Sunday, June 30, 2019

Lazarus Awakes

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It has taken me a long time to get over some of the last years disappointments.  I feel like I can once again breathe.  That is what Lazarus probably thought when Jesus gave him breath again.

Financially last year was a very good year for our business.  We continued our turn around from the dire days of late 2016 when I was nearly cast to the dirt and probably our company.

But every year brings its issues and its blessings. 2018 was a year mired in instability.  For various reasons, some documented on this blog, we found ourselves working out of four different commercial kitchens.  As one can imagine, the stress of it was quite substantial. I felt like a gypsy last year wondering around Dallas looking for a new place it seemed daily to work.

I am pleased to say we are now in a stable work environment and as a result, I believe we are providing for our clients at our highest level ever.

Looking back at last year now does come with some other disappointment. We always look forward to growth and new challenges. We journeyed on two courses last year and none have been rewarded thus far.

We traveled to Ireland last year on a culinary tour to bring back recipes, insights, culture and more to do a pop-up restaurant in our former culinary kitchen.  We thought this would be a great way of marketing ourselves to new and old clients and create a group that would grow and spread the word about our catering company.  We advertised on Facebook, we were written up in GuideLive of the Dallas Morning News.  We really felt like we were about to realize our vision for growing our catering business.  Alas, three weeks before our pop-up was going live, we received notice we and others had been kicked out of our kitchen because the company we leased from Pilotworks went belly up.  It was a massive blow to us. It was the perfect location to do pop-up restaurants and with its demise, so went our vision.

Secondly, we have a vision for a mobile Brazilian churrascaria to grow our business, especially in the corporate and wedding business.  It has been a vision of mine since 2017.  We visited Memphis and Miami to meet with competitor vendors to move our project along.  The dream isn't dead after meeting with both.  They are both unique but both come with serious pros and cons. We actually bought some equipment and have it on the ready, but feel we need to create from scratch the unit to do our dream up right.  I will fill you in as we progress.  

I am as of now prepared to get back on the saddle and write more on this blog for food reviews, recipes, culture, and life.  I can breathe again!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Kick in the Crotch

If you are a man, you know the feeling.

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Imagine that happening three, four, five times in a week's period. That is what my nether region has felt like.  

Last Saturday our rented kitchen abruptly closed its doors.  The corporate email was received at 5pm'ish and was stamped effective immediately.  Needless to say, that was a round-house kick to the groin region. Here is the article...

All our possessions were locked inside the Pilotworks facility on Webbs Chapel and LBJ freeway.  I had to get them out.  I raced our family back from a soccer trip in Austin and headed to our former kitchen.  It was too late.  We were locked out.  Our access cards had been denied.  Panic set in, sheer utter panic.  WTF were we going to do? How were we going to continue our business with no place to operate out of, how was I going to bring in the funds to feed my family and provide a living for them?  So many thoughts, all unpleasant were spiraling out of control in my mind. 

Depressed and wishing only of sharp pointed objects, we got into our car and were just driving off when we saw security driving towards us.  I jumped out of the car and flagged the security guard down.  I was prepared to lay in front of the vehicle like the protesting bloke in Tiananman Square 20 years ago.

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Luckily, it didn't come to that as it was raining and miserable outside.  I did my best acting job and begged her to let us into Pilotworks.  I think the tear rolling down my cheek did the trick.  I looked pathetic and my tepid masculinity needed some testosterone boost.  But the ends justified the means and she opened the door to us.  I called my folks to bring their cars so we could load up.

A few hours later we had our last possessions and our last memory of what was a great culinary playground.  During this time I was dialing all my food friends in the industry and to the kitchens available around town.  I was amazed of all the people that were willing to help us out and 24 hours later we had moved into our new kitchen at the Cookline in Plano, owned and operated by Renee and Kevin!  What a blessing they were to us. We had found a home and were able to not miss a beat and began cooking for our clients on Monday without skipping a beat.

Unfortunately, kick to the crotch dos!  

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Our pop up restaurant Slainte that was to be unveiled Friday the 26th at the Pilotworks facility is now scratched.  My idea of traveling to new places to uncover the food of distant lands and bring back these ideas and memories to the people of Dallas and to our client and friends has gone up in smoke.

