Spread THAT! Grip THAT! Scoop THAT!

Yes those all sound like very dirty lines from a very dirty scene.  They aren’t.  They are all products from a company called THAT!  I stumbled across them while flipping through the foodporn list of Buzzfeed’s

39 Futuristic Kitchen Products You Had No Idea You Needed

Do I want all 39 things? No.  I don’t like coffee and I can’t afford a personal robot bartender.  But there was one item that stuck out like a knife in a cold stick of butter.  According to the blurb this knife would be easily pulled out from it’s cold butter-bound home by the mere touch of my hand to its handle.  That’s because using SCIENCE! this knife transfers your hand head to the blade to allow you to cut through butter likes its…….butter.  I’m a little skeptical but we also use enough butter with our business that I knew I had to get it.

But GrilledCheezGuy are you going to show it off to us in public?  Of course I am!

But GrilledCheezGuy where will you be that we can see this butter blade in all it’s glory.

Well funny you should ask, because the main purpose of this post is not just to plug this product that no one knew they needed, it is also to announce our return.

But GrilledCheezGuy, your return to where?  You go everywhere a lot!

True.  But there is only one market that is near and dear to our hearts…..and the ocean…….and the Golden Gate Bridge.

That’s right folks.  We are officially invited back to Off the Grid 2015’s PICNIC AT THE PRESIDIO!

And a futuristic knife demo isn’t the only thing that will be new and exciting at our tent.  New food products.  New condiments.  New sandwiches.

We would not be invited back if it wasn’t for your love and support of us last year so thanks again and see you in April 2015! In the meantime, keep coming back for more fun blogs about food and brieyond!

 

GRILLED: The French Laundry Contest(ants)

While foodsurfing the internet I came across an article about a contest between the California Lotto & the French Laundry.  What I THOUGHT I read was that to win you had to write a 500 word story about who you would bring and why.  I also THOUGHT I read that you were bringing 8 guests to the table which made choosing quite a challenge.  What resulted from those two misinterpretations (500 characters and 1 guest is the actual contest) was my idea to create a French Laundry themed menu listing my guests as each course.  May Chef Keller himself get a chance to see who I whipped up to be seated and served with me in this failed yet fun entry.  

Check out the example menu to see the exact inspiration I used to create the following crass culinary crudo of comrades.

12.23_FrenchLaundrydinner-page-001

French Laundry Menu for The Date I pick when I win the contest

The French Laundry

chef’s   tasting   menu      I        10   August   2015

 

“THE OYSTER AND THE PEARL”

Floridian sun soaked & Mother-of-the-Pearl French grand-mère

with Jersey pearl mère-de-moi

 

ROYAL AHOLE PATRIAR

Smoked father, Texas BBQ cahones, Salesman style sauce with Horseshit Creme Fraiche

( 75.00 Supplement)

____________

SALAD OF SUMMER SUNSHINE

Black Beauty bar friend and confidant, Gelee giggles galore, unexplored taste buds with Aged satiric wisdom

 

“CARNAROLI BIOLOGICO BROTHER”

loyal and loud mouthed, Brown Buttered boy with motivation and muti-talents

(175.00 Supplement)

____________

SAUTEED FATHER OF BABY YELLOWTAIL

Caged friend tending to child, fellow foodie and Manresa dinner date, fresh catch fisherman with dreams of smoked meats

 

OAKLAND MAINE CHEF COMRADE “POELEE”

Talented teacher of cuisine with asian flavored attitude, mise en place master and physique “Émincé”

____________

MONTGOMERY RANCH WHITE QUAIL

Sour Cherry Soul mate, Jersey roots, Polish Pistachios and “Sauced Permitting”

 

HERB ROASTED OHIOAN FIELDS FRIEND LAMB

Primero assistant chef, fire-roasted & spicy anger deglazed with a sweet caring personality port and food passion extract

 

ANDANTE DUDE “ACAPELLA”

free flowing chef de cuisine, fearless fromage, Zerocater zen & the art of pasty purveyor

____________

ASSORTMENT OF IN-LAWS

Southern styled Brother-in-law, fruit tart and candy ass

 

PRIX FIXE PRICELESS     I     MEMORIES INCLUDED

Translation of Family & Friends on the Menu:

 

“THE OYSTER AND THE PEARL”

Grandmother who inspired me with her french cooking in the kitchen & Mother who knows all the hip restaurants and chefs of the world.  Neither have been to the French Laundry.

ROYAL AHOLE PATRIAR

Supplement: Father who has been before on business so he’s out.

SALAD OF SUMMER SUNSHINE

Close friend who has not eaten most things in this world and deserves one nice royal dinner for the princess she truly is.

“CARNAROLI BIOLOGICO BROTHER”

Only brother who was taught to appreciate the finer foods in life alongside me.

SAUTEED FATHER OF BABY YELLOWTAIL

My best buddy who in another life would be my food partner in crime on the west coast.  Has a book of sandwiches he wrote as a kid that I wish to make a reality one day.

OAKLAND MAINE CHEF COMRADE “POELEE”

Chef Joel Coleman whom I met at a wedding and became a friend and teacher to me while catering in the bay area.  Now opened his own restaurant in Sante Fe with wild success.

MONTGOMERY RANCH WHITE QUAIL

My best friend in the world who I love as much as a gay man can.  The table would not be complete without her.

HERB ROASTED OHIOAN FIELDS FRIEND LAMB

Chef Jordy was the first true chef I worked with in the bay area, which taught me a lot about cooking…..and chefs.

ANDANTE DUDE “ACAPELLA”

Chef Matt came after Chef Joel and was my fearless friend in the kitchen from day one.  His dreams have finally come true as he is about to open a restaurant in Oakland.

ASSORTMENT OF IN-LAWS

Ben is my brother’s husband and a must-have at any family dinner.  After 2 glasses of wine he will become the life of the party.

A special thanks to the friends and family I used for this menu.  You all are truly near and dear to my hearts and know that if I could I would bring each and everyone of you.  Unfortunately it is only one person and I’m sure everyone listed would agree that my grandmother truly does need to be the one I bring.  I will share my 500 character entry & photo with you all once the contest closes. Choose wisely Mr. Keller as I’m waiting to hear from you……..and hungry.

GRILLED: A Blog. “Melts in your mouth, not on your mice!”

Happy Gru-yere my cheesy fans!

Grilled Cheese Guy

I am one of those people who likes to have New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I give myself so many resolutions during the rest of the year, why not add on a few extra special ones to fail at?  I feel as I get older and wiser that these resolutions are becoming less simple one liners like “Don’t be fat” to more complex and grandiose ditties like “Eat more Indian lentil dishes and lift weights to build up some nice arms and legs to help wrestle and win against that one sexy dude.” Both are pretty much the same thing, but one seems way more fun to achieve!

Now that I am a small businessman (Resolution #3 of 2015: try to get smaller by the day) I give myself both personal and business resolutions to torture myself with from the first day of each shiny new year.   There should be some sort of vacation period from this 365 day trial which I suppose for most religious peeps is called lent.  So 2 years ago my big shiny resolution was “Prove you can actually write worth a damn by becoming a real writer in some form.”  I wanted to be a real boy…..writer.  Writer boy? That didn’t mean 140 clever characters or less.  No.  It meant real old fashioned journalism, the 2nd choice of majors in my life. After some really mean emails and some brutally honest emails I was offered to write for TWO local newsgroups.  I was thrilled and humbled by both who happily gave me assignments, criticism, and real stories that became part of their news reels and virtual pages.  The lack of time was the death of my press corps stint and I humbly bowed out with a small beg to leave the door open for me, which is true for both.  Resolution resolved.

Last year’s biz related bullet point version was one word, two syallables: POPUP or the more eloquent form “After traveling the roads of the brie area for a while find a place on both sides of the bay to call home”.  There were whispers of a place for me in Jack London and kickstarts and big dreams for windows in a certain kitchen in downtown Oakland.  Both of those faced very real and unique challenges that I witnessed yet I still hope and believe both will still come true in some form.  Jack London would be a dream as it’s near my home, my kitchen, and where Chef Charlie Parker currently works at Haven Oakland making mouthwatering wonders.  Meanwhile Downtown Oakland and everything Sophia & the Kitchener crew does is a blessing and a ball to be involved in.  When all the vendors get to start popping up there and serving a variety of food it is truly going to POPOFF for Oakland.  Then you add the fact that ForageSF is becoming ForageOAK and…….well that’s a whole other story entirely that I hope to share.  There were offers of semi-perm popup places in new locations like Drake’s Brewery of San Leandro and Off the Grid Presidio Picnic in SF.   My pizza paisano James of Fist of Flour passed on the Friday keg to me which was an honor and a drunken blessing.   I love the people that visit and eat and drink with me at Drake’s as they are all good people.  Then I finally received the golden ticket.  Matt Wonka Cohen turned off the grid and let us in.  We were part of the pack in the park and never will I forget my season there.  It was a genuine pleasure to serve all our fans and regulars alike every Sunday like we were their personal Cheesus Crust needing a little communion from us.   Of course the people I spent the most time with were the staff and food making neighbors which I am most grateful for.  I made friends and mentors and food-trading pals and learned more there about the food scene than anywhere else.  I hope that remains a part of our POPUP life in 2015.

