Regional Food opposed to Food by Country


Different regions of a country typically have very different styles of cooking. With Italian cuisine, for example, the Northern region is very much different than the Southern region. The Central region is far different than the islands.

The Northern region of Italy borders France, so they cook with more cream and butter. This is the part of Italy generally speaking where you would see more Alfredo type sauces. Most of the Northern region is land locked as opposed to surrounded by water so you would see less seafood and more game.

The Southern region uses a lot more tomato based sauces. Also, being surrounded by the ocean, the food in the Southern region tends to comprise of more seafood than game. Location in proximity to other country’s massively affects the food they cook. Also, the physical location of the region affects what they cook. Different climates dictate what can and can’t…

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Why nutrition should be more important when cooking in a restaurant setting


Generally when going out to eat we don’t really think about what we are eating from a nutritional standpoint. During the night on the town, dining at the fancy French restaurant, we probably consume over one thousand calories in one sitting. The portion sizes are very large at most places, or you have multiple courses. Eating like that every once in a while shouldn’t be too harmful, but it will leave you not feeling so great the next day. It puts a heavy strain on your body.

On a recent venture to Fogo De Chao, I tried over 20 different meats. Every different meat had something special about it, I learned a lot. The next day, and even the ride home, I wasn’t feeling too great. I overate because it was an experience and I wasn’t thinking about it. I tried over 20 different meats and had a few drinks. I…

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Natural Selection

As many of you know, I am on the road to getting a ND and a MSN. Everyday is one step closer. I decided to change the name of my blog in order to be more in line with my current career and academic goals.

Natural Selection, as biology teaches is the process by which individuals with certain heritable traits tend to produce more surviving offspring than do individuals without those traits, often leading to a change in the genetic makeup of the population. Now, in this definition individuals doesn’t necessarily mean people, for me it will relate more to plants and their effect on humans. So, Im going to start with an introduction to fruits and vegetables.

At the beginning of the 21st Century it may seem weird that people in the so-called civilized world would think of growing their own vegetables. However, peoples reasons for growing your are vary widely. The biggest reason is being freshness. It can literally be in the ground one minute and in your pot cooking the next. Once you have tasted fresh vegetables (and fruit) you realize the vast difference between them and the glossy, but days-old ones in the supermarket. Mass-produced vegetables have been bred (think GMOs) to different criteria from those that we grow in our garden. Supermarkets want fruit and vegetables that will arrive at the shops looking fresh and undamaged, and so they genetically produce tough skins, which also guarantees a long shelf life.

At the bottom of the list of qualities, it seems, that are demanded by supermarkets, and frequently not on the list at all, is taste (and flavor). For example, customers buy carrots every week without any thought to what the last batch tasted like.

Finally , one more advantage, allied to taste, is that we know what has been put on the food. Today in the media, we see the use of powerful chemical sprays and powders, and the crops in the supermarkets have been doused in an ever-increasing number of compounds to make sure that, among other things, they arrive at the supermarket in a completely unblemished state. (This is a huge debate here in Oregon as we approach Nov 4th)

Growing your own herbs

Herbs have been an important part of gardening (and the culinary world) for generations. Our perception of herbs has changed over the centuries. Gone are the times when it was essential to grow your own headache remedies and now few people grow medicinal herbs for their own use. (This is changing, but that is another post).

On the other hand, culinary herbs are widely grown. There are two approaches (i am sure there are more) to growing culinary herbs: one is simply to grow those you will cook with; the other is to make a comprehensive collection. Either way there is a tremendous range of herbs from which to choose.

Herbs can be grown in a variety of ways For many, the “traditional herb garden” remains the only way. For me, I use an alternative route, and grow the herbs in containers for easy and fresh access while Im cooking. Currently in the mix, is thyme and basil. Which herbs do you want to grown and learn about?


Growing your own herbs saves a lot of money, creates a better product and is really easy to do. I’m currently growing chives, thyme and basil. It’s now fall so the lack of sunlight limits what will and won’t grow well. At this point of the year I would reccomend buying starts. Herbs that have already sprouted. To grow more delicate herbs at this time I would reccomend a garden lamp. It helps supply some artificial form of sunlight.

