Christian Chefs Newsletter
November 2005

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      Main Course
           Christianity in the Kitchen - "Contentment"
           Culinary Learning - "Tables of Edible Choice"
           Recipe - Herb-Crusted Pork with Creamy Polenta & Tomato-Garlic Sauce
           Recent Job Listings - 17 New
           Chef to Chef
           A Little Something Extra
           A Merry Heart

   A P P E T I Z E R   

Business ownership is still taking up 110% of my time lately, but God has blessed us with a great summer in our new restaurant/B&B. I still have just as much of a heart for CCF. The newsletter won't be released every month for the time being, but will still continue. God has also possibly even provided a location to start a Christian culinary school at the restaurant here, which has been a vision of mine for many years now. If anybody is interested or knows of someone who is, we may start off with an apprentice to get the ball rolling as soon as next spring.

God Bless,
Ira Krizo

   M A I N    C O U R S E   

><> ><> ><> ><> CHRISTIANITY IN THE KITCHEN <>< <>< <>< <><


Phil 4:12-13
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Several years ago I was sitting in my office at 4 a.m. in the morning, after going for a two mile walk through the new-fallen snow when I realized what contentment was all about. It is not about your circumstances, because as we know circumstances change. It is not about being married or single, having kids or not having kids, because that can change as well. I discovered it was about being at peace with God; walking with Him, talking with Him, and resting in Him. I recently bought a cup with one of those cute sayings on it.

"It does not mean to be in a place where there in no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

Are you at peace where you are at right now? Are you content to just let things be and make sure that nothing slips out of place? Or are you looking for the next position up the ladder, or the next job that will enable you to make more money than you are now? I was like that; I thought that if only I could move here or take this job or make it to the next level I would have what I want and not have to worry about anything. What I missed is what God was doing in my life where I was at. I know a man who does not owe anything to anyone. He does not drive, yet still gets where he is going. He has more money saved in his bank than I ever had in my life, and yet he makes less money than most people. And best of all, he is content to do what he is doing and live a life that is free from stress. He walks with Jesus like most of us do, yet he knows in the bottom of his heart that if he lost everything, he could make it back the same way as before one step at a time.

My challenge to you folks this month is simple. Be content with where you are at and what you have. It does not mean to abandon your goals, just when making your goals remember that you can’t take it with you when Jesus calls you home.

Richard Ignizio
Christian Chef

If God is speaking to your heart about these things, and you need somebody to talk with, please don't hesitate to e-mail us about your need and somebody from the Fellowship will contact you as soon as possible. If you have a prayer request or would like to start a theological discussion on this or any other topic, please feel free to post it in our Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> CULINARY LEARNING <>< <>< <>< <><

Tables of Edible Choice

Restaurant chefs over the years have battled to sway the dining guests’ perceived value for money. Over the years the giving of value had to have had its origins somewhere-- but where? In history and at what point I cannot tell, yet I know it is a common connection of being big, full of variety and more than often to impress somebody.

But in modern times the buffet is usually served as a wedding meal, keeping the costs down on a very expensive day for the bride’s family.

Buffet tables of the eighteenth century French restaurants were situated usually close to the doors so people could view what they would be getting usually for a set price.

However the English would turn these buffet tables into the meal served at the end of the ballroom or close by in a small room. The reason for this was that the people often developed a hearty appetite with all that dancing and flirting. They, too, had borrowed from the French, but whom had the French borrowed from?

Zakuski tables of Russia showed the host’s offerings to his guest who would have traveled many miles in a troika to get to the evening’s festivities. Originally the guest would be greeted by the host, and offered a nibble from the table stocked with hors d’oeuvres and a glass of vodka would wash it down, warming those who had traveled in the cold winters to attend. Only one group of people consumed so much vodka in making toasts that they would be taken off to bed rather than the dance floor. Well, that was the Imperial Guards’ take on the reason vodka was offered.

But one of the Tsars had been an avid fan of the Danes, Swedes and the Dutch so I am guessing that the origins may have been borrowed from the Smorgasbord. You see, at some point in our human history, every nation roamed and they often took the idea on a journey with them. So the Smorgasbord may have become the Zakuski, and then the buffet, but wait, we need a Spanish family member.

Enter the Tapas; small morsels of interesting items such as olives, spicy grilled sausages and local specialities are left on the bar where one would consume his wine or sangria. The intention is that with food you will not be so quickly affected by the effects of the alcohol. How many men might have to fight the bull the next morning? For the flamenco guitar players and singers it added to the evening’s atmosphere.

But the restaurant chef changes the table of offerings to suit the budget and the needs of the people who will consume his food. Smaller, mobile tables came into the fashion of dining.

The rich upper class establishment would have their chefs prepare the offering in a different way. This was the mobile buffet trolley offered as the first course, where the waiting person would push this trolley alongside the guest’s table, describing the ravier dishes contents to the table. On a plate, silver served of course, the items of the dishes selected by the guest. This service often took the load off the kitchen, as the guests would be guided by the waiting person’s selling ability; dishes such as mushrooms a la grecque and the caviar eggs (usually something like a hard-boiled egg, with some mayonnaise and a few red roe eggs and a few black roe eggs imitating caviar). These trolleys would test the cold kitchen chef’s ability to turn the most unappealing items into the most profitable. Artichoke hearts, rollmops, crab claws again dipped with cheap imitation caviar made profit on a weekly basis for the Club I worked at. The chef expected the staff to sell a minimum 60% to the restaurant guests, because Friday and Saturday nights over 200 people would be in expecting to be out in time for the opera or a show.

The ravier trolley has its little cousins helping also. The table gueridon service where the main course was such like a Steak Diane and the flash of the brandy would also make the guests feel as if they had centre stage, returning for the Cherries Jubilee or the Crepes Suzette at the next course of the menu. Or the carving trolley where the carver (Trancheur) then had to portion maximum number of each joint to add to the profit margin. If that was not acceptable, well, you always had the dessert trolley and the cheese board.

Chinese Yum Cha is no different in offering a buffet on the wheel theme; you choosing if the meal component was steamed or deep-fried. Endless offerings are washed down with jasmine tea or wine and beer now.

So maybe the history of the laden table was this - the Vikings and others roamed across Europe to the Far East of Russia, the Mongols took it towards China, Marco Polo and his caravan bought it back to Italy.

The Italians would influence the French and the English, and the Russians would bring it back to the French who by now did have another name for it in a fancier form.

Anyway the table is well stocked and offers varieties of many kinds. But please, if the food is being not kept in a hygienic way, do not recycle it the next day as a cost-cutting exercise as the whole thing might just kill somebody through food poisoning.

Personally, I am not keen on this method of service but in its time it had its place -- I would rather less is more for my meal decision. Just remember who came first with the full laden table is a riddle. The answer could be, due to the culture, by which it is known. So it will be all the above, changed, or modified or simply just who can offer the most or it is to celebrate some occasion.

Smorgasbord, Tapas, Buffet, Yum Cha, and Zakuski all means a lot of food and a table of some description and maybe some are tables on wheels -- even tables in the air where the airline crew offer the ground chef’s temptations, or the air-chef’s interpretation of the meal.

Where will it all end, I ask? Maybe the space chefs of the future will load a screen.

Anne-Marie Hofman
Christian Chef
Sydney, Australia

Questions about this article or any other culinary-related subject can be asked via the "Culinary Q&A" Section of the Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> RECIPE <>< <>< <>< <><

Prefer your measurements in a different format? (weight vs. volume)

Herb-Crusted Pork with Creamy Polenta & Tomato-Garlic Sauce
1 cup/75gm - mixed fresh herbs, any combination
1/4 cup/60gm - garlic, minced
2 tbsp/4gm (to taste) - red chili pepper flakes
1/4 cup/60gm (to taste) - kosher salt
1/4 cup/28gm (to taste) - freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup/6cl - olive oil
3 1/2 lb/1.6kg - pork loin, center cut, chine bone removed
1 qt/9dl - water
2 cup/190gm - cornmeal
6 ea. - plum tomato, halved
1 ea. - red onion, peeled and cut into eighths
12 ea. - garlic clove, peeled, whole
2 1/2 fl oz/8cl - extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup/28gm - basil, chopped
1/4 cup/6cl - balsamic vinegar

1. Build a small fire in one half of a covered grill, using about enough charcoal to fill a shoebox. Let the fuel become completely engulfed in flames, then wait a few minutes for the fire to burn down a bit.

2. In a small bowl, combine the herbs, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and the olive oil and mix well. Rub the pork loin generously with the herb mixture and place on the grill, fat side down for 45 minutes, over the side of the grill with no fire, flip the pork loin over, cover again, and cook for another 45 minutes. To check for doneness: Cut into the roast and peek inside to make sure the meat is just a bit pink in the center. If you're using a meat thermometer, the temperature should be 150F(65.5C). Remove the pork from the grill and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.

3. While the pork is cooking make the polenta: In a medium saucepot, bring the water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to prevent it from becoming lumpy. Once all the cornmeal is added, turn down the heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the polenta pulls away from the side of the pan in a mass and, when tasted, has a smooth rather than a grainy texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Make the sauce: Combine the tomatoes, onion, whole cloves of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl and toss to combine. Spoon these ingredients onto a small cookie sheet and roast in a preheated 450F(230C) oven until the onion and tomatoes start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, as soon as the tomatoes, onion, and garlic are cool enough to handle, roughly chop them. You want them to be chunky. Place in a medium bowl, add the basil and vinegar, mix well, and set aside.

5. Carve the roast into full-chop slices. Spoon a serving of polenta onto each individual serving plate, lay a pork chop on top, top with the tomato-garlic sauce, and serve.

