Friday, December 27, 2013

Chef Big Dog's Barbaric Birthday Yawp

"I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise,
Regardless of others, ever regardful of others,
Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man,
Stuff’d with the stuff that is coarse and stuff’d with the stuff that is fine" 

As my life's timepiece takes another tick, I cannot help thinking of Walt Whitman's Song of Self.

Today is my birthday and it'll be spent sounding my barbaric yawp tho not over the roofs of the world, but in the sidestreet eateries and backally barrooms of NYC.  

As of now, here's the 24 hour culinary itinerary 


Lunch at Stanton Social and I'm looking forward to their French onion soup dumplings.  

Afterwards, walking the streets of the city as my holiday season cannot be without it.
Then tapas Japanese style and some serious sake at Sakagura 

For digestifs, there's a place that seems all too apropos to the 'Song of Self' and that's Lovers of Today - a speakeasy and, from my understanding, a purveyor of creative, uncommon, and seemingly righteous cocktails.  

And to top off the nite I really wanted to go to Fatty Cue Brooklyn for some sort of 1AM pork, bacon, naughty grease goodness but from what I'm hearing, the servers are self bloviating buttholes so we'll see.  


To sum up my culinary adventures in the city I'll go to La Esquina, a restaurant renown for its simple, beautiful Mexican dishes.  

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The memory of taste

It's night 3 of my fast and it's been a curious experience thus far from a chefs perspective.  Last fast of 18 days I was just trying to survive it.

This time is a different experience.  We know that there are five taste sensations, but as I've been fasting I've craved them in different stages.  

First came salt which wasn't a surprise since Im a salted nut anyway but then I lost that craving to sour.  Skittles and warheads were all I could think about.  

Next came umami - I dreamt of soy wasabi sesame oil mash potatoes... And finally today I couldn't shake my desire for this chocolate potato chip bar I recently had.  

Not quite sure what to make of this but I recall reading an article on 'the memory of senses' and if u think about it bet you can guess which lasts the longest.  

You'll never forget the smell of a skunk or a gardenia or rose bush.  But as I'm lying here in my tent salivating I can almost taste everything.. A watermelon, a pinto bean, cream cheese, rosemary roasted chicken...

Research has shown that most people lose 50% of their taste buds by the time their 20 - yet another thing wasted on youth.

What I'm wondering is if this whole fasting business can somehow reawaken taste sensation?  Food for thought.

Now can somebody make me a sammich?  Oy vey four more days....  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Thanksgiving Fast

While everyone's feasting with family, I'll be out in Shelby Forest forbearing food for a week. As a man of large appetites, it won't be easy but I've done it before. Back in 2011 after I lost my dog, Murphy, to cancer I fasted in Memphis for 18 days during a scorching heatwave with temperatures stuck in triple digits for most of the entirety.

This time the experience will be inverted.  As of this morning, it's 22 in Tennessee and with the wind chill factor feels like 16 degrees.  This represents a unique risk as the primary purpose of sustenance in cold weather is providing heat to your body.  Exercising, too, can't used for warmth since muscle mass is broken down during the fasting process.  

My Pyrenees won't be with me since after a few days I won't have the strength to tend to their needs.  Nope it'll just be me and El Guapo out in the woods, alone in a tent, and, wait a tic, this is starting to sound a little like Brokeback Mountain...  

My communication will be limited as well since I'll only have my phone for emergency use.  No computer, no iPod, Kindle, or any other electronic device which, to be honest, I'm looking forward to.  Sometimes the noise in life can just be deafening and you've gotta unplug.  

But mostly I made the decision to fast this week for physical reasons.  Now that my other dog, Hudson, was recently diagnosed with cancer, I know that the road ahead will be hard and my body and spirit under constant assault from the uncertainty of outcome.  2014 will be a definitive year and I must strengthen myself in preparation and fasting is the first step.  .  

I shall miss breaking bread with family and friends but I fast so that I may feast again with them one day soon.  

Chef Big Dog

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Recipe: The Homeless

The breakfast taco... This is what put me on the map!   Literally.

The classic that I made for many o'family on our walk and I made it this morning and I almost forgot how damn tasty it is.  And simple to make.

Fry up four slices of bacon.  Slather one side of tortilla with cream cheese.  Add a layer of refried beans on top seasoned with my own Mexican blend, CBD 17. 