When starting from seeds make sure your soil is moist and full of nutrients. Most herbs require being planted between 1/4-1/2″ deep. The soul should constantly be kept moist I rimageeccomend checking it twice a day. Make sure the area where planted gets a moderate amount of sunlight. Too much sun will dry them out and sun bleach the herbs, but too little stunts growth.

I,being a culinary student, love…

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Good comfort food in Portland


One of my favorite types of food is good old-fashioned comfort food. Biscuits and gravy to fried chicken has a special place in most of our hearts.

I looked for a long time to find a good comfort/breakfeast restaurant in Portland. Almost every place I tried was disappointing. Seemingly lacking the effort it takes to produce the home style feeling of a gooimaged comfort food restaurant.

Only one breakfast restaurant in Portland that I’ve tried has that home style feeling I’ve been looking for. Sugar Mamas Cafe. The quality of the food is good, most of it is made from scratch. The flavors impress me everytime I’ve eaten there. The wait can be a while, especially if it’s busy, but the food is well worth it. The food is affordable and is open for breakfast and dinner.

If you have some time I would reccomend Sugar Mamas Cafe. I’m…

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What is traditional cuisine?


Traditional cuisines are very open ended. What really is traditional cuisine? Most people think of traditional cuisine as essentially just being authentic to the country of origin and how they would make it. Is what they cook now though really what they would have been cooking 500 years ago? 100 years ago even?

Take Spain for instance. Spanish influenced food is among my favorite cuisines. I refuse to call it traditional though. Modernization and time have made the phrase traditional cuisine obsolete. Spain’s cuisine was far different before the Americas were ventured too and new ingredients and influence flowed over the sea to Spain. Imagine Spanish cuisine without tomatoes and chili peppers. It changed drastically after the Colombian Exchange.

Lets go back even farther. The spice trade. Imagine Spanish food without most of the flavor packing spices used in the process of making it and without new world produce.


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Seared scallops with pico


Simple but packs a lot of flavor. A simple seared scallop dish with pico de giallo. The lye to this dish is making a well balanced pico and most of all searing the scallops to perfection.


2oz. Tomato preferably heirloom.

2oz. Onion image

1/2oz. Cilantro

1oz lime juice


5 scallops


Dice tomatoes and onions and toes with lime juice. Sear off scallops until golden. Toss pico with cilantro and salt and pepper. Squeeze lime juice over scallops and garnish with a like twist.

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Fried Eggplant Vegetarian Sandwich Recipe


This is one of my favorite sandwich ideas I’ve had since starting culinary school. The chibatta bread slightly grilled so its toasty. The spread is comprised of goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. The main ingredient is fried eggplant. This sandwich came out wonderfully and I wanted to share the idea. bread


2 slices Chibatta bread

3oz. Goat cheese

3oz. Sun dried tomatoes

3 Slices Eggplant

3oz. Mushrooms


4oz. Flour

2each Eggs

4oz. Bread crumbs


Put mushrooms in oven at 350F with salt, pepper and oil. Dice sun dried tomatoes and mix with goat cheese until smooth. Coat sliced eggplant with salt and cover with paper towels (it dries the eggplant) coat with flour after removing salt and paper towels, egg wash and bread crumb. Fry the eggplant and toast the chibatta bread. Put the spread in a thin layer on the top and bottom slice of bread…

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Food Trucks in Portland


Food trucks have a huge following here in Portland, Oregon. Food trucks offer a wide array of cuisines from Thai to English cuisine. Right across from the building my school is in, there are about 50 food trucks. I, being a hungry culinary student, have tried almost all of them. food trucks

I’ve noticed many things from eating at so many food trucks. The ones with the longest lines aren’t always the best. Sometimes the food carts have a long line, a long wait and when you think the food must be awesome, its just pretty average.Its really frustrating.

Many food trucks with the same style cuisine, and similar menus can be night and day as far as food execution goes.For example there are 4 Mexican cuisine food trucks within a 2 block radius, each one has a menu item that’s better than the rest. One has better burritos, one has better tacos…

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