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Archive for the ‘Food for Thought’ Category

Keep Learning, Keep Growing!

Keep Learning, Keep Growing!

I am excited to share with you that I recently completed my Level I Court of Master Sommelier certification.
The first of 4 levels, and the beginning of an exciting and educational journey for myself and all that decide to study this challenging field.master-sommelier-logo

The Court of Master Sommeliers
“Som-el-yay” is recognized worldwide as the premiere educational and certifying authority, and education remains the Court’s charter. The first successful Master Sommelier examination was held in the United Kingdom in 1969.

In 1984 a gentlemen by the name of Fred Dame was the first American to pass all three parts of the Master level on his first attempt. After that amazing accomplishment Mr. Dame spearheaded the task of bringing the Court to the United States.

Currently there are only 211
Master Somms in the world. It is the ultimate professional credential for those in the service of wine, spirits and other alcoholic beverages.

Over the next few years I will continue to post updates on my progression, interesting wines that I am tasting, and of course wine travel.



Entertain Deliciously

Jamie McFadden

James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Challenge

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CUISINIERS CATERED CUISINE AND EVENTS has joined more than 100 other restaurants in the James Beard Foundation’s (JBF) Taste America® Local Dish Challenge. Foodies nationwide can show their local pride by participating in this social media-driven competition, which is part of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®: “Local Flavor from Coast to Coast,” 10-city tour exploring America’s diverse culinary diversity in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., September 20 through October 19.


Chef Jamie McFadden has chosen to feature Canaveral Rock Shrimp Tacos  (with sweet chili aioli, pickled celery and roasted Zellwood sweet corn) to showcase the best of the local food scene in Orlando from September 1 through October 31, 2013.  Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events will donate $1 from each dish sold as part of a menu from catered events to the JBF Taste America® Education Drive, which supports JBF’s educational programs on topics surrounding our country’s food system. These programs include the annual JBF Food Conference, JBF Leadership Awards, and new Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change.


For more information on James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®: “Local Flavor from Coast to Coast,” please visit

Table Manners……Five Pointers for World Eaters



In France your wine glass will continue to be refilled on most occasions.  So if during the course of your meal you have reached your limit, leave your glass or glasses full.

While traveling in Brazil, dress to impress!  Arriving to a special event or dinner in style is always admired.

Although this should be a common practice world wide, making eye contact with every person you clink glasses with during a toast is an absolute must in Austria.

“Eat While it’s Hot”, stands true for only pasta courses in Italy.  In other
words, as soon as your pasta is served to you, you may begin to indulge.  However, you must wait for everyone to be served before digging in on all other courses.

Keep your hands to yourself!  In France it is expected that while dining you keep both hands visible.  Otherwise guests may assume that you are being touchy feely with your dining companions.

10 Tips to Turn you into “The Host with the Most!”


Notify all invitees by phone, email or US mail at least 10 days prior to your celebration.  Request that they respond with “regrets only”.

Invite an array of friends and family to ensure that many conversations will be struck  and possible new friendships made.  Introduce those who do not know one another and point out anything they may have in common.

Greet your guests at the door as they arrive, offer them a beverage and or show them where the bar is.  I always have Champagne on the bar for my guests to begin there evening with if they choose.  Nothing says “Celebration” like bubbles.  I always have a few bottles of Schramsberg on hand just in case we have a “Pop Up” party.

Pre select a great playlist for the evening.  If using Pandora I suggest
Hotel Costes Radio

Be sure to have snacks out when guests arrive.  I love to offer pistachios,
a really great cheese…possibly something made locally along with an interesting salumi or two

If possible keep the bar and food stations in separate areas, this forces your guests to move around and mingle.

Keep um moving!  Unless you are serving a formal sit down dinner do not provide a seat for every guest.  When people sit they stop mingling and only chat with the person sitting next to them.

Prepare menu items that are easy to eat and do not require a knife.  Also, have a 80/20 mix of cold food to hot food.  This keeps you from a lot of last minute cooking when you should be mingling with your guests

Right before you open any food stations or serve dinner, and the majority of your guests have arrived I suggest stepping out of your comfort zone and
“Toasting your guests”.  One of my favorites goes like this…….
“There are tall ships and small ships and the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and long may they be!”

Of course the best tip I can share is:  Hire Cuisiniers and let us handle all the details.  Joking aside, it’s great fun to entertain, and anyone can do it well!
Organize yourself and follow these tips…..You’ll soon be hooked and so will your guests.  Entertain Deliciously!

Five Ingredients Every Savvy Home Cook Should Have in His/Her Cupboard

1.  Vinegar!
This one ingredient sets apart the professional Chef from the amateur. A splash of great vinegar, I suggest Banyuls, adds zest and life to not only salads but also sauces. Have you ever prepared Spain’s  version of pesto which is romesco?  This simple and delicious bread, Marcona almond and pepper sauce with a splash of Banyuls vinegar takes it over the top.

2.  Fresh Lemons
As with vinegar, lemons provide natural acid and sweetness. A squeeze on fish or on a salad is classic!  Try a squeeze of lemon in your favorite cocktail sauce recipe or in any aioli recipe you may utilize.
Also the zest of a lemon is a great addition to your homemade whipped cream that you place on fresh seasonal berries.

3.  Kosher, Sea and any Artisinal Salt
At your next dinner party blindfold your guests and do a tasting of 3 to 4 different salts, you will be amazed at their reaction. Throw that free-flowing iodized salt in the trash. It’s anti-caking agent Leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. The better the quality of salt the less you will use On your proteins and vegetables!  And don’t forget a pinch of delicious salt on your chocolate or  Caramel ice cream.

4.  Soy Sauce
Its not just an Asian thing.  A dash of soy sauce in your favorite barbecue sauce recipe, fresh tomato sauce or even some vinaigrettes adds a layer of richness that to most palettes is unidentifiable. Think of it as building flavor layers in your recipes

5.  Vegetable Stock
So easy to prepare and easy to store. This simple homemade ingredient adds that little bit extra to many many dishes. Prepare a 1 gallon recipe of vegetable stock, chill,  and then place in ice cube trays and freeze. The next time you are making a batch of black beans, add two cubes of this vegetable stock and taste the difference for yourself. Your grandma’s marinara sauce, add a vegetable stock cube, and to any fresh vegetable that you are steaming or sautéing.

Best Chefs America



 So honored to be recognized in Best Chefs America!


Top Wedding and Event Service Provider Award

Thanks to Orlando Life Magazine for selecting Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine and Events as a
“Top Wedding & Event Service Provider”


Orlando Sentinel Honors Chef Jamie with Hall of Fame Induction

jamie-mcfaddenChef Jamie McFadden, owner of Cuisiniers Catered Cuisine & Events, has a youthful outlook and appearance that often belies his experience in the Central Florida culinary scene.

Almost 20 years ago, he was one of the first local chefs to cook at the James Beard House in New York. McFadden, then the sous chef at Downtown Disney‘s Fireworks Factory, and other members of the so-called Swamp Cabbage Country Club headed to the Greenwich Village landmark to tout Florida agriculture.

McFadden returned to the Beard House in 2010 to cook with a new generation of young guns including Central Florida chefs James and Julie Petrakis (Ravenous Pig), Kevin Fonzo (K Restaurant & Wine Bar) and Scott Copeland (Antonio’s La Fiamma).

Always content to work under the radar and out of the spotlight, McFadden, 43, remains a tireless mentor to other chefs and champion of social issues.

In 2010 he co-founded The Peas Foundation that helps provide fresh fruits and vegetables to local homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other charitable organizations.

And this spring, his catering operation will move from Winter Park to Orlando’s East End Market, a showcase for local food artisans and cuisine in Audubon Park. BarJMe, his chef’s table gastropub, will remain in Winter Park.

McFadden — who owned the acclaimed Mimi’s Café & Wine Bar in Longwood, led the kitchen at Orlando’s Beragamo’s and worked as part-time chef instructor at the Disney Institute — is one of Orlando’s quiet culinary local heroes.

For more information about the Culinary Hall of Fame, click here.

Scott Joseph’s Pop Up Dinner

Cuisiniers had the privilege on Saturday, March 2nd, of creating the hors d’oeuvres menu for the much anticipated Pop-Up Dinner, organized by Orlando’s own Scott Joseph.  Alongside other chefs from the soon-to-be-completed East End Market, Chef Jamie compiled a menu that included a “New England Apple Empanada” and the “Ham Salad Sandwich” (don’t be fooled by it’s humbled namesake).  You can view the full menu below.  The Pop-Up Dinner location, Quantum Leap Winery in the Mills50 District, was announced to it’s guests on Friday via email.  Check out Scott Joseph’s Restaurant Guide for more information on the event and on upcoming Pop-Ups!

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Five Local Chefs, Orlando Cuisine WOW Big Apple: Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine

Here’s a write up about my experience at the James Beard House in New York.

Five Local Chefs, Orlando Cuisine Wow Big Apple

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