Thursday, July 16, 2015

Save Ferris!!

A few weeks back I had a nigh-perfect whirlwind "weekend" in Chicago with Pete and Emily.
We dubbed it a Ferris Bueller's Day Off Occasion!
See?



We even saw a Ferrari driving down the street!
It was a sign!
=)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Get in My Belly

I was ridiculously honored to be asked by some MIT Grad Students to give them a Cooking Class.
I am a Union 26 cook at those hallowed halls of academia and I interact with Students, Faculty & Staff on a daily basis.  They know me as "Eric the Enthusiastic Cook".  And I love taking care of them all.

Now we come to last Saturday.
I was a little nervous at first but as soon as I saw my class of 22 Grad Students & Opened my Mouth...it was smooth sailing.
It really reminded me of one of my All-Time Favorite Batman phrases from INFINITE CRISIS #6...
"Booster.  You have no idea how to talk to kids."
But iDigress...

I had about an hour which spilled into two!
My mission was simple.  Show these brilliant young people how to cook a few favorites without relying on recipes.
I chose to use RATIO instead.
I've learned that simple Culinary Ratios will save you from being a slave to a recipe card.
And with a Ratio, you can make as many things as you need, to just fit the occasion whether it's for yourself or a 100.

As we say in the Kitchens, "K.I.S.S."
Keep It Simple, Silly.  Well, to be honest we usually say "stupid" yet that did not apply with this crowd.
My Demonstration Menu: Simple.  Three Things.
Crepes
Cookies &
Omelets.

What I knew would really "stick" with perhaps the brightest young people on the Planet was this.
Math!  Ratio!  And I had a lot of help...
This book forever changed my life as a professional linecook and added a few fathoms unto my Skill Set.
Ratio by Michael Ruhlman.
There are Simple Everyday Codes behind Cooking.  And to be able to share them...wow!

So I started with Crepes.  The crepe shell is a simple ratio I learned.
2:2:1
2 parts Liquid (it could be water, chicken stock or orange juice on however you feel yet we used water)
2 parts Whole Egg
and 1 part AP Flour.
I demonstrated how to use a kitchen blender to achieve an awesome crepe batter.
I then used another ratio for the crepe filling.  A simple sweet cheese filling
2:1.  2 parts Mascarpone cheese to 1 part Cream Cheese, add a little powdered sugar and a cap of vanilla extract.
I showed them how to make the crepe shells, fill then roll them.
Then had them make the shells & fill them as well.  Very hands-on.
Me flipping a crepe shell to show off. =)
We blew through the crepes.  That was a huge hit.

I then taught the "kids" how to make a basic foundation simple cookie dough using a Ratio:
3:1:2
3 parts AP Flour (sifted, of course)
1 part Sugar
2 parts Fat (we used unsalted butter, softened at room temperature)
We added some walnuts, raisins, a capfull of vanilla & chocolate chips with using only a mixing bowl & a wooden spoon.  I made about 2 dozen cookies in my demonstration yield.
They came out really decent.  Not the best yet elaboration comes after the brass tacks of technique.

I then shared the gift of the perfect One Egg Omelet with a little shredded cheddar cheese.
This is perhaps one of my favorite things to cook & to eat.  This was the Big Winner, even over the amazing crepes!  It was all technique too, not getting mired in recipes and cooking times.  They cook in literally a minute!

I then oversaw the knife skills demo where they learned the proper way to hold a Chef's Knife and to make julienne/batons to a consistent dice.  I'm happy to report there was no bloodshed =)
At the end, the "kids" gifted me with an apron that was embroidered with "Chef Eric"
Man...I'm so honored.

I'm very lucky & very blessed to have the confidence of my guests to be asked to perform such a class.
They offered to pay me too yet I refused.
It is truly my honor to have part of this.
Thanks "kids".

Station Ident

Hello and Welcome to CHANNEL OCHO!
My Contribution to Helping Write the Internet.
Image above: The "SuperOm" aka The Supermantra, a stylized Om within the iconic Superman diamond & a variation on the classic color combo.  
I drew it...then I put it on a Cafe Press tee-shirt but iDigress...

