Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tonights Meeting

We are so excited to have our friend and colleague Lisa Teiger owner of Cuisine Etc., in NYC joining our CT Caterers Association meeting tonight. Thanks for coming Lisa!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Memories of Venice

How does one go from a magical vacation in Venice back to the reality of a dreary April in Southeastern Connecticut!?

Hold on to the memories and the flavor!
A few things about this trip to Venice (will go into more detail later)

- Our dear friends Isabella and Dino (and their amazing food) at Osteria Oliva Nera

-Julie- the server at Oliva Nera, with a radiant smile, deftness, speed and perception--would you like to work for ATTC?!

-Eating tons of food and walking it all off--or most of it anyway!

-Negronis--the best

-Watching amazing construction/renovation from boat barges-remember, the roads are canals and the streets are the buildings in Venice

-No cars...yay!

-Works of Giambattista Tiepolo

-A contemporary world that exists within the confines of ancient history

-The delicate stuffed zucchini blossoms at Oliva Nera--absolute heaven on a fork

-Pumping Stations--taking your empty water to your local "P.S." to fill up with local wines

-Aqua Alta- we never visit Venice in season and have had the luxury of dining in restaurants (wearing our muck boots) sitting in 6'' of water

-Proximity to--Alto Adige--another world where Italy and Germany blend flavors

-Seeing my favorite color purple--in everything, on everyone, every shade, everywhere

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Our Wonderful Kitchen Staff!!

It was nice to have all of our kitchen staff together in one place at the same time. Chef Sean directed our Annual Kitchen Training on Thursday and we are all very excited for the upcoming year!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Taste of Venice!

I can almost taste Venice right now. We are leaving for a long over due trip back to our friends in Venice. Having missed being back for a few years now, we frequently visited there in the off seasons. (March-April or November, which is prime aqua alta season and we live in our Muck-boots!!)
We can't wait to see our dear friends Isabella and Dino of Osteria Oliva Nera, in the Castello region of Venice. Their food is pure inspiration--the best of flavors coupled with their warm hospitality, is quite addictive and we can't wait to get our "fix!!"

Check out their website and eat your heart out!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring is in the air!

Our ATTC garden is beginning to wake up from winter

We can see lots of Salad Burnet--an old fashioned herb which has beautiful accordion like leaves that unfold and taste like cucumber. Munching on one always makes me think of summer.

Our lovage is also sprouting. Lovage is a bit like celery but is more anise-like in flavor and has a hollow stem--making it ideal for sipping Bloody Marys! It is one of the secret ingredients in our mixed herb pesto and is great in salads. My mouth is watering for summer right now.

We have lots of varieties of Thyme, Sage, Chives and other alliums, and Japanese parsley. Perhaps my favorite unusual herb is angelica. These rich red or deep green stems are topped with big umbrella like ball of "flowers," and it self seeds easily. It takes about 2-3 years to flower and can grow up to 8 feet tall in some conditions. You've probably seen "candied angelica" (as a flavoring and/or dessert with Italian pastries and fruit cake.) Chef Bill is always finding crazy wats to use this striking element.

I was happy to see that our rosemary plant winterized over perfectly and is flowering up a storm in our greenhouse. And, we are crossing our fingers that our Lemon Verbena trees survive their 7th winter. The leaf of this "tender" perennial tree has very high concentration of oil so it is magical when we need to infuse a lemon flavor.

The Japanese Parsley is now at its 3rd year of rejuvenating--in fact, it may be rejuvenating "too much" as it seems to be everywhere.

Now, if someone would promise me that we won't have any snow in the next few days, I'd be a happy caterer and gardener!!