So disappointing on so many levels.  To be frank I wasn't thrilled with the lack of response to this one night launch of Slainte.  The interest I believed would be there never rose to the level I expected.  This is a meat and potatoes town. It isn't New York, Chicago, or San Francisco.  It shouldn't be a surprise to me as Dallas was voted the 31st food city in America.  Pretty bad for the 6th most populated metropolitan area in the United States.
It is Dallas, where mostly steakhouses and tex-mex thrive.  I wanted to bring something new and fresh but not many were gain for it.  We still would have had a great night, but as of now this endeavor is over.  Maybe a Lazarus moment for Slainte is to come, but for now, my energy and emotion has been sucked out of me along with my month's rent and deposit to Pilotworks.

And to add insult to injury I had a blowout on my car this past week and my wife had a flat tire at 4.30am as we are trying to deliver breakfast for two hundred in Garland.  This has been our week!

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I will recover from this as will our business.  Not sure I can have any more children, but that is another story.  I was going to leave my last part of my culinary trip for this coming Friday, but as it is now a no-go I will finish my trip to Ireland on this blog.  So stay tuned and Slainte!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Save The Date - 10/26/18 "Slainte" Pop Up Restaurant

October 26, 2018

Slainte Pop Up Restaurant Menu

Amuse Bouche
Smoked Duck Cornetto with Lavender Rhubarb Jam
Guinness Cured Irish Salmon atop of Soda Bread Crostini with Kerry Gold Horseradish Spread
Irish Potato Vichyssoise with Fried Leak, Chive Oil, and Salmon Roe
Palate Cleanser
Gunpowder Irish Gin Granita with Edible Flowers
Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Salsa Verde
Pea Puree with Roasted Shallots, Roasted Gem Lettuce, and Irish Cheddar Potato Scallion Croquette
Warm Irish Rice Pudding with Raspberry Coulis and Chocolate Nibs
$89.99  pp
including Gratuity
Come and Experience the Food and Soul of Ireland from Chef Stephen Martin's Summer Experience in the Emerald Isle 

Location - Pilot Works -Dallas

October 26, 2018 


11830 Webb Chapel Rd #1200, Dallas, TX 75234

Seating is Limited

Please RSVP to 469.450.1814 or Email us at

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Dingle and Inch

Dingle and Inch sounds like some new Disease, but it fact it is two lovely places outside the Ring of Kerry hugging the Atlantic Coast.  You can take the plethora of tour buses to this area if driving on the left, down terrifying narrow roads unnerves you or you can do like me and risk life and limb to do it myself. 

First stop was Inch beach. It is a lovely long beach that is soft on the feet but firm enough for cars to drive on it.  I think I am most definitely wrong, but Chariot's of Fire could have been filmed here.  I can envision the timeless scene as the men of British Olympic team waded through the surf like Greek Gods as they trained for the Summer Olympics.  Though on the chilly side, it was so peaceful and serene you barely noticed the briskness.   It was one of my favorite beaches I have been to in the British Isles. It was unspoiled and surrounded by marvelous hills that sprsng from the water.

We had a lovely walk along the beach and breathed in the salty sea air.  Not much does better for the soul than this.

Just down the coastline is the town of Dingle.  It is a well known tourist town but not too touristy if you know what I a mean.  They had a Michelin starred restaurant I wanted to eat at, but found it was bloody closed for lunch, even though they were purportedly open.  Very disappointing.  So we did what we always do when we have no clue where to eat; ask a local.

Irish Herb Crusted Lamb with Mint Salsa Verde

This dish will be featured in my "Pop Up "Slainte" Restaurant.  This recipe is not scientific so measurements are not exact.  It is to taste...

