The Fooey Network


How can you promote scratch cooking while being sponsored by pre-made sauces, salty boxed rice and 20 plus ingredient frozen cheesecakes?  I have heard of such a network in a far away land that switched a once credible Chef lineup and respectable programing for slots filled with conventionally attractive, cool, funny entertainers (Chefs in their previous lives).  They are called the Fooey network. We have seen this happen in the music industry as well. Are these current  musicians contributing anything to their craft? Song writers, musicians and producers of the past would agree with me when I say don’t let these clowns pimp your passion, hard work, craft and artistry!  Why do we feel the need to suppress talent and promote image? Am I the only Chef out here that sees th parallels between the new American “Pop Star”  and The Fooey Networks  self promoted “Aluminum Chefs”. These Chefs will try to sell you non stick cook ware  and an acronym labeled olive oil for twice the price. What am I paying for, the acronym?! I keep thinking about Garth from Wayne’s world decked out in sponsored gear while saying people only do things to get payed. (This was a super funny scene).  If the video killed the radio star then what is the Fooey Network doing to our culinary artists? If cooking ever becomes less hip, I can assure you that programmers will seek out  the most attractive and marketable tailors and quilt makers.  When teaching my classes, I want to teach people who seek to grow their skill set and increase their culinary IQ. Based on solid techniques and principles. I’ve been told that im a fun guy, so I reckon the classes reflect my personality, but definitely not forced. I want to show how to make PASTA before you make the diavolo sauce. And what about storing your pasta be it frozen or dried? I don’t want you to pay more money for the peeled, deveined shrimp when on average they are two dollars less when purchased skin and tail on. Trust me, it is not hard to clean them… and guess what; you know that yummy risotto you want to learn how to make? You can use the shells to make tasty-no salt added-stock that seriously will rival that of your favorite Italian eatery.  Not to mention it is a much healthier option.  Same goes with whole fish and poultry; cheaper when purchased whole, and you don’t need to buy pre made stocks, broth and bouillon. Your skills will be increased and you will save money.  In my virtually non-existent free time, I am working on putting together a series of lessons that will build upon your current skill set, helping you reach your goal, and produce the foods that you are paying an arm and a leg for in the grocery store.  We will build a quality pantry, producing food that is sustainable, healthy, and of course yummy.  And trust me, you wont be using a low-grade olive oil with a smiling face and an acronym on the label.

Till next time…

Farm Visit: Vermont Shepherd


So after another one of my farm visits to VT Shepherd, I was sold on the wonders of sheep’s milk Cheese. During the production of the cheese you get the necessary separation of curds and whey.  David Major, (producer of my personal favorite sheep cheese), makes two different cheeses out of the curd.  The first cheese is his signature VT Shepherd, which is the cheese I am using on my roasted garlic Caesar salad instead of the classic shaved parmesan.  I had to find an application for this yummy cheese after I tasted it.  I learned through trial and error that this cheese is better utilized uncooked as opposed to cooked because it tends to denature (separate) when heat is applied.   The second cheese which is made out of the curd as well is called Queso De Invierno.  This  cheese is able to withstand heat because it is a mixture of cow and sheep’s milk cheese.  The cow’s milk is from a neighboring farm and this cheese was named because it was created in the winter time, (if you weren’t already clued in by the name).  Alice and I came up with two uses for this super tasty cheese: the first we use in the Yukon potato and parsnip tart (dauphinoise) served with the grass-fed ribeye, onion/pepper demi, and fennel apple slaw. The second use was a an obvious one. I really love biscuits, so I called my brother (who will remain nameless to preserve his ego) and used his recipe as my inspiration. We serve these biscuits with our harrissa spiced lamb and root vegetable stew. The lamb of course is sourced from David’s farm as well and is quite tasty. The Queso De Invierno was my parents favorite when they came to visit during foliage 2010. David also makes a ricotta salata out of the whey. I don’t have an application for this one yet but we are playing around with some things and of course, it’s yummy. As I mentioned last time, you can get these cheeses online @ vtshepherd.com. Try these cheeses with some crusty bread and honey or click the links below download these recipes.

ismailthechef.com