We prefer to list recipes from Christian Chefs rather than from other sources, so if you have any good recipes of your own, please post them in the "Recipes" section of the Message Boards.  Please include an introduction to the recipe with your personal comments of the stories that make them special, and if your recipe is chosen, it will be listed in our website forever and in our next newsletter.

><> ><> ><> ><> RECENT JOB LISTINGS <>< <>< <>< <><

More information on each of the below Job Listings, such as the job's timeline, responsibilities, pay, and how to contact the employer on each of these, can be found within the Employment area of our website (link below). There you can also find jobs that have been posted in previous months that haven't yet been filled and you can also post any job openings you have to be listed there and in this newsletter for FREE!

Name = Stamford Staffing Service
Location = Fairfield County, Connecticut (USA)
Position = Chefs, several positions

Name = Cloverley Hall Christian Conference Centre
Location = Calverhall Shropshire, England (UK)
Position = Chef

Name = Trinity Christian College
Location = Palos Heights (Chicago area), Illinois (USA)
Position = Chef/Production Manager

Name = Camp Berachah Ministries
Location = Auburn, Washington (USA)
Positions = Cook & Assistant Dining Hall Supervisor

Name = Mt. Gilead Bible Camp
Location = Sebastopol, California (USA)
Positions = Food Service Manager & Lead Cook

Name = Bear Trap Ranch
Location = Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA)
Position = Food Services Manager

Name = The Iron Horse Inn
Location = Strasbug, Pennsylvania (USA)
Positions = Chef & Line Cook

Name = Off Premise Catering Company
Location = Northern Virginia/Washington DC (USA)
Position = Executive Catering Chef

Name = Camp Bighorn
Location = Plains, Montana (USA)
Position = Food Service Manager/Director

Name = Victorian House
Location = Blue Ridge, Georgia (USA)
Position = Cook, Assistant Chef

Name = HoneyRock/Wheaton College
Location = Three Lakes, Wisconsin (USA)
Position = Food Service Manager

Name = Glen Eyrie Conference Center
Location = Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA)
Position = Food and Beverage Manager

Name = Dalton Elks Lodge
Location = Dalton, Georgia (USA)
Position = Chef

Name = LifeWay's Glorieta Conference Center
Location = Glorieta, New Mexico (USA)
Positions = Sous Chef & Chuck Wagon Grill/Holy Grounds Cafe Man

Name = Country Catering & Special Events, Inc.
Location = Stockton, California (USA)
Positions = Off Premise Catering Kitchen Manager & Catering Personnel

Name = Nashville Rescue Mission
Location = Nashville, Tennessee (USA)
Position = Food Service Ministry Manager

Name = The Whitestone Inn
Location = Kingston, Tennessee (USA)
Position = Food Service Manager

   D E S S E R T   

><> ><> ><> ><> CHEF TO CHEF <>< <>< <>< <><

"Catering Software"

"Hello everyone - just spending some time looking over different types of catering software. Just wondering what programs you caterers suggest and amenities of the program you can or can’t live without!"

You are welcome to respond to this message in the "Culinary Q&A" section of CCF's message boards:

If you're searching for particular instructions or cooking techniques or maybe have a special need, you can post these on our message boards. If you've done that and are still in need, please e-mail us and let us know so that we may highlight that need in this section of our next newsletter.

><> ><> ><> ><> A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA <>< <>< <>< <><

We always hear the thing we listen for, and our character determines what we listen for. When Jesus Christ alters our character, He gives us the power to hear as He hears.

Oswald Chambers

><> ><> ><> ><> A MERRY HEART <>< <>< <>< <><

An Atheist & His Attorney

An atheist was quite incensed over the preparation for Easter and Passover holidays and decided to contact the local ACLU about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while the atheists had no holidays for them to celebrate.

The ACLU jumped on the opportunity to once again pick up the cause of the downtrodden and assigned their sharpest attorney to the case.

The case was brought up before a learned judge who after listening to the passionate presentation by the ACLU representative, promptly banged his gavel and said "Case dismissed!"

The ACLU lawyer stood up and objected to the ruling and said "Your honor, how can you dismiss this case? Surely the Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. And the Jews-why in addition to Passover they have Yom Kippur and Hanukkah.....and yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!"

The judge leaned back in his chair and simply said "Obviously your client is too confused to know about or for that matter even celebrate the atheists holiday!"

The ACLU lawyer pompously said "We are aware of no such holiday for atheists-just when might that be?"

The judge said "Well it comes every year at the same time---April 1st"

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" - Psalm 14:1, Psalm 53:1.

Submitted by Leo Griego,
Nashville Rescue Mission

   T O O T H P I C K   

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God Bless,
Ira Krizo, Director
Christian Chefs Fellowship
Phone: (619) 429-0705
Fax: (508) 462-1068

Christian Chefs Fellowship
PO Box 608
Crestline, CA 92325

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV

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