Most of you know I am a contractor. Painting houses, installing drywall, and applying specialty concrete coatings is what I do for a living. Yada, yada, yada.
What you may not know is that prior to this I spent several years in the restaurant biz, fifteen to be exact. I started this journey as a dishwasher and I knew from the very first day that scrubbing pots and pans was not my life's ambition. Working harder and faster than any of my amigos proved to be well worth the extra effort as I was promoted to a prep cook within a very short amount of time. From there I worked in every aspect of the restaurant, bus boy, line cook, waiter and so forth until at the ripe old age of eighteen I had earned the privilege of becoming the assistant manager of a very popular eatery in northern California, Jeremiah's Steak House.
Having to be in charge of employees who sometimes had more years in the business than I had on the planet was extremely challenging at times. It required that I be the boss and the student of the trade all at the same time. As it turned out I ended up leaving that job much more educated than I had ever dreamed of in two short years, but ready for something a bit less stressful.
Over the next several years I would work in a variety of restaurants, settling in on the kitchen as my area of comfort. It was at a winery/restaurant Chateau Souvereign that I was introduced to the world of desserts and pastry. The chef was a flaming nut job by the name of Gary Danko. He was the biggest pain in the backside I've ever worked for, but also one of the most brilliant chef's too.
Several years later I would have the chance to go to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. This is the world famous cooking school's west coast extension. The owner of the winery that I worked for at the time, Ken DeBaun, picked up the tab for my formal education at the school. Can you say, "Cha-Ching!"
The following year, my beautiful wife Lisa was also able to take some classes there. The one class we both took was "Plated Desserts" taught by an incredible pastry chef by the name of Bo Friberg. This man lived and breathed pastry, and he was an absolute genius in a white coat.
The pictures below are all desserts Lisa made. I of course, neglected to take a camera with me to school. I wish I would have had a blog back then, because I know I'd of had a camera. Oh well.
Lisa with Chef Bo
and Cherry Sauce
Valentine's Day Heart
Red Current Bavarian
with Sambuca Cream
in a Chocolate Cup
Everything you see on the plates is 100% edible and 100% Delicious.
Can my baby cook or what?