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Michael Hutchings
Santa Barbara, California USA
Professional Chef/Businessman with a catering company and consulting services
Interests: astronomy, archeology, gemology, architecture, gastronomy, cosmology, astrophysics, politics, sculpture
Recent Activity
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Happy new year to everyone! We wish you lots of health, creativity, success, good food, and anything else you wish for you and your families! The New Year seemed to creep up on us faster than usual this year. Thank you for being a reader of my culinary meanderings. The... Continue reading
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My favorite winter soup is the French classic Soupe à l'Oignon Gratinée. My version has a little vanilla in the recipe. That evolved from a recipe I saw back in the 1970s that used vanilla in a lobster sauce. The chef, Alain Senderen, was a disciple of the Nouvelle Cuisine.... Continue reading
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We are winding down from our busy December catering. During the season we prepare hundreds of canapés for receptions and dinners. I am always delighted when we are asked to prepare elegant canapés for a dinner party. Two dishes that stand out this season were a local spiny lobster cocktail... Continue reading
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Ok, sometimes in the kitchen you need a gadget. Robot Coupe, peelers, special knives, scoops, molds... My pastry chef wife, Christine Dahl, shapes doughs into sweet fantasies. Over the years she has collected an array of pastry cutters. Last count is some 685! You name is, she has at least... Continue reading
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We recently catered a tea party. I should say more like an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Tea Party. The idea was to have shocking, garish colors but still tasty food. Some of the tea sandwiches were sprayed with food colors for affect. This was not Fortnum and Mason in... Continue reading
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Tournedos, Sauce Demi Glace Are the classic dishes from the 1800s and 1900s, well, too old fashioned? Has the collective palette evolved past those old school dishes? Who flutes a mushroom anymore? I must be somewhat dated as I still dote on many old school recipes. Civet de Lapin, bring... Continue reading
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SWAT Team Demo We were delighted to help at a fundraiser for the Santa Barbara Police Foundation. Two donated dinners for 24 guests each garnered some $60,000 to support the foundation's mission. Now, my mission is to make a dinner that is arrestingly good! Chef Michael Hutchings Their mission: The... Continue reading
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Fresh Berry Tartlets It's holiday entertaining time and my pastry chef-wife, Christine Dahl, is in full petits four and cookie mode. This week alone she had produced some 2,500 cookies! Pictured here are some of the other mini bites Chef Dahl prepared for a country club in the area. Lucky... Continue reading
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Are you planning hosting a holiday gathering - intimate dinner or a reception? If you are like me, December seemed to descend almost without warning. We have dates available and would be delighted to help you entertain family and friends. I have frequently been called "last minute Mike" because we... Continue reading
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1. What is your favorite dish to cook? Any fish because of the versatility and variety. 2. What is your top tip for festive cooking? Selected dishes you can execute well and are in the theme of the meal. 3. What is your most treasured item in the kitchen? My... Continue reading
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Vintage Cocktails at Sly's The great experiment in social engineering, the 21st amendment to the Constitution, was repealed on this day, December 5, in 1933. It passage in 1918 was hailed as a cure-all of many social evils. From Wikipedia: "In 1925 journalist H. L. Mencken believed the opposite to... Continue reading
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White Alba Truffles White truffle season is ongoing in Italy in October and November. Concurrently, there is a famous charity auction of white truffle "lots." Bidders from around the world jockey for the prize of the biggest, best white truffles of the season. Prices can be incredible, in the hundreds... Continue reading
Fire, that gift from the rogue Titan, Prometheus, predates any written history. In fact, evidence in the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa, evidence indicates that fire has been used by humans at least a million years ago. Some research indicates even further back, some two millions years. Wood, plant fiber,... Continue reading
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Recently we catered a luncheon for The Mental Wellness Center of Santa Barbara. The event had about 250 people attending the event. The Mental Wellness Center is a private, nonprofit organization that works to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by mental illness through support, education and direct... Continue reading
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French Style Beignets Credit Wikipedia In my early formative years as an incipient chef, I work in a basement kitchen in the New Orleans Square at Disneyland, California. It was an inauspicious beginning to a life-long career as a chef. Some of my earliest duties included operating a meat slicer... Continue reading
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Mountains of the Basque Country Photo Wikipedia Sly's restaurant in Carpenteria, CA is performing a great public service to the cause of fighting global warming. Through Chef Sly's culinary prowess, the great cuisines of Europe are made available without the necessity of carbon-rich travel to the country of origin. Every... Continue reading
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We recently served a dinner at the new Pritzlaff Conservation Center, part of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. The facility in named in honor of John Pritzlaff. John had a storied life as a businessman and congressman. I was honored to have him as an investor and advisor for my... Continue reading
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Miso Glazed Salmon Fillet on Butter Lettuce Chef Michael Hutchings Tea Poached Pears and Tuile Cookies At a recent luncheon, I prepared a "fall" salmon salad and tea poached pears. Fall in Santa Barbara means it might rain a quarter inch and get below 70 degrees F. Then it is... Continue reading
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Chef Michael Hutchings "Shaving" White Alba Truffles 500 Grams of White Alba Truffles "A King's Ransom" Truffle Shaving Ingredients are a driving, critical component of fine dining or even simple every-day cooking. The old saw is you can't cook in quality, only enhance it. White winter truffles from Alba, Italy... Continue reading
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Chef Randy Bublitz, Earl Armstrong, Christie Broesamle, Sharene Treffinger, Chef Michael Hutchings, Hannah Wilson, Vincent Werthman, Host Craig Case, sponsor Guy DeMangeon Host Craig Case Chef Michael The Inn Crowd, hosted by Craig Case and Chef Michael Hutchings, is delighted to present an episode at the Santa Barbara City College... Continue reading
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Rose Garden at Lotusland Due to a technical error, the Saturday, 10/8 episode did not air. Please tune in next week for the delicious episode at the fabled Lotusland. Join us on The Inn Crowd Saturdays at 6:30 on ABC affiliate KEY channel 3. Please note that the air time... Continue reading
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Rose Garden at Lotusland Host Craig Case, Gwen Stauffer, Chef Michael The Inn Crowd, hosted by Craig Case and Chef Michael Hutchings, is delighted to present an episode at the fabled Lotusland in Santa Barbara, CA. Lotusland was developed by Madame Ganna Walska in 1941. Originally called Tibetland, it was... Continue reading
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Santa Barbara Police Department by Foundation The Inn Crowd, hosted by Craig Case and Chef Michael Hutchings, is delighted to share an episode at the gala event "Fun with the Force." No, this was not a Star Trek convention. The event was organized by The Santa Barbara Police Foundation. The... Continue reading
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Chef Michael Hutchings, Event Chair Tina Takaya , Arthritis Foundation Director Michael Weisbrock The Inn Crowd, hosted by Craig Case and Chef Michael Hutchings, is delighted to share an episode at the Taste of the Town fundraiser. 2016 is the thirty-fifth year that the event has been held at the... Continue reading
I recall a story Dominick told me about the difference when Pauline water the plants verses an employee. The observation was her method saturated the soil and the employee merely moistened the dirt. I was not aware that Dominick had been hit by a car. On one occasion back in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2016 at Coppersmith