Archive for the ‘News & Events’ Category

$32 Pretzel?!!

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

That’s right, I said $32 pretzel.  Actually, to be more accurate, that was a text message I received from my wife while I and a good friend from Syracuse were out on a “Hop In, Hop Out” culinary tour of my neighborhood in West Seattle.  The trip out that afternoon was a thank you to my friend Eric for being my son’s Godfather.  He had visited before, and had seen the downtown area, and decided he would rather stay in my ‘hood to eat and drink local delicacies.  We started at Prost!, a German inspired pub known throughout the city for their soft pretzel with mustard.  IT, only costs $6, but the two draft lagers we had each, plus the 2 pretzels made the bill $32.

We had just left Prost and headed to The Matador for a Manny’s and some fish tacos.  While ordering, I feel my phone vibrate and see that is a text message from my wife.  “That pretzel cost $32???”, it exclaimed.  I had to inform her that we had some tall beers to go with it and that the next stop would be noticeably cheaper; though I was only guessing.  I showed it to Eric.  He chuckled and said, Wow, that was fast!”  I completely agreed and told him I didn’t realize I was being monitored and we needed to have one beer per stop.  Eric, being the guy that he is and a good friend for nearly two decades, said that the next stop was on him.  I have learned during the tenure of our friendship that it is pointless to argue, and being fellas, we both knew that a day out eating will even out on my next trip to Syracuse.

After The Matador, we headed down the street to Elliot Bay Brewery for a sampler.  We got to choose our own five beer flight from their many choices.  I was impressed with their Red IPA, and that is about it.  The fact that our server was MIA for most of the time was also a real put off, and we decided to high tail it to the next place after we got the bill.

We headed across the street for Sushi at Moshiko, and were informed that there would be 90 minute wait.  We promptly exited and were on our way back to the car and made an impromptu stop at Azuma, a place I have never been to.  Were were seated immediately and ordered a spicy tuna roll, a spider roll and a Jun Mai sake.  Delicious!  After that we headed home and Eric fell asleep in my recliner.  I never knew a $32 pretzel could affect two people in dramatically different ways.

What A Difference A Year Makes

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

As some of you may know, I became a Dad for the first time in October.  My wife and I have celebrated, everyday since, the birth of our son.  In these past 6 months, I am counting the time away from blogging as a whole, I have had to learn how to juggle Fatherhood, my role as a husband, my business, teaching, taking the dog for a walk, finding time to go to the bathroom uninterrupted for five minutes…you get the picture.  I have missed writing, but in executing those tasks just mentioned, it is a weekly impossibility.  So, today’s the day I begin anew.  I will be blogging Monthly and recounting things that I have achieved, tips I may have picked up, or funny stories about cooking for a baby boy…he hates bananas.  My new goal is not to inspire or educate in a direct or zealous manner, but rather relay a practical, real-world story of my Culinary journey each month.  The best is surely to come.

A New Frontier

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Recently I was hired as an instructor at the Northwest Wine Academy as a food & wine pairing instructor.  This new challenge came from out in left field, but I welcome the opportunity to teach and share my knowledge with people interested in becoming Sommeliers, increasing their skills as a server or purely for their own personal enjoyment of food & wine.

I tell my students to think of wine as the final sauce of a meal; a way to enhance the meal they are presenting in their restaurant, a dinner party at home or merely a patio picnic.  Being able to match food and wine will make any meal a delicious and distinctive dining experience.

“From The Grape Vine”

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Here is an article that will be published in the upcoming issue of Personal Chef magazine. It is the first of a series I will be writing this year as a contributor.

From The Grape Vine a series devoted to food and wine pairing

By: Jay DeLong, Executive Chef of Canape Specialty Chef Services, Seattle, WA

As Personal Chef’s we were drawn to the culinary arts for many reasons.  A light went on that drew us to food like a moth to a flame; mesmerized by foods ability to nourish us and give us pleasure.  Bringing wine into the fold can have the same feeling of discovery.  Learning how to make food compliment a wine pairing and vice a versa, can bring your business to new heights while enriching your personal life at the same time.

