On October 30, 2017, Joe Mastro of Mastro Ice spoke about ice carving at our General Meeting. For the first half of the video, Joe discusses the procedure for making large ice blocks and how ice carvings are produced. At the 34:40 mark in the video, we travel outside for a demonstration. This video was originally livestreamed on our Facebook page.
Each contestant received 3 potatoes, 1/2 onion and 5 garlic cloves.
Contestants had 45 minutes to peel the potatoes, onion and garlic and produce:
- Brunoise potatoes, 2 oz. 1/8” x 1/8” x 1/8”
- Julienne potatoes, 2 oz. 1/8” x 1/8” x 2”
- Small diced potatoes, 2 oz. 1/4” x 1/4 “ x 1/4”
- Batonnet potatoes, 2 oz. 1/4” x 1/4” x 2”
- Tourne potatoes, 4 tourne7 sides 3/4” x 2”
- Small diced onion, entire ½ onion
- Minced garlic, 5 cloves
1st place: Conner Capazoli, Pittsburgh Technical College, Duquesne Club
2nd place: Victoria Rucci, Pittsburgh Technical College, Buca di Beppo
3rd place: Chandler Flak, Pittsburgh Technical College, Carnegie Science Center
The judges were Chefs Johan Meinke, Dave Russo, Ed Colon, and Mark Clink
Photos by Jill Kummer
At our August meeting, William Racin, the Executive Pasty Chef of the Duquesne Club, demonstrated two varieties of molded chocolates. We were able to livestream the presentation on Facebook. Below is a recording of that livestream.
Thank you Chefs Keith Coughenour, William Racin, and Kodi Mikiewicz and Dining Room Manager Tom Wahl of the Duquesne Club.
On Monday 26 June, Chef Cindy Tuite and Bidwell Training Center hosted our meeting. Chef Bello did a wine and barbecue paring. Chef Buskey and students from Bidwell prepared the food for the tasting. There were 25 – 30 attendees.
We also had our second meeting of the Next Gen Council. It was attended by 9 council members and 7 Board members. The Board members were impressed with the council member’s desire to keep the ACF an important part of their professional lives. The discussion centered how the council can assist in recruiting additional culinarians to become interested in the ACFPC. As we sat there talking about the importance of getting information out to our culinary community, some of the council were on their phones sending out information they were discussing.
Photo Credit: Kathleen Garland
On May 22, our general meeting was at the amazingly impressive Gordon Food Service Distribution Center. The meeting included a live-cooking competition with a stunning market pantry of items provided by Gordon Food Service. The competitors were Robbie Powell from the Art Institute, Raymon Mender from CCAC, Jared Lordon from IUP and head chef at Social, and Trisha Butler from Bidwell Training Center. The competitors were required to include chicken, a green vegetable, a root vegetable, and a sauce as part of their dish. The competition was extremely close, but Jared Lordon's dish stood out and made him the winner.
- First Place winner: Jared Lordon - Seared Chicken Breast with sautéed kale, sauce soubise, purple carrot, rosemary gastrique, and fine herbs.
- Robbie Powell - Drumstick of chicken with sauce with root vegetables and oblique cut style carrots with green beans
- Trisha Butler - mushroom, tomato, tenderloin, and basil stuffed chicken breast with grilled asparagus and toasted fingerling potatoes
- Raymond Mender - chicken ballotine with mushrooms and gremolata seasoned with cayanne pepper and lemon juice. Grilled asparagus with lemon garlic sauce and pan-roasted potatoes seasoned with fine herbs and garlic
After the competition and announcement of the winner, guests were given a tour of the facilities. Thank you to our hosts, Gordon Food Service, as well as our judges Chefs Johan Meinke, Scott Burkhart, Bill Hunt, and John Selick. Congratulations to all of the competitors.
Winner: Jared Lordon - Seared Chicken Breast with sautéed kale, sauce soubise, purple carrot, rosemary gastrique, and fine herbs.
Raymond Mender - chicken ballotine with mushrooms and gremolata seasoned with cayanne pepper and lemon juice. Grilled asparagus with lemon garlic sauce and pan-roasted potatoes seasoned with fine herbs and garlic
Robbie Powell - Drumstick of chicken with sauce with root vegetables and oblique cut style carrots with green beans
Trisha Butler's dish - mushroom, tomato, tenderloin, and basil stuffed chicken breast with grilled asparagus and toasted fingerling potatoes
Last Monday, April 24, we had our general / social meeting at Pirata in Market Square. Pirata is a great Caribbean-style restaurant with interesting food, over 100 different rums, and Pirates of the Caribbean on the television for aesthetic benefit! Chef Josh Ross hosted the evening. Chef Ross talked about his background and how he came to Pirata. as well as the concept the owners wanted to achieve. I was able to tour the kitchen, and the spatial design is just right for this style of food. They use all fresh ingredients and the only freezer is a single door by a small walk in. Our meeting was attended by 30 or so members. Chef Inzinga announced that the next Anything Goes competition will be in May at Gordon Foods. This will be a live competition using food supplied by Gordon’s products.
