I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember, professionally since I was 17. I love everything about food, and spent my life pursuing it. I was an apprentice pastry chef in Innsbruck Austria before I even went to cooking school. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America I became a full fledged Pastry Chef for a high end country club, and love it as I did there was so much more to be done, which eventually led me to catering. My catering company is just what I want it to be; I get to do something different everyday either in the kitchen or helping a bride design her ideal wedding or just researching new recipes out of my own imagination.
If you would like more details about my career, please the About page on my website www.SonomaCaterers.com.
On a recent trip to Mexico we had the chance to visit a family run tequila distillery. From the freshly harvested piña, to the steamer, chopper and the distilling area.
It was neat to actually see the pinas in raw form. They had been carved down to just the hearts, the sap was a deep red color and slightly bitter. The pina is the heart of the agave plant and is the core ingredient in tequila; after they chop all the fronds off it looks a lot like a giant pinapple, in fact the distiller referred to them as "Mexican Pinapples"
They still had the old pina roasting oven from a 100 years ago, but had upgraded to a modern pressure cooker for production. They had a guided tequila tasting with their Master Distiller. We started with the standard three varieties of tequila (white, resposado, and anejo), they also had something I've never seen in the US, flavored tequilas; almond tequila liqueur, and a coffee/vanilla (esentially kahlua). All very good. We also had the chance to try their "moon shine", the distilled agave before it is turned into the final product; 190 proof! I let Jim try that one.... he said "good, smooth, a little burn" ... then a moment later "still burning... burning more! still going!" He's good for tasting things ;)