Then diced green chiles and cheese.  I prefer pepper Jack for a little heat or a blend. Stuff it with the bacon, fold over like a taco and fry it in the grease.  Once it's nice and golden on both sides, top it with sour cream, more cheese, and salsa.  

Hell yeah, that's The Homeless.  

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Yah, you betcha.!

I'm in the land of 10,000 lakes and although the purpose of my presence here is primarily philanthropic for our foundation, I try to take a few tics on our travels to savor the local culture, fare and flavor. 

The first thing that I couldn't help but notice about Minneapolis is the almost absolute absence of fast food franchises.  We've been here since, what, Wednesday, and only seen two, and while I'd normally be a big fan of that - the nearest Dunkin Donuts is five and a half hours away in Wisconsin and that makes me a little cranky and suspicious.  

Indeed it's a strange yet curious place.  (I mean, other than the fact that they had a rassler for governor and stuart smalley as a senator).  

But there's some seriously good food here.  

Bacio, a giant of a restaurant in Minnetonka, has an excellent stater menu.  It's pretty much policy now when I'm at a new and unfamiliar restaurant to just sample the little bites because if they can't do that right, no need to move on to the entree.  

And there's was spot on.  The parmesan crusted shrimp and tuna crisps both delightful but the two other dishes I sampled deserve their own spotlight.  First is their heirloom grain salad, which is just about one of the best damn salads I've ever had - brilliantly constructed, fresh and surprising.   

And finally the crab cakes, pictured nearby, an experience I've never had before and I've eaten them just about everywhere.  The odd motley of ingredients are what drew me to it: avocado drizzled with EVOO, vanilla bean puree, and sweet and sour chili sauce. Individually, they all have singular distinctness but good god, man, mash them together and it becomes a melody.  

Nevermind that the cake isn't even fried.  IT'S BAKED.    I didn't ask if the crab was dungeness or blue but baby, it was lumpy and luscious. 

On Lovers and Sliders

I maintain a profound respect for chefs that make me re-think dishes but this city makes me re-think reality.  The twin cities are replete with five star restaurants but the hottest, most exclusive place to take your lover on a valentine date is..... White Castle.  Wait what?  

Yer Dern Tootin'.  Apparently, the one day out of the year that the fast food joint reverse transmogrifies into a high class restaurant where the waitstaff wears tuxes. And get this, there's a two year wait list.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Long Wharf New Haven

Yesterday we spent the early afternoon sampling the predominately Spanish influenced cuisine at the Long Wharf food trucks. 

I've oft griped of the paucity of authentic Tex-Mex-ish food in the Northeast but apparently, I was looking in the wrong place.  

But you can't blame me.  Who would've thought that the home to Yale University could also be home to anything real and unpretentious?  But since I walked through New Haven, it now makes sense.  

Beyond and beneath the ivy walls, it's a predominately blue collar, salt-of-the-earth port town, not unlike so many on the old Boston Post Road in Connecticut. Full of color, flavor, and people who, if they only have $10 to spend on food, demand that it's down and outright authentic.  

I found that in a row of food trucks along Long Wharf CT.  When I posted this photo on my FB page, someone remarked that they passed by it for 16 years and never stopped for reasons which elude me.  

Look, I'm a foodie and an anti-foodie all rolled up in a Big Dog bun but for Christsakes - support your local culinary community.  And if a sense of social responsibility doesn't convince you, take a gander at that gigantic torta mexican styled cuban sammich.    

And the carnitas, and the alambre with cactus taco, too.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013


"When I ain't cookin.  I'm a eatin." 

As a cook and eater of extraordinary extent, it seems incumbent on me to celebrate the culinary creations of other chefs. And I'll chronicle those exploits here.  

In route to NYC to fund a cancer study, the fuzzybutts and I pitched tent at a North Fork campsite in Greenport Long Island.  Late in the day, long in our travels, and after wine sampling at a few of the vineyards, I just wanted a tasting menu and for the first time, Yelp took us to that place.  

Chef Noah gets that little bites are the trend, perhaps the future of the dining experience.  The tired old equation of appetizer + entree + dessert just doesn't add up anymore.  

