We’re rounding out the 2nd month of the summer season.  With only August left to go, this summer’s menu is going strong and continues to evolve each day.  Big thanks to the Roland’s for whom we were able to produce our alternate seafood entree: Pan Seared Tilapia w Summer Vegetable Ragu and Lemon Ginger Scented Broth. The dish played out really well with the incredible lemon ginger broth being the driving force, a real treat to cook.  What a great week for Family Meal, we hope to continue the trend and look forward to more Family Meal’s down the road!




The first dinner of the summer season is down and in the books.  The dinner went pretty well, besides forgetting the main ingredient of the Salmon Bomb – the SALMON! however, we re-grouped, got the salmon and completed the dish and it came out great.  Everyone was fed well, and the service was fun and ran smooth.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the season – ps: after looking below, just go ahead and e-mail to book your own Family Meal as dates are being taken up fast!

BBQ Shrimp Eggs RollsBeef Rib DuoPork tenderloinSalmon Bomb w/ crispy rice noodle and pickled cucumber salad

 Family Meal Knife

~ Summer 2009 ~

Spring and Summer Roll

Shrimp spring roll / bbq shrimp fried egg roll 

Salmon Bomb

Citrus salmon, crisp noodle cake, pickled cucumber salad 

Tender is the Pork Loin

Bacon and orange jam, sweet and sour coleslaw 

BBQ Beef w/ Potato Hash 

Strip steak, chipotle bbq sauce, grilled asparagus


After Dinner Breakfast

Cereal cream panna cotta with apple jack soil 

 * A Sweet End *


 The lineup for the summer season, looking forward to sharing these fresh ideas with my Family Meal members – click through to the Summer Programs link and schedule your own Family Meal today!



As a college kid with his own business, I am always on the lookout for the MacGyver kitchen utensils, the shoestring budget tools that can get a job done with no frills for less bills.  This staple of every American refrigerator was cleverly introduced to me at a dinner party last night as a great medium for delivering vinaigrette’s (in this case balsamic and sugar as a glaze).  The genius in it of course is that I am a firm believer of mustard in almost all of my vinaigrette’s for use on salad, appetizers, even roast potatoes or a nice piece of grilled fish.  Plus, the unique top of new mustard bottles is the perfect size for a thin consistent stream.  Thanks Jud!


French's Mustard Bottle

Just had a tasting of Sherry straight from the source courtesy of Senor Saldana of Jerez, Spain.  I can tell you that my previous knowledge of sherry was limited to the occasion when I use it for cooking.  After THE 12 VARIETIES OF SHERRY, lets just say that the experience was enlightening.  I’ve not known many more passionate people than a Spaniard speaking about the nectar of his home. 


The great diversity of Sherry - fino to oloroso to the great fat Pedro Ximenez

The great diversity of Sherry - fino to oloroso to the great fat Pedro Ximenez


Sherry is not commonly found in the US (although through this site and others, is something we hope to change), but is a wonderfully diverse wine that is fortified or has added pure grape alcohol that has a variety of effects on the end product. 
solera-system - Beauty in itself
As a hopeFUL romantic, one of the cool things about drinking is the ability to share in the results of the craftmanship that went into that beverage.  There are some craftsmen out there that take great care in producing quality products whether in search for some grand sense of excellence or higher profits – the end result is still the same: greatness; and in the case of the great Jerez Sherry’s, in the words of Senor Saldana: “Simply a turn on”
If you are looking for a great “foodie” type of experience, track down a Pedro Ximenez from Jerez, Spain!  Once you find it, call someone that you can have an honest, quiet moment with – the kind where more is said when nothing is said at all – and pop it open into 2 narrow rimmed glasses.   Then, “Sip – savour – repeat until desired effect”
If you want more information about this terrific wine, leave a comment and we’ll chat huh?

Currently studying at Johnson & Wales University for a bachelors in Hospitality and Foodservice, I am lucky enough now to be in a wine tasting class, specifically studying for Level 2 Status of WSET or Wine & Spirt Education Trust.  One of the two components of this class is wine tasting, every Wednesday in fact, we taste approximately 6 wines, today, red wines old world vs. new of various varietals.  Now, anyone who has ever tasted wine, or is familiar with the vernacular know that the aromas and flavors are associated and described by other fruit, vegetal, etc. characteristics.  Wine, in all of its glory, can be straightforward and obvious to the palate (today the term was “Fruit-Bomb”), or the other extreme is a richly complex wine with many layers.  And yet in any case, the conundrum remains – how many fruits and vegetables have you honestly smelled and tasted?  Personally, I have not yet pondered the characteristics of lychee or charred oak to adequately associate them with the characteristics of wine.  And in the spectrum of things, I probably have not sufficiently smelled or tasted half of the required aromas and flavors I am supposed to be characterizing with.  This has led me, a college student actually studying this subject to ponder the daunting barriers that some of my peers must be facing…

Having that said, in the grand scheme of things, I could nearly care less about the ology in oenology.  From a lazy Saturday afternoon perspective, I really enjoy a round glass of Zin because that’s what I enjoy drinking for reasons not closely associated with the flavor characteristics – I just know it taste good to me. 

I see the amounts (and quality) of alcohol that my peers (approx. 22 and over) consume, and I can tell you that these kids are not getting the best bang for their buck.  Now the light is shining at the end of the tunnel, for beer at least.  Micro brews have been steadily creeping up in the market of young American drinkers, just take a look at the Facebook App where you can choose your 5 favorite beers.  These lists are surprisingly refreshing, and not just in a Pacifico sense: some of the beers listed are regional brews, hard to find in most parts of the country, for example, Anchor Steam or the brews coming out of Lagunitas to name a few.  I’ve even got a buddy whom along with his pop have started their own home brews which have been surprisingly approachable and yet rich and complex – its gotten a few of my buds hooked on this unique segment of really tasty beers!

So this begs the question: Why can’t we make this formula work for wine and get more young Americans to cork up to a glass of ruby red pinot?

Today is the beginning of a new day.  A new day for a lifelong project called Family Meal, a project that will explore our human nature by exploring our most basic human need: food.  So much is centered around food, and yet, we are just now learning as a society to pay more attention to it.  Now, food itself is much too broad a topic to cover, which is why Family Meal is broken down to 3, more or less organically thought of, categories: 1. Family Meal Workshop – where we learn to cook 2. Family Meals – sourcing, buying, preparing, serving and eating food, check here for recipes, seasonal menus, food sources etc. 3. Family Meal Members – a community of kids, cooks, hobbyists and people in need of a reminder of eat well = live well…

The project and processes are organic, ideas and concepts fluid, flexible and (at times) plentiful.  And while a basic vision can be seen, the way we get from A to B is unclear, so please, feel free to pitch in…

To my clients, customers and Family Meal Members:  Check out our Facebook page: search Family Meal with our “knife logo” for past events, pictures, recipes and more information.  For catering inquiries e-mail me directly at


Good food, good friends, great eats!