Oct 2, 2012

Moving on

Thursday, at 6:00 a.m. I was informed by one of the security guards at work that the chef and our GM (for lack of a better title) would not be coming into work that day. After a few minutes, I proceeded to inform the staff of our new challenge and go forward with the day...

One of the most amazing things about cooks is that we are a different breed of people. I think I have mentioned this in the past. We are responsible, passionate, adrenaline junkies. Cooks understand that the job needs to get done. We have a cook, whom I would call a Chef de Partie who one day covered the entire line for breakfast service, because one cook was on vacation and the other cook who should have been there called in sick, all while getting sick herself. Asked why she didn't just toss it in and leave after service, she responded, "the show must go on..."

And so it did, she stepped up we got over 35 portions of the fish special out, got a head on some batch recipes and then covered portions of breakfast service, prepped for lunch service and followed through working lunch service, while being short handed by the chef, one cook on vacation and a substitute dishwasher. The next day, not knowing the status on our bosses, we were further hand cuffed by another cook on vacation.

When the fellow employees, who dine in our cafe, asked how do we do it? How do we know what to get done? When do we get to take breaks from things like this? We just tell them, this is what we love to do. We enjoying cooking for a living, an art that doesn't last. Smiles and compliments is all we get from what we do. When the rush of emotions comes over, and you face the adversity with the same punch and desire to fight it back pushing the edge between kindness and rage, you get the reward. When some one asks if we have any fish available when the special is not, how do you respond? Simply say no, and move on to the next request and fill it with a smile.

Jun 30, 2012

This week

Dragon Arrival

So here is what has been consuming this former culinary school graduate.

Tuesday, we are hosting our Bible study group to dinner. I've committed to smoking some baby back ribs for them and I've asked the bring a few things to accompany it. On Wednesday, we say good bye to our son and head to San Antonio for a incredible international church conference. I was able to attend one a few years ago here in Denver and this one will eclipse it with over 17,000 registrants already, it will be like a small slice of heaven on earth.

Have a great week.

Jun 16, 2012

Wedding Soup

So this was our first week of our CSA share from Grant Family Farms. We have been buying share from them for four years now and this is our third year hosting a drop/pick up site. The farm drops off bins of shares, color coded for the various sizes as well as multiple coolers and baskets that contain goodies like local mushrooms, cheese, eggs and artisanal breads. In a few weeks, we there will fruit to be distributed as well. 

This first week the contents of our share were:
garlic scapes
green onions
head lettuce
dry Mexican red beans
curly parsley
farm made sauerkraut
So I figured why not try using the most of the share this weekend by making my version of Italian Wedding soup. Recently, I've been into making meatballs and meatloaf at home. There is something about making simple forcemeat into tasty treats. I had some ground veal I froze when I found it on special a few weeks back. My Wife, bought some celery and carrots to make a crudites platter and I just went to town.

I used the green onions and garlic scapes for their bigger cousins along with carrots and celery for the aromatics for cooking the beans. From there I made the meatballs with veal, green onions, garlic scapes, parsley, homemade bread crumbs, an egg and Pecorino Romano cheese. I like throwing in a little bit of chicken base for some added meatiness to the meatballs. 

Of course, there is the procedure to making the soup. I cooked the beans, made the broth separately, balled up the meatballs and roasted them in the oven. I put it all together, put the liquid from the meatballs as well as the meatballs themselves, cleaned chopped up spinach and a small diced potato. I let it all simmer another 15 minutes and let is sit until my son went down for a nap (about ten minutes). Normally I would cook pasta in the soup right away, but I didn't have any thing smaller than fettuccini, so I served it with out pasta. I topped it with some white truffle oil and we devoured our bowls of soup for lunch.

Apr 22, 2012

As a year goes by since my last post...

I would like to thank you for reading what is going on on this blog. I still have the same job at iCorp, and I'm enjoying being a father to my wonderful son and a husband to my wife. As spring is rolling into the summer, my role in life is now better defined, I may find myself able to now find the time once again to sharing what is on my heart about cooking, life, job and of course what a culinary school graduate finds themselves doing. Please stay posted as I will find something to share with you.

