More Thoughts on Delaware North Culinary Cup Experience.

Chef Kevin Doherty (and Team Captain) also had some quick thoughts on the experience at the Culinary Cup competition. I wanted to share them below. He is also putting together a more formal reflection piece you will see in the next few days.

These are my quick running thoughts and reflections having just completed the Culinary Cup competition.

~ It was a busy year for the Boston Bruins with winning the Stanley Cup. When we started training for Culinary Cup competition one of the major thoughts was – do we have enough time to train so that we can truly compete?

~ Next thought: Who will be the team members? Who is the pastry chef? We need to identify quality chefs who won’t crumble under pressure.

~ Need to remember than when a chef undertakes training like this – it impacts their families. How will families react?

~ Establish a menu. What is possible? Where can we get stronger? Can we do this?

~ Time to schedule practices. Chef Jamie has a baseball game? Damn. Conflicts like this are a constant challenge.

~ That second practice was not bad, definitely better than the first. But, we are not yet medal material. We need to get there.

~ You know what will help? A review from three Certified Masters Chefs who are honest and willing to kick our butts. Let’s ask the Cordon Bleu if we can use their school…

~ Wait, I need to call Mary Burich to help with books. Sorry Mary, we sent you Greek and you turned it into a work of beauty…and you did it in three days.

~ Did we book flights yet?

~ Hotel rooms. Yes, we’ll need those. Let’s share rooms and save money.

~ Let’s go shopping for food. We are on a budget. We need potatoes, olive oil, fruit…

~ Hungry? The Golden Corral all-you-can-eat buffet is only $11.53/person. They have salads.

~ Babalous Bodatious BBQ – Texas Ribs = Yum.

~ You have to find time to de-stress. Let’s have some fun.

~ Somebody just lost their sunglasses when they blew out the car window…

~ What do you mean you don’t have a lift gate, my boxes weight 940 lbs…

~ Don’t let Jamie use iPhone to get us back to the hotel. He’ll get us somewhere, but it may not be our hotel.

~ I need to find some flowers in Florida, can you do a New England fall colors theme?

What We Learned As A Team

~ All jobs are of equal importance. No one person is too good for any task when it comes to team preparation.

~ When you get a seven-page critique from three Certified Master Chefs and you listen to what they say, you will win a gold medal. Thank you so much Chef Henin, Chef Dumont and Chef Mancuso.

~ Sleep is overrated. When you compete, you do what the team needs and you just do it.

~ We are a team. We eat together, travel together, iron napkins together. We do whatever it takes to be successful.

~ As we were taught, drive the route, know where you are going. Plan ahead.

I also need to give a quick list of people who were involved in this project and deserve recognition.

The Team: Jamie Caudy, Patrick Kilduff, Liz Silva, Jonathan Restropo (Student)

The Mentor: Chef Roland Henin, CMC

Delaware North Companies Leadership: Mike Zielinski, Richard Dobranski and everyone who supports the idea of pushing Culinary Arts

Back up Support: Chef Mancuso, CMC and Chef Dumont, CMC

Le Cordon Bleu – for letting us use the school facilities

Jon Espelage – Former chef at Marriott World Center and my college roommate

Jon Walsh Tampa Hockey – Sous Chef

My wife Maureen and the kids: Edward, Caitlyn and Joey

Chef Josh – For holding down the fort.

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