So that leaves us to this year.  What’s the big headliner and the caption to this year’s plans? Well I will start by giving you the blurt out version: INVESTING.  Getting down to the brass tacks of that resolution is currently classified.  :)  As resolutions never die I hope this year to also keep alive the spirit of the previous 2 years with a LOT more blogging (so share and comment and spread the word) and of course a lot more pop ups.  It’s all like a grilled cheese sandwich, pile it on and I’ll grill it all out nicely……

Thank you to everyone we worked with, for, next to, or any other direction in 2014.  Thank you to all our patrons and private clients alike.  Let’s cut out a block of space for a GrilledCheezGuy shop in 2015!

Sincerely,

GrilledCheezGuy

NEXT BLOG POST: Trying to keep up in the underground food scene, I check out Dinner Lab‘s take on the Cheesemonger CMI as two NYC events come together the same week the Winter Fancy Food show unleashes the samples. It’s a foodie vortex from the northeast or a trifecta I’m ready to bet on. Your pick. Stay tuned.

20 days of gigs.

Ok 17 but with prep included in between it was 20 days non-stop.  Private catering BONANZA.  As for public events, here is your list for the holiday season.  Come 2015, we will be making sure to display our full menus for all our locations and public events!  I am officially 6 months into being a full time small biz caterer and I can not be happier.  You are keeping us busy, happy, and helping support the local community.

Here are the remainder of events for December:

December 16th/17th – Rickshaw Stop 11-2pm Lunch.  Weekly special: Le Ham & Cheezy.               $2 pints & $10 grilled cheese + chips

December 19th – Drake’s Brewery 6-9(ish)pm Dinner. 

December 23rd/24th – Rickshaw Stop 11-2pm Lunch.  CLOSED FOR HOLIDAYS          

December 30th/31st – Rickshaw Stop 11-2pm Lunch.  Weekly special: Le Frenchy                           $2 pints & $10 grilled cheese + chips

Grilled Cheez Guy Cafe opens in SF Nov. 4th – Free Grilled Cheese

The rumors are true.  My internet silence is because I have been wheeling and dealing in the background to try and find perm strongholds for us and our grilled cheeses.  Our first location is the Rickshaw Stop in mid-market SF.  A mere two blocks from the tech giants like Twitter, Square, and Uber, we hope to serve them and all the other hungry fans and that area every Tuesday and Wednesday from 11-3pm.  If demand is high we look forward to more days and hours!

To kick it off we are inviting everyone to come down to the cafe on Tuesday and get a FREE GRILLED CHEESE for lunch.  You can pick up a menu and check out our spot while heading out the door with a hot gooey grilled cheese in hand.  Spread the word and the cheesy love!

So tell your friends we are open EVERY SINGLE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY STARTING THIS WEEK!

@RickshawStop

@RickshawStop

 

Permanent Pop Up Coming in SF! In the meantime…..

The rumors I have not started as rumors yet are true.  I’m establishing our first stronghold in the center of the tech city known as San Francisco and will have a date very soon (November).  We will be starting with 2 days a week lunch serve and expanding from there based on the response.  I am very excited to have a place to serve you and create fun cheesy dishes for you all on a weekly basis.

Before I start gearing up the GC machine for that giant promo (Free grilled cheese day???) I wanted to mention another friend who has perfected the pop-up in the bay area.  That would be Chef Peter Jackson of Canvas Underground who is hosting a piggy popup this Thursday.  You bet your bovine I will be there!