Noah's is a destination place and not only for foodies.  Deviled eggs are a new inspiration for me.  Thanks, Chef.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chef Lucky: Clinton350

Clinton 350.  Wow. What a great event.  So proud of the people in my hometown for coming out and celebrating the birthday of our great town.  And boy, did they come out!!

I do believe the Ladies of Clinton enjoyed watching Chef Big Dog sing, dance and shake the maracas each time a "Booty" Tattie was ordered.  We kept people smiling all day long.  Our tent was the most festive looking and the most fun!  The queue, the feedback and repeat customers proved that our Tatties were the best food there.

Thanks to all the Clinton folks who came out, the Food trucks who kept feeding us, and my favorite neighboring concession, John at the Bartenders Express, who kept the Magic Margaritas appearing on our freezer.

Lastly, and most importantly, thanks to the Chef for the amazing job he did frying and entertaining.  You make me proud!


CBD's Notes 1: It was a great day indeed and I filmed a few hours of the historic occasion for what comes next. 

CBD's Notes 2: It's now the 'Shake Murphy's Booty Tattie' accompanied with the Maracas!

CBD's Notes 3:  Thanks for making me do this festival Chef Lucky

Magic Margaritas

Yesterday, at the Clinton 350, was the first time I truly felt like a Chef.  Yes, I've been cooking my heart and soul out since I started this culinary adventure in April, concocting new recipes and concepts to keep us on the cut, and at the Connecticut Wine Festival and the Celtic Rock, the customers loved, loved our tatties.  

But Clinton 350 was an entirely new experience I just wasn't prepared for.

First of all, I freely admit I was less than enthused about going.  The competition was fierce for a small town festival, from BBQ to burgers, French fries, lobster rolls, pizza, and grilled cheese in giant food trucks I suspected we'd get lost since after all, we're just 2 guys with a fryer and a crazy, Tequila drinking Mexican marionette.  

But I got schooled!

I can't recall the exact inflection point in my perspective Saturday but everyone there was so receptive to our culinary concept and we were warmly and well received early on in the day.  So we started frying up tatties for our fellow chefs to share the love, love we have for food and they reciprocated in sharing their wicked good wares.  

The first was The Cheese Truck out of New Haven.  If you're anywhere within a 100 mile radius, their Avocado Bacon grilled cheese sammich is so frikkin good and it has this mustard seed relish that ties the whole dish together like the Dude's rug to his living room.  

Next up was Fryborg whose concept is the age old French fry with a side of some serious freakiness.  We sampled their fried egg fries with Sriracha Mayo and it was all kinds of good.  

It was great to be in the presence of fellow chefs, Chef Jonathan with Fryborg, Chef Jason the Cheeseman, Chef Benjamin with Cowabunga, who are all trying to create a wholly unique and new culinary experience.  And to get their feedback on our Tex-Mex Tatties.  

The pursuit of and path to greatness in whatever your life endeavor, is paved with self doubt and uncertainty but for the first time I felt like I was part of a community and, although still small and new to it, that I have earned a seat at the table.   

And a drink! 

We also fried up some tatties for the lovely ladies with Bartenders Express and towards the end of service, two Margaritas magically appeared on top of our freezer.  And they kept coming!  

We suspect that the proprietor, John, was the clandestine culprit.  Maybe he wanted to keep us hydrated  or maybe he fancied Chef Lucky - I'll post her version of yesterday's festivities in the next blog.   

But that figuratively and literally topped off the evening and the end to a great event and season for Tex-Mex Tatties by Chef Big Dog.  Thanks to everyone for a successful and enlightening day. 

My duties as a philanthropist kick in next week as the Executive Director of 2 Million Dogs, Ginger Morgan, comes up to New England and we have some cancer studies to fund.  After that, we're traveling to the Twin Cities for VCS and then on to Chicago for their Puppy Up! Walk.   

But I'll be cooking and creating throughout our travels.  Stay tuned for what comes next from Chef Big Dog!

It'll be magic

Monday, August 26, 2013

Clinton 350

No, that's NOT how many interns Bill has...  nevermind.

It's the sesquarcentennial (Jeez - even I had to look that one up) in Clinton Connecticut this weekend and si, si, Senor, El Guapo and his Tex Mex Tatties will be there!  