Jun 11, 2011

Five Year Anniversary

Yesterday, My Wife and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. We have had a tradition of going to Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder for our dinner. This year, we went to their new establishment, Pizzeria Locale. It is a modern take on a great Italian tradition, pizza. I had worked with the GM there at NoBo. Of course the service was wonderful, as is to be expected. All the food was simple, clean and tasty. I had ordered the Foccacia Storico - parmigiano reggiano, mortadella, black pepper, garlic and oregano and My Wife ordered the Margherita - mozzarella di buffala, san marazano tomatoes (sauce) and basil. We shared their seafood salad, the cured meat plate and some olives. For dessert I had the butterscotch pudding and My Wife had the decadent nutella filled pizza dough. We had a great time just being able to hang out and talk. We realized this is a place we could easily bring our friends to and enjoy wonderful service and clean, simple and tasty food.

May 13, 2011


Where did April go? As I sit in Barns and Noble at my laptop, I started to realize that this is something I need to more often. I will admit, I have it easy compared to most sous chefs out there in the world. Stach is not the type to let anyone work more than he does, at the same time he is pretty understanding of situations and gives everyone a pretty long leash. With that said, I leave when I need to go pick up my son. I come in early to make up hours and then when I plan on a weekend adventure I can leave as soon as I can get all of my stuff done. It is pretty awesome.

As for some specials,

Wild boar shanks braised in hoisin, jasmine "dirty rice" and ginger glazed carrots.

Beef tongue torta, house pickled jalapenos, tomatoes and cheese

Roasted chicken, Fontina and mushroom cream sauce, whipped Yukon potatoes and broccolette

Mushroom crusted rack of lamb, sauce chausseur and risotto

Barbecue two ways - Texas style Kobe beef ribs with potato salad and Asian rubbed baby back ribs with slaw

Edamame crusted cod, ponzu sauce and nori dusted chips

Crab stuffed lemon sole and haricot verts

and that was just a few specials we featured over the past six weeks.

As for the next few days back at work, Stach is off and we have a few in-house catering parties, on Monday over 40 for breakfast and then almost 60 for lunch as well. We have a great staff that always steps up and meets the challenge though, so I don't worry too much about them all. We have been pretty lucky that we seem to get the bodies that we need at the right time.

Mar 31, 2011

Is it really April already?

Sorry for my lack of effort in posting here folks. I'll try a little better to post something more often than once a quarter.

Tonight, My Wife and I enjoyed some fresh red grouper. One of the benefits at iCorp, on occasion, we get to take home some really good products to cook at home. I seared the grouper in my cast iron skillet, crispy skin and all. I heated up some butter beans with smoked pulled pork and red onions and sauted some diced asparagus. As a sauce for the grouper, I sizzled some chunks of the pork in the pan and topped the fish with it.

At iCorp, we have been undergoing quite a bit of turn over. In August, a cook who had been there quite awhile and thought Stach would hire him as a sous chef was caught scratching himself with a glove on over his apron and pants and continued with making sandwiches for everyone. This is when Tex was hired. Tex used to work with Stach and I at NoBo. Another guy, who had owned a sandwich shoppe, took a position in another department that he was better qualified for. This was when we hired AMBP. She was an outside candidate that both Stach and our boss picked from three or four resumes. At the same time, we brought in a long time friend of mine who had staged with me at Upstairs/Downstairs and worked at NoBo after I had left. He recently left to pursue a position at a fine dining restaurant. Then there was Sloth, she could have been better if she would quit doing illicit drugs combined with medication for her depression Sloth was on 30 day probation and basically was terminated after her husband decided to do doughnuts in the parking lot after opening a can of Keystone Light. Just minutes after our ER (employee relations) department accepted her two week notice. We brought in one other guy, Lance, who is currently a night student at Culinary School of the Rockies.

Our entire front of the house staff has completely turned over. It started with one woman thought she could boss people around when our boss wasn't present and would deny doing so when confronted. She also complained about: the guys changing in the locker room, that the boxes were stacked to high, the boxes were in the way when they weren't stacked, we were using hot water from the hot water machine to "cook with," etc. Fortunately, she gave notice and left. At the same time, a girl up and quit the next day the first woman left. Then there was a mainstay who pretty much couldn't handle driving in the snow for over 45 miles to get to work. We turned over everyone in the FOH within six weeks.

As for fun menu items: Braised beef hearts with beets and smashed potatoes on Valentines day; pull wild boar sandwiches; wild boar osso bucco creamy polenta; venison chops with green chili demi glace roasted red potatoes; Colorado Bison barbecue with green chili barbecue sauce, mountain biscuit and corn casserole; and 50's comfort food chow line which included buttered peas and wild mushrooms, Texas style brisket, Bison chili, sherry cream of mushroom soup, layered jello cups, German chocolate cake, Key lime pie and various small dessert bites.

