Friday, January 18, 2013

Cooking with the Chef

Last night we had our very first cooking class, taught by our Executive Chef, Jermaine Brookshire.

For the first class, he taught everyone how to make traditional MD crab cakes and sea diver scallops. 

Fun Fact: The reason these scallops have this name is because divers actually go into the sea to retrieve them. 

Neither dish requires a lot of ingredients, and also do not have a lot of steps involved but seafood, in my opinion, is always if-fy when you aren't 100% positive how to make it. Glad I learned from the expert the best way to make these delicious entrees! Chef gave quick tutorials, invited us up to his table, and walked around the class to make sure we understood not only how to prepare the dishes but also the entire process that went into the dish. He made it look so simple; I sure hope my at-home experience is that easy!

We didn't just learn how to prepare seafood meals last night. The Food & Beverage Director, Ricardo Espinosa, gave a short lesson about which wine would go best with the seafood! It was a great night overall; everyone enjoyed themselves, especially the Chef.

"We really had a great time! That was a wonderful event!!! Chef Jermaine did EXCELLENT. Looking forward to the next one." - Dianne Fowlkes, an attendee from Baltimore, MD

I can't wait for the next Cooking Class in April (April 18th). I've heard it will be about preparing exciting and nutritious salads, one of my favorite go-to lunches!

Read more to learn more about Chef Jermaine.

I was first introduced to cooking in our home growing up. Cooking was not merely something my family did every night to put a meal on the table, but something we were passionate about.

When I was 16 years old, I began my first job in a professional kitchen at a hotel on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, CT. I was hired as the weekend breakfast cook and took full advantage of this opportunity to learn as much as possible to jumpstart my career. It was in this kitchen that I discovered this was not just a part-time job for me – I wanted to pursue Culinary Arts as a career.

I left New Haven at the age of 18 and headed to Montpelier, VT to attend the New England Culinary Arts Institute. After obtaining my degree, I returned to the hotel where I started. I wanted to bring my new knowledge and skills back home. I worked my way up to become Sous Chef, honing my expertise in New England Cuisine and Fine Dining.

I relocated to Maryland at the age of 27 and was hired as a Banquet Chef at Martins West, the largest catering company in the state. I was with this company for 8 years, during which I was mentored by Chef Hoss Mianbagi who taught me the many aspects of Mid-Atlantic Cuisine. I learned the system of banquet-style cooking, where we served anywhere from 200 to 2000 people a night.

A few years later, I took an opportunity at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor as the Executive Sous Chef, where I could integrate my new catering experience with my previous hotel knowledge. Now, I am the Executive Chef at Alizee American Bistro, cooking for both the restaurant and the hotel’s banquet functions and weddings.

I would describe my style of cooking as New England Cuisine with a Mid-Atlantic Flare, paying homage to both my home-state of Connecticut and my new home in Maryland.

1 comment:

  1. Its very worth reading this blog, i liked it... thanks for sharing and even ill like to share one link of India food network cooking channel, its awesome & helpful.