Full info below:

Pig Roast Dinner West Oakland Style

Pig Out Time

Pig Out Time

(Oakland, Calif. – September 25, 2014Boucherie Meats returns with a highly anticipated Pop Up Dinner

Series with a delicious Pig Roast on Thursday, September 25th at 7pm. This unique community dining experience will be a sharing of love for Pork and Oakland.  The pork-centric festivities will be held at RideSFO headquarters in West Oakland. Chef Peter Jackson, meat craftsman of Boucherie Meats, will roast a whole hog from Stone Valley Farm in a Caja China Box accompanied with a four course feast including roasted seasonal veggies, fresh corn polenta, and boca negra cake with berries. Pork lovers will have access to 3 dipping sauces: salsa verde, peach relish with chile morita, and a traditional Filipino lechon sauce.

Host, Phillip Segura, owner of RideSFO and organizer of SFBike Expo, will share his favorite craft brews and showcase the comedic styling’s of Hence Singleton.

Boucherie Meats specializes in handcrafted quality meats using sustainably and consciously grown hogs and produce. Fan favorites include coffee cured bacon, pancetta, guanciale as well as Louisiana style items like fresh andouille sausage, tasso and the traditional boudin. In addition to pop-up dinners, Boucherie Meats also offers classes and catering services for all types of events.

For more information, including tickets, visit us on Facebook, or at www.boucheriemeats.com

What: Boucherie Meats Pig Roast Dinner featured by RideSFO

When: Thursday, September 25, 7 p.m.- 10pm

Where: 3240 Peralta St. Oakland, CA 94608

Cost: $55 ticket, BYOB

Tickets at: http://www.boucheriemeats.com/product-category/popup-dinners/

The Elite Yelper’s Yelped us on the S.S. Yelp!

We attended the 10 year anniversary of Yelp on the Hornblower in SF.   If you were on the boat you would have seen me not grilling, but gambling and drinking the night away.  Needless to say I had a blast and apparently we had a lot of happy hungry fans enjoy our samples too!  I thought I would share some of our Yelp reviews we received since these probably will never be found by you or I otherwise.

We owe you a boat-load of thanks for making Yelp‘s Hornblower Sunset Cruise a 5-star affair! Your grilled cheese was a huge hit at the event, just read what the Yelpers said:
 
The grilled cheese sandwich had a long line but it was so worth it. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a grilled cheese sandwich as good as the one I sampled last night!” – Tina C
 
Memorable tastings included Peter’s tomato-basil kettle corn, Philz’ Ecstatic iced coffee, grilled cheese sandwiches, Vita Coco lattes, and those stroooong Wild Turkey manhattans!” – Regina N
TheGrilledCheezGuy 5/5:  I had the Veg or plain grilled cheese sandwich.  And plenty of them too!  Simply Wonderful with rich cheese flavor and grilled to perfection.  TheGrilledCheeseGuy was serving them 4 sandwiches at a time, because that’s all that would fit on the grill.  Even though the vessels power was barely enough to grill the sandwiches, they turned out perfect because of the tlc the young man spent making them.” – Patrick Y
Awwww shucks,
GCG

One week till GrilledCheezGuy at SF Street Food Festival!

That’s right people.  We promise to cook grilled cheeses equal or infinitely better than this Drunk Wife.  You never know though.

Come support us and the other beautiful vendors and people behind this final foodie event in the Mission.  It’s success means the show must move on!

MENU:

“Nacho average grilled cheese” – $8

Grilled peaches – $3

Watermelon agua – $3

Also possibly a mascot.  Yup.

Cheesy News!

I got a few big announcements coming very soon.  In the meantime while I enjoy my first week off without any weekday catering gigs, how about enjoying some grilled cheese links?

PS – If you did not see our recipe scroll below to see how we make our “Le Frenchy“.

Grilled cheese: 5 sandwiches twist on the classic

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Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Old Favorite, New Twist

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Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese

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Pirates take Grilli out of closer role

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Girl’d Cheese

Grilled Cheese Social ⋅ MacKenzie Smith
It’s really weird to think that my love of the grilled cheese sandwich has helped launch a legit career for myself. Sheesh, it actually blows my mind.
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Use It Up: Strawberry Jam Grilled Cheese

Savvy Eats ⋅ Julie
Jam grilled cheese is one of my favorite easy ways to use my preserves. This week, I’m playing with putting the grilled cheese in my waffle iron to cook.
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Chicken Bacon Ranch Grilled Cheese Recipe

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Grilled Cheese with Baby Spinach

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Asparagus Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

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The Must not Miss Swiss Recipe

One month ago I left my career and title as Scientist II (Level 2) to go full time GrilledCheezGuy IX (Level 9).  What the levels mean I’m not sure, the Swiss company I worked for started it.  I figured I could open more doors with each level or something but it didn’t quite work out that way.  My nine levels of GrilledCheezGuy, however, do have a purpose and meaning.  They each represent my nine national trophies.  With each cheesy conquering I became a better grilled cheese master and know I’m out on my own grilling the globe.