This Saturday from noon-ish to ten-ish, Chef Big Dog and Chef Lucky will be at the Clinton 350 Festival, celebrating the anniversary of their township from 1663 - 2013.  

FYI - that's 50 in dog years.  Since I was born in the Year of the Dog and at 42, I should have my own sasquatchial...sexquintupligus...siestadelfuego.... Yep, I'm an idiot.  

Idiot or savant, every great celebration deserves to be honored and I'm thinking about what should be the chef special for this historic, beautiful, Norman Rockwellesque, New England fishing town that the fuzzybutts and I walked through.  

At our last one, the crazy punk kilt fest, everyone loved, loved the Chef Specials: my Tex Mex interpretations on Bangers and Mash, Shepherd's Pie, and my Irish Whisky Habanero sauce.  

This is me tooting my horn.  

Toots to the left.  Ideas for a Chef Special to the right....

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Celtic Rock Fest

Thanks to the Newport Yachting Center for this very very awesome event and for having us out there at the last minute. 

We've done a few festivals this our inaugural year and the Celtic Rock Fest is one of my favorite thus far and to sum it up, listen to this youtube video of Celtica.  

Just like our Tex Mex Tatties are a fusion of cultures, they blend rock & roll with bags, men in skirts, and, well, a fine looking lass on the pipes.   

Debatable whether Dropkick Murphys stole the show or my Murphy tatties - chorizo braised in Guinness and bacon with my Irish Whisky habanero sauce -but great food, music, friendship is the harmony of life.

And even though El Guapo ain't Irish, well, he's got the luck of one.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Late last nite I was looking for inspiration for a tattie tooled specifically for the Celtic Rock Festival next weekend and I recalled reading long ago about a fierce female warrior and queen of the Iceni, a Celtic Tribe.  

Her husband killed, her daughters raped, and publicly flogged, Boudica bitched slapped in several battles the Roman Empire so badly Nero considered tucking tail and running back home.  

Basically she was a bad ass even though she eventually lost the rebellion against the Romans. The photo nearby is a statue of her on a chariot in London.

There seems to be some question as to the spelling of her name but consensus with pronunciation 'boo-tick-ah'.  

In honor of this Celtic queen, Chef Big Dog's special this week is the Booty Tattie and the recipe I'm using is a traditional Irish dish, the Dublin Coddle.  And  true to the origin of its name, the sausage and bacon and potatoes will be braised in Guinness, the beer sponsor of the festival.  

Come out to the Celtic Rock Fest Saturday, August 24th at the Newport Yachting Center for some Booty and some Tatties! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I think we found our home.  In an old abandoned skeletal tobacco warehouse situated in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Sunday location of Smorgasburg.

El Guapo, Chef Lucky, and I spent the weekend doing due diligence on this curious culinary community and it was a phenomenal experience.  Seemed like the foot traffic on Saturday was as substantial as Sunday but the latter is preferable to us.  

It's dog friendly, family orientated with a park and Ferris wheel nearby, and well, the name of the neighborhood may seem fitting to some of our friends and followers.  

We're submitting our application today to be a vendor so keep your pistolas crossed because it seems they're very exclusive.  

As many of you know, I walked across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and most of Long Island and one of the singular things I observed was the paucity of big dogs in the city. They're all micro, toy, min min, so it's time for a big dog there.  Chef Big Dog, that is.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Infamous El Guapo

Meet the Infamous El Guapo, the official mascot of Tex-Mex Tatties.  

He's kinda creepy, he's a puppet, and he enjoys long walks on the beach brandishing a pistola.

We don't know much about his past but we can assume that his white shirt, black sequined pants, and sombrero, he may have been a mariachi at some point.  

Because hell yeah, El Guapo can party (shown in nearby photo with Chef Big Dog).  

But he loves puppies, too.  Look, there's El Guapo with Oliver in Clinton CT.  With his pistola pointed at him.  

But the greatest thing about the Infamous El Guapo, is his palate for authentic Mexican food and that he eats, drinks, and loves the ladies more in one day than Tony Bourdain does in an entire season, that makes him more interesting than that Dos Equis guy.  

"Eat tatties, my friend".  

Next stop. Smorgasburg which will be a curious experience since El Guapo has never been to the city and the mayor, Uncle Mike doesn't like pistolas.  

