Foodie? Or just suffering from Chef Envy

Due to the proliferation of cooks on TV nowadays, the profession has gained much ground in terms of networking and marketability. A decade ago being a cook was not as glamorous, nor did it encourage the kind of following that a professional cook would enjoy nowadays. A following you say? Yes. A following of such proportions it borderlines on ridiculous, inflating chefs' egos and blowing up the profession to near god-like status. Who are these followers? Anybody who fawns over the chef, who tries to emulate the chef, who got into the profession because they finally found something to be passionate about. Call them chef groupies or adoring fans, and these followers come in many forms, and what comes to mind is that familiar gastrosexual known as a foodie. I have met many foodies in my career, and within that set of food porn fanatics I have discovered the proliferating species that knows next to nothing about food. These individuals suffer an affliction known as Chef Envy. Chef Envy comes in may forms, from the sublime to the downright obnoxious. Some symptoms have been enumerated in this article. Interesting read, because any professional chef would recognize these absurd characteristics. Another article tells of the inane things that would make a gourmet snob. Both articles are funny, insightful, and probably hitting a nerve, culinary or not.
Here are what I think are the top symptoms of chef envy:

Insists that the chef put their grandmother's maple infused sorbet on the menu because they say it is so good.
When at a group dinner, of which a chef is part of the party, the foodie smirks and tells the waiter to ask the chef what they should order. Most professional chefs would be the last to order in a group after deconstructing the menu.
They invest in hundred dollar knives with little or no knife skills.
They follow the chef around in a supermarket watching closely what he puts into his basket, and getting the same.
They invest in chefs' whites, not knowing the importance of material and functionality of these uniforms.
When drunk, they can not tell the difference between foie gras and a Big Mac
Invades the professional kitchen, insistent on speaking with the chef
Follows the Food Network very closely.
Glorifies the transformation of sustenance and nutrition into haute couture.
Follows chefs and dines in high-end restaurants, only
Name drops famous Chefs whenever they can, wherever they can.
Flaunts an expensive RoboCoupe because they saw Emeril manhandling it.
Says nauseating catch phrases as "let's kick it up a notch" or "Bam!"
Fills up space in any photo-op involving the chef
Too late in life to change careers
Goes into recipe book publishing
Has the chef's number on speed dial
Is anal about the Michelin and Zagat Guides, but only for stalking purposes
Act like they know as much, if not more, than the chef, then sell their soul to the highest bidder
He or she has a volatile hatred for one specific chef
Has an eclectic (being PC here) albeit incohesive, collection of cookbooks
Has all kinds of useless kitchen gadgets frou-frou
They are not professional chefs by training, yet they have a TV cooking show
'Which restaurant has the Chef's Table?'
Uses KitchenSpeak in general conversation

P.S. You may have heard of 'The Foodie Handbook'. Read the scathing review here. And read about how to spot a pretentious foodie.


Perfect bowl for frosty evenings

 Chillout and warm-up to this hearty bowl of bacon, chorizo and sausage soup that would be perfect for those after game outings or sitting by the camp fire telling ghost stories. Cup your hands around the warm bowl, watch the steam add magic to the evening light. Sop it up with crusty bread when you are done. This is a perfect crock pot recipe.


250g Chorizo sausage, diced

100g ground beef

80g smoked bacon, diced

80g white onion, chopped

80g carrots, peeled and diced

60g green bell pepper, deseeded and chopped

50g garlic, peeled and chopped

10g fresh basil, chopped

200g peeled tomatoes, chopped

750ml chicken stock

100g spinach leaves, chopped

80g lentils

salt and pepper

120g cheddar cheese, grated


  1. In a stock pot, render bacon fat over medium heat. Remove bacon and set aside. Drain excess fat.

  2. Return pot to heat. Add onions and garlic, and stir until transluscent.

  3. Add ground beef, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

  4. Add diced bacon and chorizo. Stir to distribute evenly. Let cook for a further 2 minutes.

  5. Add the the vegetables and peeled tomatoes. Stir.

  6. Add chicken  stock. bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Skim any excess oil and scum from the surface.

  7. Transfer to crock pot and set on low for 4-6 hours. Or until the meat is very tender.

  8. Add lentils and let simmer for another hour or so until softened.

  9. Add the spinach leaves and fresh basil and let simmer for a further 10 minutes.

  10. Season with salt and pepper.

  11. Ladle the rich soup onto deep bowls. Top with grated cheddar cheese.


Gruyere cheese can be sbubstituted if you want the gooeyness factor to increase, making the soup more decadent.


I like my vegetarian chili!

Would you like to satisfy your vegan urges by diggin into a bowl of thick chili, curling up on a couch with a 'Sex in the City' DVD and just 'vegging' out? Try this recipe. Adapted from a contributor at, it is fairly simple. You can also cook this in a slow cooker, as I have found to be most convenient when I want to see what inane thing Carrie does to his men. Between you and me, that guy whose heart she broke into a million pieces? The one who eventually asked her to move out? She does not deserve him.

30ml olive oil

80g white onion chopped

1 medium green pepper, deseeded and chopped

1 medium red pepper, deseeded and chopped

40g garlic, peeled and minced

200g button mushrooms, sliced

200g Red kidney beans, soaked overnight

200g chickpeas, canned, drained

350g Peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped

120ml water

10g fresh basil, chopped

10g fresh oregano, chopped

2g cumin

2g cayenne

10g sugar

100g canned corn, drained

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large pot. Saute onion and garlic until tender, about 2 minutes.

  2. Add the chopped peppers and mushrooms. Continue cooking for about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Add remaining ingredients except the corn.

  4. Bring to a boil, the lower heat to a simmer. Let it roll for about half an hour covered, stirring occassionally.

  5. Stir in corn, and cook through for about 5-7 minutes.

  6. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.


Alternately, affter every ingredient but the corn has been put in the pot, transfer to slow cooker. Let it cook on low for about 4 hours. Then add the corn and let it further heat up for another 30 minutes. For added fire to your belly, I suggest to add fresh chili to the mix. When you are vegged out, sop the juices up with crusty bread. Have a couple of shots of tequila on the side, while you are cooking, or when you think Samantha is getting too much sex.

Smoked bacon and Corn Soup

A hearty soup that is great for the coming BRR months! As with most soup recipes, this hot bowl of goodness DOES hit the spot. It's filling, it's nutritious. It has made the rounds with home cooks and professional cooks. I am sure there are a lot of versions, and I feel this particular recipe can serve as a springboard for other variations. Just use your imaginative palate to go beyond where no other soup kitchen has gone before!


300g Potatoes, peeled and diced

250g carrots, peeled and sliced

200g smoked bacon, diced

120g white onion, peeled and chopped

30g flour

Sea salt

White pepper, fresh ground

750ml chicken stock

400g canned corn, drained

150 ml fresh cream

Sprig of parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. In a stock pot, render bacon over medium heat. About 2-3 minutes. The aroma will be great in this first step!

  2. Add onion, and stir to cook until transluscent. Make sure that it does not burn. We want it glossy. 

  3. Add potatoes and carrots and stir to cook, do not color. About 4-5 minutes.

  4. Add flour, stir to distribute evenly.

  5. Add stock. Please use good quality stock. No fuss recipe available here. Bring to boil, then  lower heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Don't worry if the veggies break up. That is what they are supposed to do.

  6. Let cool for 15 minutes. (This prevents the unnecessary mess in the next step.)

  7. Pass soup through a blender, and puree until smooth. If taken fresh from the fire, the blender will be your worst enemy. Letting it cool before processing prevents scalding spatters.

  8. Return to heat. Add drained corn. Bring back to a simmer. Stir occassionally for 2-3 minutes.

  9. Stir in fresh cream.

  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring out the taste of fresh corn and bacon.

  11. Serve hot in soup plates. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


For variation, try chorizo instead of bacon. Add bell peppers for a little bit of zing. Blend in butter for more richness. Let me know how you intend to use this recipe in the kitchen. Please leave your ideas as a comment. Other readers may find it useful!



Roasted Bell Pepper Soup

This version of a popular bisque recipe has been a hit ever since it graced my clients' tables. This is one of the recipes that is going into the repertoire of my first restaurant, Souped Up.

