Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Years Resos

Some people make them...some don't. Some achieve their resolutions, others do not. So, I'm not making any. However, if you want to call setting some goals as resolutions, well then I am making some New Years resolutions.

1. I gotta lose some weight. I don't know what it was about the restaurant biz (maybe the 14 hours a day running around like a streaker at a football game, stress, heat, sick of seeing food that you don't want to eat...) but my weight usually stayed at a fairly constant that is less than it is now. Now, I feel like a Macy's Day Thanksgiving Balloon. I'm not saying I'm going to lose 30 pounds by April, just going to make a more conscience effort of what I eat, and back off those tasty Sam Adams Boston Lagers. Jim Koch is evil :)

2. Finish Stage 2 of 4 of the landscape project in my backyard. Also must work on the front yard. Grass looks to be an option after the 2005 drought. I've seeded, watered, re-seeded, more water and well, my yard still resembles centre court Wimbledon after 2 weeks of tennis. Which is sorta strange as the redbud tree planted there grows like I feed it crack. Also, the City\American Water (I don't know who is responsible...well, obviously RESPONSIBLE isn't the word) for the debacle at the edge of my property. Long story short, they did a shitty job, if any job at all, to repair my yard after they fixed their water issue (which is another blog all on it's own).

3. Obvious by the previous post, I'm shooting for getting back in the public eye. For the most part, I would do things like listed below, but would only inform the "true" Chef Kevin supporters as I was doing it for fun and a creative outlet. Now, it is time for (as a friend of mine calls it) shameless self promotion. And I might as well throw this in here: NO, I Have NO interest into getting back into the restaurant biz. OK, that is a lie. I might, but, I doubt any Peoria area restauranteur will meet my financial necessities...well, the last few who asked haven't even got close. It isn't ego, its called paying bills and saving for retirement....you know, Maslow shit :)

4. REALLY work on my first cookbook. I've got 100s, maybe even a 1000 of my own recipes...might as well make some $.

5. Finish two home remodeling projects...new flooring by back door and install additional lighting in upstairs bath. I really want to start my wine room, but I see major $$ there and well major $$ isn't in the budget.

6. Quit screwing around so much on the internet. And blog a little bit more intelligently.

7. Get to Missouri Wine Country. It has been about 3 years since I've been. I used to go twice a year. Something is wrong with my priorities...maybe this should be No. 1.

Well, that's it....it is enough.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm cooking.

I was asked to post this here. I have posted some dates of where I will be cooking in the past, but here is the list for January & the first few days of February.

2 Chez on New Years Eve.
If interested, call them soon. He is getting filled up with reservations and might not have room for walk-ins. Seriously. It is a small place and he has many, many reservations. The "Chef Kevin" menu items are:

Braised Pork Rib Chop in Italian Gravy\Chive Risotto

Balsamic Glazed Pan Roasted Salmon\White Bean & Vegetable Stew

Shrimp, Proscuitto, Garden Peas & Penne in Loccotelli Romano & Boursin Alfredo Sauce

Chicken Suprême Stuffed with Sage Sausage, Apples & Walnuts, Cider Jus\Wild Rice, Red Winter Rice, Wheatberry Blend

12 Oz. New York Strip Steak Topped with Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat Braised Onions, Bacon and Maytag Blue Cheese\Choice of Menu Side

Part of 2 Chez regular menu will be available.


Brunch at Panache on Sunday January 7.
The menu is:

French Rolled Omelets
a choice of: Mexican (chorizo, onions, peppers, salsa, pepperjack cheese) OR Bacon, Spinach, Swiss OR Vegetable. All served with herb seasoned oven roasted new potatoes.


Poached Eggs Victoria
Two English muffins topped with shrimp, asparagus, mushrooms & poached eggs smothered in a Muenster cheese sauce.

Himmel & Erde
German breakfast casserole made with a potato crust and a sausage, bacon and egg filling.

The regular Panache menu is available. The special brunch is from 9:30 am - 1:00. After 1:00 my sole purpose is to get cleaned up and get the hell out to go watch some football, so don't be late.



From The Field Cooking School in Morton Thursday, January 18

Learn To Roll Sushi!! 6:00 - 9:00 PM (This is a Demonstration first then a HANDS ON class)Many people thing sushi means raw fish. Raw fish is sashimi. Sushi means vinegared rice. You can roll just about anything in a sushi roll. Chef Kevin will demonstrate various kinds of sushi rolls: nigiri sushi, maki, hosomaki, inside out rolls and temaki (cone rolls) and then you will get to try your skills at rolling your own sushi.