Monday, August 5, 2013


We met a ton of foodies at the Wine Fest who want to help us take our culinary concept to a whole new level and one of the recommendations was the SMORG in Brooklyn, a self-styled Flea and Food Market.  

So this weekend, Chef Lucky and I are heading to the city to explore this seemingly cutting edge culinary community.  

We had to make the tough decision that Tex-Mex Tatties will no longer sell at the Aquidneck Grower's Market.  Much to our surprise, our demographic just wasn't really represented there.  We had a steady stream of loyal customers but not enough to justify the opportunity costs.  Most of the nice folks there are older and in search of bran and oatmeal and not really into fried foods which seems strange since the area is known for some of the best fried seafood in the world.  

Going forward, we're going to allocate our time and energy to New England festivals and perhaps a foodie market like SMORG but they're very selective in their vendors and it's expensive so we're headed there this weekend to check it out to see if it makes sense.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Schtick of Chefs

Chefs are the new celebrities and as they should be given the vacuous vapid void that is reality TV programming (a few exceptions notwithstanding).  

They're creators and innovators at the cusp of culinary experiences and while I don't count myself a member of that coed and co-opted elite yet, I'm trying to.  

And I realize now that showmanship is a part of it so I need a schtick.  

The orange Crocs of Batali won't work.  Nor will any Crocs for that matter.  I'm a Berks kinda guy.  

Nor will the, je nai sais quoi, spikey white hair and reverse david caruso sunglasses head thing of Chef Fieri.  Jesus that's scary.

Nor can I ever attain Tony Bourdain's bad boy reputation in rapid time or come to quip with Ramsey's constant beratement of donkeys.  

No, even though I created an entirely original culinary concept, I need a schtick and I've been sketching it out all this week.  I'm a desperate man.

Behold - The Brittany Bearded Brow

If I shave my head and let my eyebrows, much like Hugh Acheson's unibrow, merge with my goatee, well then I got something special and television-worthy. Artist rendition nearby, although NSFW or Sesame Street.    

I'm like the Louis CK of chefs, self loathing but curiously entertaining and still in search of a schtick since the Brittany Bearded Brow has already been trademarked in 23 states and a little known country, Stanktopia.  

I guess I'll just have to keep making great food damnit! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Postscripts from the Wine Festival

Wow what a weekend.  And what a week!  Our first festival was nothing short of a profound, inspiring, yet humbling experience.   
On the production side, I made ten times the amount we have for the farmer's market, almost 1,000 tatties. 
I didn't even know until Monday that we'd be at the festival so creating a signature dish at a moment's notice was no easy thing.  But I don't like it easy.  Nothing great ever became so easily. 
I wanted the chef special tattie to pair expertly with wine and that's why I used four different types of cheeses.  And the topping I made for it was fruity, a pear, mango and habanero salsa.
And they sold like hotcakes I'm happy to report. 
But we had a few hiccups on the service side of the fest.  Once the word got out and we had a crowd of eager and anticipating palates, I got schooled on fryers, frozen tatties, and temperature.  Of the only three complaints we had over the hundreds of orders, one was that the center of the tattie was a wee bit cold. 
We adjusted and learned from the experience and on Sunday, I was on the fryer for five hours straight.  Several customers came back not once, but twice for 'To Go' orders and many, many wanted to know if we could ship them. 
This weekend was a validation of a vision and my desire to do something different, something special.  The lonely, unknown path of creation is only trepid to those afraid of exploration, who can't supplant acceptance with innovation. 
Shout out to those who are taking it with me - Fish for finding the fest for us, Dawn for helping us out this weekend, for tatties of course, Ashley for getting out of her comfort zone and selling, and finally, Chef Lucky.  I always joke that her nom de guerre is derived from how fortunate she is to work next to me.  But she held her own this week and I just might keep her. 
Chef Big Dog owns the house!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tex-Mex Tatties Coming to Connecticut Wine Fest

We're taking our new tapas concept to the Connecticut Wine Festival in Goshen this weekend to a crowd of several thousand and this is our biggest stage yet. 
We've even come up with a Chef's special just for the event - Max's Mushroom Quesadilla, a tattie that consists of wine, cheese, and locally sourced golden oyster mushrooms, topped with a spicy pear salsa. 
We hope you can join us for this festive occasion! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Who's Your Tattie?