100g Bell Peppers
50g chopped white onions
30g chopped celery stalk
30g chopped leeks
10g chopped garlic
20g tomato paste
750ml chicken stock
120ml heavy cream
40g clarified butter
20g all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Roast bell peppers over open flame until charred. When all surfaces are charred, transfer to a mixing bowl. Cover with cling wrap and let stand for 30 minutes. Then peel peppers and deseed. Roughly chop, then set aside.
  2. Heat butter in stock pot. Add onions, celery, leeks and garlic. Cook until onions are transuscent, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  3. Add roasted pepper and tomato paste. Cook until throughly mixed, about 1 minute.
  4. Add flour and stir to mix. Pour in chicken stock.
  5. Bring to boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Pass soup through a blender, then pour back into stock pot and return to heat.
  7. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper.
This dish is great with a slice of toasted baguette. Yields 650ml, good for 4 servings.


Are you burnt out?

We all know the feeling. We are tired. We drag ourselves to work every day, just making do. You feel drained. Another guest is just more work. More mise en place. more reservations mean an endless session of Saturday night clean up. We lost the inspiration to move, complaining and ranting and saying to yourself 'why bother?'. This is burnout. A state of complete physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by long-term exposure to a demanding and overwhelming work or home life. Sufferers often become cynical about their work, feel under-achieved and lack motivation or drive. Sleep, appetite and mental health may be affected, as well as relationships with coworkers and guests.
We usually prevent this on the onset by doing what everybody else tells us...'Do what you love'. It is so cliche I can just gag. After deciding that the restaurant business is for you, the restaurant life is what you lead, I suggest take these few points to get you back on track.

Hold on to your dream - even if you don't feel like it. Even if everybody is against you. Even if no one shares that dream. Never give up. We are all bred to survive in this industry. And very few actually make something out of it. We love it. We love it when a guests smiles after a great dinner. We love it that we can create the perfect souffle. These and other things make it all worthwhile. Let nothing or no one come in between you and your dream.

Focus - Eliminate distractions. Live in the moment. This way it is less stress, becuase you are concentrating on one thing at a time. When a fourtop needs to be set, concentrate ongetting on flatware synced, perfect, in line, polished. In other words, impeccable. Which leads us to...

Accomplish tasks in increments - Do things one at a time. Yes, multi-tasking does have its merits in our industry, but when was the last time you made the perfect demi glace from scratch? Getting that perfect caramlization, that perfect consistency, that perfect aroma and taste along the way? Was it not a great journey when you first made it?

Immerse yourself - Surround yourself with the things that inspired you in the first place. Watch the movies that had you saying 'that's me'. Have a cup of coffee in the afternoon at one of the better restaurants. Bathe in the atmosphere of excellent service. Read up on cookbooks, food blogs. See how other people are doing. Reconnect with friends who are doing well running restaurants or managing hotels. Get rid of any form of negativity.

Get more sleep - Really. Our body needs an average of 8 hours sleep to recharge our batteries. A tall order for somebody who makes a living in the restaurant industry. But it takes a conscious effort to find the time to get some sleep. What keeps you up late at night hours after the last guest has bid good night and the last plate washed and dried? Tasks which should have been done during the day? Which lead us to...

Work smarter, not harder - Be efficient in everything you do.  Minimum input. Maximum output. Have perfect physical and mental mise en place. Have a plan C. No rush, but most things are usually done just before dinner service. Everything else is just routine. Can be delegated, can be prioritized for the next day.

Get some 'me' time - If you have vacation days or sick days still on your account, take advantage of it. OR, just set aside 10 minutes out of the day to sit down, have a glass of burgundy, your favorite music on the iPod, and a quiet corner in the restaurant or at the nearby park. Zone out. Be in your own world for the moment.

Got more ideas on how to deal with burnout?


What other people say about food and cooking

A lot of poeple have something to say about food and cooking. I am sure you have come across some nugget of wisdom or have developed some culinary philospohy on your own. Here are a few that have inspired, tickled a fancy, started a revolution, and made life a lot more bearable.


There is no love sincerer than the love of food. - George Bernard Shaw

A gourmet is just a glutton with brains - Phillip H. Haberman Jr.

Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love. - Turkish Proverb

I found there was only one way to look thin, hang out with fat people. - Rodney Dangerfield

To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. - Anthony Bourdain

Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better. - Robert Redford 

The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat. - Albert Einstein

I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian. - Anonymous

The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other. - Johnny Carson

God sends meat, and the Devil sends cooks. - John Taylor

Fish, to taste right, must swim three times -- in water, in butter and in wine. - Polish Proverb

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves. - Thomas Wolfe

Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. - Oscar Wilde

It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. - Julia Child

When in doubt...... Throw it out - anonymous

What is your host's purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose they'd have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. - PJ O'Rourke

A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar, and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect - Fernand Point

A converted cannibal is one who, on Friday, eats only fishermen. - Emily Lotney

A vegetarian is a person who won't eat anything that can have children. - David Brenner

Anyone who eats three meals a day should understand why cookbooks outsell sex books three to one. - LM Boyd

Cooking is a lot like making love. It just takes a little longer to clean up. - Michael Tucker
Cuisine is only about making foods taste the way they are supposed to taste. - Charlie Trotter

I was a vegetarian until I started leaning toward the sunlight. - Rita Rudner

I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table. - Rodney Dangerfield

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? - Anonymous

If you find an Australian indoors, it's a fair bet that he will have a glass in his hand. - Jonathan Aitken

Il n'y a pas de bonne cuisine sans bon bouillon; la cuisine francaise, la premiere de toutes les cuisine doit sa superiorite a l'excellence du bouillon francais. - Alexander Dumas

In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection. - Count Curnonsky

In the strict scientific sense we all feed on death - even vegetarians. - Mr. Spock

Manhattan is a narrow island off the coast of New Jersey devoted to the pursuit of lunch. - Raymond Sokolov

Most of the food allergies die under garlic and onion. - Martin H. Fischer 

My wife is on a diet. Coconuts and bananas. She hasn't lost any weight, but she can sure climb a tree. - Henny Youngman

Nouvelle Cuisine, roughly translated, means: I can't believe I paid ninety-six dollars and I'm still hungry. - Mike Kalin

One of the problems with writing a cookbook is that recipes exist in the moment. - Thomas Keller

People are cooking less but obsessing about it more. - D. Poynter 

Salt is the policeman of taste: It keeps the various flavors of a dish in order and restrains the stronger from tyrannizing over the weaker. - Malcolm De Chezal 

So long as people don't know how to eat they will not have good cooks. - Escoffier  

What you eat and drink is 50 percent of life. - Gerard Depardieu 

Blow in its ear. -Johnny Carson on the best way to thaw out a frozen turkey 

The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. - George Miller


What other quotes have you come across to? What nugget of inspiration has got you going? please add to the list!

P.S. These quotes would go on the culinary shirts for sale. Feel free to select one for me to send to you.


Mental mise en place

You find yourself sitting at your kitchen table, looking out the window, sipping your hot java, contemplating the coming day. Mentally you are running the order lists through your head, remembering that Mr. Ronald was delivering some fresh Maine Lobster that morning. Then you move your mind to the walk-in, trying to recall how the shelves were packed, and where to put the incoming deliveries. Yesterday's leftovers are jumping up and down, grabbing your attention, begging you in your mind to turn them into the day's appetizer special. Thenyou realize that pest sauce in the back of the reach in is starting to grow roots. That reach-in has been a problem lately. Have to call the repairmen in. And a call to Johnny for overcharging you on the Wagyu is in order. Sigh.

Such is the day in the life of a professional cook. In addition to the physical demands of working in a professional kitchen, management and leadership skills come to play as you steer your piratical crew through 350 meals today. It is a demanding job, a punishing career. And like all those cooks out there, I love it. Motivation is key here, as the challenges each day mount up and change, grabbing you by the nuts and showing you the door, only each cook and each chef chooses the door, no matter what fate tells them.

The following are a few motivational sayings, musings and points-to-ponder that get me by each day I wake up to what promises to be a rewarding encounter with very satisfied guests. These are my mental mise en place. These are what I meditate on whenever i have some 'me' time. When I am not screaming out orders and fire ups. When I am enjoying the solitude of the walk-in. When I walk to and from work. This helps me minimize stress. And stress is simply a reaction to things unexpected. Expect what I want, not what I don't want.
Life is what I design it to be - If your were to read your own obituary, what would you like to see? What we do in the kitchen has something to do with our purpose, our calling. Anything less is a sham.

