“Bourgeoisie” is typically thought of as the elitist part of society, the top tier – and it is often a term that is looked down on. Though my business name sounds as though I am catering to only the top tier, that could not be more wrong. My tag line (Meals of the elite, Taught to the masses) really demonstrates my mission.
My name is Chef Ricky. I grew up south of Philadelphia in a fairly poor household. Food was important to our family, and how we interacted. My family…along with extended aunts, uncles, grandmothers & grandfathers…used food as a way to sit down, nourish & spend time together. The holidays were a time when large portions of the family would gather at a relatives house for dinner. Stories & jokes were told, laughter was often the main course. It was at these parties, watching my Mom, aunts & grandmom cook that I really took a liking to the art of food. Not to mention I love to eat 🙂
As I grew I continued to cook and learn – though I ended up going to college for psych, not culinary. My brother & I were the first to attend college and I wanted to choose a “safer” career, despite my parents protests that I could study anything I wanted. Flash forward 11 years – I have moved to Seattle, no longer crave a career in psych and really want to delve into the world of food. After working/running several bakeries & catering places in town, I was done, I had had it with restaurants. I needed to start my own path, working for others was driving me crazy. There were two things I saw in the restaurant world that really annoyed me. 1) A lot (not all) of chefs/cooks/bakers are very pretentious and very guarded about their skills. They do not want to share, and they certainly do not feel as though someone who didn’t go to school could be a master at food. 2) A lot of non restaurant people felt the same way about themselves.
Well, I didn’t go to school for culinary or baking, and I CERTAINLY didn’t feel that way. I wanted others to feel the way I did, I wanted others to know they could cook the way I did – the way they saw famous chefs on TV cooking. This wouldn’t be 30 minute meals, or a great way to make grilled cheese (though I LOVE grilled cheese) This would be showing people that food & cooking are an art everyone SHOULD know. Pate choux, coq au vin, beef bourguignon, wellingtons, seafood, duck con fit – all with in reach of even the most inexperienced cook. Bourgeoisie Brunches, my mission & my business, was born.
BBrunches – as it has affectionitly become known – offers classes to any level of cook. Not just classes, but I am a mobile chef. We compile a custom menu together, I shop for us, bring recipes and come to YOUR home. I show you how to use YOUR kitchen and YOUR tools. I teach using food science to explain what is really happening in the pan. You cook with a recipe and a chef right by your side to see how easy & delicious food can be. I can, and have, taught classes from 1 to 65 people – and ages 4 to 65. Due to the nature of cooking I teach (from scratch) people also learn the value of cooking with whole foods. Using ingredients that have not been processed. There is no need to add a ton of salt or fake fats to make food taste good. You can start to move away from a world of pre prepared food, to a world of creation and imagination. My goal is to inspire others to use & teach my recipes to others. To keep the learning going through generations so that the art of cooking does not just fall to those heralded on TV as “master chefs.”
Elena F. Guiral
Ahi tuna is one of the most common varieties of fish that you can find in the Seattle area local markets. Ahi is a Hawaiian adjective to name the yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) found in pelagic waters of tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide.
Yellowfin tuna is widely used in raw fish dishes, especially sashimi, and is often served seared rare. This fish is also excellent for grilling too and is is becoming a popular replacement for the severely depleted supplies of southern bluefin tuna.
Bonito del Norte is a kind of albacore tuna, Thunnus alalunga, also called white tuna that is caught in the Cantabrian Sea, in the North Shore of Spain. This fish live through the winter in the waters around the Azores and they move in late spring to the Cantabrian Sea. It is during these migrations when the campaign starts and it ends around September. It involves ships from Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country and France.
Bonito del Norte is one of our most traditional and appreciated fish, great for preparing traditional recipes and to be canned too. One of this recipes is Marmitako, prepared in the Basque country, a top cookin g region in Spain.
