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.