Getting better all the time - job security is guaranteed by the commitment to continuous personal improvement. Make your mind up to control circumstances by learning something new every day.

Thank God it's Monday - I chose this work because I love it. And I never had to work a day in my life. I enjoy it so much that I lose track of time, realizing I have peeled a few kilos of shallots already.

Develop a fascination for what doesn't work - When something goes wrong, ask what can we learn from it. I celebrate it as an opportunity to learn. One evidence of this is attaining that level of zen in economy of movement when on the cooking line. When you stop learning, you stop growing.

Live for the moment - whatever is past is past. Whatever is in the future is yet to come. That is why it is called the present, its a gift. Focus in the now. Concentration follows. Whatever task you are doing now, live for the moment. Focus on it. Concentrate efforts into it. 

Practice perfection - the person that commits the fewest mistakes in a professional kitchen usually wins, and in most cases it is the head chef.  Approach performance with this kind of attention to quality. If you do not seek perfection, you can never reach excellence.

All good performance starts with clear goals - This will provide a clear focus on the task on hand, no matter how many hundreds are still waiting in line. As the Cheshire Cat said in Alice in Wonderland, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

Trying is just a noisy way of not doing something - There is a difference between being interested and being  committed. Being interested means you will only cut those vegetables when it is convenient. Being committed means you will get that mire poix ready no matter what. In the right shape and size, in the right amount.

Work smarter, not harder - think, strategize and prioritize. Be proactive, not reactive. Look forward. Attain a fluid movement. Make it appear effortless.

What do you meditate on? What helps get rid of the stress?



13 laws of culinary power

It is not enough that you have gotten yourself into a professional kitchen. It is not enough that you have a diploma from the best cooking school in the world, or you know the boss, or you sleep with the owner. It's being in the searing heat of a cockpit sized kitchen that really brings out the best and worst in people. Any cook would know they would have to tread on thin ice on the first few weeks in a new kitchen, no matter how great a cook you are. There are certain protocols, and in a human driven industry, inter-personal skills are as much evident in the kitchen as in any corporate heirarchy. What must you do so you don't crash and burn and find yourself with your tail between your legs cursing the heavens that the world is unfair? These 13 laws are not absolute. Nor are they a guide. They are principles that work in any professional kitchen. Read through them. Study them. Memorize them daily. Harness violent reactions, encourage fantasy, take it to heart. Or throw it away. Just know that it does exist.

Never outshine the master

Always make those that reign suiperior to you look good. Make them appear that they are the masters of the sections they hold. If you want to impress them by showing how good you are, it may inspire fear and insecurity. 

Say less, do more

The more you mouth off what you learned in CIA, the more you gab and spout how much you know, the more ordinary you are. The more you speak, the more likely you will say something stupid. Be discrete. Let people always wonder what you are capable of.

Actions speak louder than words

Win through your actions, never by argument. Any victory gained through argument is temporary and superficial. It harbors ill feelings between people. Demonstrate. Make a show. Do not wax poetic. Get off the soap box. Talking does not impress people. You will find yourself at the business end of a very hot pasta fork one day.

Be reliable

To maintain control in any professional kitchen, you must always be needed and wanted. Never teach people enough so they can do without you. Make yourself dependable. That way people come to you. And you can control when and why they come to you.

If you need help, appeal to the person's self-interest

Fellow cooks will ignore you if you ask for help on the basis on what you have done for them. The request for aid then becomes a burden. Instead, appeal to their better nature, to what interests them. Emphasize the benefits such a request would reward them. You would be in control if you dangle the carrot.

Go undercover

Act as a spy to gather information that could move you up the culinary ladder. Information on your rivals, your competitor, your enemy will prove beneficial in your progress from dishwasher to head chef. 

Do not be a loner

You need to mingle with your coworkers to get valuable information about what you do and who does what in the kitchen. If you keep to yourself, you are denying yourself valuable insight on how things  are done, who to talk to, who has control, who can be manipulated.

Focus on what you do best

Concentrate your efforts in your strengths. The Jack-of-all-trades could not survive in a professional kitchen. It is much better to excel in what you do best, rather than  wade haphazardly in many things that you have no experience in. Concentrate on resources that would give you the greatest mileage.

