Chefs and the holidays


Chefs and the holidays

Chefs work most holidays.  It is just part of the job.  You can expect to work longer hours for special events during the holiday season.  This is something that you should expect.  It is just part of the industry.  I am thankful that I am spending some time with my family this year for the holiday season. I am in school now and I have been taking a break from working in a professional kitchen.  This doesn’t mean that I have stopped cooking.  In fact I think I have been a little more focused this season on food for the special guests that are my close friends and family.

Something Special for the Holidays

My friends and family aren’t as selective or expecting as diners in restaurants that I have worked at.  This doesn’t mean that my personal expectations are not high when providing for the my people.  Making this holiday season special is important to me.  I want to cook something special for them.



Fire has been something that has been very important to us this winter.  Right now there is about a foot of snow on the ground.  We cut tons of wood this fall so luckily we are prepared.  We haul our wood in from the shed everyday to feed are nice little wood stove.  I have learned a lot about creating a hot fire that burns slow this winter.  It has also given me a great opportunity to work on slow cooking on a wood stove.

Wood stove wonders

The wood stove has given us a chance to make some great dishes.  For Thanksgiving this year we butchered our own turkeys.  I used the internal organs like the liver, heart, neck and the turkey feet to make a slow cooked turkey stock for gravy.  The stock cooked overnight with carrots, onion, and celery as the vegetable base for the stock.  The stock cooked slowly overnight and seemed to incorporate some of the flavor from the burning alder wood in the wood stove.  The gravy was finished of in the morning on Thanksgiving day with a blond roux made with butter and flower.  The gravy went of with applause on Thanksgiving and I couldn’t have been happier about the results.

Holiday Dinners and family

Focusing on cooking for my family has given me a good opportunity to focus on technique using wood fires.  This has been fun.  The holiday season seems to be more about buying gifts and less about spending time with the ones that you love.  Cooking a great meal for your family can be one of the best gifts that you can provide.