The original version of sisig, as described in a 1732 dictionary, was a green papaya salad served with salt, pepper, garlic and vinegar. The version we know today is markedly different.
“It’s a traditional Filipino dish that has a lot of sour and bitter notes. It’s made from the leftover head after roasting a whole pig,” says Chef Eric Ernest, CEC, CCA, Executive Chef, USC Hospitality. “Sometimes they’ll put in the liver, belly snout, ears or cheeks … then it’s chopped up with calamansi — that’s a Filipino lime — and there’s egg and onion.”
Sisig, and Filipino food as a whole, is gaining in popularity in America. “It fits into the trends of creativity, international, wholesome flavors and whole animal butchery,” Ernest says. “It’s the perfect storm for Filipino cuisine.”
Chef Ernest talks modern sisig during Cook. Craft. Create. in New Orleans on July 16. Visit acfchefs.org/Convention for more info.
Allergies vs. Intolerances
While food allergies are often dismissed as pickiness, the reality is that food allergies can be life-threatening. Knowing the difference between allergies and intolerances, and how to deal with each, is of utmost importance for a chef.
“Understanding how to avoid feeding customers potentially harmful food can be the difference between life and death for your customers, your reputation, and make or break your career,” says Leah Sarris, Executive Chef at the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine. “An intolerance, for example, may cause a stomach ache (which an allergy may also), but an allergy could cause visual hives and swelling, even leading to anaphylaxis, which may lead to throat swelling and possible death if not treated immediately.”
Want to learn more? Sarris gives a hands-on workshop at Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine on July 15 during Cook. Craft. Create. Attendees are eligible to receive CEHs.
Take Your Best Shot
Not all food photography is created equal, as anyone who’s ever seen a photo of a dish that should have been appetizing but looks more akin to wet cat food can attest. If you need help making your dishes look delicious, Susan Bourgoin, president of Visual Cuisines Inc. offers these tips:
• “You never want to front-light your food. That’s the golden rule of food photography,” Bourgoin says. “You lose the texture in the food. It flattens it and makes it very unpalatable.” Light your photos from the side or from behind instead.
• “Get near a window if you don’t have professional lighting equipment,” she says. “One of my favorite tricks is using one of the cardboard circle tops of the to-go containers to reflect light into the shadows.”
• Know when to hire a food photographer. If you’re shooting for your Instagram page, you can likely do it yourself. But if the shot is for a billboard, start looking up pros in your area.
Bourgoin will present an in-depth talk on these topics as well as on how to increase your bottom line with food photography on July 19 during Cook. Craft. Create.
Did your school make the grade? The National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) 2018 National Culinary Challenge will take place on July 11, in Providence, Rhode Island during the NACUFS national conference. The winners of each of NACUFS’ regional culinary competitions will square off for gold, silver and bronze medals before a live audience of college and university foodservice professionals, industry experts and ACF judges.
The junior culinary team at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas, was named ACF Culinary Youth Team USA 2020. The youth team will represent ACF, the United States and all young chefs in the country on their journey to the 2020 Internationale Kochkunstausstellung, or “culinary Olympics,” in Stuttgart, Germany.
Team members are Elijah Luck, captain; Melissa Dodd; Torian Jenkins; Ellianna Pageler; Bailey Sargent and Madison Woods. Edward Adel, CEC, culinary instructor, is the team’s coach.
“Johnson County Community College and the culinary team here are very proud to get the chance to represent all the junior culinarians across the country,” Adel says. “We will work hard to represent the country as other teams have in the past.”
Thirteen Jamaican chefs tested for various levels of ACF certification March 29-31 at Montego Bay Convention Center, Rose Mount Cres, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The students were the first to take the Jamaica-based exams. The project is part of a pilot program of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation, which hopes to help more locals get certifications to raise the country’s culinary profile on the international stage.
“I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made with this very important initiative. My Ministry is determined to provide more training opportunities to increase certification and innovation for the very talented people of Jamaica,” says Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett. “This is the essence of what is going to build out the professional pathway in tourism.”
Raise Your Cups
The ninth annual Chesapeake Culinary Cup was held at Anne Arundel Community College’s Hotel Culinary Arts and Tourism (HCAT) Institute on Sunday, April 29. The ACF-sanctioned competition is open to regional college culinary arts programs.
Chesapeake Culinary Cup Team Results:
1st Place: SUNY Delhi (NY)
2nd Place: Monroe College (NY)
3rd Place: HCAT Institute
Honorable Mention: Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts
Honorable Mention: Howard Community College
Keep It Up
Staying current with the latest information, trends and techniques can help you advance in your career, not to mention maintain your ACF certification. To maintain that certification after you graduate, take 16 continuing education hours (CEHs) every year. Below are a few upcoming classes. The full list can be viewed on the certification website.
Cutting Edge Petit Gateaux with Amaury Cuichon, July 16-18, PreGel, Concord, NC; 24 CEHs
East Meets West with Chef Andres Lara, July 23-26, The French Pastry School, Chicago, IL; 28 CEHs
International Cake Exploration Societé 43rd annual Convention and Show, July 25-29, Cincinnati, OH; 25 CEHs