“Everyone can cook!”  So said Chef  Gusteau in the movie Ratatiulle.  It is true.  We received a fantastic cookbook for Christmas, Cook’s House by Eric Patterson and Jenifer Blakeslee.  Chef Eric makes the point that “extraordinary food comes …through hard work, passion, and above all else, great ingredients.”  Their cookbook offers delicious recipes and menus, while walking the reader through a holistic experience in which food is a celebrated medium.

It was appropriate timing as an incognito chef, Dave Hovest, has been venturing down from Cherry Capital Foods once a week to partner with us in turning great ingredients into fantastic food.  Under Dave’s tutelage we’ve been learning some of the finer points of food prephttp://cherrycapitalfoodsllc.blogspot.com/aration–things that chefs develop into second nature but we didn’t learn from our “home ec” teachers.  The main thrust is to develop recipes for chicken that have superb flavor (first, middle, and lingering) and are very usable by chefs.  The chicken breast, usually the most salable cut, has some possibilities, but the cut we’ve been playing with most is the dark meat.  We initially tried 8 different sausage/seasoned patty recipes, then narrowed it down to 4 very different ones which we’ve tried out on several subjects for feedback.  We’re using that input to refine further and then launch the products onto the public.  Dave is also working with us to develop our modest little shop into a more productive establishment.  Mark made some changes to the processing line that he’s wanted to do for some time that accomplished two things: doubled our processing speed and separated the shop more clearly into a processing side and a packing/refining side.  Dave’s helped to arrange and outfit the refining side so it will enable us to produce value-added products in an efficient manner.  He brings his chef’s kitchen expertise into

Seasoned chicken breast

the shop to make the possibilities realities.

I understand that as of this week some of these yummy creations will be showing up at the main Oleson’s Food Store in Traverse City, courtesy of Cherry Capital Foods.  Check it out!