Author: cheftorsten

Confession: I love Crêpes!

I just realized while looking at some of my work that I am absolutely in love with crêpes. There is something tremendously fun about applying batter onto an evenly heated cast iron crêpe maker and forming a 15″ disk using only a wooden rake. Even more satisfying is the ability to create dishes using crêpes as a base.  Imagine the batters you can create when there are no rules to follow.  If someone would ask me to write 100 different crepe recipes, I would say, no problem – give me two hours.  I have over the years created hundreds of dishes featuring savory, sweet and gluten-free crêpes. Just last week I featured a buckwheat crêpe filled with lobster, blood orange, bacon, frisee and avocado.  Just look at these ingredients!  Don’t they get you going?  Wouldn’t you like one, like right now?  See, this is what I am talking about!  I always crave crêpes!  They are a simple, fast and light food that anyone can enjoy morning, day or night. This week on our menu you will find a crepe filled with …

How To Create A Tasty Dish

As Chef at The Blue Door, I am required to create new dishes every week for both breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Among other things, changing a menu keeps us challenged and interested, and it also keeps our patrons coming back! And it is this kind of challenge that holds the most difficulty (but also the bulk of the satisfaction) for me, especially if our guests agree. So how do I create a dish?  I have been trying to develop a methodical and logical approach to this dilemma for quite some time and although creating a dish depends on many different factors like mood, time of day and inspiration, here is a graphic representation of my thoughts. For me, a new dish almost always starts with something that I like anyway – i.e. a specific food, flavor or cooking method that I truly enjoy.  After all, I believe that I wouldn’t & shouldn’t be serving something to you that I don’t enjoy eating myself! First Thoughts Since I believe that freshness is so important, I begin by looking …

Croissant

Nobody would ever come to Northeast Ohio and expect to get a decent croissant (or any other Viennese pastry for that matter) – after all, this area isn’t exactly a culinary mecca. However, we at The Blue Door, have become masters of our craft because a very loyal local following has allowed us to practice and keep doing what we love!  We promise that if you taste our croissant, you will want to bust out your accordion and put on your red beret. Welcome To The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery! Under the leadership of Michael Bruno, a  former Marine infantry officer, the Blue Door bakery has evolved into what is arguably, the best and well known bakery in northeast Ohio. We bake many different Viennese pastries and breads, however over the years our customers have most certainly pointed us in one direction, namely the simple but elegant croissant. Baking croissant is truly a labor of love, and we literally get better every day. Our croissant start out with a fine yeast dough – made using artisan …

Lobster Roll

Maine lobster spring rolls with avocado, pineapple & vanilla coconut sauce. Perhaps, when we think of spring roll’s, we think of fatty, deep fried, brown rolls that are usually dipped into an undefinable sauce.  Although this calorie packed food has its place, there is, I believe, a much better and healthier alternative – the Vietnamese style spring roll!  In contrast to the well known, deep fried spring roll – which is most likely made using flour, the Vietnamese roll is made with rice paper and is often eaten without cooking.  This is a food you may find in a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant and is mostly served with a sweet peanut sauce. I truly enjoy working with rice paper and in my opinion it is actually a quite perfect food.  It has hardly any calories, it is made from rice, it can be eaten without cooking and you can use it in sweet or savory applications. For our wonderful dish, we decided to combine lobster and avocado, which are both delicious served slightly chilled – it is summer after all! …

Food Photography By Chef

I have been taking pictures of food for over a decade. I started by investigating camera settings and then slowly learned the process of photography. I have been fortunate to spend time with and learn from some very good photographers – and this has helped me immeasurably in understanding this craft. Although I am no where near expert status or would I ever call myself a photographer, I did develop what I would call my own style of photography – which encompasses the following characteristics: Deep depth of field Vibrant Colors Close to the subject Highest possible details My setup is pretty simple (when it comes to this trade) – 2 lights (320 watt with silver lined reflective umbrella, 160 watt white umbrella shoot through); Nikon D610 and a cheap plastic lens (AF Zoom-Nikkor 35-80mm f/4-5.6D N). The most important tool I have come to appreciate is my color checker.  Every time I take pictures, my first picture is the color checker. Color accuracy is something I pay a great deal of attention to. My …

Chicken Pot Pie Crepe

Chicken pot pie in the U.S. is much like chicken fricassee in Europe.  I grew up eating fricassee with rice, peas, Worcestershire sauce and cheese… delightful.  Although arguably a chicken pot pie should be reserved for colder days, it was just too long for me to wait, and I decided that a wonderful chicken fricassee wrapped in a freshly prepared crepe with awesome Gruyere cheese, was something that fellow pot pie lovers would not be able to resist.  Turns out I was right!!!  To date, this is our best selling crepe on the menu! Here at the Blue Door we only use organic, free range chicken – for breakfast or lunch.  For dinner, we go one step further and serve what is called, Green Circle chicken which is really the finest chicken I have had here in the states.  It is raised on an old fashioned diet, namely, kitchen scraps!  Although Green Circle chicken has its own unique flavor, you may not always taste the difference between organic and conventionally raised birds.  We believe however, that the thought of responsibly …

Scallop & Tequila! Oh Yeah …

Seared Scallops, Grilled Watermelon, Grapefruit & Aperol. I recently had a chance to work with Chef Adam Kenworthy in SOHO.  We had a great time working together in the kitchen.  After work, Adam decided to make a couple of margaritas and they were incredible.  Since I don’t regularly consume alcohol but really enjoyed these flavors, I decided to create a dish around this delicious combination.  I learn something new about my profession every day! So here it goes!  Don’t eat and drive & please, always eat responsibly! For my initial inspiration I used Adam’s fantastic margarita.  Adam mixed together fresh grapefruit juice, aperol, fresh watermelon juice, fresh lime and organic tequila (Del Maguey VIDA Mezcal) , finishing everything off with some fresh basil. I absolutely love fresh, jumbo scallops – especially seared hard with lots of salt – and they only seemed a logical choice to highlight these incredible flavors.  I really don’t like to admit, but I actually like the super caramelized crust the best 😳.  If you are able to sear a scallop hard …