Keep your chef's whites white

Exhibit an air of civility and efficiency. Learn and take advantage of the economy of movement. Never ever soil your reputation by committing mistakes or crapping in your own backyard. If you do find yourself in a situation that would potentially tarnish what you have been working hard for, try hard to disguise your involvement.

Rats do not belong in the kitchen. Timid cooks as well.

If you are hesitant in the kitchen, your behaviour will affect your execution. No one will honor the mouse. Be bold. Grab that pan with flair, plate that dish as if you were painting a picture. Be sure of what you are doing. Nothing less. Maintain a level of confidence. Go headstrong.

Plan Ahead. Plan to an end

Take into account all the variables that would alter your fate in the kitchen. Keep a goal in mind. This is your goal. Be selfish about it. Anticipate consequences, obstacles, trials, other cooks movements. You help guide serendipity by taking fate into your own grubby scarred hands. Plan you mise en place, both mental and physical.

Make it seem effortless

A fluid motion in a cramped kitchen reigns supreme. Economy of movement allows you to work faster, work more efficiently. If you have to work hard to get to that point, do not show it. Do not show that you are having difficulty. Avoid the temptation of showing how hard you work. It would make others resent instead of admire you.

Master the art of timing

Rushing makes you appear out of control. Be patient. Everything comes to those who wait. Watch out for trends. Be alert on what goes on, how long they take, what factors influence the outcomes. Learn to use time to your advantage, whether doing mise en place or preparing for a banquet.



Halloween Dinner Menu – 1st Course

Halloween Menu

Serves 4

  • 900 g Pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 pc Baguette
  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 120 g white onion, chopped
  • 40 g celery chopped
  • 40 g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 30 g garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped oregano, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp  chili flakes
  • 1 L Chicken Stock
  • 80 ml cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Spread olive oil on baking tray
  3. Place pumpkin and tray, coat evenly with olive oil
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Slice Baguette diagonally into serving slices. Rub each side with a sliced fresh garlic.
  6. Place pumpkin and garlic bread in oven. Let bread toast for 10 minutes. Cook pumpkin for about 25-30 minutes, until edges are golden
  7. Remove from oven. Let cool.
  8. In a stock pot, melt butter.
  9. Add chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Stir until onions are tender and translucent.
  10. Add chopped pumpkin
  11. Pour in Stock. Bring to boil, then lower heat to a simmer
  12. Let simmer for 15 minutes
  13. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes
  14. Pass soup through a blender. Strain through a chinois or strainer into another stock pot
  15. Return to stove and bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer.
  16. Sprinkle oregano and chili flakes
  17. Season with salt and pepper
  18. Stir in cream.
  19. Place a garlic bread slice in soup plate
  20. ladle soup over bread
  21. Garnish with a sprinkle of oregano


We need your help!

The Philippines is still reeling from the devastation delivered by Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) leaving, by last reports, 227 dead and thousands homeless. The entire Metro Manila and surrounding provinces in Northern Luzon have been affected, particularly the low lying areas of Marikina and Rizal. Many have been relocated to evacuation centers, leaving their home and property, and to many their loved ones, behind. Relief efforts have been in full swing since Saturday, and your donations have been put to good use in providing much needed food, water and medical and toiletry supplies. Some funds were used for the clean up and rebuilding of certain communities.

However, we ask our dear readers for more help from local and international communities. A Supertyphoon is expected to make landfall by Saturday morning, in other words, in less than 24 hours. This weather disturbance is of a much greater strength than the previous storm, and is expected to create more damage as it reaches Philippine shores. It is expected that more families and homes will be destroyed. I ask you for your assistance in helping alleviate the potential destruction that would ensue. We would be needing more assistance as current resources are lacking. 

When you are ready to make a donation, no matter how small, please proceed to this blogsite and click the Paypal link provided for Typhoon Donation. Proceeds will go to the Maria Liguori church in Magallanes for distribution and purchases of much needed relief goods.

I will thank you in advance for participation in this endeavor, as you will have touched the lives who are affected by these devastating weather disturbances. We are bracing for the worst, and we are praying that we will come out of it unscathed.

Thank you.

Chef Ivan