Monday, April 4, 2011

Chef Debbie Says: If I Don't Toot My Own Horn...

Last week it was announced that the readers of CityBeat Magazine voted Yummy~issimo! as the 2011 Best Caterer in the Best of Cincinnati 2011 issue.

And that means a party! Not just any 'ole party, but a "CityBeat Best Of" party. And, of course, they needed Yummy! food.

So I agree to have a minimum of 300 bites ~ but from past experience, 300 Yummy! bites would last about 3 seconds so I did almost 600 bites.

I arrive at one of the most breathtaking buildings anywhere... Memorial Hall. Set~up started at noon with the event starting at 5:00p.m. Covered tables and a prep area were supposed to be available after noon. I arrived, found my "covered" table and asked about the prep area. Downstairs, around a labyrinth system of dark narrow hallways into an even darker music practice room, nicknamed "the kitchen prep room."

Oh my. No tables. No refrigeration. Very little lighting. Not sure about the creepy crawlers in the corners, either.

Good thing I arrived at noon! My stress level jumped up a few notches.

So I ask, beg and nag until tables are rolled into the prep area. And, my anticipated arrival time with food of around 3:00 just got blown to hell. Lots of nit~picky details are required to assemble two of my appetizers. Time for Plan B.

The menu:
Shrimp marinated with lots of lemon, garlic, dill, spices and a touch of garlic olive oil with spicy cocktail sauce
Sesame chicken nibbles with spicy peanut dipping sauce
Pork tenderloin with goat cheese, fig and pecan on herbed brushcetta toasts

The menu was pretty flexible so instead of lots of pretty one~bite morsels, it was more of a buffet style set~up, but from the amount of people grouped around our table, the number of repeat visitors and the minor detail that our food was gone before anyone else, I think it was a success!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chef Debbie Says: WTH?

You probably believe that the life of a personal chef is a glamorous, fun~filled whirlwind of gourmet food, high profile clients and parties filled with beautiful people and even more beautiful food.

I used to believe that too.

Let me tell you about a couple of phone calls I received this week...

Monday morning:
Me: Hi, this is Debbie.

Him: Hey Deb, it's name withheld to protect the "fill in the blank".... I just wanted to ask if you'd call your very rich, very very famous client and ask him if he'd speak at one of our lunch meetings. It would only take about 30 minutes of his time and he'd get a free lunch out of it.

Me: (thank Bacchus this didn't come out of my mouth... WTH) Uh... no! (I can't believe you're really asking this.)

Him: Well, do you at least know his agent's name so I can call and ask him?

Me: (Again, WTH) No, but perhaps you can Google it?

Monday afternoon ~ I'm driving down the interstate when the cell phone rings:
Me: Hi, this is Debbie.

Him: Hi, this is name withheld yada, yada, yada. I just passed your truck and I'm going to pull off at the next exit. If you could pull off, I'd like to give you a bunch of my business cards that maybe you could give to your clients?

Me: WTH (this one did come out of my mouth!). Uh, I'm sorry but I don't know you, I've never heard of your company and I'm not going to pull off the highway to meet you.

Him: Well, OK I get that. Maybe I can send you an email and we can talk and then we can meet?

Me: Yeah, sure, you do that.

Early Tuesday morning:
Me: Hi, this is Debbie.

Her: Are you a chef?

Me: Uh, yes, I'm a personal chef. Can I help you?

Her: Oh, I hope so! I have a brand new Taco Truck and the "chef" just quit. I need a new taco chef since tomorrow is our grand opening. Can you help me?

Me: (WTH Really?) Gosh, a Taco Truck Chef. I'm sorry but here's you can call and they may be able to help you.... (yeah, I know! I really owe the chef I passed her to an apology and a nice bottle of wine).

This person called me three other times in the space of 60 minutes because it seems she saved my phone number but not the number of the person I sent her to.

WTH... April Fool's Day isn't for three more days!

Now knowing how exciting my life is, don't you wish you could spend just one day in my scuffed~up Danskos?