In the coming issues of Personal Chef Magazine, we are going to explore the language of wine and how to pair it with food by laying a foundation and breaking through pre-contrived notions that wine is for snobs, screw cap wines are cheap, or only California produces high quality American wine.  I hope to excite you into adding wine pairing to your repertoire, and show the world that Personal Chefs are more than the 5×4.

We will begin by understanding that communicating what we taste and evaluating wine is a new language.  Interpreting this language through evaluating how flavors are perceived on our palate is paramount.   Let’s begin with the basic senses and begin building our new wine vocabulary!

On the palate (what we experience on our taste buds) is sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  It is important to take notes when tasting wines and remember how they affected these general areas if you are to make an accurate and appealing pairing with your food.  On the nose, the olfactory senses greatly influence what we perceive.  Is the wine fruit forward?  Does it smell of flowers and herbs?  Once we have established the flavors and aromas of the wine, we can make food pairings that make sense.  We can pair our dishes to compliment the wine (Sancerre & Oysters), or we can pair in opposites (Port & Stilton).

By enhancing our food with wine, the dining experience is deliciously aggrandized causing our clients to enjoy their meal that much more.

In the next issue…noble varieties and classic pairings.

Hollywood Hill Winemaker Dinner with Chef Jay DeLong

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Friday, September 24th
6:30pm – 9:00 pm
Hollywood Hill Vineyards Tasting House
Limit 20 guests. Pre-purchase required.
$75 per person


Cream of Carrot & Parsnip Soup
served with crème fraiche & chives
2009 Horse Heaven Hills Roussanne

Porter Braised Pork Loin
served with an apple-thyme coulis
accompanied by a potato croquette and late harvest hericot vert

2007 Rattlesnake Hills Syrah
2008 Horse Heaven Hills Mourvedre

Maple Cider Sorbet
handcrafted with fresh cider & Lewis County, New York Maple Syrup

Petite Cheese Plate
assorted Domestic and Imported Cheeses served with hand-crafted flaxseed crackers
2008 Rattlesnake Hills Cabernet Franc
2008 Horse Heaven Hills Grenache
2008 DI 83 Southern Rhone Valley blend

Brown Butter Pear Tart
served with a lemon-ginger infused chiffon cream
Dessert Wine

Rocky Mountain High

Friday, August 6th, 2010

I have recently returned from the National USPCA conference in Denver.  What a trip!  I met some wonderful people and was able to experience “The Mile High City” for the first time.  Day 1 started on Thursday with a trip the Cooks Street School of Fine Cooking for a dinner of locally inspired fare and adult beverages.  The menu consisted of a grilled Caesar salad, Bistecca of buffalo and a dessert of mixed local berry cobbler.  It was all paired with local micro brews and wines, both of which were just average in my opinion and not worth commenting on any further.

Day 2 began with the introduction of the President of the USPCA, Gail Kenagy.  I have developed a great rapport with Gail these past few years and it was wonderful to see she and her husband again.  After the brief reunion, I was off to my first lecture (grilling for fun and profit).  The seminar focused on the presenters interpretation of grilling foods and how to take other common tasks (like baking cookies) and doing them on the grill instead of the conventional method.

Next I was off to Winning American Cheeses.  This lecture was very interesting and informative.  I was presented with a plethora of European style domestic cheeses and was absolutely blown away.  The flavors were intense, delicious and any other gratifying adjective you can come up with to describe the tastes.  I was also presented with a brief history of cheese making in various parts of the US and the World, as well as tips on building a cheese board to balance the flavors of multiple cheeses together.  After some brief downtime, all of us were filed into the dining area for our luncheon and awards ceremony.  Our lunch was a buffet depicting more local fare such as chili and skirt steak, all made with buffalo.  After we had replenished, Chef Gail began passing out the awards.  Certified Personal Chefs were recognized for their credentials as were the volunteers from the Denver Chapter of Personal chefs for their volunteer work at the conference.  The excellence in business awards were next.  Recipe of the year went to Molly Pisula, Chef of the year went to Tim Stewert, and website of the year went to yours truly!!  I received a wonderful plaque and was very honored to be chosen, as the awards were given to us based on the votes of our peers.