- Rack of Lamb preferably Irish (New Zealand, Welsh, English or Australian Lamb also fine)
- Season with Salt and Pepper and smear Chops in a Dijon Mustard
- Bread Crumbs- A cup or two pulsed finely in food processor
- Add Chopped Parsley, Chives, Salt Pepper and Lemon Zest
-  Combine ingredients and toast in nonstick pan with a 4-6 oz butter
-When the butter is incorporated and the bread crumb mixture begins to smell toasty remove to cool
-After cooling, pack mixture around the lamb chops and let rest
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Salsa Verde
- Chop equals amounts of parsley, basil, mint, chives and tarragon (about 1/2 a cup each)
- Take Jalapeno or Serrano pepper and remove seeds and finely mince.            - Zest a 1/4 cup of lemons
- Open a small Anchovies tin and place all ingredients in Blender
- Add 1/3 Cup of Lemon Juice
 - Blend ingredients 
Drizzle XV Olive Oil into blender until a nice sauce is formed
- Taste for more acidity, salt or pepper, or more XV Olive Oil 
Leave at room temperature

Place Herb Crusted Lamb in Oven in roasting pan - top rack preferably
Cook for around 20 mins until internal temperature reaches between 125-129 degrees.  Remove from oven.  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Cut chops two chops per portion.  Arrange on plate and serve Salsa Verde next to Lamb Chops

Bon Appetit 


Sunday, August 19, 2018



Put this place on your bucket list.  You will thank me later.  On the West Coast of Ireland is the County Kerry.  Killarney and Dingle and other lovely towns that reside around what is know as the Ring of Kerry.  An an interesting fact I came across.  You will notice many towns begin with 'KIL".  Well in Gaelic that means church.  So each town with that name has a church in it! 

It's unspoiled nature, babbling streams, beautiful valleys and soaring landscape make it in my eye's mind,the Irish Garden of Eden. You breathe the air and you are intoxicated.   If you are keeping up with the blog you probably know I have a thing for Irish butter, well this is the place a lot of it is produced.  You will see it even in some finer grocery markets in the states, Kerry Gold.  You can see why the food taste so bloody good.  Take a look at what the cows and the sheep are eating.  Some of earth's finest vegetation!

We started off the morning at the Killarney Park Hotel, in the heart of the city center. 

It is a wonderful hotel with lovely rooms, great staff and of course great food.  It is also very accommodating to the American tourist which is another huge plus for the hotel. We had a long day ahead of us so we stocked up on a big breakfast in the handsome dining room.

I tried the local smoked salmon and the delicious Kerry buttered scrambled eggs.  My daughter had an oldie but a goody.   Two soft boiled eggs with soldier toast points.  A classic staple from my youth.  We also engaged in their freshly baked loaves of bread and the Kerry butter as well the traditional Irish breakfast staples of black and white pudding and Irish rashers.  We stuffed our selves silly and were now ready to begin the day's journey!

We took a horse carriage ride through The Dunloe Pass,  Our horse, Betty was an old lady and didn't quite seem to be in the mood to haul or Texas asses through the pass.  At a few points we had to do some serious incline walking because Betty just couldn't do it.

Even though we had the slowest horse in the group, we didn't mind. It gave us more time to enjoy the stunning scenery.  We went up the Dunloe pass, which is very narrow and windy.  This was not for the faint of heart.  There were quite a few times we had to veer off to allow a car to nestle by us.  The ride took a few hours and then we were taken to Muckross lake where we took a motor boat back towards Killarney and Ross Castle.  It was quite an amazing day and found it a great way to see the beauty of County Kerry.

We were quite hungry when we arrived back at the hotel.  So we decided to eat at the hotel.  We were in for a real treat.

I am sorry to do this to you, but take a look at this above and don't tell me this doesn't look amazing.  Local caught lobster with truffled Kerry drawn butter, rocket and Shaved Parmesan salad with the tastiest Irish chips.  OMG!!!! Amazing...

Friday, August 17, 2018

Guinness Cured Salmon

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Guinness Cured Salmon
Whole Side of Irish or Atlantic Salmon
Cup of Salt 
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Toasted Coriander
1/2 Cup of Fresh Dill Chopped
Chopped Cup of Lemon and Lime Rinds
Cup of Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice
Bottle of Guinness Stout
Place in Pan - Mix Ingredients Together And Cover the Salmon in the Mixture - Get Dirty with It
Cover with Plastic Wrap - Leave in Fridge for 24 hours
Flip Salmon Over and Smother Ingredients Over It
Set Aside for Another 24 Hours in Fridge
After 48 Hours Rinse of Salt Mixture and Thinly Slice
Bon Appetite!