So Tasty

Yesterday everyone asked if I was going to do something special for my birthday. I said I am going to sit by the pool and do absolutely nothing for a few hours and it was so nice. In a half a year I will be in Alaska and after that Antarctica, thus I am destined to soak up as much sun juice while I can in paradise before journeying to the Ice again.

I can never get enough of taking pics of palm trees.
The thinking tree.
Baby dinosaur.
You can kayak from island to island, no problema.
How much is it to buy that island?
Palm trees :)
Swimming pool.
I have about 6 cooks under my wing. Some know how to cook local dishes, while some are better at cleaning. My challenge this week is to organize and clean the entire kitchen, then organize the staff force a bit more. Where is a camera crew when you need it.
Oh geeze, teaching Onnie how to make blueberry muffins. We will work on organization later... welcome to Panama. If I am successful, I will have a breakfast staff to cook good breakfasts, so I can sleep in :) I haven't been able to sleep in since I left Antarctica in November. If the Chef gets to sleep in the dinners will be even more tasty.
Let's start with a sweet and sour chicken salad.
Taco salad.
Fresh red snapper tacos and fried yucca with sour cream.
Meat lover's pizza with chorizo, bacon and sausage. I have a fetish for stuffed crusts, so every pizza I make will have something in the crusts.. could be cheese.. could be olives.. or maybe something even better like a bunch of bacon. Did I just give one of my secrets away?
Pineapple and lobster pizza. Brie in the crusts.
A holistic Panamanian dish.
Roasted red snapper stuffed with salsa fresca, coconut rice, roasted squash and toasted plantains.
Filet mignon, potato and yambi puree, rosemary gravy, steamed beans and brocolli.
My famous Thai chicken curry, rice and lentils, roasted squash, salsa fresca, carmelized orange and homemade naan.
Honey glazed pork chop, poutine, chipotle corn and black bean blend, mixed roasted veg. I am practicing presentations and my first stop along the way is using up all the local fruits and veggies to roast, present and make sauces with. Reductions, reductions, reductions. Coconut cream goes a long way in making a spicy habanero sauce with reduced rum and pineapple somewhat sweet and not so spicy.
Huge lobster.
Creole chicken stir fry.
Candy Cody's famous peanut butter truffles. I derived this recipe from the Ohio buckeye candy recipe, but got lazy and just dipped the entire peanut butter fudge ball into island chocolate and rolled in it nuts.
Sopapillas and ice cream. Simple and sweet.


A New Beginning

I turn 25 years old in a couple days, but like most Chefs can account for holidays are usually just another day in the kitchen constructing festive foods. Yet as the date of which I was brought into this Earthly world 25 years ago nears I look back a bit, but more importantly look forward. The bassist of the Dandy Warhols is munchin on one of my Pecan Cinnamon Rolls right now and earlier we talked about the lives of rockstars. When a band becomes successful and when not is entirely up to the eye of the beholder, likewise, when a cook becomes a chef or a boy becomes a man is the same deal, entirely up to your opinion. I was born into this world an old spirit, so for me, this 25 year oldness is merely an interpretation of my cosmic spirit in human body form. According to the laws of gravity and the Earth's rotation my body has gone through 25 cycles of the sun, but my spirit... more than 25 lifetimes and God knows what else. The locals say I am Indiana Jones and in my opinion that's rather correct... I travel deep into the unknown across the seas in search of wisdom, in search of harmony and in search of an adventure. On Tuesday the owner's girl friend picked up a cute monkey for the day from a neighboring village. These are the gifts of life...

I have been rocking out in the kitchen non-stop just so I can get formally acquainted with these tools and walls.

Yesterday I needed some fruit and pine nuts so I took the 40-minute boat ride through islands of mangroves to Bocas del Toro where we do our shopping at.

Our dock.

The kayak shack.

Adios Emily.

Along the way we stopped at a local bar for some cheap, watered-down Panamanian beer.

Then we stopped at small village for some gas.

Here is Bocas.
Here is the best fruit and veg. shop in town.
When I got back I made my first menu for Popas.

A was shocked to see that the other cooks know a bit about bread and pasta making. This will not only help me out, but further the freshness and tastes of the foods on the menu.

My first product... silk chocolate cheesecake. Where I go cheesecakes follow.

Serving dinner.
Breakfast.. granola, fruit, mini bananas, yogurt and homemade pumpkin bread.

Senorita Jugo. The juice lady.
French toast, eggs, fruit.

Time for dinner... a simple garden salad with lemon vinaigrette.

Creole beef stir-fry with Caribbean veg. and coconut rice.

Honey glazed pork chop, potato puree, rosemary gravy and legumes.

Baked giant lobster, toasted plaintain, legums and coconut rice served with a passion fruit sauce.

Red snapper and spring veg. wraps with tartar sauce.

A super displays of creole veg. medley, rice, lentils and roasted eggplant.

Thai coconut chicken curry, rice and lentils, and homemade naan.

Yum yum.
In town a rasta dude suggested this for me... a female bull shark tooth with tigers eye. Tigers eye is a gem I use to promote actualizing my dreams and courage. It's working so far.