Among the panel of judges were: Daniel Warfe, head chef of Pachanga Casino; Vern Lanegrasse, known as "The Hollywood Chef"; Neill Foster, restaurant critic; Jackie Olden, cookbook author and radio/television host; Bob Gorley, food critic; and Steve Knight, radio host.
Daniel Warfe, a sous chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino, likes his corn with a bit of a bite.
"I like the corn when it's still a little bit crunchy," he said. When it comes to cooking corn, there are plenty of choices: steaming, boiling, , even microwaving will do the trick. Warfe likes to barbecue, soaking corn in the husks overnight, then grilling until the husks are brown or black on all sides, depending on your taste.
All Vegas Guide - California Casino Reviews - Pechanga Resort Hotel and Casino - Middle Schoolers
Pechanga,s main kitchen chef, Daniel Warfe, spent his morning instructing three class periods of eager cooking students on the finer points of making omelets.Standing at the classroom,s demonstration station, complete with a large angled mirror so the all the students could view every step of the process, Chef Daniel began with showing the kids how to get the omelet pan hot with oil. ,Once it,s nice and hot, you,re going to add your ingredients that will take the longest to sauté,, he said. ,That would be things like your onion and green pepper., Following the vegetables, the chef added in the ham and then the egg to envelop the ingredients sizzling in the pan.The kids were thoroughly impressed when the chef completely flipped the omelet to the opposite side, tossing it up in the air and having it land perfectly intact back in the pan. ,Can we try that?, some of the kids asked.Chef Warfe replied that if they felt adventurous enough and if they were not afraid of getting some of their egg on the floor, they were welcome to try flipping the omelet.Out of all 70 or so students, only half of one omelet bit the dust. ,That,s a really good statistic for these students, first tries at omelet flipping,, the chef said.
After the demonstration period but before the kids headed to their cooking stations, Chef Daniel answered questions from the students like how long it took him to become a professional chef, what kind of hours he works, what are his responsibilities as the Main Kitchen Chef and others.Several students in all three class periods said they had aspirations of going into the culinary industry. ,I am so happy to do this kind of thing,, said the chef. ,It gives these students access to professionals and gives them a clearer glimpse into the world of culinary arts and it follows in the spirit of community outreach that Pechanga tries to put out there,, chef Daniel explained.
Later in the month, chef Daniel is planning a culinary demonstration day at Temecula Valley High School.
Chef Daniel Warfe of Pechanga Resort & Casino was busy preparing his ingredients as the students entered the Home Economics classroom at Temecula Valley High School.The group of seniors were all advanced culinary students, many of them with aspirations of becoming professional chefs or restaurant owners someday.Chef Daniel quickly got things started with a brief introduction, telling the kids of his 25 years of experience in the culinary industry and about his duties as the main kitchen chef at Pechanga.He then went to work demonstrating how to make a French dish called "Vol au Vent."The item is a puff pastry that one can fill with almost anything. (Its English translation means "Flying in the Wind".) To fill the pastry, Chef Daniel showed the seniors how to make Chicken Curry.He explained some of the history of French cuisine while demonstrating the techniques in preparing the dish.As he sautéed the items for the curry filling, he made sure the students were informed about the proper ways of creating unique flavors in dishes by adding ingredients at just the right time.Daniel showed them the care that professional chefs use when placing the final ingredients on a plate that will be served to guests."Not only does your entrée, vegetables, pastas, whatever, have to taste good, it needs to look good.Otherwise, your guest may not want to eat it and might not come back to your restaurant," Chef Daniel explained.After the final plate presentation, it came time for the students to make their own chicken curry.Chef Daniel assisted with techniques while they created their own fantastic dish."I don't know who had more fun, the students or myself," said Chef Daniel. The second period home economics class was in the process of learning all about garnishments to finished dishes.Chef Daniel was happy to stay and instruct this class on some of the finer points of presenting the most visually appealing plates of food.He demonstrated how to use strands of lemon and orange peel in salads and with fish dishes.He fried thinly julienned leeks and potatoes and showed them how nice they look paired with fresh parsley or daikon sprouts."It's really all about using your imaginations and being creative.This is where you get to play with your food," said the chef.
Following both classes, Chef Daniel talked with many students individually who were interested in pursuing a career in the culinary arts.Advice he gave included getting as much ‘hands-on' experience as possible and if one is very serious about becoming a chef, "definitely consider culinary school," he said."You learn things in school that chefs in a restaurant just don't have time to or sometimes forget to show you."The teachers at Temecula Valley High School invited Chef Daniel back for demonstrations in the fall semester which he plans to do.Chef Daniel also encouraged the students interested in working in a fast-paced kitchen to apply at Pechanga Resort & Casino.He mentioned that the resort is expanding, adding two new restaurant outlets (including a five-station food court), and that getting in on the ground floor of a new restaurant looks quite good on any resume. Pechanga Resort & Casino is located at 45000 Pechanga Parkway in the beautiful Temecula Valley.
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