March 22, 2017
Like many organizations, it important to communicate your message in the brand you chose to represent your organization. My thought behind the brand I chose for the Council of Innovative Chefs is explained as follows:
The main body of the brand is an artichoke. Naturally beautiful by nature it is a symbol of natures perfection. The green is a symbol of the earth while the purple highlights show a maturing of its body ready to be shared.
Within the artichoke is a light bulb in the shape of elephant garlic as a symbol of enlightenment through food. The filament within the lightbulb is a classical pastry garnish I am sure you recognize as a symbol of completeness. When a dish is garnished, it is complete. The lightbulb, of course, represents ideas since every great undertaking is birthed by thought.
The stem off the artichoke is drawn to replicate the base of the light bulb. This is to represent ‘plugging in’ for the idea (light bulb) to work, it needs to come in contact with a power source just as the stem connects the plant to the earth.
I believe this brand resonates with a lot of us. It is neither restricted to one country but is aimed to represent our global community of culinary innovators. It is also not restricted to one discipline of chef but aimed to represent all chefs from all levels of a brigade who are inspired to strive for the perfection of our art. The same as nature has been represented as perfect through the artichoke.
So now that you know the back story behind the brand of the Council of Innovative chefs,
I hope you will share in the organization.
March 19, 2017
Throughout my career, I have had the privilege to come across a lot of talented chefs. Creative and innovative dishes have been created by these chefs while sometimes, I feel, there has been missing a platform for these chefs to showcase their innovation and share their ideas and inspirations.
Part of the inspiration to create a culinary organization was to give these chefs a platform to share their work. Another big part of this inspiration is for each of us, in the food industry, to use our individual efforts to reach a collective goal. To help make the food industry better, more creative and most of all better for all to enjoy.
In the coming month, I will be launching a new, creative, innovative and artistic chefs organization called the Council of Innovative chefs. For you, the chef, this will be your platform to share your work, to share your ideas and to network with the leaders throughout our industry. It will also be a platform to learn from industry leaders and artists alike.
Stay tuned for the launch of a truly innovative chefs organization and I look forward to your participation and support.
December 30, 2015
A quick guide to being a successful product development chef
December 1, 2015
- Smoked Fish – If you have never had an Arbroath Smokie, well you have certainly missed out on one of my favorite foods. I was recently in Orange County, California and tried the hot smoked salmon from a restaurant called Market Broiler. I would have thought I was on the shores of Loch Fyne. The dish was absolutely stunning and took me straight home. Over the past few years smoked meats have really taken center stage on menu’s. I think it is time for the fish and personally either cold smoked or hot smoked will start to become mainstream. Some fish can have a strong natural flavor and I think the smoke helps balance those flavors. Have you ever had a Scottish cold smoked salmon taco?
- Slow Cooked Stews – Stovies, still is my favorite meal. As a matter of fact, I am staring at some Bovril right now and cannot wait to get stuck in. Crock pot meals and stews will be making a splash. It is the perfect dish for todays savvy eaters who like a depth in flavor. It doesn’t take a lot of prep really and by the time you get home from work there is a delicious stew sitting perfectly in a depth of flavor and ready to be enjoyed. Pick up the fresh bread on your way home and enjoy a slow cooked Cullen skink, lamb stew, stovies or even a chicken curry.
- Steel Cut Oats – It is time to shine O’ dear oat. This could possibly be the most underused food in the pantry. Long gone are the days when oats were just porridge and now a lightly toasted oat muesli, mixed with some chopped prunes makes a fantastic topper for anything from a salad to a steak dinner. Skirlie is fantastic when prepared with soft Arran cheeses and gravlax. A delicious start, middle and end of the day food. Replace any meals side with Skirlie for a week and you also will become a believer.
- Scottish Identity – Last year with the independence vote, Scotland was center stage in front of the world. The Scottish identity became popular and as people associated with their great, great, great grandfather who came over from Greenock, they too became part of the Scottish identity. Scottish pride took hold in a lot of homes and 12 year old scotch became ever more popular among friends. Scotland’s identity is now shaping into a future identity and not just its prestigious past. We who are in today have a great opportunity to shape Scotland’s tomorrow.
- Tartan – Associated with Scotland, it’s families and it’s pride has gotten a real boost from the Burberry campaign and one I think is long overdue. I see the future of tartan being the lining in a sport coat rather than the sport coat. More subtle but ever more present. I recently connected with an ambitious designer named Siobhan Mackenzie. I would highly recommend seeing what she is doing with tartan fashion. So I will get some stick for putting up the Bay City Rollers in their tartan get up but it serves as a good reminder of where we have been to where we are going.
October 21, 2015
If you would be so kind to consider my book, GINGER, A Boy’s Journey from Scotland to the White House, as gifts this holiday season, you will also be supporting a great cause. By doing so, you will be helping to fund my next project which is Modern Scottish Cuisine, An Innovative Approach to Scottish Cookery.
Your help in supporting this project will continue to foster innovative ways for the cuisine of Scotland to become mainstream globally and allow me to share the enthusiasm I have for great Scottish ingredients with the rest of the world.
Thank you for your continued support and the very kind words in appreciation of GINGER. I am looking very much forward to it being a best seller!
October 5, 2015
OK Chef’s, here is something to ponder while your getting the primal cuts of a swine tattooed to your forearm, the collaboration of a food scientist with culinary and the benefits this collaboration produces.
Now a food scientist is more technical and analytical in the development of formulations while the chef brings the art part of culinary arts and maintaining the integrity and scope of the project. I guess you could think of it as a left brain – right brain collaboration.
The integrity that I am referring to comes from each project starting with a “Gold Standard”. It is imperative to have that standard made correctly. I could not stress this enough! If the gold standard is not made correctly then the project is not made correctly.
Now as a chef developer I like to think of myself as somewhat food science proficient but not an expert by any means. I thoroughly enjoy the food science and culinary collaboration. I enjoy looking to the expert for advice on molecular structure, shelf life extensions and the like. At the end of the day, this collaboration benefits not only you but the end user.
In developing my recipes for Modern Scottish Cuisine, I think I could have gone it alone but I’m glad I didn’t. I have great respect for the profession and I am sure many other chefs do also.
So next time you have the opportunity to collaborate with a food scientist, take full advantage of it. You will be glad you did.