Thursday, 06 September 2012 00:00

A taste of something special

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It seems like everyday will start the same with fish heads, pin bones and guts in the freezing cold working beside the fish cookery chef. He is a master at it. I've seen such a variety of fish and seafood in the freezer beside him :)

Today I tried to help where I could with whatever plates needed, food to the line and the famous faba dish.

I'm still not sure if they will give me all the secrets to the dish. But I did see the famous saffron go in though. ;)

Today Casa Gerardo featured a special menu for the restaurant they plan to open in London. This menu I was a little more familiar with. I think Marcos Moran will do very well in London. I had the chance to taste a sauce for braised chicken and it was absolutely delicious! I could eat a huge plate of that decadent chicken!

I am very interested in a dessert dish where bread is soaked in heavy cream, vanilla, sugar and milk and left for a day to set, they then brûlée it and top it with vanilla ice cream, toffee orange sauce and fresh orange zest! Mmm! I also like the looks of the brûlée of rice pudding! Why did I never do this before? My mom loves rice pudding and I plan to make this for her!

Looking forward to where another night in Gijon will take me. Till the next!

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 00:00

Passion for food needs no translation

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Felt recharged today with a good night sleep and ready to learn. Started my day very similar to yesterday. I’m back in the freezer gutting fish, snipping their heads off, and removing pin bones! After that I began cooking clams, plating the meat portion of the faba dish and lots of other dishes!

I am slowly picking up Spanish words while I can't help but regret dropping languages in high school. Although, it is nice to be oblivious and just learn with my eyes. I am watching every move and hoping to be able to jump in where I can!

It is amazing to watch everyone work and love what they do. There is a true love and passion for food in this kitchen which can be hard to find in the hustle bustle of everyday North American life. However, McDonalds and Burger King have yet to find themselves in this little town.

I am really enjoying the multicultural influence that the restaurant brings! People from all over the world are here to absorb the culture of Spain.

My room mate is from Hong Kong and we have more similarities than I expected. We plan to cook an Italian feast for dinner one night this week - ha! I’m looking forward to another day at Casa Gerardo tomorrow.

The evenings after work manage to fill themselseves with Spanish food, beer and new found friends, even if we speak through google translate! Cheers to another day!

Tuesday, 04 September 2012 00:00

A Spanish infatuation resurrected

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After a night with Spanish cider, tapas and a full day of travel behind me I was ready to start my culinary journey at work - and that I did! I started my day chopping fish heads and gutting in the freezer. I think being Canadian they thought it would be good idea to throw me in the cold! Ha!

Casa Gerardo was everything I had imagined, refined, modern, traditional, Spanish food. I spent most of my day in the background observing and trying to get a hold of what was what. I was pleased to sit down with the staff for lunch before going into service - a delicious lentil and potato soup with chorizo and blood sausage. I was also lucky enough to sample the traditional Spanish dish of ‘faba’ and even some Asturias cheeses.

I am extremely tired from the last few days, but extremely excited to see what I will get my hands on next.

It’s nice to have a cute old Spanish flat in the heart of the city to settle down in at night. Not to mention a well deserved Estrella Cerveza which reminds me of my first trip to Spain and where my infatuation began with this amazing country….

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

The road to Spain

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At the Discovered Culinary Competition, the ingredients the chefs were required to use in each dish were revealed only when they opened the mystery box on the cooking stage. With the clock ticking, they had only a few seconds to come up with a recipe that would "wow" the judges.

Here's what Chef Nash served up:

Appetizer round ingredients: Blood orange, Camembert, prosciutto and white wine.

Nash wrapped the prosciutto around asparagus and stuffed it with the Camembert cheese, then served it with a blood orange and white wine butter sauce.

Entrée round ingredients: Cilantro, flat iron steak, fresh corn and instant coffee.

Nash rubbed instant coffee and grainy mustard into the flat iron steak and created a boiled corn salsa with cilantro, red onion, green pepper, vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh garlic. To go alongside, she made a hash with caramelized onions, potatoes and prosciutto, and added poached asparagus with butter, salt and pepper.

Dessert round ingredients: Buttermilk, dried apricots, ground clove and mint.

Chef Nash pureed buttermilk with boiled apricots, strawberries, honey and a pinch of the ground cloves. She marinated strawberries, blueberries and sliced dried apricots with honey and ground cloves, and served the whole dessert with a whipped mint and honey cream.

Other finalists and judges
Other competitors in the final round were Dan Craig, chef at Ebo at the Delta in Burnaby, BC; William Serre, cook at Acadia Restaurant in Toronto; and Alejandro Winzer, chef at Ristorante Verdicchio in Sudbury.

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