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Michael Hutchings
Santa Barbara, California USA
Professional Chef/Businessman with a catering company and whole food manufacturing.
Interests: astronomy, archeology, gemology, architecture, gastronomy, cosmology, astrophysics, politics, sculpture
Recent Activity
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Peaches on a Cloud At a recent gala dinner Chef Christine Dahl and I were enlisted to prepare a dessert of some 260 guests at Hearst Castle. The recipe of choice needed to pair with a cremant wine from Schramsberg winery. Normally I am not prone to fanciful names for... Continue reading
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Hard-boiled Quail Eggs Maybe this dish is one of those effete, overly fussed dishes like Peacock Tongues en Gelée, Gold leafed and Served Under Glass, Perfumed with Smoked Ginseng Root. In any event, these were delicious appetizers we served at a recent wine dinner. It is really a simple dish... Continue reading
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Black River Caviar Ahi Tuna Tartar in Sesame Cones We recently participated in a dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. The Central Coast Wine Classic has hosted a multi-chef dinner at Hearst Castle for the past 25 years. Our contribution this year were the canapés served on a... Continue reading
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Chefs Michael Hutchings and Christine Dahl The 25th Dinner at Hearst Castle was held last week and featured the culinary artistry of renowned chefs from throughout California, Carmel (Cal Stamenov of Marinus at Bernardus & Wendy Brodie, Television Chef), Monterey (Kurt Grasing of Grasing’s), Napa (Ken Frank of La Toque),... Continue reading
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Chef Christine Dahl does magic with butter, sugar, flour, eggs and fruits. Here is an elegant wedding cakes that features draped fondant icing. Chef Dahl fussed over the flower placement until the right natural effect was achieved. Continue reading
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My wife is very sweet. That is to say, my pastry-chef wife is a master of sweets. Chef Christine Dahl prepares special occasion cakes like this classic wedding cake. The four tiered beauty is covered with fondant icing and has buttercream piped on for the decorative element. All the piping... Continue reading
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OK, it's summer and the squashes are rampant at the local farmers market. I dubbed these starburst summer squash. I did a simple saute with garlic, shishito peppers and fresh herbs from our garden. Next time round, I'll hollow them out, stuff with a mushroom duxelle and bake with a... Continue reading
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We enjoyed a simple grilled Branzino dinner. Great fish, simply adorned with lemon-parsley butter, potatoes darphin and a ratatouille. Continue reading
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We eat well at home. A trip to the Farmers Market and local seafood maker brought home the makings for dinner. Back in my childhood days, there was a kids show that featured cartoons, mostly Popeye the Sailor. The host was also an artist and he had a kid make... Continue reading
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Flageolet Beans The local Farmers Market in Santa Barbara always has a surprise or two. Last week I bought fresh flageolet beans and used them for an impromptu vegetarian dinner. Usually the only flageolet beans that are available are dried and come from France. I jumped at the ideas of... Continue reading
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Yes, We eat like this all the time! We eat well at home. A trip to the Farmers Market and local seafood maker brought home the makings for dinner. Back in my childhood days, there was a kids show that featured cartoons, mostly Popeye the Sailor. The host was also... Continue reading
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I made an impromptu salad from the Farmers Market excursion yesterday. Diced Persian cucumbers and vine tomatoes were tossed with pistachio oil and balsamic vinegar and used to dress a perfectly ripe avocado. Sometimes the less done the better a dish can be. It's about the ingredients. Chef Michael Hutchings Continue reading
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Tart Tatin The French classic Tart Tatin is on of my most favored desserts. The original method I learned from my chef-friend James Sly is an hours-long process. About 18 apples are peeled, halved and cored then slowly cooked with butter and sugar to a caramelized state, topped with puff... Continue reading
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Mini Cheese Soufflés 300 Eggs, Separated Question: What has 300 eggs, 30 pounds of Gruyere cheese, 6 gallons of cream, 4 pounds of butter and flour, four gallons of milk and 2000 legs? Answer: The Santa Barbara Wine Festival with 1000 guests enjoying 1200 tastes of the famed Soufflé Suissesse... Continue reading
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Alexander Plating Canapes Back Stage at the Granada This past weekend we catered a post performance reception at the Granada Theatre. The performance was Camelot and I suppose we should of had Ye Olde English Fare but opted for some of my tried and true canapes. Since we were serving... Continue reading
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During my stint at the Olive Mill Bistro in Santa Barbara (1981-1984) I worked with a classically trained waiter from Austria, Otto Berger. When the Sommerset restaurant closed in about 1967, he formed a partnership with Gil Rosa and Paul Vercammen to open the Olive Mill Bistro. Otto had a... Continue reading
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Gruyere Cheese Soufflé We are back! After a few years on the sideline, we are back at the fabulous Santa Barbara Wine Festival at the Museum of Natural History. This year I am preparing small Soufflé Suissesse, the famed Gruyère Cheese Soufflé from Le Gavroche in London. The dish is... Continue reading
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Weding Cake by Chef Christine Dahl Pastry chef Christine Dahl, Christine Dahl Pastries, makes the most amazing wedding cakes. This classic features a decorative method called stenciling. It involves applying butter cream to a fondant topped cake using a stencil designed for cakes. There is no room for error. If... Continue reading
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I was delayed posting this blog from last December. It is no less delicious to consider, though. This photo was taken at The Berry Man Produce Company. Cory, they specialty buyer, had a shipment of black and white truffles come in for the holidays. There just happened to be Dom... Continue reading
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Lucky's Salad Revisited Occasionally, I wander out of the seaside paradise of Santa Barbara to cater in some distant local. On this occasion, I traveled to Malibu to cook a ladies night dinner for eight guests. This is very food knowledgeable hostess and she wanted a dinner culled from the... Continue reading
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California Spiny Lobster Fisherman's Market at the Docks This past lobster season in Santa Barbara, CA (October-March) I picked up a few local spiny lobster for a cocktail party. The pound price has risen significantly the past few years as the Chinese are willing to pay a premium for the... Continue reading
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West Barrel Room at Sanford Winery Recently we catered a dinner at the Sanford Winery in the West Barrel Room. The dinner was for the musical group Camarata Pacifica and the dinner was preceded by a wine tasting and a concert, all overlooking the winery estate. The Camarata Pacifica is... Continue reading
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L'Orangerie Restaurant L'Orangerie, opened 1978, was was on L.A.'s most elegant restaurant. I was part of the opening crew as the "chef tournant" meaning that I worked all stations in the kitchen. The pastry station had a small but well thought out menu with a fruit soup, flat apple tart,... Continue reading
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Angel hair pasta in a cream sauce with lobster sausages, artichokes and heirloom tomatoes. Continue reading
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Breast of Duckling - Demi Glace, Foie Gras, Cranberries, Truffles We have simple dinners at home, often leftovers from a catering engagement. Last night was typical. I prepared a Maple Leaf breast of duckling, simple sauteed in its own rendered fat. Vegetables were sauteed as well; fingerling potatoes, baby zucchini... Continue reading