That evening, a few of us went to Zengo, a restaurant owned by Chef Richard Sandoval.  It has an Asian-Latin fusion style menu and the flavors are brilliantly brought together.  I started with some won-ton tacos (Deep fried won-ton shells stuffed with sushi rice, sashimi grade ahi tuna, and a mango salsa all on a bed of guacamole).  I then had some sushi rolls and other various tapas, paired with a lychee-passion fruit mojito,  before induldging in a Szechuan pork tenderloin with stir fried rice.  Dessert was a spiced Mexican chocolate tart paired with a late harvest Malbec.

Day 3 began with my taking the Certified Personal Chef examination as I am applying for this credential in the next calender year.  After completing this test of business, marketing and culinary knowledge, I was off for the day and decided to do some exploring.  I ended up going to the King Tut exhibit at the Denver Art Museam. I was in absolute awe to be in the presence of artifacts that were 3000-4000 years old.  I spent about 3 hours wandering around and reading the factoids associated with each piece.

Later that evening, another colleague, her nephew and I went to Bistro Vendôme near the Lodo (Lower Downtown) district.  We began the meal with Escargot and some of the best French bread I have ever had.  Sopping up the garlic and parley was a great appetite enticement.  I then had Steak Frites paired with a 2006 Chateau Haut-Goujon, St. Emillion.  A Merlot from Bordeaux’s right bank and perhaps the best Merlot I have ever had.  We skipped dessert that evening and were off for a digestif at Chef Troy Guard’s establishment, TAG.  There we partook in jalapeño-kumquat mojitos.  A flavor combination that was very well balanced, pleasant and palatable.

The next morning I was on my way home and back into the routine, almost immediately.  I had a great experience in Denver and would visit again, without hesitation, if given the opportunity.

Meet the Winemaker & the Chef

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I am collaborating with Trish Coleman of Taste This!, an in home wine tasting service, and Mark Wysling, Owner & Winemaker at Parajeas Cellars, to do a food and wine tasting demonstration this evening.  We have invited 18 guests and I have written a delectable and delicious menu and Trish has paired some of Mark’s 2008 vintages.

Watermelon & Arugula Salad
served with feta cheese, cilantro and a scallion-lime vinaigrette
2008 Riesling

Mojito Sorbet
a palate refresher of lime, mint and white rum

Herb Grilled Lamb Chop
served with baby Summer vegetables and a balsamic syrup
2008 Cinsaut

Raspberry Chocolate Decadence
served with an espresso caramel toupet
2008 Late Harvest Pinot Gris

Self Gratifying

Monday, January 11th, 2010

So after a bit of an absence due to the Holidays, I am thrilled to be back in the kitchen.  I have a busy January and I am looking forward to cooking for my clients.  I am doing a lot of different things and will even be able to do some projects at home like make chicken stock and packaging my dried herbs.

I am also looking forward to getting healthy this New Year by taking advantage of my home produce delivery and starting my garden much earlier.

I have some interesting trips planned as well, with opportunities to taste great food and drink wines from all over the world.  I will be sure and update as often as I can to pass on some tips and tid bits to you all with the hope of inspiring you to get in the kitchen or try something new in and around the area of Seattle.

Glad To Be Wine-ing

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

So I have recently finished my first quarter of continuing education on wine making, and I must say I am better for it.  I am enrolled, part-time, in a food and wine pairing program and, having completed an Enology class, I am better equipped to service my clients needs in pairing wine with food.  I already had a great background, given my experience as a professional chef for 10 plus years, but I always strive to improve.

My next course is a sensory evaluation class.  I am looking forward to tasting wine every week and passing on what I learn to my clients.



Friday, November 13th, 2009

Hello loyal readers.

I do apologize to you for the lack of postings as of late.  I have been really busy with my business, as well as my education.I have been attending classes in a food and wine pairing program here in Seattle.  It is taking up quite a bit of my time, but I have a pretty good grip on the new schedule and will be posting with some regularity again.  I thought I owed all of you an explanation.

All the best,

Chef Jay

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