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About Me

WHO AM I?

The first part of my career was spent working with some of the best chefs in America learning the classical approach to cuisine. After about 10 years a shift in thinking began to push me in a new direction, which is when Mark Miller and I met (Mark is one of the patron saints of new world cuisines). He saw my techniques were sound but said I was missing out on a world of flavor so, under his tutelage I began to learn the nuance and complexity of Latin and Asian cuisines. I now found my repertoire included over 30 different types of dried and fresh chilies as well as many new herbs, spices and techniques. After cooking for 10 years it was great to be re-energized with new ideas and inspiration. When my tenure with Mark ended he urged me to take the next step and move to Asia which is where I lived for six years. Upon my return to the US I did R&D for PFCB Inc. then international development for Pei Wei Asia Diner.

I now do full time culinary consulting for anyone in need of the skills I can offer. Contact me at expandingpalates@gmail.com if you would like to discuss.

“I decided than rather posting my traditional bio I would search through notes and my memory and list many of the foods that have impacted me over the years.”

Earliest food memories

  • Baba making chicken paprikash and the best soups
  • Mom making baked walleye, also, roast pork dumplings and sauerkraut, Dutch apple pie, pheasant soup
  • Dad making egg sandwiches
  • Brother and me fighting over the marrow bones in Baba’s soup
  • Meyer’s deli baked ham on pumpernickel bread and sweet pickles
  • Eating corn on the cob without any front teeth
  • Rhubarb and vanilla ice cream
  • Michigan peaches, cherries and blueberries
  • Summer tomatoes from the backyard
  • Pickled herring on cocktail rye
  • Roast goose with spicy paprika

Top 10 foods-not in any order

  • Most anything from the ocean, lake, river or stream (especially o-toro, horse mackerel, oysters, walleye, lobster, wild trout, sea urchin and most of the variations of Caviar
  • corn all that it can do
  • Real Japanese beef-especially Sendai and Kummomoto
  • Fresh truffles from wherever-but leaning toward Perigord
  • Apples-especially Cortlands, Shanxi, but any fresh in season ones will do
  • Stone fruits-all of them
  • Wild game-especially elk, venison, pheasant, partridge
  • Chiles-have not found one I don’t like
  • Pickles-especially dill pickles, kimchee, pickled fish, chile in escabeche
  • Chocolate-all types apply-from Maison du Chocolate to Snickers

Earliest restaurant memories

  • Chocolate malts and fresh whipped cream at The Buffalo
  • Silver butter knife steak at Murray’s
  • 1st oyster at Binyon’s
  • Pineapple cheesecake at the Stage Deli
  • Miso soup and nigiri sushi at Kamahachi
  • Big pot of minestrone soup at Mama Leone’s
  • Man Jo Vins hotdogs
  • Grouper fingers and conch chowder at George and the Dragon
  • Egg foo young, and tomato beef and green peppers at Orange Garden
  • Giant baked potato and butter at The Stage Stop
  • Squid ink pasta at Solo Mio
  • Brunch at The Plaza
  • Eggs Benedict at Arnie’s
  • Escargot at Tango
  • The salad bar at R.J. Grunts
  • Hot tamales from Tom Tom Tamales
  • French onion soup at The Shrimp Walk
  • The spinning Caesar at Blackhawk
  • Sole meunière at The Waterfront
  • Sole with apples and calvados at Wheelers
  • Pickled green tomatoes at The Colony House
  • Grilled octopus at The Greek Isles
  • Roast beef and tomato salad at F&T Restaurant (aka The Polish Joint)
  • Sausage and sauerkraut at Schwaben Stube
  • Plum cake from Dinkel’s
  • Rice pudding at The Oak Tree
  • Strawberry rhubarb pie at Cer’s Café
  • Clam chowder at Cape Cod Room
  • Chopped liver at The Delavan Supper Club
  • Dungeness crab walking cocktails on Fisherman’s Wharf

Kitchen work/education

    The dish listed is either something I learned how to make or tasted that really stuck with me. Listed in order of most to least recent.

  • Paid work
  • Expanding Palates (my company!!) The whole meal at sukiyabashi Jiro
  • PFCB, Inc.-spicy tofu condiment from a small vendor in Fang Thailand
  • The Seafood Bar Bangkok-Laotian water buffalo skin soup, Bali Monkfish
  • The Oyster Bar Bangkok-Kusshi oysters, Chiang Mai sausage
  • Park Hyatt Beijing-mandarin fish, baozi, chile bean fish
  • The Oak Door-black abalone, Sendai beef, Shizuoka shio tomatoes
  • Coyote Cafe-smoked buffalo short rib tamales with black pasilla
  • Casanis-pigs trotters stuffed with sweetbreads
  • McCormick and Schmick’s- Hebi
  • Veritas- carpaccio of arctic char with warm potatoes and caviar
  • Café Boulud-15 hour lamb shoulder cooked en sous vide
  • The Tonic-foie gras ganache tart with 100 year old balsamic
  • Montrachet-a pound of white truffles we got in for new years 1997
  • Timberline-cassoulet, hatch chiles
  • Free labor
  • Made in China-Beijing duck
  • Noble Court-char siu
  • Hyatt Regency Jingjin City shrimp stuffed eggplant with pixian chile paste
  • Grand Hyatt Singapore-black pepper crab, south Indian fish head curry
  • 28 HuBin Road-pig ears with fermented soybeans
  • Hyatt on the Bund-crystal pork knuckle, Shanghai smoked fish
  • Shunbo-grilled mazutake doben mushi
  • Hyatt Regency Kyoto-fresh yuba and premium shoyu
  • Hyatt Hangzhou-Dragon Well tea, West Lake fish
  • Alkimia-morcilla
  • Drolma-seared tuna belly, paprika cream
  • Charlie Trotters-kohada tempura, icicle radish puree
  • Les Nomades-butternut squash-black truffle foam
  • Trio-spring pea soup with eucalyptus ice cubes
  • French Laundry-shad roe wrapped in bacon
  • Blue Hill-poached artic char with meyer lemons
  • Aquavit-beet and sour cream sorbet
  • Le Bernadin- goeduck clams with wasabi
  • Grammercy tavern-sea urchin vinaigrette
  • Danube-apple rosemary puree
  • Sono-black sesame ice cream
  • Carlos-marrow crusted tenderloin

Education

  • Immersion Through Chiang Mai-Shan style pickled cabbage
  • Red Bridge Cooking School-fresh rice noodles
  • Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine-fish fragrant eggplant
  • Yiquin Cooking School-Steamed Hunan bacon with mountain herbs
  • Peter Kumps NY cooking school-oxtail marmalade and marrow bones
  • University of Kansas (BA philosophy, grad school in cultural anthropology)Oaxacan mole
  • University of Stirling, Scotland-peppered mackerel, single malts
  • University if Maine-wild blueberries, wild mussels steamed in sea water

Other jobs

unemployed, produce worker at health food co-op, canvasser/turf manager for Green Peace and CBE, real estate appraiser, family business, teacher, vendor during summer tours of the Grateful Dead, snow shoveling, dishwashing (where I started in the kitchen and where I probably will end up)[/one_third]

Favorite cities

New York, Barcelona, Tokyo, Santa Fe, Hong Kong, Phenom Pen, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi