About 22 years ago ,it started with a thought… 10 years later, the full dream was born. Just about a year ago, Jakota and I set out to make that dream happen. We stepped out on faith, to chase and follow that dream, to run our race! With a whole lot of prayer, empty pockets, support from some and belief from others, we started…
Over the past year, we have been able to form some great relationships, gain even more support and grow our faith. We created a concept, a culture, something different, most of all reconnected people with food and each other. We set out to break the rules, do it our way and provide something that was missing - a home of passion and place for people to commune.
Over the past year, there have been trials, tribulations, growth, and constant evolution of each other and the dream. we have been able to stand on the shoulders of those who inspired, motivated, encouraged and paved the way. And it goes without saying there is a group of a few that hold a special place in our hearts- without whom none of it would have been possible and goes to prove; “we all need help - and we don’t do any of this alone” — at times picking us out of the pit of despair and kicking us in the ass! We are forever indebted with gratitude and love.
Over the year ,there has been fear and doubt, at times tears, all the while still moving ever closer to our final dream. And then there were the nah sayers: negative voices and people who said it would never happen - #fu. Don’t tell me what I can’t do! I’ll show you what I can do! For those who never quit helping, supporting, believing-: #gratitude. A wise man once told us, “creating something is easy, but sustaining it is hard work”.
Today, with one fell swoop of the pen, marked the day of the closest we have ever been to that dream. Though there are more mountains still to move and hurdles to jump, we remain completely unflinching and resolute. The goal is near and the rest will happened, as it is so said…
#itsaboutthefood - five little words that can mean so much to so many, but what does it really mean. As a Chef, our lives are build on food and what we do with it, how we prepare it and what we prepare for that matter. We will go savory or will we go sweet. Will we go spicy or we will go ethnic. But in the end, it comes down to how will the food makes us feel.
Most times we eat due to the fact we are hungry - but a lot of times we will eat for various emotions; depression, stressed, angry, etc... However, we forget food creates emotions with in; ironically, it is that same food that can create the same emotions that prompt eating. Most powerful of all, food will create the emotion of satisfaction or bliss. For food to create such emotions of bliss - it takes 3 things.
1. Where the food comes from. Many of us for so long have have taken for granted where food comes from, and it fact many of us dont even know where food comes - we just know it is there. Just as when buying a house - location is everything- food is the same way. Food that is local, substanable and sesonal will make all the difference. Local food, means it will not have to travel forever and can spend more produce natural flavors, versus being picked early and being laid up in a ‘gas house’ to ripen or rot. Substanable food, means we are only produce what we need when we need it. That we are not over working the land and there will always be some. Sesonal food, means only the most flavorful is being used and ties directly in substanable food. Season is also ethical, economically, and ecological.
2. How is the food treated? Is the food loved, is it respected, it is well taken care of? Every piece of food - land, sea or air; from the seed, to the herb, to the flower once had life. its life is valued, has meaning and purpose in the grand scheme. And as it once had life, it gave its life so that we may have life or enough life that much more. Food should be store properly, so that the best flavor may be relished. Food should not be wasted, as it is shame to waste a life. Properly respected and treated food, will maintain freshness and flavors. Food should be valued - for it is believed if you love it, it will love you back - even in death.
3. Finally how is it prepared. Which is always the almighty question - “what do I cook and how do cook it?” Although all food and flavor is subjective - the fact is there is a right way and wrong to prepare something. Wrong preparations of food, can produce bad textures, off putting aromas that will ruin the entire dining experience. While proper preparations or techniques will produce very delectable and ever more desirable texture, followed with mouth watering aromas. Following the seasons will definitely lead the way to properly cooked food. ‘Listening’ to the food will also lead the way to properly cooked food. Every food items, has individual characteristics that will always lead the way to proper cooking methonds.
In the end, its about the food all boils down to what we get from food and how that food makes us feel. Food is a living thing that creates joy, feelings and emotions that can be hard to articulate. Most of all food will create a bond with those we enough it with. Its about the food is so much more than simply what’s for dinner - greatly in how are we going to feel today.
Ahh… Tres Leches! Two words that invoke such feel-good emotions. For me, these words mean, I can’t wait to dive in! And literally, Tres Leches cake is Spanish for “cake of three milks”. Fundamentally, Tres Leches is exactly that- a cake that has been soaked in three different kinds of milk. The dessert itself is very popular within the Latin American community and many countries claim its creation.
Contrary to popular belief, Tres Leches is not just a cake with milk poured over the top. There is definitely a technique involved, and although you can use any kind of milk you desire, the three different milks are there for very different reasons.
Typically, whole milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are used. Whole milk is added for its fat and for its pour-ability; the evaporated milk for richness and body; and the condensed milk for its sweetness. Can alternate types of milk be used? Absolutely! Soy milk, almond milk, goat’s milk, coconut milk… all can be used for various reasons. The choice is up to you.
Now for the cake. Please don’t just use a standard box cake. In fact, I recommend to NEVER use a standard box cake for anything. Making cake is easy and fun. For best results you want to use a light, airy cake- a sponge cake (which got its name because it acts like a sponge). This is the ideal cake for a Tres Leches. That is not to say you cannot flavor the cake- wine, extracts, chocolate just to name a few ideas. You could use a heavier, richer cake; however, this will most likely turn to mush when cut into and would defeat the purpose of the Tres Leches.
You never feel like you just finished eating a house after eating a piece; it’s one of the greatest attributes of a Tres Leches — using a denser, heavier cake will nullify this fact. The key thing to remember when making a Tres Leches, is time. It takes time and thus you should give yourself time. Never try to hurry through the process just to shovel a piece in your mouth (well, I shovel at least). Take your time and let the cake do its thing. In my opinion, cakes (and food for that matter) are like women. The better you treat them and the more time we spend with them; the happier you both will be.
For the cake:
Note: Often times, tres leches cake is topped with fruit or whipped cream.
Tres Leches is a great party dessert and is best when made at least a day in advance. Now, could it be made the morning of? Yes if you get up early. But again you don’t want to rush anything. Not to mention you want to make sure the cake has enough time to soak up all the milk.
Some also might be curious about the “sift-thirds-freeze” steps in the directions. These are all techniques to help make a better cake. Sifting helps aerate the flour to make the cake lighter and fluffier. Adding the flour in thirds helps to prevent clumping, thus allowing for a better texture and no “flour balls.” Freezing of the cake allows for a better absorption of the milk.
These techniques can make all the difference. Sometimes when making cake we need all the help we can get, even a little prayer! Plus, when making a good cake, its all about technique. Better technique=better cake. Happy baking!
Post originally created and shared on March 10,2013
I am that guy who stands in a room and wears a funny, tall hat. I am the one who endures undesirable heat, intentionally. I am that one who leads others and has most of the answers. I am that guy who wears a white jacket while working in a messy environment. I am that guy who makes things happen. I am that guy who creates so many wonderful, creative and unforgettable dishes; however, it didn’t start that way or did it just happen…..