to healthy, whole foods rather than fast food is the way I grew up and the way I believe kids should eat.

2. Who in the industry is your favourite Chef or is there anyone in the industry you would like to cook with?

In terms of celebrity chefs, I use many of Giada DeLaurentis’s recipes in both my personal and professional meals. I love how she combines simple ingredients in healthy combinations, and I’m a big fan of the Mediterranean style of eating. I would love to cook with Ann Burrell because I love her attitude and passion. Alton Brown appeals to the scientist side of me. On the non-celebrity side, we have a wonderful local restaurant called Pairings in Bel Air, Maryland, and I would love to cook with their chefs and learn how they make their killer butternut squash soup! 

3. What’s one piece of advice you valued receiving in your career?

Another personal chef told me, after I confessed to feeling uncomfortable with “Chef” in my title (since I am not professionally trained), that the definition of a chef is someone who cooks professionally for other people. As I gained more experience and saw how my meals were valued by my clients, I realized that she was right. 

4. What tip/s would you give to those who are looking to be a Private or Personal Chef?

I would tell people to jump in and do it. I began by cooking for friends and neighbors for free – they paid me for groceries, but my labor was free. This allowed me to get my timing down (important when making 20 meals by yourself!), figure out the most efficient way to tackle recipes, get my “gear” pared down to the essentials, etc. It also allowed me to get those all-important references for future clients. 

5. You also say on your website that you look forward to continuing your education through culinary classes and experimenting with new flavours and dishes. How regularly would you do extra classes to skill up further on your craft?

Although I’ve not had the opportunity to take formal classes, I continue to experiment with new recipes and foods – pomegranate molasses is my current favorite new ingredient! I’ve also attended a great annual event in Baltimore for the past few years – “The Foodie Experience.” It’s a symposium/tasting event that involves many great local restaurants, and includes a keynote address by a celebrity chef. My favorite was Alton Brown. 

6. What is the strangest request you’ve had from one of your Private clients?

The strangest request was to provide all of my grocery receipts so that my client could verify that I was really purchasing organic ingredients! 

7. When preparing for a client’s menu, what would be something that you need to be aware of or prepare for that you would never need to consider in a typical restaurant setting as a Chef?

If you will be preparing more than, say 3 meals, you need to ensure that your recipes will retain quality after freezing. You always need to be mindful of how reheating will affect the food quality and cook the food accordingly.

8. What are 3 favourite places/dishes you love to prepare?

I love to do risotto in my pressure cooker – the other day, I did a chicken and asparagus risotto that was awesome. I love Vietnamese food, although I don’t commonly cook that for clients. I love a good grilled salmon – I lived for a time in the Pacific Northwest and wild salmon can’t be beat. 

9. If you could prepare a full course menu for anyone in the world, who would it be?

I would prepare salmon for my son, Casey. We lost him 6 months ago and it would be wonderful to prepare him a meal he loved. 

10. Do you have a simple recipe that you would be happy to share with our readers? 

Absolutely! Every summer, I plant several pots of basil. In addition to using it fresh, I make many batches of pesto for the freezer. There’s nothing better than that taste of summer on some pasta in the dead of winter!

Pesto
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 C olive oil
1 C firmly packed basil leaves
1/2 C freshly grated parm
2 T pine nuts
1/2 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground pepper

Heat garlic gently in the oil for a few minutes – don’t brown.
Cool oil for a few minutes.
Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor with metal blade.
Pulse several times to chop, then process while slowly drizzling oil/garlic mixture into the processor.
Process to a paste like consistency.

Freeze in zip-top freezer bags.

Personal cheffing is a great career! I get to do what I love while making my own schedule. And I get to make people happy, which is always a good thing!

Many thanks Terri for your inspiring story and for your Pesto recipe! For more info about Terri and great tips, visit her website at www.chefterristable.com

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21 Tips for Private or Personal Chefs

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

For those who are considering being a Personal or Private Chef, there are many considerations to take into account. Below are a few tips to help you on your way.

  1. Know your client, build relationships and trust.
  2. Learn your client’s needs for privacy and the balance between being there for them but not being in the way.
  3. Research, research, research your intended client/s and food options in that area. They may have specific food needs, so its important to ensure you are completely aware of what you can and can’t make for them.
  4. 20% of being a Personal Chef will be about food and the other 80% is about running a successful business.
  5. Invest in yourself, as much as possible, keep learning new techniques, trends and go to short courses when you can.
  6. Be the ‘real’ you in person & across any public forum or platform such as your website, Facebook, Twitter and Social Media overall.
  7. Reliably deliver what matters: an experience that serves your client’s needs.
  8. Blow them away with your food. Be creative and think outside the box. Be the expert.
  9. Love people and this is often hard work, so you have to love what you do.
  10. Stretch your body regularly, wear good shoes, get roller bins for your pots and pans, eat a good breakfast.
  11. Wear your chef’s coat when you go grocery shopping; even if you are shopping for yourself. People get curious and it will make for good conversation!
  12. Work on yourself every day even if it is just something small. Always give a little bit more than expected.
  13. Enjoy what you do and protect your passion.
  14. Believe in yourself and your ability to constantly deliver top quality. This will show through to your clients and they will believe in you.
  15. How you present yourself and your business is very important, first impressions do mean a lot. Respect your clients and their homes and most important pass on your passion for food.
  16. Make sure you join at least one Professional Association so that you are in touch with the latest trends as well as network with other professionals who do similar work as you.
  17. Know that as a Private or Personal Chef you are working in the client’s personal home, this means respect of privacy and the highest integrity.
  18. You may be asked to do tasks beyond the call of duty, think about how you would handle this and discuss this with your client.
  19. Always keep cleanliness and sanitisation at the top of your priority.
  20. Consider and respect your own personal time, ensure you discuss this with your client so that you also have a work/life balance.
  21. Never, never give up!

For Personal or Private Chef services or if you are looking for work in this area please contact our office (in UK) 020 7430 9811 or (outside UK) 0044 20 7430 9811. Or email us at: info@miseenplace.co.uk

 

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International Catering Recruitment

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

International Hospitality Professional Recruitment

Are you looking for a sea change, or want  to expand your career outside of the UK? Mise En Place can help! We not only place hospitality professionals in the UK but also  throughout Europe, the US, Australia, Middle East the Far East and even further afield. No matter where you are based our huge international reach , and being solely dedicated to catering recruitment, has allowed us to make contact with thousands of the most professional catering candidates from across the globe. We will get you that perfect job on a new shore!

Why Work Overseas

Many of our candidates choose to re-locate overseas to work to further their career, whether it be a sous chef taking up a position in the south of France or a hotel manager securing that life changing job in Dubai. Expanding your horizons overseas can open up many opportunities which may not be possible within the UK. Other reasons our candidates choose to work overseas are:

  • Career progression and quality of work
  • Salary Increase
  • Quality of life
  • Climate (think the Bahamas!)
  • Experience foreign culture

How We Can Help You

Over the past year we have secured positions such as:

Contact Mise En Place for International Recruitment

If you are a catering and hospitality professional looking to relocate , then we want to hear from you.

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Chelsea Markets New York Review

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Mise En Place will be bringing you some reviews and tips from across the pond over the next couple of weeks as we are in New York!

New York is a food lover’s dream, from street meat to Haute Cuisine and every imaginable flavour in between. A good place to start is at the Chelsea Markets situated in the hip Meat Packing district on the west side of Manhattan. Housed in a former Nabisco plant, where the first Oreos were baked in 1912, nearly two-dozen food wholesalers flank what is maybe the city’s longest interior walkway in a single building—from 9th to 10th avenues. You can eat your way from one end to the other, snacking on Fat Witch brownies, Ronnybrook farmer’s cheese, Amy’s Bread sourdough, or just watch the bread being made through the open kitchen.

The markets are a great way to escape the freezing winds outside (or heat in summer) and relax in a very funky atmosphere. The interior is a tangle of glass and metal creates the awning and art, artefacts, and a factory pipe converted into an indoor waterfall. The walls are lined with local artists and photographer’s works which you can take in as you stroll. As well as stalls selling organic food and produce there are also restaurants and coffee shops where you can relax and enjoy a great meal while watching the eclectic mix of foodie tourists, locals and the trendy 20 something’s from NY stroll past.

The cable TV channel The Food Network is also houses in the same building upstairs. They film the Iron Chef here, so if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of some Iron Chefs as you chow down on one of the delicious crepes from Bar Suzette

We will be going back to stock up on some treats from the huge organic supermarket (think amazing BBQ sauces, which you just can’t get in London) before we head back across the pond, until then there is a lot more to explore in NY…..

Posted by Mise En Place Recruitment

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