Chef Chat is an opportunity each month for the residents to meet with our chef to chat about food. Sometimes we talk about gardening and what is ripe in the fields, and other time we talk about items that perhaps they would like to see featured on our menu. In a recent discussion, we talked about Culinary Schools and how chefs get their training. Soon the conversation turned into the desire to visit the Culinary Institute of America, where our chef Aylmer is a graduate. It was a very interesting topic and one that may in fact turn into a spring visit to the CIA.
At this month’s Chef Chat, Hannah Bissex, from the Cornucopia Projects visited. Aylmer introduced her to Summerhill along with an entourage of Farm to Fork fellows who are also ConVal students.
Hannah gave a brief description of the Farm to Fork program, for those who may not be familiar with it. She then explained how important it is to teach our younger generation to become involved in the process of where food comes from and how it gets to the table. This offers so many life lessons along the way for today’s youth. Each of the fellows had a chance to talk about what the project means to them.
The group brought in a variety of beautiful fresh produce that they had just harvested for Summerhill. Each of the items was talked about by the team person who had a part in growing it. They also brought some fresh carrots for the residents to try. It was a wonderful event that I imagine our residents will talk about for a sometime.
Thank you, Hannah, and our friends at Cornucopia.
~Aylmer H. Given III
Chef Chat - Cornucopia Project - August 2017
Dear Residents and Respective Families,
Over the summer months as many of you know, we shared chilling and grilling each Thursday evening out on the front lawn. Well this year was very exciting as we upped our game from previous years, with outdoor entertainment by Jarvis along with Chef inspired menus and cooking demonstrations. It seemed that everyone was enjoying it so much and didn't want these special evenings to end.
They were fun for the staff and residents alike. When cold weather hit, Chilling and Grilling was over for the season. Jean Kundert and I put our heads together and came up with a great idea. Thus, the creation of Wine ‘N Dine came about. It’s very much a celebration like Chilling & Grilling but inside for the winter months. We rolled out our plan to the residents with much fanfare.
To give a little history, a few months earlier I was asked by Mary Pat to give a talk to the residents and families at the Memory Café. Many of you know this takes place the first Thursday of each month in our Pub. I chose to talk about the importance of food in the lives of our families and how it ties to our memories. All our senses are engaged when we are sharing a meal together. Without getting to much into the details of this phenomena, those memories can be recalled very quickly when even just 1 of those senses is stimulated. The talk was a hit with the residents.
This Is a famous French Canadian preparation. In the old country around about harvest time, when all the herbs were being gathered, they would make this dish. In order to have fresh herbs available throughout the winter months. So our chef Aylmer , who has French Canadian roots prepared this dish for the residents of Summerhill during our October chef chat event. It was Aylmers intention, To share one of his mothers favorite preparations. Les Herbes Sallee, is made by layering A mixture of finally chopped fresh herbs, fine diced onions and kosher salt in glass mason jar's.so one begins by placing salt in the bottom of the glass jar and then it receives a half inch layer of a mixture of fresh herbs followed by a layer of fine diced onion followed by a layer of a quarter inch of kosher salt followed by a layer of fresh herbs followed by a layer of fine dice onion, followed by a layer of kosher salt until the jar is full. The jar is then captain refrigeration until ready for use. It is a wonderful addition to soups, or eggs or sautéed vegetables, or anywhere else that you would like to introduce fresh herbs to your recipe.