Official Liaison College Blog

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inspiration Plus Food = Magic

Meet Chef Elaina.  Elaina came to Canada from Lebanon when she was 11.  She was inspired by the great cooks in her family and chose culinary as her vocation.  But she soon learned that she had a love for sharing her passion for cooking with others and became a trainer and mentor to cooks entering the industry.

Elaina's passion for cooking is strong.  Like the aromas that waft from her teaching kitchen at Liaison College in Kitchener, Elaina can entice even the most shy palate to taste her creations.  Made with flair and great skill, Elaina's tasty output will, simultaneously, wow, impress and cause your mouth to water.  Students love her for her skills and her compassion.

However, not all is rosy for Chef Elaina.  In 2003 she was stricken with every woman's worst fear:  breast cancer.  Elaina has great faith and strength of character.  You notice this the minute you meet her and she focuses intently on your every word with her kind, brown eyes.  Elaina's faith and modern science have combined with her inner strength to give her a new lease on life and renewed passion for what she loves:  cooking and teaching.  In that order.

We are proud to have Elaina in our midst.  Check out the recent article in the KW Record

Friday, January 06, 2012

Tracy Winkworth Dishes up the Goods

The newest member of the Liaison College family in Waterford is under the direction of Chef Tracy Winkworth.  Tracy's trusty right hand, Jill, has sent me this tasty tidbit about "Eating Niagara" and their forays into foodie-dom (that's my new word for Websters; it means:  the domain of food or the realm of the food world).  Check out this link to Eating Niagara which shows a pictorial tale of the day's events and Chef Tracy's culinary creations.

sounds like the barn cat and Chef Tracy are friends for life!

The Kitchen Sink Soup

After the holidays, do you have a ton of leftovers in the fridge.  A ton of foods that don't really make a meal and don't partner well with other things  (turkey, cheeses, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc. - you get the idea).  I like to freeze anything that is leftover and create interesting soups.  Each item is frozen by itself and marked for easy identification later.

When the time is right and, as my mother in law says:  "when the spirit moves you", I simply gather some packages from the freezer and start a soup.

The base is always the same:  sauteed onions and garlic with a bit of oil and butter and spices (use your imagination); once the onions are opaque, I add the stock (sometimes I make this before hand with leftover bones from the turkey/chicken etc. and other times I freeze the stock too); then I add the assorted contents of the packages - this weekend it was a bag of frozen mushrooms and onions (from a steak dinner this fall), a bunch of green onions (that I froze before they wilted), a bag of assorted veggies left over from a veggie tray and bits of turkey meat from this year's Christmas dinner.  I add various seasonings to taste and once the soup simmers for 20 to 30 minutes (depends on the meat you add and to ensure that it's fully heated) it's ready to be eaten.

As an option, you can also add a starch:  rice (which I sometimes have frozen from a leftover take out dinner) or pasta noodles.  Use your imagination!

Everyone can enjoy a bowl.  And whatever is left over is dished into individual containers and frozen.  My family and friends know exactly where I keep my frozen soup and they help themselves.  It's an easy and delicious way to create a meal in a minute.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Season for Celebrating

This holiday season was spent (like many before it) grazing the endless food assortment at parties and gatherings.  Over the past week, I have been to two friends' parties, one on Dec 30 and another on New Years Day.

While both of these events were set up "buffet style", the options were very different and in some cases deliciously devious!

My friend Sharon's brother is a caterer in California and she was in touch with him for some festive ideas.  One of his brainstorms was stuffed cherry tomatoes (cream cheese and fresh basil) and presented on a skewer.  Very good.

On the other hand, my friend Zoe is more traditional.  But she and I have one thing in common .... we love cocktail onions!  And there, on the table among caesar salad, quiche, delicious cold cuts and cheese, was a bowl of onions ..... I went for seconds.

From my kitchen to yours, Happy New Year!