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Phil_A_Mignon's Profile

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Cooking Ministry - Where can I do it???

What I'm asking for are ideas for venues that might be able to accommodate my mission. I'm not sure why everyone is getting all consumed with admonishing me to be careful about how I go about this. I am well aware of how narrow this is. I'm not trying to secretively "convert" vulnerable children. My "program" ... whatever that will look like ... will HIGHLIGHT the fact that this is a Christian ministry, up front, above all else. All I'm asking for is ideas I may not have already thought of, that's all. Pretty straightforward.

Mar 10, 2014
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food
1

Cooking Ministry - Where can I do it???

And I am very familiar with and respect that climate at a center aimed at helping grieving children. I volunteered for a year at a place called Peter's Place in Radnor, PA, where it is extremely neutral. I have no problem with that. But it doesn't sync with what I believe to be truth, which is why I want to start my own ministry that centers on Christianity and cooking.

Mar 10, 2014
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food

Cooking Ministry - Where can I do it???

I appreciate the feedback. Of course, I'd make it very clear that the Christian Gospel is at the heart of this ministry. I would never try to "hide this within cooking." Cooking is the activity that brings us together communally, gets us working together, communicating, etc. It also is chock full of analogies for life.

Mar 10, 2014
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food

Cooking Ministry - Where can I do it???

So, I'm a Born Again Christian who has an insane passion (and dare I say, knack) for cooking. I lost my father to cancer when I was 10 years old, and ever since that time, I've always dreamed of doing something for children who have lost a parent/suffer from grief from any type of loss, really. I found my passion for cooking about 12 years ago, and it wasn't until recently that I got the idea to exploit my passion for cooking by using it to fulfill my dream of serving God and, more specifically, serving grieving children. Basically, I want to host cooking classes for these children to give them an outlet (say once a month) where they can put their grief aside or work out their grief through the therapy of cooking. Of course, The Gospel would be central to it all, but I'm getting off on a tangent ...

My problem is, I don't have any ideas on where to do this. My kitchen is too small, as is my church's kitchen. I would need to squat in a kitchen that can accomodate my need to cook with a group of people, and it needs to be free or REALLY cheap. This will be completely volunteer and non-profit on my part, as all funding will be out of my own pocket. I will do it once a month to start (unless it explodes and there's a need to do it more frequently). It will be a side endeavor, as I am full-time employed. (Hopefully someday, I can grow this to a point where I can do it full-time on a large scale for a lot of children on a weekly basis year-round. I would love any ideas on who I can pitch to use their kitchen, and how to make such a pitch. I love you all for even reading this post and taking even a minute to consider it. God Bless you.

Feb 11, 2014
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food
1

Roasting whole lambs. Time? ..

I will be roasting two baby lambs, about 20 lbs each, this Saturday. One will be roasted on a spit over coals, and one will be cooked in a bee hive-shaped, brick wood-burning oven. I know there are a lot of variables, but I am wondering if anyone has an idea of how long it will take to cook each? I am a fairly skilled home chef, but I have never done a lamb on a spit or in a wood burning oven before. Looking for approximate times here, and I'm also open for any tips or suggestions. Thanks

Jun 17, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

Where should we go for a GREAT dinner to impress someone on their first Philly visit?

I would argue that Vetri's unprecedented elevation of food in his flagship restaurant made the the culinary ground in Philly fertile enough for other chefs to plant their restaurants and be successful. Because I would argue that his adventurous food expanded people's expectation of food in that town, which paved a road to success for the likes of Garces and others. Sikora wasn't even on the radar until Talula's Table. Stephen Starr is a business man whose restaurants are about atmosphere, not food. Perrier's food, while remarkable, was the very sort of food that Vetri's menu departed from ... traditional and predictable.

I'll put it this way. When Rocco Whalen, Michael Symon, Jonathan Sawyer, Barbara Lynch, Thomas Keller, Tom Colicchio, Daniel Stern, Mario Batali, Jonathan Waxman and countless other giants in the industry visit Philadelphia, you're not going to find them eating anywhere other than Vetri's or Garces' places. Personally, I think Osteria is the best of those choices.

Jun 12, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

Where should we go for a GREAT dinner to impress someone on their first Philly visit?

When Marc opened Vetri in the 90's, there was Lebec Fin and nothing else. It changed everything. Anyone who knows food and knows Philly, understands this.

Jun 12, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

Where should we go for a GREAT dinner to impress someone on their first Philly visit?

My dear,

Ignore just about all the advice you've heard thus far. Go. To. OSTERIA (North Broad Street, Fairmount section).

Osteria is rustic Italian, has been voted the best restaurant in Philadelphia multiple times, and is part of the Vetri Family. Marc Vetri, if you don't know, started the culinary movement in Philadelphia and is the sole reason why the Philly food scene is what it is today. Many here have mentioned Zahav (Israeli food, btw ... no one mentioned that). Food is excellent there, if you like Israeli/Middle Eastern food. But guess what? Michael Solomonov, the chef owner of Zahav, used to be a chef under Marc Vetri. Trust me, go to Osteria if you want the best of what Philly has to offer. Excellent atmosphere, phenomenal, hearty, rustic, authentic Northern Italian, good honest dishes, phenomenal service. Worth every penny. Afterwards, walk around the corner to Alla Spina for beers. Alla Spina (which translates "from the tap"), is Marc Vetri's Italian Spin on a gastropub, with an incredible beer list. Funky, edgy, fun atmosphere.

But no question, go to Osteria.

Jun 12, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

Wine Storage Appliances

I am going to install wine storage equipment in my home. I'm trying to decide between Miele and Eurocave home wine storage units, and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me which is better and why?

Jun 12, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Wine

rotisserie needed

Chefmonty .. you rule. Thank you.

Apr 26, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

rotisserie needed

I am looking for a place where I can rent a charcoal grill and accompanying rotisserie ... of a size that can accomodate a small lamb or goat. Actually, the rotisserie is of more importance, as I can dig a hole in the ground or cut an oil barrel in half if I need to, for the charcoal. I can't seem to find a place that rents a rotisserie of this size, however. I live in Chester County (45 minutes outside Philly), but am willing to travel to South Jersey, or about an hour in any direction from me.

Also, while I'm here, and suggestions as to where I might obtain a good quality, humanely raised, whole lamb or goat?

Apr 24, 2013
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

andouille sausage search

Doing a lobster bake next week and I'm looking for quality andouille sausage. I live in Exton, PA. I realize I could find the stuff in Philly, but does anyone know of a place within a reasonable distance to where I am where I could get the stuff. Thanks.

May 28, 2010
Phil_A_Mignon in Philadelphia

Personal Chef

Yes, I meant "stage" and I spelled it phonetically for the unfamiliar.

I wasn't employed. I was there one day a week for 6 months. Staging. Why the semantics of this matters to you is weird.

Nov 16, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food

chicken fat

I would love a reliable and tested answer to the question: What is the shelf life of rendered chicken fat (schmaltz)? And while I'm at it, any suggested uses aside from roasting potatoes?

Nov 16, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

Dinner in DC

I will be in DC in a couple of weeks with 3 or 4 coworkers. I am a serious foodie, but my coworkers are not. That being said, they are entrusting me with the responsibility of choosing a really nice restaurant for dinner, and they are willing to be adventurous with dinner that evening. I know nothing of DC dining. Can anyone recommend a place that fits the following criteria:

Any type of cuisine except Indian food, and no steak houses
focus on locally sourced, fresh food
atmosphere that is really nice, but not high-brow or stuffy
price point no greater than around $45 for average entree (looking for a really nice meal, but not French Laundry nice)

(open to anything, but French or Northern Italian is preferred)

Thanks.

Jul 20, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Washington DC & Baltimore

Roasting Time on a Pig

Sorry. Roasting it in an enclosed roaster over lump charcoal (not smoking it, just indirect heat in a roaster). I'm serving it over polenta, no sandwiches. I guess I want it to a point where it's falling apart and I have nice crispy skiin. Hope that helps.

Jun 20, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

Roasting Time on a Pig

I am slow roasting a 70lb pig today. I beg someone to tell me how long this will take if my roaster is about 300 degrees, so that I can time my dinner serving time and start the pig at the right time. I don't want my guests to be standing around waiting for dinner, and I also don't want my pig to be done 3 hours before dinner (which is 5pm). PLEASE HELP.

Jun 19, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

Little Italy destinations

Thank you, DavyTheFatBoy ... it seems you're the only one who understands what I'm looking for. I, along with my father-in-law, are well aware of the condition Little Italy is in and the fact that it is Chitalian at this point. I personally am well aware that I can go to one hundred other places within a mile of LI and find really good food. I would even venture to say that the people coming in from Italy are not expecting the food in LI to bring them right back to those memories when they were a peasant child tearing into some rustic meal al fresco. My father-in-law is looking to have them experience Little Italy, whatever that may mean, in the most unapologetic way. I just thought I'd get an idea of what the best of the worst is down there, that's all. And no we're not going to the Bronx. I appreciate the suggestions.

May 27, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Manhattan

Little Italy destinations

That's why I stressed it has to be in Little Italy. I've eaten at Babbo, and yes, phenomenal. But my father-in-law can't pay for 15 people at Del Posto. Can we stay on topic please??

May 26, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Manhattan

Little Italy destinations

15 relatives of my father-in-law are coming from Italy to visit the family here in southeastern PA for a wedding. My father-in-law is planning a trip to NY during their stay to see Lady Liberty and Little Italy. I'm from Bergen County NJ and somewhat familiar with Manhattan, so he's bringing me along as a quasi-guide. We're piling into a huge party van and heading in on a Wednesday. I've been to Little Italy a few times, but a while ago. I understand that culinarily speaking, Little Italy is mostly a red sauce district. While I don't have any major problem with that (as my father-in-law and his family are southern Italian), I prefer to lead them somewhere for a meal and atmosphere that isn't so "Goodfellas-esque." Something a bit more upscale and not so red-and-white checked tablecloth and straw-wrapped chianti bottle. But it has to be in Little Italy. I would love any suggestions.

May 26, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Manhattan

Pig Roasting Dilemma

Hosting 15 dads on Father's Day and I'm gonna roast a pig. I'm getting my pig from a guy I buy my meat from out in Lancaster County (I'm in Exton, PA). My pig will only be about 60-70 lbs. I want to slow cook this baby over charcoal/wood, but here's my problem: I don't know what roasting equipment I need or where to get it. I've looked into the outfitters who do this sort of thing and discovered that there seems to be only be two options. I could rent a huge tow-behind roaster but they are typically gas (which I don't want) and they are really meant for a 150-200 lb. hog. My pig would get lost on such a thing and (I imagine) not cook properly. The other option is to rent a 5-6 foot charcoal grill. The problem with these grills is that I have not found a company who rents a grill this big that comes with a top. It's open grilling, and would I not need an enclosed vessel to properly cook my pig? And if you're thinking "just rotisserie roast it over direct heat on that 5-6 foot grill"" (which I thought of), is there a rotisserie that would be able to support that much weight?? I know I can have certain companies out there supply and roast the pig themselves and then deliver it to me afterwards, but c'mon people, I'm on Chowhound for cryin out loud ... of course I wanna roast this thing myself in front of my guests for several hours with beers in hand. Isn't that the whole point?

Does anyone have ANY suggestions on how to go about this? And if so, who can outft me in my area? Thanks much.

May 16, 2009
Phil_A_Mignon in Pennsylvania

Anthony Bourdain Show

Anyone familiar with the "Celebrity Chef Series" ... a series of live shows, each headlined by one of a handful of celebrity chefs/personalities? Not sure if this is a national thing, but I know it's running in Atlantic City, NJ at Caesar's Palace. This Sunday, 10/12/08, I am going to the Anthony Bourdain installment ("Anthony Bourdain: Up Close and Personal"). I'm wondering what these shows are like. Is it just Anthony sitting there talking the whole time? And for how long? Is there audience participation? Is it purely culinary theme? comedy? commentary? all of the above? While I could sit and watch Bourdain talk about anything for hours, i'm just trying to gauge what this show is like and how long it lasts, so that I can plan the rest of my stay in AC. Any intel would be so very appreciated.

Oct 08, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Food Media & News

Tony Bourdain

Anyone familiar with the "Celebrity Chef Series" ... a series of live shows, each headlined by one of a handful of celebrity chefs/personalities? Not sure if this is a national thing, but I know it's running in Atlantic City, NJ at Caesar's Palace. This Sunday, 10/12/08, I am going to the Anthony Bourdain installment ("Anthony Bourdain: Up Close and Personal"). I'm wondering what these shows are like. Is it just Anthony sitting there talking the whole time? And for how long? Is there audience participation? Is it purely culinary theme? comedy? commentary? all of the above? While I could sit and watch Bourdain talk about anything for hours, i'm just trying to gauge what this show is like and how long it lasts, so that I can plan the rest of my stay in AC. Any intel would be so very appreciated.

Oct 07, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Not About Food

citrus juice

So I had this massive barbecue last weekend that featured many things that required lime juice (guacamole, salsa, flank steak marinade, mixed drinkss, etc.). At the start of my prep, I just went ahead and juiced like a case of limes for all of the aforementioned uses. Of course, I now have about a quart of lime juice sitting in my fridge. I am at 6 days from the barbecue. My question is, how long does lemon or lime juice last once you've separated it from the lemon or lime? What is the shelf life? Does it actually spoil?

Jul 24, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

Vanilla Sugar

So we've all watched tv chefs make something that involves a vanilla bean, and inevitably that chef will suggest that a great way to recycle that vanilla bean is to stick it into your sugar bowl to make vanilla sugar.

Super.

... But what the hell do I do with vanilla sugar? I'm sure there are a myriad of things to do with vanilla sugar; but being more of a cook than a baker, I can't think of one, and I'm very interested in hearing some ideas.

Jul 15, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Home Cooking

43 PIzza joints in 30 days

Here's an update: As of right now, best pizza in Philadelphia is the brick oven pizza of Osteria, North Broad Street, Philly ... specifically, the "Lombarda". Hands down. End of sentence.

Jul 13, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Pennsylvania

Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream? [Split from Pennsylvania board]

Crispycar, is that the ONLY differentiating factor between the two? Because I have heard/read from several reputable sources (foodnetwork.com, the executive chef in Philly's top restaurant, and Gina DiPalma's dessert cookbook) that it's a fat content thing. What am I missing here? I would love a hard fast answer on this matter (i.e. gelato = x, and ice cream = y). Help.

Jun 26, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in General Topics

I Scream for Ice Cream (Maker)

I see your point. All I can say is, they're rollin' the dice on me. If a widespread e coli epidemic hits the Chester County area around the third week in July, you know where it came from.

On other matters, you sound proficient in ice cream making. So let me ask you: How does one take a recipe that makes 3 1/2 cups and increase it to yield enough for about 30 people??

Jun 26, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Pennsylvania

I Scream for Ice Cream (Maker)

Hey Dave,

Thanks, but refer to my response to ICECREAMEXPERT above. I got it handled, no problem.

Jun 26, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in Pennsylvania

Mad hunt for vintage candy

You are awesome, gheart ... and the rest of you. What a supportive forum! My condolences for your loss, and please let me know if Elmer's Candy responds to your letter. Thanks so much!

Jun 25, 2008
Phil_A_Mignon in General Topics