The Bronze Frog (Cooking Class) Tuesday, January 23 6-9 PM

Thai and the South Pacific. While using different ingredients than their northern neighbors of China and Japan, Thai cuisine is known for its blend of those cultures ingredients as well as those to its west, India. Is noted for its combination of spicy, sweet, savory and tangy flavors. Hot & Sour Soup, Shrimp Cooked in Turmeric and Coconut Sauce, Fried Spring Rolls, Chicken & Eggplant in Green Curry, Beef Sateh with Peanut Sauce and Thai Coffee. Call to reserve a space in the class.

Willett's Winery & Cellars

February 3, I will be cooking dinner as part of Willett's Winery Food & Wine Experience at their winery in Manito. Call them at 968-7070 or e-mail them at will2000@grics.net for reservations. The menu is:

Smokin’ Shrimp Scampi with Rigatoni w\ Willett’s Chardonel

Three White Cheese Soup with Bacon & Apple w\ Willett’s Vidal Blanc

Roasted Strip Loin of Certified Angus Beef “Star of Texas” with Port Demi Glace, Oven Roasted New Potatoes and Vegetable Melange w\ Willett’s Chambourcin

Grand Marnier Chevrè Cheesecake with Dried Apricot Sauce w\ Willett’s Vignoles

Cost is 40.00 per person.

Now you know why I don't have time to do restaurant reviews... :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pita's

I heard this place finally opened...and I was misinformed...it has been open for almost two months. I need new culinary informants or I'm going to have to rough up the old ones. Pita's Mediterranean Wraps in the North Point Shopping Center. Off the review process, I'm not understanding why this shopping center seems to be such a bust. Maybe the three large super center type stores that used to anchor it or the ones there now have little draw? Dunno.

Anyway, I went there and ordered a Homemade Meat Shawrama combo. The decorating reminds you that you are looking out a villa window overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This wrap is a warm, thick pita bread wrapped around thin slices of beef, lettuce, tomato, onions which are drizzled with tahini sauce. There is also a blend of spices in this that remind me a lot of cumin and maybe coriander. A little drippy to eat, but darn tasty. The fries (gotta Americanize it for Peoria) were skin on shoestrings that I'm going to guess are homemade...not out of a bag...different for what they were, but nothing spectacular.

There are many interesting things on this menu such as Zaatar, many vegetarian dishes and some pizzas.

Pita's isn't in my usual "lines of travel" but I will most definitely head that way again as the food was very tasty and there are several more items I want to try.

See you around the table.....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Chef Kevin Sighting

I've been working with Cris & Dan Willett at Willett's Winery & Cellar about conducting a wine dinner at their winery in Manito, IL. We've got it worked out and the particulars are listed below:

A Food & Wine Experience Dinner
Saturday, February 3
6:30 P.M.


Appetizer: Smokin’ Shrimp Scampi with Rigatoni served with Willett’s Chardonel


Soup: Three White Cheese Soup with Bacon & Apple served with Willett’s Vidal Blanc


Main Course: Roasted Strip Loin of Certified Angus Beef “Star of Texas” with Port Demi Glace,
Oven Roasted New Potatoes & Vegetable Melange served with Willett’s Chambourcin


Dessert: Grand Marnier Chevrè Cheesecake with Dried Apricot Sauce served with Willett’s Vignoles


$40.00 per person

For further information or reservations, please contact Willett’s Winery & Cellar
at (309) 968 7070 or at
will2000@grics.net

After dinner, there will be a tasting of some of their other wines that were not incorporated into the dinner.

See you around the table........

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

IT IS OFFICIAL...I'M COOKING NEW YEAR'S EVE!!

As I previously mentioned, there was\is a possibility that I might be cooking on New Years Eve. Well, its gonna happen. So, after a 4 1/2 year absence from the kitchen, I'm back. (Not Ahrnold's, "I'll be Baaaaccchhhkkk), I'm back for JUST one night.

I'm cooking at 2 Chez on New Year's Eve. Todd & I are working on a limited menu which will include some of 2 Chez' top selling\customer favorites and a half dozen Chef Kevin offerings.