Some of you don't know the origin of my culinary adventures.  It began with a dog I lost to cancer that turned into a walk that turned into cooking. 
But I'll never forget where I began and the names of the Tatties I create will be in honor of cancer dogs - some I have met, others I have not yet their parents' devotion continues to inspire me. 
We have thus far;
The Murphy Breakfast Taco
The Miss Faye Chicken Fajita
The Max Mushroom Quesadilla (coming soon)
The Pete Chipotle Chile Con Queso
The Ben Jamin BBQ Chicken
The Huckleberry Hound Dog

Sunday, July 21, 2013

10 Pounds of Mushrooms

Enough to satiate Timothy Leary and Hunter S Thompson at least for a weekend.  Even tho both have passed on to that great trip in the sky.  

But I'm not talking about those type of shrooms.  I'm talking about the Yellow Oyster variety.  

This week I'm making Mushroom Quesadilla Tatties and I just placed an order with the Rhode Island Mushroom Co  Bob & Mike are great and I've toured their mushroom farm and it's nothing short of beautiful and fascinating in a fungal sort of way.  

I aim to do something extraordinary with them.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Chef Special for July 20th - Miss Faye's Chicken Fajita Tatties

Last night cancer struck close to home once again.  Ginger Morgan, the Executive Director of the foundation I started, 2 Million Dogs, lost her beloved Miss Faye to a brain tumor.  I got to know her in Memphis when my own son, Murphy, was losing his battle with nasal cancer.  She was sweet like a Southern belle and had a penchant for stealing my pizza crust.  

This week's chef special is in honor of her spirit, Miss Faye's Chicken Fajita Tatties.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Marinate Me

It's hard, maybe impossible to fuck up a marinade.  Unless you're Brad Pitt in Fight Club and piss in it.  

Just remember the mnemonic.  Sweet, heat, acid and oil. 'SHAO'. 

But perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that meat must be macerated. Beef doesn't accept marinade unless you make it make it and there are three ways to do so.   Salt rub or brine solution are the first two ways.  

The third is using a natural enzyme and to the best of my knowledge there are only two: papain from the papaya fruit and bromelain from pineapple.  Macerating meat is essential to the marinating process or else whatever you're marinating it in will go down a 1/16th of an inch or less. 

I studied biology in college and they had a mnemonic for the order of taxonomy.  Mine was Kinky Positions Can Only Facilitate Gungus Schmuck.  Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species.  

Shag Happy Ass Often.  Sweet Heat Acid and Oil and you'll make the perfect marinade everytime.  

Monday, July 8, 2013


As a chef that term has a specific meaning.  You reduce a sauce or a recipe down to its most fundamental flavors. It's one of the things I learned from Chef Morimoto.  I mean from watching him on TV.  

It's a much larger metaphor to me as a person.  I try to think big.  I always have which inspired my cross country walk.  

But there's one immutable reality.  Life is always only just about this one step.  This one recipe.  This one service.    

I was born in 1970, the year of the dog.  Yesterday and tomorrow mean very little to me.  And as an aspiring chef, I don't think they should.  

Nothing matters more than the moment.  Thank you Chef.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Help Us End Food Waste in the U.S.

Every week we have leftover unused fruits and vegetables, not much but enough to help, and since we are new to the culinary world, we are trying to find a community pantry or food bank on Aquidneck Island or surrounding area to donate to. We'd appreciate any and all wisdom and insight from local folks.  

Experts say that about 40% of all food in the United States is wasted every year and that's just an intolerable and unacceptable statistic.  Please help us do our part in reducing food wastage in the U.S.  

Thank you

Chef Big Dog & Chef Lucky

Friday, July 5, 2013

Chef Special for July 6th: Fish Taco Tatties

Fish Taco Tatties

Abutting our booth at Aquidneck Market is The Local Catch and I've been eyeing their good looking fish for a couple of weeks now.

Fish tacos I love, love and over the years I've refined a recipe that everyone seems to love, too.  The problem is, I've never combined it with a starch into a fried patty.  

First the two pounds of haddock were put into my Asian marinade (photo nearby) for an hour and then I diced up Mexican peppers and onions and roasted corn and for the potato mix, I created a soy, sesame oil, Sriracha sour cream sauce to complement the delicate flavor of the fish.  

Tonight, I'll batter the tatties in Panko and white and black sesame seeds and then once fried, I'll top them with a cabbage salad and my spicy Asian mayo.  Tomorrow marks our fifth market and how you can make it out to see us!

Puppy Up & Chow Down! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Word.... well many more words from Chef Lucky. Did you really use the 'O' word?

Chef Lucky here.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of serving some Tex-Mex Tatties to my co-workers at my day job! (Yes, I am visual designer by day and chef at night).  These peeps are total foodies and they were in heaven when they tasted our Tatties!  I was so excited at their reactions.  The tray of Tatties disappeared rather quicky! Some of the questions and comments included:

Can I order these for a party?
Can I get a copy of the menu?
Where are you selling these? Why aren't you selling them here in CT?
How do you make them?
Is there a dessert Tattie?
Do you have a website I can order from-do you ship?

I'm in heaven.
They are amazing.
I've never had something like this.
The sauces are so flavorful.
What's in your chipotle mayo?

The best comment, which I hold close to my heart....
"Does this mean you're leaving us?"

Note: My co-workers are like a family, I have work sisters, brothers, a work husband and work sons....

Well my friends, this is something I am very passionate about. I love, love, love being in the kitchen.  What I love more, is watching people "melt" after tasting something we have created.  Making someone have a "food orgasm"..... Yep, I said the O word and about food!  I have experienced food O's. A very memorable Food O from a dessert empanada at a favorite local restaurant in Newport, Diego's. That experience and the flavors inspired my Lucky's Sweet Tattie.

Lucky's Sweet Tattie.....yeah, sounds almost lascivious!  Sinful? Perhaps, from the pleasure one gets when they have a mouthful.  So, you're probably thinking, how can that be? It can....

Lucky's Sweet Tattie
Dough-potato based w/
-crushed Mexican chocolate
-Mexican Vanilla

-A special chocolate/cinnamon truffle I have created just for this Tattie
-Carmelized bananas (Butter, Dark Rum, Kahlua, brown sugar, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon)

Batter-pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, Mexican chocolate

Deep fried so all the libations in the center melt together so a creamy, rich, chocolate and cinnamon "lava" flows out when you stick your fork in!

-chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, Mexican chocolate, powdered sugar and....
BACON!!! Yep- bacon.

Fifty Shades of Tattie all in one bite!!

My P, Chef Big Dog (background-he doesn't like sweets and didn't want any on the menu), well when he tried this, I do believe he had a Food O too! But, that's for him to share.....  ;-)

If you are in the area, you must stop by and try Lucky's Sweet Tattie.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Sweet Heat Acid and Oil

Being a chef for the first time in my, ahem -cough, cough, late 30s is an interesting journey.  

I taught myself Latin late in life because it wasn't offered in the rural school in my home town.  Still a student of language but one of my favorite phrases is 'Res Ipsa Loquitor'.  The thing speaks for itself.  

That's what food is to me.  It needs no explanation.  

And all you need is those four ingredients.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  


I don't even know what that means but we're on Twitter now.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How To Make a Tattie

The question we get most often aside from 'what is a Tattie' is 'how do you make them?'  

Let's take The Vegetarian, one of our five savory Tatties.  The first step is making the black bean salsa.  I refined my recipe this week because I wanted not only to have an option for vegetarians but that it was as good if not better than the others.  And it was our best seller this weekend.  

The sweet corn I roasted in the husk and then lightly charred on the grill to caramelize the sugars in the kernels.  The second addition to the veggie tattie this week is my own chef special sauce which is kind of a deconstructed picante that brings out the fresh flavors from the cilantro, onions, beans and other ingredients.  

Once the flavors have developed to my satisfaction, it's time to add the black bean salsa to our potato mix and form them into cakes in our mini-muffin tins (top left photo).  They are then frozen for 24 hours, removed, and battered.  Our breading is a blend of pepitas, or roasted pumpkin seeds, Panko, bread crumbs, Doritos, and Chef Big Dog's seasoning which consists of 17 spices and herbs.  

When they are breaded (photo on the right), they're returned to the freezer until the market and deep fried to order.  The fried Tatties are then topped with a pico de gallo salad and one of our four sauces.  

