a day in food nerd heaven

Saturday might have broken into my top 10 favorite work days.  Despite the very early (6:30 a.m.) call time to work that day, I was in my element. Restaurant Iris’s Chef Kelly English brought together 20 amazing chefs (10 local, 10 guests) for a fundraiser for Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital – LeBonAppetit.  In its inaugural year, the event was sold out weeks in advance. Gush Alert: Let me first mention my love for fine dining in this city, and the recognition that our chefs have gotten in the last several years – I feel – has largely been due to … Continue reading a day in food nerd heaven

drinking the kool-aid

Ok This post isn’t about that wonderful childhood drink, but just a quick post to wish one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals a Happy 60th Birthday! Today, Le Bonheur celebrated with a company picnic for its employees and their families.  And every company picnic needs a cake walk, right?  And I got to run the cake walk – go figure, right? I’ve worked for this amazing place for 10 years, and I wouldn’t trade a single day of walking those halls, meeting our families, and being “family” with those who work there.  Taking care of kids in their greatest … Continue reading drinking the kool-aid

at least we didn’t get last

Well there you have it folks, that is the 45th best spaghetti gravy recipe in Memphis.  Yes, two Irish-German-Polish-English-Other-Non-Italian-Countries kids can put together a pot of Italian spaghetti gravy with a little over a month’s prep.  What do I call success?  We had food on the plates for the judges, and we had a blast. Today, we arrived at Marquette Park to get to cooking at around 8 a.m.  Some of the other teams arrived earlier – I’ll know for next time.  With two very, very handy and awesome volunteers – Rita and Chris, we prepped everything we needed for … Continue reading at least we didn’t get last

pizza italiano

Today, I started the Memphis Italian Festival.  It actually started last night, but I decided that I wanted just one night off – so today is my kickoff.  Big brother Sam and I thought that making grilled pizzas for dinner tonight would be awesome, so I fixed up the bread dough at home and hauled it over to the festival. It is family tradition to have pizza on Friday or Saturday nights in my house.  My mom would make up this dough recipe, and we would have homemade pizza.  It is still one of the easiest and best pizza dough … Continue reading pizza italiano

a festival that is all greek to me

Greeks in Memphis celebrate right.  Every May, the Greek Orthodox Church on Highland turns into the best Greek fair you’ve ever been to.  In its 53rd year, the Memphis Greek Festival showcases what is awesome about Greece and its food. Since moving to Memphis nearly 12 years ago, I have gone to the Greek festival nearly every May, and it just keeps getting better and better.  And here’s the lowdown on navigating the festival. First, unlike many food festivals in Memphis, there is no cook-off at the Greek festival.  They just want you to come out, grab dinner, drink some … Continue reading a festival that is all greek to me

testing recipes

I have been a little preoccupied the last few days, because I’ve been buried in recipe testing mode. So I thought – this might be an interesting post… How do I test recipes to find the right one? Well – I have been working on a recipe for the Memphis Italian Festival’s spaghetti gravy contest.  I had a few ideas knocking around in my brain, so on Sunday afternoon, I got cooking. I took out two pots to test my ideas. One pot for one recipe and one pot for the other. I kept my journal handy and kept lots … Continue reading testing recipes