Upcoming events will include another menu change, more scratch items, excessively large parties (400+ people) and fine tuning our catering offerings. Next week we have an employee event that will include an all you can eat salad bar with some basic offerings that will test our fellow employees patience with healthier food options.

So that is it. Congrats to Richard Blais on winning Top Chef All Stars. I still think Jen Carrol should not have been eliminated in the second round, but that is how things go.

Jan 22, 2011

Happy New Year

One of the greatest joys that I have enjoyed since the birth of my son is coming home in the afternoon and spending about 5 hours with him in my arms. One of the things that I have seen in some of the fathers at church is how much time they spend with their children. This is something I have chosen to imitate with my son.

Today, after spending some time at a church day retreat, we came home, and My Wife fed him. Afterwards, he was a little fussy and I was trying to lay down and sleep off a headache. My Wife offered for me to hold him, which I did and he quickly calmed down. From there he squeaked and squirmed some and then he fell a sleep. This all happened around the same time of the day I usually come home and he spends time in my arms. I think that is the coolest thing ever.

It's moments like this I realized that working at iCorp is what my family needs. Having been born a rabbit, and this year being my third year of the rabbit; I realize that I have found my job. I have always dreamed of being able to wear my whites and work bankers hours. I also work with a cool chef and we are surrounded by a talented staff. Of the eight of us who work in our kitchen, six of us have been line cooks in fine dining restaurants, five of us worked at NoBo at the same time, and the chef and I have been working together for about two years now.

We are proud of the work we do. I've mentioned it before, people see what I do as a huge step down from where I have worked. This week, we have a 35 person four course dinner which also includes and entree duo. Following that for the week we will have 70 people in the building which we will be feeding breakfast and lunch three times and also a military themed dinner. Even though some the food we are asked to make are things a half way good home cook could make, we choose to refine it more than a caterer would. We want our fellow employees at iCorp to see the food they eat is real food. The chef before and during the interim before Stach was there the food was bought pre-made/boil in a bag they served as if it were made in house.

Dec 29, 2010

They let us take him home with us

So as you know, we have had our baby.

Daniel Yi-Fei, born December 12, 2010 11:24 am 7 lbs. 6oz 19" long. My Wife is doing well. I have been able to take his first week off and this week. My Wife's mother was out last week with her father coming out for Christmas. My Mother is comes out on New Year's Day and I'll be returning to work.

As for Christmas dinner.
Cuyahoga beet salad
Lavender gelee
Sourdough and liguica sausage stuffing
French beans and mushrooms
Duchess potato two ways
Meat and Sauces
Prime rib
Red wine jus
Horseradish cream
Apple pie
Cherry wine ice cream
Apricot and pistachio garnished country pate
Dried Spanish chorizo
Oven roasted grape tomatoes
Olive cured Provencal olives
Castlevetrano Olive
Cranberry mostarda
Whole grain Dijon
English cheddar
Fresh mozzarella
Shaved parmesan
Apricot and pistachio butter cookies

Dec 11, 2010

Five Years From Now...

Mrs. Mom, "Peanut, would you like a cookie?"
Peanut replies, "did my Mommy make it?"
Mrs. Mom, "No?"
Peanut inquires further, "Did my Grandma, Nana or Grandmere make it?"
Mrs. Mom, "no I made the cookies, would you like one?"
Peanut, with out flinching at Mrs. Mom's response, "did Mrs. Kathy make it?"
Mrs. Mom, not knowing who Mrs. Kathy is, "no, but here have the cookie, I'm sure your mommy will let you."
Peanut, "I'd better not, I don't think my daddy wouldn't want me to have that cookie then."

Dec 4, 2010

All About Peanut

As you all know My Wife and I are expecting our first child around Christmas. As the count down started, 30+ weeks ago, we first thought the end would never come. We would laugh about things, dream about things, I talk into her belly, and often I would just smile when I see a brand new family. I am a bit of a sentimental sap for a guy. I find that it comes from being a protective older brother and a pretty loyal person.