What I've tried to achieve when I created this new tapas concept, the Tex-Mex Tattie, is multiple layers of flavors and textures in one bite.  

One of the reasons I'm posting part of our process is we've already heard about a few chefs trying to reproduce our recipes for their own menu.  Whenever you do something unique and singularly special, that's bound to happen.  So I thought, let's make it easier for them and in the process, hopefully we will inspire and encourage others who have original ideas.  

Chef Big Dog's Special for July 6th is the Fish Taco Tattie and that'll be my next blog.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chef's Special Tattie for June 29th

The Crazy Carnitas Tattie

Carnitas means "little meats" and the traditional Mexican recipe uses pork shoulder but we're using an Eye of Round roast and the shredded beef will be incorporated into the Tattie.  And the spices and flavors are a bit different, too, more reminiscent of barbacoa.  

Left is the Cujillo paste made from the chili pepper, roasted cumin and coriander, cloves, as a whole host of other sweetness.   

I then slather it all over the roast, pan sear it to create a crust and slow cook it for hours in a cilantro,Mexican cinnamon spiced broth.  Baby if that doesn't bring you out to the farmer's market this Saturday, you need a spanking.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Our menu concept is simple yet sublime:  Choose a Tattie and Choose a Topping:

We have five savory tatties:  The Chipotle Chili con Queso, the King Ranch Dorito, the Vegetarian, the Breakfast Taco, and the weekly Chef Special, and a sweet tattie.  


The Chipotle Chili con Queso.  Onions and peppers and ground beef sauteed in chipotle in adobo sauce.  Added to that, three kinds of Mexican cheeses.

The King Ranch Dorito.  Chicken breasts baked in green chilies, bacon, Ranch dressing, and topped with Doritos and cheese.  Inspired from the famous recipe from the King Ranch in Kingsville, TX

The Vegetarian.  A fresh, crisp black bean salad with roasted and grilled sweet corn, red and sweet onions, bell peppers, cilantro, and roasted garlic with a spicy taco sauce.  

The Breakfast Taco.  Beautiful Chorizo from East Boston, bacon, eggs, green chilies, and a spicy sour cream just like the Taquerias down south make em. 

Chef Special.   Weekly inspirations from Chef Big Dog.  We'll post them here for the upcoming market. 

Chef Lucky's Sweet Tattie.   A special study in subtlety and succulence.  Chef Lucky starts with a potato dough and adds Mexican chocolate, Mexican vanilla and cinnamon that surrounds a chocolate truffle center with bananas caramelized in vanilla and dark rum.  Topped with pecans, confectioners sugar, Mexican cinnamon and bacon.  You've absolutely never had anything like this before.


All of the savory Tex-Mex Tatties are topped with a pico de gallo salad and your choice of sauce.  We have four representing the colors of the Irish and Mexican flags:

The White.  Creamy jalapeno Ranch.

The Green.  Cilantro, lime, mint.

The Orange. Spicy Chipotle mayo.

The Red.  Our special taco sauce. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our Booth at Aquidneck Growers Market

Chef Lucky and I spent a lot of time and care in selecting the decoration for our booth from the chili pepper and shamrock lights to the serape table runners.  

And if you zoom in on the photo, hanging from the top left of the tent is our mascot El Guapo, the Handsome One.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Our Story

Tex-Mex Tatties is brought to you by two people who love food, travel, and animals.  We are a locally owned artisan food maker focused on fresh ingredients and tantalizing flavor combinations.  Our Tex-Mex Tatties are made from scratch, using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients from Rhode Island fisherman, and grass-fed beef and vegetable farms. 

Luke Robinson, aka Chef Big Dog, walked 2,300 miles from Austin to Boston for cancer and along the way, he stayed with lots of folks in 16 states. As a native son of Texas, most of the families he met never had authentic Tex-Mex before.  This inspired him to get in their kitchens and cook up some of his favorite recipes.   Living in Newport now and passionate about sharing his experiences, Chef Big Dog has taken a recipe from across the Atlantic and married it with his Texas heritage.

Alongside Luke is his trusty sidekick, Valerie Kodman, aka Lucky, a native New Englander.  The two are bringing the Tex-Mex Tatties to Aquidneck Grower’s Market every Saturday From June 1st until the end of October.

For more information, email us at