I'd suggest reservations as a. it is a small place, b. he already had quite a few reservations on the books prior to this, c. I have a HUGE e-mail list :) and I hope they come out and support me (or they better or off the list they go...just kidding...love my "listers").

2 Chez
691-2224

I don't know the starting time, but I believe my friend Joe Metzka will be providing some music.

Doubt I'll see you around the table as I'll be in the kitchen...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Restaurants in NY get Screwed

I told ya - NY was trying to ban transfats and they did. So, by 2008, no more transfats in restaurants in NY. Wow, no smoking, no transfats, no foie gras, the anti-veal people are still screaming....what's next? In 10 years, the rate NY is going, you will have two choices on the menu...a nice plate of steamed brussel sprouts or an ear of corn. (I choose these two as they are the two vegetables that grow farthest from the ground reducing the chances of contact with dirt that may contain e. coli or botulism - wouldn't want to eat something that spends its entire growing life buried in dirt - GASP!!).

Here is the link: restaurants getting screwed

My four cents: My first two shiny Lincolns are that lawmakers in NY are in for a world of hurt because I believe this is discrimination and the NRA (National Restaurant Association) is looking into filing a lawsuit. I agree with the NRA. Something I kinda wondered if it would happen if TFs got banned. I hope the NRA wins...not because I'm pro TFs, its because I'm worried what these bozos will try to ban next if someone doesn't stop them.

The next two Lincolns: Why only restaurants? The restauranteurs of the world are solely responsible for your non consumption of transfats? So, you have your chicken strips fried in pure veggie oil when going out to eat, but you can go to the store, buy foods loaded with TFs and stuff yourself until every blood vessel in your body is so plugged you'll need a bilge pump that could have kept the Titanic afloat to keep your blood flowing.


AND, if you didn't read the link, they are being subjected to even MORE mental deficiencies being forced upon them. Now all menu items have to list the calories, etc. in a dish in order to "help fight obesity". What a hassle that would be for restaurants who change menus weekly or have a lot of daily specials. That means every restaurant has to have a computer, buy a recipe program that calculates calories, etc. and has to have every ingredient known to man in it. Or, I guess you hire an RD with a laptop to come to your biz every day if it is required.

Maybe the NY Restaurant Association will get all restaurants in NY City to shut down for a day in protest. That would cause some issues, huh?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Goof Off Creating iMixes or Housework?

As with a lot of people, I got snowed in today. Well, not really...I shoveled myself out, but between no snowplows, drifts in the streets and the mentally ill adjusted neighbors (more than one) shoveling or snow blowing their loads of fluffy white into the street, I wasn't going anywhere. Boss called and said "stay home".

So, I contemplated...clean the storage area and kitchen or play on iTunes and make my own Christmas CD. Wow tough choice. It is fairly eclectic: a little bit of everything from originals, traditional, country, blues, folk, R&B, rock & electro-pop. And while there are some generic holiday songs on there, it isn't P.C. Christmas.


Here is what I came up with:

What Christmas Means To Me / Stevie Wonder – R&B
Hallelujah! Its Christmas / .38 Special – Southern Rock
Christmas / Leona Naess - Folk
On Santa’s Way Home / Marc Broussard – New Orleans Blues
O Holy Night / Mariah Carey – Traditional Arrangement
Christmas Blues / Eric Clapton & John Popper - Blues
Darlin’ (Christmas Is Coming) / Over The Rhine - Folk
Merry Christmas (All Year Long) / The Lovehammers – 80’s Style Rock
What Do Bad Girls Get / Joan Osborne - Blues
Pimp My Sleigh / Housemen - Funk
Baby, Its Cold Outside / Suzy Bogguss & Delbert McClinton – Traditional Arrangement
Santa’s Messin’ With The Kid / Lynyrd Skynyrd – Southern Rock
The Little Drummer Boy / Bob Seger & The S.B.B. – Traditional Arrangement
The Christmas Song / Venus Hum – Electro-Pop
Silent Night / Johnny Cash – Traditional Arrangement
Christmastime / Smashing Pumpkins - Alternative
Santa Claus Is Back In Town / Jonny Lang - Blues
My Favorite Things / Luther Vandross – R&B
C-mas Blues / The Preston Shannon Band - Blues
Please Come Home For Christmas / Aaron Neville – New Orleans Blues

I think this will take you to the iTunes link where it is Published:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewIMix?id=207621452



Oh and give me five stars, if you go there, OK?