Archive for May, 2013

So I had this idea to puree bacon and spread it out on a silpat, then bake it to see what happens!!!

For this I used 4 strips of bacon, and 1/2 egg white


Puree the bacon and egg white together in a food processor until it’s as smooth as you can get it.


Spread it out over a silicon baking sheet as thin and smooth as you can get it.  I tried shaping this before baking, but this mixture shrinks quite a bit, so it is better to spread it out and see what fun shapes you can get.


Bake this in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until it is nice and golden brown.  Remove from tray and place directly on some paper towel to absorb the excess bacon fat.


Congratulations!!!  You just made bacon into something that still kind of looks like bacon.  It does have a cool texture and maybe if you use enough to fill a whole pan, you might get even cooler and bigger pieces.  This would be great on a BLT or as a sneaky salad garnish.



ID-10066072Last night I witnessed the most epic of fails at my local gym…lets call it ‘Ex Sport Gym’.  I had a front row seat (well second row of stair climbers) to the most unsanitary buffet I have ever seen in my life.  I guess it was member appreciation day, so the managers of the gym thought it would be a good idea to provide free food to us people trying to lose weight.  I, of course, did not partake as you will soon find out why.  Below are my observations about the cesspool of grossness I had the pleasure to view first hand.

  • A buffet line consisting of a nacho bar, salad, bagels, and pizza were set up directly in front of a line of work out equipment actively being used.  I am literally saying one foot away from open food are people dripping with sweat, breathing profusely, and churning up all kinds of air born particles which are now gently settling all over your food.
  • None of the food was either kept warm or cold in any way.  They provided plastic utensils, plates, and napkins but there were no proper serving utensils of any kind.  Some of the gym employees would ‘tidy’ up the table by literally grabbing the end of the plastic utensils reserved for cutting your food and putting in your mouth, and grouping them together on the table.  Furthermore, there are no hand washing stations anywhere near the food for the employees or gym goers.
  • Some of the highlights of the bacteria buffet include: numerous people using their thumb and a small plastic fork to grab the salad (mmmmm thumb salad!).  I watched a gentleman lift up his sweaty shirt, wipe himself down with a sweaty towel, and use the same bare hands to grab handfuls of tortilla chips for his nachos.  I watched a lady use a small plastic spoon to add dressing to her salad, taste the dressing off of the spoon to make sure she liked it, put that SAME spoon back in the community dressing bowl for more, then leave the spoon for the next participant in the food poisoning buffet.
  • I watched small children rip apart numerous pieces of pizza right after wiping their nose, only to grab a small corner piece and leave the rest for the ‘snot-a-roni’ fans out there.  I watched a mother with a young child held up above her hip, reach over and grab bare handfuls of cheese, while the kid was directly hovering over pizza, with corn shrapnel from the tortilla chips the kid was eating falling upon the already snotafide delights.
  • The employees of the gym would organize the food by man-handling the pieces and combining the platters of food.
  • I witnessed countless acts of finger licking, followed by food grabbing throughout the show.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a proper buffet from time to time, but this had to be the greatest display of nasty, cross contaminating, sweat dripping, booger eating, double dipping, flinger licking, human fluid transfer I have ever seen!

Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this???


ID-100145911So you have your trailer packed like a game of Tetris with extra tubes, strings, and sticks.  You have sent your stage plot and input list to all the clubs and venues on your tour.  You strategically planned your route to consume a minimal amount of gas.  You brought enough Febreze  (a.k.a. shower in a bottle), to deodorize even the smelliest of roadies.  You have a few extra bucks to handle the flat tire, detour, bar tabs, and occasional motel stay on your epic rock & roll adventure.


More often then not, your band did not factor in the food situation into the equation.  You can only live on budget priced fast food for so long before you become sluggish, tired, sore, and even loopy.  Unless you are filling arenas, you are most likely moving most of your own equipment, performing on hot stages while head banging and karate kicking, then packing up to do it all over again the next day.  Since you aren’t getting paid much, you save those hard earned dollars for gas, merch, and ‘other’ shinanigans.  Here are a few ideas to help you stay full, healthy, and energized to melt those faces.

BREAKFAST – First morning on tour, and you have a long drive ahead.  Time is money and you need to keep the pit stops, and money spending to a minimum.  You might be hungry but others might not be.  I recommend breakfast bars and dried fruit to start the day and here is why.  You can have a filling breakfast for less than $2.00!  You can eat when you are hungry and not have to stop to get food.  You should have bought these items ahead of time and factored it into your tour budget.  If you were smart, you would have bought something like Kashi GOLEAN Crunch bars and dried cranberries which are high in protein and fiber to repair those torn muscles and to keep you full longer.  YES FIBER!!! After a few days of having this type of breakfast, you can schedule ‘regular’ pit stops (wink wink, nudge nudge). The fruit has vitamin C in it which will be incredibly helpful when your other band members start to get sick, and your van won’t smell like fryer grease.

