EVOO is experiencing a great year! We love the fact that so many of you return to enjoy another class with us, and that you bring new friends or family! At any giving night this summer we had at least 25% returning guests! Your referrals are being noticed too. Some of you send people to us telling them that dining at EVOO is a must when in Cannon Beach! And some of you make it easy by giving them an EVOO gift certificate. That kind advertising is priceless! Thanks so much!
Bob was disappointed when our sous chef, Kyo Koo, left last fall. You may remember that Kyo went to Spain to pursue a language emersion course, and while there to work with one of Spain’s Michelin rated chefs. Eight months later, Kyo returned with wonderful stories and infectious enthusiasm for cooking! Read about it in Bob’s Blog. Dining out and working with established chefs helps us learn and rejuvenate the creative juices.
Meantime, with no sous chef, Bob acquired two externs from local culinary schools for last Spring and this Fall. Amanda Bidema, who spent March—May in our kitchen, lives in Seattle and attended Renton Vocational Technical School. Brady Nelson from the Western Culinary Institute of Portland lives in Vancouver WA and is here now until New Year’s Eve. The externship program is designed for students to get a real taste of the industry that they are entering, and since it is usually at the end of their training, they can actually contribute to any business willing to take them on. These two young chefs not only made themselves and their schools proud while here, thankfully EVOO benefited from each of their terms.
As many of you know we are writing food articles for the local paper, The Cannon Beach Gazette. We are having fun with it and hope that you are noticing all the positive changes and ways the paper creates “community” under its new ownership. If you would like to stay in touch with Cannon Beach news, you can order your subscription at www.cannonbeachgazette.com/subscribe.html .
A bit of community news in the making is that Cannon Beach is underway to bringing a Farmer’s Market to CB summer 2008. Looks like it is going to be on lazy TUESDAYS! Just perfect for locals and second home visitors alike, the favorite suggested location so far is the mid town city parking lot. It is so refreshing for us to be a part of this project and we are proud of the city and its volunteers that are working on it. The committee is looking for someone to manage the market project. Send us a note if you are interested.
Here’s a short list of seasonal foods that are appearing on our menus right now. Salmon season is over and we are nearing end of Halibut season, but sole is abundant as is Dungeness crab, king crab from Alaska, deep cold water sea scallops, and Pacific rock fish or snapper. We can get sword fish, marlin, and mahi mahi from California, not local, but not far. It is root vegetable time again — turnips, sweet potatoes, yams, leeks, garlic, potatoes, and beets. We are using cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, and collards, too. Winter is the best time for braising—slow cooking in rich liquids tenderizes the less expensive cuts of meat like brisket, lamb shanks, pork shoulder and poultry thighs. This year’s pears and apples are still abundant and though not local oranges and other citrus is in season!
Hopefully you will cook at least one recipe from the 7—10 we include each class, that you take away an “a—ha” thought or a technique gem you can start using right away. We hope to see you in our kitchen again soon!
We’ve been doing some reading lately and would like to share some of the titles with you:
The Omnivore Dilemma
A truly fascinating journey not just for the chefs and cooks of the world. It is written for at all who eat! One of America’s food heroes, Alice Waters, says this about the book:
“Michael Pollan is a voice of reason, a journalist/philosopher who forages in the overgrowth of our schizophrenic food culture. He’s the kind of teacher we probably all wish we had: one who triggers the little explosions of insight that change the way we eat and the way we live.”
As we scarf up its pages, we are more determined than ever to eat as close to the sources as possible. We are at once affirmed and motivated by the book’s message. Our choice to shop for sustainable products is the right direction for us. Highly recommended reading; would love to hear your thoughts.
The Chef’s Bounty
Another recommended book is The Chef’s Bounty, by William King. It is a collection of regional chefs that cook with local and seasonal products of the Pacific Northwest. Two of them are right here in Cannon Beach: Crystal Corbin of Stephanie Inn and John Newman of Newman’s 988. Please stop in on Saturday Dec 1, 2007, if you are in town as they will be here to sign cookbooks and cook for us, too. Complimentary!
Bob and Lenore
We have been talking about writing our own cookbook. Without even trying we can gather many favorite recipes to include. Our format is a no—brainer too; fifty—two menus that showcase a full year of the best SMALL PLATES WITH WINES. In fact this is our favorite name for the book so far! Each seasonal menu includes appropriate Pacific Northwest ingredients with suggestions for selection of those that are sustainably produced. Our mission for the book is that it is simple so people want to cook and shop for foods at their source. In the end, we believe enjoyment of food increases proportionally with the satisfaction of cooking our own meals from well sourced raw ingredients.