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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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Michael Hutchings and Christine Dahl Hello, I have been off the blog for a number of months. My life has changed, I have retired, along with my wife Christine Dahl. Last February, we closed our catering and pastry businesses, sold our condo in Santa Barbara and moved to our new... Continue reading
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Chef Escoffier Every craft has its masters. The great masters pass down their craft through understudies or apprentices. To say that your lineage as an architect hailed to Frank Lloyd Wright or as an artist to say Rembrandt confers a certain status. As a chef, the same aura applies. Even... Continue reading
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During my restaurant days at Michael’s Waterside, we were often asked to contribute recipes for charitable causes. In 1991 we were approached by an organization called Cookin’ Up Miracles. The parent organization called Children’s Miracle Network produces a telethon to raise funds to support children’s medical needs. They made a... Continue reading
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Photo Wikipedia Artichokes are a delicious appetizer and are really easy to prepare. One of the most flavorful preparations is to braise them in a court bouillon, a vegetable flavored broth. I like to split them in half to speed up the cooking time. When the petite artichokes are at... Continue reading
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Osso Bucco Milan Style Osso Bucco is one of my most favorite entrees to both cook and enjoy. I first learned of this dish from my friend James Sly when we were cooking at a restaurant called La Serre in the LA area, circa 1977. Reduced to its simplest description,... Continue reading
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Some might say that cooking is easy, just buy great ingredients and keep it simple. One of the greatest dishes I ever saw prepared was a "simple" Dover Sole Meuniere prepared at Restaurant Girardet in 1981. Some might say, how pedestrian a dish. In the hands of a master, it... Continue reading
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Seasonal Berry Crumble-Photo Will Conlin I have always favored desserts with fresh berries or other fruits as a component. Apple Tart Tatin, Sable of Fresh Berries, Fresh Fruit Tart on Frangipane to name a few. It may be because growing up with five other siblings, berries were not often on... Continue reading
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Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina, our new hometown. Yes, I have moved from the idyllic Santa Barbara, home for most of the years from 1981 to 2020. Spock-like logic fueled the decision to locate in a more affordable town with grandkids nearby. We now have a beautiful home on James... Continue reading
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First, a little history lesson. In 1984, with the backing and support of the Roux Brothers, Albert and Michel, I founded a restaurant called Michael's Waterside Inn. It took the name from their Michelin starred restaurant the Waterside Inn, located in Brea on Thames. I had worked at the flagship... Continue reading
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Photo Wikipedia It is with a heavy heart that I read of the passing of Chef Michel Roux of the famous Roux Brothers restaurant empire. Chef Michel was 78. I met Michel and spent time in his Waterside Inn kitchen in 1978-1981 while I was training at Le Gavroche in... Continue reading
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Now, Available on Amazon Prime and Vimeo I have produced over 145 cooking videos over the last few years. The theme throughout has been my take on modern and classic California-French approach to cooking. Local ingredients play a large role in the dishes I offer. Filmed in the original silent... Continue reading
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Back in 1981, I was fortunate to have spent a month sabbatical at Restaurant Troisgros in France. At the time, the two brothers Jean and Pierre Troisgros were at the stove. Their three-starred Michelin restaurant was at the forefront of a style of cooking called Nouvell Cuisine. The kitchen itself... Continue reading
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Pages from history? OK, not ancient history but my early culinary stirrings. When I started work at Le Gavroche, London, England, in September of 1978, I made it a priority project to hand copy all of the recipe portfolios in the kitchen. I did this because I was unsure that... Continue reading
In about 1968 I started taking private music lessons on the flute, my instrument. The instructor that I had, Rick Staff, was being mentored by Dominick Laruccia, Jr. Had was a fantastic flute player and at 18 was performing at Carnegie Hall playing the Mozart Flute Concerto in D. Dominick... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2020 at Coppersmith
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I first arrived in Santa Barbara in July 0f 1981. I had just returned from a three-year European work experience to further my training as a chef. Initially, I traveled to France, first Paris, then to Monaco (where I worked for a week at an American Hotel, Lowe's Monte Carlo... Continue reading
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Photo WIll Conlin This blog is for all those who have worked with or for me over the last forty years in Santa Barbara. I have had the pleasure of living and working in Santa Barbara since July of 1981. During that time I have managed kitchens at the Olive... Continue reading
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This past April, we made a trip to Venice, Italy. Christine, my pastry chef wife, had made the trip before. This was my first. I have worked in Venice, Venice, California, not the same vibe. The real Venice, Italy, is a whole world apart. Just about anywhere you looked was... Continue reading
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A Very Young Chef Michael Hutchings In the mid 1980's there was a banana farm at a costal city call La Conchitas near Santa Barbara. Dough Richardson was growing as many as 60 varieties at the time. It was not easy farming an area prone to freezing, infested with gophers... Continue reading
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Welcome to another episode of The Santa Barbara Chef. I am Chef Michael Hutchings, the chef/host. Join me for some delicious cooking on the American Riviera. Set against the backdrop of Santa Barbara, we showcase the jewels of my culinary repertoire from some forty-five years at the stove. Look for... Continue reading
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Apple Strudel It's October. Time for Octoberfest. Skip the beer and go to the dessert station. Pastry chef Christine Dahl (A.K.A. my wife) bakes pastries for a local country club every year for their Octoberfest. I say, why wait for Octoberfest. These are great desserts anytime. The Linzer torte is... Continue reading
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Just pulled a rustic apple tart out of the oven. Mind you, I did not curate the apples, personally know the farmer, nor was cognizant of the genetic lineage (Johnny Appleseed?), performed any molecular gastronomy, or any other sleight of hand. I made a garden variety of pastry cream, grabbed... Continue reading
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Halloween is just around the corner. Arlene Larsen, Mistress of Ceremonies at the Magic Castle Cabaret asked me to cook up some magic for the holiday. See below for the story about the Magic Castle Cabaret. Arlene asked me to provide a Halloween themed dinner for their special evening of... Continue reading
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A few months back, James Sly and I donated a dinner for ten at a fundraiser for the new Carpenteria Arts Center. We decided to do a prime rib dinner as the winning bidder is a card-carrying carnivore. I purchased a prime grade prime rib at about 16-18 pounds. It's... Continue reading
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Master pastry chef Christine Dahl just completed a marathon weekend of wedding cake bliss. Over 800 people had the pleasure of having a slice of heaven. From her web page: "Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wedding Cakes! I think a wedding cake should be exquisite in taste as well... Continue reading
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Welcome to another episode of The Santa Barbara Chef. I am Chef Michael Hutchings, the chef/host. Join me for some delicious cooking on the American Riviera. Set against the backdrop of Santa Barbara, we showcase the jewels of my culinary repertoire from some forty-five years at the stove. Look for... Continue reading