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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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It's Concourse week in Monterey. Over 200 private jets fly in for the car show. I am helping my friend Kurt Grasing prepare and deliver catering for some of those jets. The menus are anything from a bag of popcorn to filet of beef. There is something very sexy about... Continue reading
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Indigo Apple Tomato As a kid growing up in Anaheim, CA, the tomato choices at the markets were basically roma, cherry and beefsteak. To get a tomato that tasted, well, like a tomato, you had to grow it yourself. I recall talking to a tomato grower from Nipomo, CA. He... Continue reading
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Boston cream pie is not a pie. This version sports a sponge cake layered with pastry cream, coating of buttercream and a pouring ganache glaze. The ganache glaze is easy to make. Simply heat one quart of heavy cream and pour over chocolate (62% or more cacao solids), stir to... Continue reading
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I made a rhubarb pie last week for a wholesale client. Drop me a line for the recipe. It's very simple. Pie dough, custard mix, blanched rhubarb, streusel topping. Continue reading
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Christine Dahl pastry made eight wedding cakes this past weekend. It's wedding cake season! Continue reading
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Sometimes you go frontwards at other time, backwards. This past weekend we went Sideways. Actually Sideways came to us. Direct Relief International had an auction dinner held by Chef Frank Ostini (Hitching Post II, Buelton, CA) and Jim Clendenen ( Au Bon Climat winery, Los Alamos, CA). A few of... Continue reading
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We have an event coming up this weekend and we're serving baby Abalone with the escargot butter. It's for Direct Relief International and it's going to be at a winery in St. Ynez Valley. I've been preparing 300 Abalone for the event and they come from the Cultured Abalone Farm... Continue reading
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Chef Christine Dahl made this cake for a special occasion. The theme was a princess and the frog. Continue reading
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l'Hôtel de Ville - Restaurant Girardet Located in a the small Swiss village of Crissier, Restaurant Girardet was crowned "the best restaurant in the world" in the 70s and 80s. I attempted to get a stage (unpaid, short term apprenticeship) I was only able to make two short trips to... Continue reading
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In the dark ages, before computers and the internet, collecting recipes for research and recording them was a tedious, handwritten task. I used a system call Recordplate, a sort of note card binder, and notebooks to capture recipes from archival books, magazines, kitchens were I worked or ideas I developed.... Continue reading
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We prepared a luncheon today for a group of ladies at a mountain retreat near Santa Barbara. Often, we are privledged to serve at magnificent properties. Thes one dates back to the early 1900s. It was the simplest of luncheons. We started with prosciutto-melon and gazpacho shots, main course was... Continue reading
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We prepared a luncheon today for a group of ladies at a mountain retreat near Santa Barbara. Often, we are privledged to serve at magnificent properties. Thes one dates back to the early 1900s. It was the simplest of luncheons. We started with prosciutto-melon and gazpacho shots, main course was... Continue reading
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We're doing an art reception for the Newcomers club in Santa Barbara. The buffet is set amidst the collection of modern Art from Santa Barbara artists. Chef Michael Hurchings Continue reading
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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