Childish Gambino – Black Faces feat. Nipsey Hussle (Prod. by Boi-1da)

Just thought I’d throw some music at y’all.

Childish Gambino drops a new track titled “Black Faces” featuring Nipsey Hussle, off his upcoming mixtape. Produced by Boi-1da. Enjoy.

Read more to download.

DOWNLOAD LINK : Childish Gambino – Black Faces feat. Nipsey Hussle (Prod. by Boi-1da)

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Family Meal: Feeding the Staff

If there is one thing that I thoroughly enjoy about working in the restaurant industry,its got to be staff meal or better known as, ‘family meal’. Family meal is a tradition throughout restaurants all over where the kitchen staff prepares a meal for the staff with whatever is in hand in the walk-in. These are meals that you’ll never find on the menu nor is it something that any diner will be likely to experience. Family Meal has gained such a reputation that there are books (The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria and Off the Menu: Staff Meals From America’s Top Restaurants) that are dedicated to the meals that the diners don’t get to see. Usually made with no preconceptions of what will be served, all that is known is that there is always a great amount of appreciation from the staff.

Brunch Family Meal: Mushroom, almonds, and crispy jamon salad w/ poached eggs.

The format of family meal differentiates from restaurant to restaurant. There are restaurants that will do family meal in the middle of the day, right before dinner service. Other restauratns will make family meal throughout dinner service and serve it to the staff at the end of service. then there are those restaurants that won’t make a meal for the staff but will have them order items off the menu for their “meal”. I find this not to be the best way to go since it isnt that cost effective and alsom, where’s the fun in that!?

Brunch Family Meal: Sobrosada, Roasted Beets, Red Potatoes, Rioja Vinegar, Poached Eggs.

At The Harvest Vine, weserve family meal at the end of service. throughout the day, teh most asked question from the staff is not usually about something about the menu (they should already know the menu!), but it is always, “so whats for family meal? Family meal at our restaurant isn’t like any other family meal I’ve experienced at places. It’s not to often that I get to enjoy a meal, especially at my job, where all the staff gather around the bar of our open kitchen and enjoy, relax, and recollect on all that has happend the past 5 Hours. We cooks put up all of the fixings for a great meal. A salad from the pantry station, and starches, vegetables, and proteins prepared from the fish and meat station. We spend all day making sure we put up miraculous food for our diners, that we need to make sure that we eat well too!

Apple and Beef Tongue Salad, Glazed Carrots, Rice Pilaf, Roasted Chicken

I find it an amazing thing that we can come together at the end of the night and just enjoy a simple meal together. It’s difficult enough to do this with my actually family, but I feel that this is as close as I can get to an actually meal with my family. These folks ARE my family. These are the people I see probably the most in my life and it is a great thing knowing that we all have such a great companionship and such camaraderie. To show how great our staff is, even our front of the house staff likes to contribute to staff meal. We’ve had some great meals like homemade lasagna, to empanadas to spam masubi for family meal made by those who don’t even step into the kitchen! How great is that?!

Sauteed Greens, Porchetta with Creamy polenta.

I always find great appreciation for family meal. Not only is it a free meal, there is always so much care behind these meals. These meals brings us together and for a second, we get to forget about what we are there for and stop catering to others and get to cater to ourselveves, our family…

I Feed Off Of Excitement!

It’s been a week since my last post, and a lot has gone on so I haven’t been able get on here. Sadly, I didn’t get a position as a finalist for the Basque Stage to travel to the Basque Country and Stage at Restaurante Martin Berasateugi. It was a great opportunity for myself and I have not felt this accomplished about anything so much and I only made it to the top 30 candidates. Just being part of the Basque Stage has made me feel like a winner. I have learned so much about myself and it has only pushed me to work harder.

But anyways, this is a blog post about something that makes me strive in life and in the kitchen; my excitement for others. I work in an industry where I meet A LOT of people and that is still such an understatement. From other chefs, to our purveyors, to the guests that dine in our restaurants, we interact with so many people. I am lucky enough to have surrounded myself with some great people that have taught me so much about this crazy career. And one thing I have learned about myself is that my excitement for what my other colleagues are doing really influences the way I work in the kitchen. These are the people who are out there really doing what makes them happy. For them, it’s not just a job, it’s their lives and everything they love about it. Their passion and excitement is contagious.

Luuk Hoffman, Taylor Cheney, and Irbille Donia are only some  of the folks that I find myself really excited for, but are some of the chefs that best exemplify the passion for doing what they want to do.

As I mentioned before, it is a  little disappointing not to see my name as one of the finalist for the Basque stage,  but I really feel that two candidates that they chose were really deserving of the great opportunity, specially Luuk Hoffman. I find it an amazing thing when I am influenced so much by the people I am trying to work against. I felt such an excitement for this other candidate that the outcome didn’t really matter for me. We all deserve this opportunity. And thats what I love about the Basque Stage and what you guys are doing. Luuk has really impressed me from the first time I came upon his facebook and blog.I had been rooting for him since day one and I’m so glad to see he came out on top and am really anxious for all of the great things that he will get out of living in the Basque Country!

Luuk’s Basque Stage Candidate Video!


Taylor Cheney is a sweet, sweet girl that I have had great opportunity to work with at The Harvest Vine. She is currently working at Mistral Kitchen under Seattle Chef, William Belickis, and another Harvest Vine Alumni, Taylor Thornhill. I’ve been seeing so much about her and her Arabesque Meals that she is doing every Monday at Mistral and I just really love how it has came about. From such a simple task of cooking family meal for the staff, Taylor was able to transform it to an actual feast of Arab-inspired dishes that eventually lead into something much more. It is an inspiring thing to see her passion for such a cuisine and to be able to share all that she has learned in such a great way!  Check out her article from Seattle Met!

Taylor’s Spread For Seattle Met!

Irbille Donia is a chef/friend that I have known for quite a while. He’s always been like a big brother to me and I just love the passion and drive this guy has. Alike Taylor, he has a great passion and understanding for a cuisine, his being Filipino food. He is the creator of Irbille Edibles, which has been doing great things such as catering gigs and taking part of Pop-Up Restaurant Trend and doing Filipino Pop Up Dinners every last Monday of the Month at Olivar. I’ve been honored to fill the place of his sous chef for these dinners and I’ve never felt so exhilarated. He has such an eye for making something as simple as Filipino food and elevating it to a very sophisticated level. I find this very exciting as Filipino food is probably one of the hardest cuisines to market because honestly, the best place for Filipino food is in any home of a Filipino Mother. We have done two Pop-Up Dinners and we have gotten a lot of great response from the Filipino Culture in Seattle, which is a great accomplishment!

Irbille and I working our first Filipino-Inspired Pop Up Dinner!

I find it really exciting when people are able to take something they love and really put all their heart and soul into it and be able to share it with the world. These are the type of chefs that we need in this industry. I find it very important that we surround ourselves with these people because they are the leaders that will keep us motivated and inspired to do what we want to do as chefs. I can’t be thankful enough to have these great people in my life to help push me to the limits!