Marmitako is a really popular dish in Spain, because being an oily fish, It is highly valued in the recent nutrition trends. This recipe is usually one of the top plates of culinary competitions of any Cantabrian and Basque festival, especially in coastal locations. As I´ve received green split peas in my delivery from PNW Co-op Specialty foods, I thought an ahi tuna marmitako, Pacific NW version, would be a good recipe to start to play with this delicious staples.
Dry sweet peas are difficult to find in Spain, we usually buy them frozen or canned. It was the first time I was dealing with them so I decided to treat them as any other legume soaking them in water the previous day.
Surprisingly these sweet peas are so tender that after cooking for half an hour I realized that they´ve been overcooked. Damn it! So I needed to go through plan B and I decided to keep them for a veggie soup… But this is another story and other recipe. So I finally I added a new supply to the tuna stew with no previous soaking and cooking.
I usually write about easy, quick healthy recipes in the blog. Marmitako is not complicated but It requires longer time than other of my meal suggestions. Anyway is a perfect entertainment for a rainy cold Sunday evening, and believe me, we have plenty of those here in Seattle duringour long winters.
Altough you´re used to see ahi tuna in sashimi and poke most of the time, I encourage you to try this winter Spanish traditional version. Enjoy it!
Ahi tuna marmitako
Ahi tuna, 1 pound
1 big onion
Ripe tomatoes, 0,5 pounds
Potatoes, 2 pounds
PNW Co-op sweet peas, 3,5 ounces
Piquillo peppers, 4 ounces
2 garlic cloves
Extra virgin olive oil, 4 spoons
Goya or Old Bay seasoning
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Pan fry the tuna, skinless and boneless, and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Once the tuna is rare cooked remove and reserve it. Add finely chopped onion and stir with a wooden spoon until It has golden colour, about 6 minutes over low heat. Add Peeled and crushed tomatoes and stir them. Add the potatoes cut into thick slices and the green split peas and cover everything in water. Add salt moderately.
Crush the garlic in the mortar with some salt and parsley. Dissolve a couple of tablespoons of the broth in the mix. Add it to the stew with the bay leaf and the chilli. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. Then add the ahi tuna, the seasoning mix and the piquillo peppers. Boil everything 10 minutes and serve it in the same pan.
I recommend to pair it with white wine. If you want to go local try any Riesling as Chateau Saint Michelle. And If you want to go global, Spain DO Albariño or DO Rueda Verdejo wines will be a perfect fit for the tuna. Cheers!
Elena F. Guiral
January, legumes time. Anyway, every month of the year. Legumes are a essential ingredient of Spain culinary heritage, due to their high content in proteins and carbs and to their affordability.
Legumes were associated in my country during a long time with fat, high cholesterol and unhealthy meals due to their traditional association with pork ingredients as tocino, chorizo and morcilla. Luckily this myth is down nowadays and bean, garbanzo beans and lentils are recovering their role in our cooking dishes again as a realy vesatile ingredient that will fuel you for hours.
I´m happy to see that legumes are more common nowadays into the American diet too although I see them most of the time in Hummus and Lentil Soup.
Luckily a few months ago I found through Twitter PNW Farmers Co-op Specialty Foods, a cooperative based in Spokane that sells Eastern Washington and North Idaho production. Legumes are winter crops, resistant to ice and drought, so they are perfect to that area agricultural idiosyncrasy
I´ve always thought that the best way to be respectful with Mother Nature is to eat less meat, more veggies and local production. PNW Farmers Co-op mission fits perfectly with my idea, as Kim and me have discussed many times.
So I´m proud to share with you our particular collaboration with this cooperative. They will provide me ingredients to play in my kitchen and I will provide them new recipes most of them from our traditional Spanish heritage. And both of us will show you that preparing new dishes from dry legumes is easy, fun and healthy.
Ironically, many of the products that PNW Farmers Co-op has sent are new to me, like caviar lentils, so It´s going to be a trip full of discoveries for everybody. Do you want to join me?