Tuesday, My Wife and I headed into the Denver, as we have done so often, for her 36/37 week check up. The Midwife was excited to see us, and was right away concerned about the fact My Wife's blood pressure was high. So as we went through with the check up, periodically her blood pressure was checked, to see if we got a false reading, not so much. When it came time to see the sonogram, the Midwife first pressed on My Wife's belly to confirm that Peanut was head down and assuming the position. The sonogram gave us shocking news, BREECH! Yep that silly little kid of ours has both of our genes to want to do things his/her way. So this brings about concern from the Midwife, because of the fact we are at 37 weeks and My Wife's blood pressure is high. Right away we were scheduled for a procedure to actually turn Peanut around so the head is down and we could go on our merry way. At the same time the Midwife suggested to get some acupuncture done, and I had read that there is also a chiropractic technique to help inspire Peanut to turn over.

All these events changed our view/plan of how we wanted to bring Peanut into the world. We always thought Peanut's birthday would be text book, some time on Saturday, contractions would start to build, we would labor for 5-6 hours at home and when Amy felt it was time, we would dash off to hospital, labor for 4-6 hours more and out would come Peanut, no drugs, no emergency procedure, no need for stress, just a beautiful kid ready to play in with the rest of our friends children. After that, we would be in the hospital for a few days, making sure we have all bonded to one another and the medical staff gave us our last bit of instructions for our new journey with Peanut out side the womb.

Later on Tuesday, we attended our last baby class before Peanut was born. We had already planned on this, so God who knew how to quickly encourage us. I believe that God is control of what is going on inside the womb. Reasons for babies coming up breech could be so many different things, the head doesn't fit in the birth canal, the placenta is in the way, the cord could be wrapped around some something, etc. We will not be able to tell exactly what is going on in there, but God knows and He is protecting Peanut.

Wednesday and Thursday have been some stressful days on my part. Getting the news; learning about the procedures and alternatives; and knowing that My Wife has to go through so much doesn't sit well with me. Fortunately, My Wife was able to get an acupuncture appointment on Wednesday, and a chiropractor appointment Thursday. Also on Wednesday, we met with our Doula, who is a wonderful woman, and has seen her fair share of birthing complications. All that time I was on the phone with family, giving them updates, trying to figure out how to best communicate what is going on consistently.

Yesterday, Friday, I went to work, knowing that I had permission to leave very quickly after my Manager's arrival. I did what I could around the kitchen. I made sure loose ends were taken care of, and that I could leave as many notes to the guys about projects I had started. After all, if complications occurred during the procedure, the doctors could prescribe an emergency cesarean section and we could have Peanut's birthday. Or if the procedure was successful and My Wife's health was of concern they could want us to induce labor and then start laboring right there and then. Either way, I needed to be prepared to be gone for two weeks, since that was all I was allowed from our Employee Relations departmet.

After getting home, we napped for a bit enjoying what could be the last day we have to ourselves. I packed up the car with overnight bags, a cooler, a case of bottled water, and some other odds and ends we might need while in the hospital. My Wife had to fast for at least 8 hours before the procedure, so she had been hungry, thirsty and had a headache coming on as well. When we got to the hospital, we knew exactly where to go, 3rd floor - Labor and Delivery. Because earlier in the week we had been up there to tour the entire floor, we already knew the procedure and where exactly to go. After getting admitted and final registration, My Wife was strapped in and they started monitoring her and Peanut as well as prepped her for the procedure, getting an IV just in case. In and out the nurses and doctor came. It was exciting at first to sit there in the room with My Wife and Doula talking and trying figure out if Peanut turned or not.

Unfortunately, My Wife, like her mother and grandmother, has veins that are not friendly to taking an IV. After three tries, the anesthetist was called in and he got the IV in with some trouble. The Doctor on duty apparently was one of the better obstetricians on staff and Doula was excited to have him attending us. He came in and reviewed with My Wife what has happend over the entire pregnancy and specifically over the week. He took some pictures of Peanut and confirmed that Peanut was still breech and was wanting to monitor My Wife a bit more. A few minutes later, in came in Doctor, spoke to the Nurse and they were ready to attempt to turn Peanut right then. Nurse administered the drug necessary to relax the uterus, not through the IV that took 4 attempts to get in, but rather in her arm. Doctor tried about 5 or 6 times to turn Peanut and was able to get Peanut turned about 20 dergees, but this still wasn't enough for Peanut to get keep moving by her/himself.

After all these events, standard procedure is to keep mom there about an hour longer to monitor both she and baby. Because of her high blood pressure, they sent off My Wife's blood to the lab and to see if she is coming down with Pre-Eclampsia. Some of those symptoms she was showing again. I believe that her head ache and some of the high blood presure was linked to the fact she had nothing to eat for well over 10 hours, so she was given permission to eat and drink water. About half way through eating Doctor came, ordered her back to fasting because if My Wife's blood pressure didn't come down we were looking at an emergency cesarean section with in 6-9 hours. Nurse did what she could to relax My Wife, get her in a position to ease her blood pressure so we could finally go home and have Peanut's birthday a little later in the week with a scheduled cesarean section.

Because of we have an HMO for our medical insurance, we were starting to see the changing of shifts between doctors and nurses. We had anticipated this anyway, so we were not too worried. The Charge Nurse is friends with Doula and so they both had talked about who would be on the day we were going to schedule the cesarean. Doctor was getting ready to leave for the day and the New Doctor was just starting to catch up with what was happening in Labor and Delivery. The nurses were going to change about two hours after the doctor, so we still had Nurse, who was recently recognized by the hospital as an exemplary staff member. It was three hours after the procedure that we saw New Doctor who noticed My Wife's blood pressure was low and steadying out, she prescribed a mild blood pressure medication, and told us they wanted run another 24 hour test on my wife. New Nurse came in with discharge instructions and we were discharged about seven hours since we had first arrived.

To some things up, Peanut's birthday will most likely be next weekend, My Wife is on mild blood pressure medication, she is on moderate bed rest, and I'm doing all I can to keep it together. Please pray for us, Peanut will turn and be head down, My Wife's blood pressure can stay low, that she can avoid the onset of Pre-Eclampsia, and that Peanut is doing well in the womb.

Nov 28, 2010

Virus, Mole, Trojan, Computer Dying

Yes it is true, my laptop I have so dearly cherished has finally fallen victim to some thing awful.

As a quick recap:
  • We're a few weeks away from our first child being born. We decided not to find out what the gender is until the birthday.
  • I've cooked up a storm this weekend with anticipation of the arrival of our early Christmas gift. Spaghetti Squash Apple Soup, Short Ribs, Chili, Beef Borscht, and canning all sorts of goodies.
  • At iCorp, we've cooked a Thanksgiving banquet to feed the entire staff of760+.
  • I didn't go to Wyoming as I did last year for Thanksgiving, I was needed this year.
  • I have been doing yard work, I don't find any joy in this, but I need to get things done around here.
  • We just bought a camera for our little Peanut's arrival. Super fancy and spendy, but it really allows for us to take the pictures we have always wanted to do.

There you go in a nutshell.

Oct 23, 2010


One of the things that I can over think is cooking when there is some sort of judgment involved. I say this because last weekend, My Wife and I went to one of her co-workers house for a "chili cook-off" get together. So I just gather some of the vegetarian green chili I make at work, toss a few more bits of things like pancetta, diced whole roasted pork loin, white wine and some chili powder. I entered it knowing it wasn't great, but I knew it would be better than what was there. Sure enough the winner had like maple syrup, sausage and bourbon in it. Novelty wins, not the fact that there is complexity or mouth feel in my green chili.

This week, with all the happenings around, again I am faced with making chili for a cook off. Knowing novelty wins, we went ahead and went about it differently than the way do for the chili that is regularly on the menu. Grass fed Bison, black beans, kidney beans, house made liquid smoke, smoked tomatoes, bourbon, house made chili powder, yellow peppers, scallions, yellow onion and of course the most important piece time. The thing I have learned about making chili is actually letting it stew 4-6 hours then add the beans and let it sit over night before serving it. This allows for the body to develop, the beans to stay in tack and allow the chili powder to calm down. So on Monday our little pot of love and goodness gets entered in a cook off where the top three entries will receive a monetary incentive.

My worry is it novel enough? have we thought about the judges pallets? Will they appreciate body and depth of flavor? Have we sealed out fate at work and just made stewed bison and beans? All of this runs through your brain and you get to second guessing every step along the way.

Oct 2, 2010


I guess it is about time to think about how to describe my job at iCorp. One of the things the company believes in is We save lives everyday. This pretty much comes right out of one of those wonderful professional self-help management books. Personally, I love the co/author of many of these books, and I have used them in my training in becoming a restaurant manager. In one of these books there are three approaches to getting a more productive staff and the first is to "convince them that they are doing work worth doing."

I have to ask myself everyday, "how did I save a life today?" I wonder how making nine quarts of small diced mire poix saved some one's life? Or how smoke roasting a whole beef tenderloin really prevented a loss of a family member? Or when I make 25 quarts of chicken tortilla soup really allows some one to see their kids that night? It all does, some how?

My day starts with the breakfast special. I move on to one of the weekly projects like chili, refried beans, pepper gravy or green chili. Then there are the three different soups of the day we make from scratch. Depending on what it is, the daily lunch special is started either first thing in the day or really close to 11:30 service time and the occasional hot lunch catering for 10-20 people. From there the day can go in many different directions, usually it is mise en place for the next day's adventures or start a braising or long smoking project. If the next day is a fish special, Stach will start fabricating fish. We'll share some of the meat fabricating projects, but in all honesty we like whole roasting loins and cutting them for service, but we'll cure/marinate for over a day when it's beef, and 6-8 hours to brine pork and chicken.

From there we starting getting into service time, so we'll fire batches of the special so we can serve well made hot food. We try our best to serve food as if we were still in a restaurant, but the trick is cooking food that well hold up to sitting in a steam table. The moment I tell other professional cooks about holding food in a steam table they tend to disrespect what I do. I'd like to challenge them to making caramelized brussel sprouts that will still be tasty after sitting in a steam for half an hour to forty-five minutes; or figure out how to hold a buerre rouge hot for over two hours and not have it break, or how to time serving whole roasted leg of lamb and ensure that ever serving is perfectly moist and delicious. There is a way to cook food made to order and there is a way to cook food that tastes like it was made to order.

Alot of chefs who work in places like I do took a wrong turn somewhere. They had learned the basics techniques, they learned what the components of certain dishes are and they buy it all pre-made. Stach and I will spend a week figuring out how to make our specials from scratch. We love the challenge of holding our food in the steam table. I mean caters do it all the time and their food is pretty good, when they decide not to serve roasted potatoes on an offsite gig.

What am I getting at here? What I do is work worth doing. How many professional cooks you know can sell Rocky Mountain Surf and Turf (a half rack of lamb and a side of trout) for $5.75? Because my food comes out of a steam table, doesn't mean what I do should be completely discredited. I'm making a difference, I'm introducing John Q. Public to the wonderfulness that is brussel sprouts in brown butter and sage. I am creating vegetarian dishes that an omnivore will want to eat over a meat dish. I will keep doing it, I will show the people out there that what I do is more than just spooned mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables with a chicken breast on a plate. I make things like Cashew and Sweet Garlic Crusted Alaskan True Cod with White Truffled Gaufrette Potatoes or Veal Osso Bucco over Saffron Risotto or Speck Wrapped Halibut with Porcini Cream Sauce and Garlic Sautéed Broccolini. So what if it comes out of a steam table, it takes time, knowledge, skill and creativity to feed my fellow employees at iCorp the food we love to make.

Sep 12, 2010

I can do it

This morning wrapped up the long awaited chicken stock project that I needed to get done. Because I have such a large freezer and I have a reaction to MonoSodiumGlutamate (MSG) I will try my hardest to always make my own stocks. This batch started yesterday morning with making a remoulage from the bones and mire poix of the last batch. After the all day session of simmering, I then rolled in fresh bones to start the actual stock. After about an hour of low boil I skimmed the scum off the top and added fresh mire poix and bouquet garnis let it run through the night on super low (the advantage of an electric stove). At four o'clock this morning, I turned it off to let carry over finish the extraction process and at seven I used four pots, two colanders and mesh strainer to yield the four gallons of liquid gold.

I giggle some when I think of the remoulage, because at NoBo one of the cooks that came in to replace Stach, was pretty adamant about only using the remoulage for the next stock, as oppose to what I had to do and use it on the line as the stock. Anyway, I think Nino learned why I did it that way after I left.

In the freezer at the moment I have many different types of stocks: chicken, duck, beef and shrimp. A healthy assortment of them because I never know what I am going to make from time to time. I also have a good stash of mire poix ends that I use to make a vegetable stock, for those times I don't want to use the liquid gold and still want to add some depth to the dish. When I make vegetable soups, I'll spend the extra hour to steep the bits and pieces to make vegetable stock. I also like vegetable stock for making risottos or cooking actual vegetables, this is one of those old habbits from NoBo that will take me a while to break.

Anyway, I also found I had an abundance of beets from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. So I decided to go a head and make a beet and parm garatan. At NoBo we became infamous for these things using an wide assortment of root vegetables: sweet potato, Yukon gold potato, rutabaga, beet, carrot, turnip and parsnip. I'll never forget the time we had dueling gratans one was a potato gratan and the other was a local root vegetable gratan which included beets, radishes and onions. I can not wait to pull the loaf pan worth of my beet gratan.