What I didn’t realize is that the very part of the globe I just walked away from wasn’t finished with me.  It seems the Swiss wanted to offer me one more door to open…..and store up to 21 bottles of wine in my VERY OWN NEW WINE FRIDGE! MICHAEL COME ON DOWN!!!!!!

Tis fate by the powers that brie themselves that I was chosen by Emmi cheese company to share a winning recipe using their cheese.   For Emmi has been one of my secret weapons in one of my most popular sandwiches for a while now.  The blog title is a little deceiving in that we are not using a Swiss cheese but actually there wonderful gruyere cheese!  It has been a staple part of our sandwich known as the Le Frenchy.  An edible homage to my french heritage melted into a cheesy culinary creation.   The sandwich is a deconstructed french onion soup that is loved by fans all over the brie area and now I have been asked to show and share this very recipe with the world, because I know the world is ready.  Just as ready as I am to have a wine fridge and not a garage sale fish wine rack that drops bottles once every three or four months.

Cheers and enjoy dear readers and judges for the Emmi cheese company as you learn the secret behind one of our most popular grilled cheeses.

The Le Frenchy (french-EEEEE)

photo 3

Bread – Best local levain you can find.  Seriously.

Butter – Best european salted butter you can find.  or churn.  Seriously. (1-2 pallets)

Cheese – Emmi’s Emmentaler AOC and Le Gruyere cheeses (1.75 oz of each), mozzarella (fresh 1.5 oz)

Extra’s – Caramelized onions (3.5 oz)

Equipment – Cuisinart’s GRIDDLER, brick.

The first thing you are wondering is why it says brick under equipment.  I mean the GRIDDLER is already a panini pro, right?  True.  But I still wanted to use our cooking technique so we chose to use the griddle side of the GRIDDLER combined with our brick.  Any brick will do but make sure it fits your pan and you clean it and wrap it well in tin foil for this process.  Here is the beauty of a brick we used in cooking this sandwich:

photo 3

The next steps involve preparing and stacking your sandwich for grilling.  Make sure to cut nice and thick pieces of bread so that they can absorb the butter and fats while being grilled.  When starting to stack the inside, the order matters greatly in grilled cheese making as there are certain cheeses you want to be near the outside and certain foods you don’t want to grill as much.  For the Le Frenchy, I put the mozzarella ( ~1.5 oz) on both sides of the bread and then both of the EMMI cheeses (1.75 oz of each) followed by the beautifully caramelized onions (3.5 oz).

If you are not an expert at the Maillard reaction yet then buy a bag of onions and start practicing.  Most people tend to not cook at a high enough heat and for not enough time leading to not perfect caramelized masterpieces like the one’s seen in the following pictures.

Once you have your sandwich stacked properly close it together and then give it a firm press down.  I like to pretend we give a little CPR to each of our sandwiches when making them, mostly to keep everything in place, and a little bit to give a little extra life to each one.

photo 4 photo 1 Le Frency

Once you have the grill on a nice medium-high heat you can butter the GRIDDLER and not the sandwich!  This is oh so important in getting an even grill across the bread and not just having patches of butter here and there.  Apply the brick and press hard on the sandwich.  I let each side cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side making sure to butter when you flip.   The result is a perfect golden brown beauty.  The cheese was perfectly melted and you can see a nice dark golden layer of onions in the center.  The sandwich is big, wholesome, and has the nice sharp and perfect gruyere flavor with a little extra stringy action going on from the mozzarella.  It takes a classic traditional soup and turns it into a portable plate that you can enjoy anywhere!

photo 4

So grill up and enjoy this European classic made with an American twist.  I’m proud to say we have been using the EMMI cheese line for our Le Frenchy since it’s creation and I hope you enjoy it your home too!

Sincerely,

GrilledCheezGuy

 

EXTRA CREDIT:  Next time make this with an actual onion vegetable soup broth and serve it as a dipping “au jus” for the sandwich!