LUNCH – This should be one of your pit stops.  This is where I recommend eating vegetables.  Who would ever believe that you, a super hipster indie rock star would eat vegetables anyway?! First, they are nutrient dense and relatively low in calories.  This means you can pack it in and again, stay full for longer (remember, this is lunchtime so there are still plenty of miles to lose that full feeling before your show).  $3.00 6 inch subs, $4.00 fast food salads, farmers markets, truck stops…the cool thing about being in the middle of nowhere is you might actually have a little more variety in unsuspecting places.  You should have at least one of your daily meals be actual food, you know, like grown from the ground.

DINNER – This can either be before or after your show, depending on your preference.  Hopefully you worked out a deal with the venue for food of some kind.  It is more than likely going to be tasty fried bar food, BUT you planned ahead and ate good all day, so if you can eat at the club for free, then go for it.  If not, just remember it is getting late so you aren’t really going to need any more carbohydrates (plus you will be drinking you carbs anyway).  You are going to want to stay away from high fiber, and filling foods because you have a crowd to please…jumping around and moving gear while full is not a good idea.  Most bars will have one or two items that are half-way ok, chicken or turkey wraps, grilled chicken sandwich, something like that.  If you can swap out the fries for a side salad, even better.  Avoid smelly foods because your fans don’t want to talk to you with onion breath and garlic seeping from your sweaty pours.

BEDTIME SNACK – Yes, you read that correctly.  You drove 400 miles, unloaded gear, performed, loaded gear, then ran around like a fool.  You have burnt up more calories than you think.  You have lifted weights and done a cardio workout all at the same time.  Before sleeping I recommend a protein shake.  Yeah yeah yeah, weightlifters and bodybuilders drink it by the gallon, but protein after a workout is an amazing way to relieve sore, stiff muscles so you can party like a rockstar tomorrow.  Another bonus is you are drinking additional liquid, which will help you fight the impending hangover.  This might also help you shed those unwanted pounds so you slide into your skinny jeans that much easier.  You can get a ready-to-drink version for less than $2.00 each, or save even more money and buy the powder to mix yourself.

OPTIONAL – I do recommend supplementing with a multi-vitamin for the duration of your tour.  We both know that you are not going to have the most variety in your diet on tour, plus the risk of sickness.  These are not a cure all, but anything you can do to battle 5 smelly band members in close proximity to each other would be beneficial.

So lets recap…in one day you ate: a hearty breakfast bar, dried fruit, a bunch of vegetables in salad or sandwich form, free meal at the bar, beer (that still counts as calories), and a protein shake.  You are consuming calories at 5 points throughout the day which is what ‘The Man’ says is good for you (smaller meals more frequent), you are taking a multi-vitamin, and from my rough estimate, for $8.00 to $9.00 a day (much of which has been paid for up front.)  You will wake up with minimal soreness, you will regulate your pit stops, you will have food already purchased so you don’t need to worry about having money for it, and you will be cranking your amp up to 11 for the duration of the tour.  If you cannot afford food for your tour, you are not ready to tour.

Do you have any other tips for the starving artist on tour???

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I am a rare breed of culinary professional.  I started my career, like most chefs, working in kitchens. I have worked in fine-dining, country clubs, banquet, and many other facets of the industry, and went to one of the top culinary schools in the nation.  What makes me different is half way through my career, I made the decision to be an R&D chef.  You know…the ones that create consumables for corporate chain restaurants, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, and the military; the ones who blend their knowledge of the culinary arts with food science, manufacturing, sourcing, and consumer science; the ones who research recipes, ingredients, trends, and you (the consumer).  It seems that lately, the food industry has been targeted due to the health and wellness of the products it develops and offers to the general public…but I am here to defend the food industry, and purpose an alternate way for the consumers in the USA to get healthy, natural foods.  BUY THEM!

It is unfortunate that the real demand for healthy, natural food items, usually stem from consumers that already have a healthy diet.  They may have loud voices, but this message does not translate into increased sales of ‘healthy’ food choices.  Most of your top restaurant chains and supermarkets already have great choices in the health and wellness arena, (low sodium, low fat, low calorie, increased fiber, increased nutrients, etc…) but consumers find excuses not to buy them.  Healthy food items are no more expensive than ‘junkfood’, are equally available,   and can be just as convenient as traditional prepared foods.  I have personally developed numerous ‘healthy’ food options that taste great, are affordable, and are easily recognizable, but you don’t buy them.

Although it is fun to play the blame game on the food processing community, it all boils down to consumer preference.  Lets say as soon as I can eat solid food, I am on a steady diet of ‘fastfood’.  Once I get to a place where I need to choose my meals, lets say a school cafeteria, am I going to pick the fresh organic salad or the ‘junkfood’ I am familiar with?  In my opinion, as opposed to taxing ‘junkfood’, removing unhealthy food items from restaurants, a blaming the food industry for being fat, maybe we should teach ourselves to eat healthy from the start.  There are a large number of consumers who utilize convenience foods in their daily lives, and are still considered healthy (me being one of them).  Lets also remember that this does not take into account physical activity, portion size, and a balanced diet.  Is the food we eat unhealthy, or is it our lifestyle?

What are some of your ideas to fight the health problems in America?

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