What do I do here? I blog.  Along with the help of my friends who occasionally chime in.
Why?  I'm into writing, sharing stories & experiences and also want to turn you on to something cool or delicious whether it be Music, Fiction, Hockey, Spirituality or a Well-Made Dinner.
Channel OCHO is the Magazine on the Coffeetable of my Life.  The Coffeetable was where my friends & I would gather, share stories, good meals & company.  Time & Geography have split a lot of the corps up, yet we hold it together with the glue of our love & interest in all things cool & fun.

Come check out the Archive of Articles:
And much much more!
Joie De Vivre!  And write it down.  You'll never know who you could inspire next!
Namaste & Good Luck.

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA USA
@revsully on Twitter

Monday, June 29, 2015

Tao of Sully

On Service, as Noun & Verb

It doesn't matter where this is.
It doesn't matter who wrote it.
It doesn't matter whether it is funny or not.
What Matters Most is that it is Hanging On the Wall in Line of Sight.  You can make up your own mind, you can feel its Impact however your POV steers but iDigress...
I invite you to click the image and examine the list on this restaurant's chalkboard so I don't have to transliterate.
I'm a Professional Line Cook.
I work 6 Days a Week.  I live in Dharma because I do what I love & I love what I do.
And for Whom.
The four of Us walked into this trendy, Industry-Friendly bar yet the rest of my party didn't want to wait 45 minutes for a table.
I was fine with this notion.
I had to spit on the sidewalk as soon as I walk a block away, because I wanted to do it on their Doorstep.  That would have been the "Old Me", if I recall.
This Mission Statement of the House Values shocked me to my very core.
To the still-swimming zygotes in my balls, I was thoroughly Insulted.
This was the Opposite of Hospitality...this was Hostility.
A Screed.  A Set of Proscriptions.
Me being a Well-Intended Big-Mouth with an Irish Whisper wanted to run.
I felt like a long tailed cat in the room full of rocking chairs.
And it wasn't panic or anxiety.
It was Anger.  Umbrage.  Like Jesus in the Temple.

I get that it is jokey.
Yet...I also "get" what is appropriate for Line of Sight and Not.
Yes, there are Unpleasant Guests.  They make up a bit of the population.
They Happen.
And apparently They Happen to "Us" All, One Day or the Other.
Sorry to Say but They'll Happen Again.
And we need to deal with these Unpleasant Guests in a Way that Brings Out the Best in "Us".
People are Needy, I say this neither Positively nor Negatively.
This is Truth.  This is Dharma.
They come to our establishments to fulfill Need.
Hunger, Thirst, Company, Entertainment...
With that Said, the Staff is Not Sport.
Yet the Message can be said a lot better than this.
I feel that this in a way makes "Us", the "Industry", look bad.
So to the Author of this Chalkboard, I simply say, "Enjoy the Joke"
Because in my humble opinion, this joke is on all of "Us". =)

Thanks for reading,
Namaste.

Pizza Rolls...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Get in my Belly!

Sometimes at work, I get inspired.
I'm on the hook for a variety of cold, composed salads.
Here's an FYI as as Cook: It's harder to pull off delicious Cold entrees than it is a Hot one.

So here are a few composed salads I've made this Winter.
And because I invented Fish Taco Thursdays at the Steam Cafe...namaste!
All my recipes as well.  I'm either blessed with a Chef who trusts my skill set to produce & sell delicious food...or is He the one Blessed? ;) but iDigress...
Hashtaged to #FoodPorn on Twitter.


A Pale Blue Thought...

I have a Man Crush on Carl Sagan.
Sexiest Mind Ever!!!  But iDigress...
Come, Enjoy the Sexiness in These Thoughts and Get Smarter! Huzzah!

xkcd

"Lyrics"

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Comics Gnome Poots!

A Little Cosplay Action!
I'm "revving" up for Boston ComicCon 2015.
I'm going as Movie Captain America.  Sheesh I haven't even seen "Age of Ultron" yet!  Bad Geek!! ;P
Saturday, August 1, 2015...and this time, I'm assembling a league of my own.
More Later...

Namaste...

Friday, June 05, 2015

this is a picture of a Black Hole.  OMFG...
Just look at it.  We can discern the Event Horizon.  And the Matter Jet "facing" us.
This is a long-time exposure pic too.  Going back over a decade.
Fascinating!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

xkcd

"Basketball Earth"
xkcd
(Click Link Above to Embiggen & Enjoy the Hovertext)