Our March General meeting was at CCAC, hosted by Chef Inzinga. Dan Berman from Callebaut Chocolates presented a video on the production of chocolates from the farm through the processing. He explained that the cacao beans from Callebaut are sourced from smaller privately owned plantations. His company has spent millions of dollars on irrigation & sanitation on all of the plantations. Along with his presentation, there was 8-10 various chocolates from around the world for us to taste. Chocolate tasting can is like wine tasting. All the varieties had different notes of berries, nuts, and even bitterness.
At the March monthly meeting of the ACF Pittsburgh Chapter, we had 7 students enter the “Anything Goes” competition. The theme of the competition was Dessert Pies. Entering the competition were:
- Abbey Bartrug, a student at CCAC.
- Trisha Butler, a student at Bidwell Training Center
- Kathleen Garland, student at Bidwell Training Center
- Richard Grabowski, a student at Bidwell Training Center
- Sara Heenan, a pastry cook at the Duquesne Club
- Katherine Marshall, a student at CCAC
- Kodi Mikiewicz, a pastry cook at the Duquesne Club
The competition was judged by Chefs, Scott Burkhart, and Dan Berman, and Bill Hunt.
Results of the competition:
- 1st Place: Sara Heenan, Lemon Blueberry Pie
- 2nd Place: Kodi Mikiewicz, Mudslide Pie
- 3rd Place: Katherine Marshall, Port Poached Apple Pie
Chef Inzinga and his students made Chicken Burritos to order, and the pies were available for tasting.
We had about 25 attendees, some were old friends from my years at PA Culinary. It was great seeing these friends again.
On Sunday, ACFPC held our Annual Awards Gala at Sewickley Heights Golf Club. At the gala, we celebrated some of the people who make our organization great.
Our Purveyor of the Year is Mike Rykaceski from Sesco.
Chef Martin Thomas, the mastermind behind the evening's dinner, received the Nicholas Colletti Professionalism award.
Chef Keith Coughenour was awarded the highest honor of the night, Chef of the Year.
At the reception, we had a Empanada and Ceviche Experience with Chorizo & Potato, Shrimp & Tomato, Pork & Raisin, and Spicy Potato & Peanut Empanadas. The Ceviche included Mackerel Seviche with Tomatoes & Chiles, Peruvian Ceviche with Leche De Tigre, and Brazilian Marinated Squid. Other hors d'oeuvres
included Oaxacan Style Tamale, Salt Cod Fritters of Puerto Rico, and Jicama Crudité with Lime & Chile
Dinner was stunningly beautiful. We started with Roasted Poblano Crema with Pepitas and Spicy Greens. The salad course was a Heart of Palm Salad with Queso Fresco, Frijoles, Sherry Lime Vinaigrette. We also had a choice of entrees
Short Ribs with Rosemary Chocolate Sauce, Pumpkin Coconut Gratin, Sautéed Quinoa and Chard
Red Snapper Veracruz (Seafood Option)
Toasted Fideos, Roasted Vegetables & Winter Greens with Vanilla & Ancho Chiles Scented Broth by Chef Martin Thomas
We ended the night with Dulce Latino: Alfajore, Peruvian Rice Pudding with Coconut Chocolate Chile Flan, Caramel Sauce
The evening was also included fundraiser for the Chef William Foust Educational Scholarship which benefits the future generation of chefs.
At our January meeting, Gary, Margaret, and Lisa Beiswenger spoke about the art of Small-Scale Maple Syrup Production at Bidwell Training Center.
About five years ago, Gary and Margaret Beiswenger embarked on a journey to make the perfect maple syrup. Over the years, they have honed their craft and now produce a couple of gallons of superb maple syrup every year. If you're curious about maple syrup production, but missed the January meeting, Lisa created a PowerPoint lecture to walk you through the process. Samples of maple water, maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple cookies were provided by the Beiswengers. Chef Brian Buskey and the students at Bidwell also created a special maple syrup themed menu for attendees.
Watch the lecture The Art of Small-Scale Maple Syrup Production here: