It has been a while since I wrote my last culinary post and I thought I would write a catch-up article.
A lot of things have happened within the last few years in my culinary field as a professional chef that:
Within the last four years, I have opened 2 brand new hotel restaurants as an Executive Chef.
Developed a second blog about a sustainable future.
Cultivated and improved my habits, by starting a morning and evening meditation regimen.
I became a vegan.
The Rewards of a Culinary Career
I have never worked a day in my life…hahaha-really funny. However, the last 30 years have been more rewarding than anything else. Working as a chef has given me lots of pleasure. I was able to work in Germany, the Caribbean, and New York City. I owned and operated successfully two restaurants and a bakery. I have worked and still work with awesome culinary colleagues. What else can I ask for?
Working for Hilton hotels has certainly been a blessing. However, after investing so many hours into to the hotel openings I completely lost track of my culinary blog. I couldn’t find the time to maintain it, so I thought…?
Well, I was wrong. I am still busy; hence, I have learned in the past few years how to do more with less time. Talking about personal growth…:)
Opening restaurants are undoubtedly exciting, yet very stressful. From ordering and organizing all supplies and equipment to hiring and training all staff is indeed no cakewalk. The most fabulous rewards of opening the restaurants are seeing happy customers and of course a happy boss.
Improving my life
I have implemented better habits in my life. From meditating in the morning through exercising regularly to reading more often. I think I have read over 20 books last year, which has helped me with my personal growth.
Then I started a second blog, which is about visionaries of sustainable solutions. It’s a community blog where everyone can post and bring ideas on how to solve the problems in the world through eco-friendly solutions and innovations.
The decision to start coolmomentum.com made me start a vegan diet. Which is probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I feel great, and I see other people noticing that too. More on a vegan diet in a later post.
Back on track with a Vegan Lifestyle
So the other day I logged into this blog after ignoring it for so long, yikes! I was shocked to see almost 10000 comments awaiting approval. Shame on me for not checking.
However, after a long break due to work, I decided to continue my Kraemer’s Culinary Blog. Although, as a chef, I am cooking all types of foods, I quickly realized being a vegan has so many more benefits.
To me a vegan lifestyle is not only good for your health, it’s also good for the environment.
So going with a Vegan concept seems just right, but it had to be a niche within the plant-based diet or lifestyle. Since I work every day in a kitchen, what better way for me to blog about the life of a vegan chef. Therefore, I will probably change my blog name to “Life of a Vegan Chef”.
I hope you will join me in pursuit of a vegan culture that reflects health, happiness, fitness, and sustainability all through the eyes of a chef.
I am grateful for any advice on changing a blog name and topic. Feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.
Thank you for your support!
P.S. I wish all my blogger colleagues a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
Culinary traditions are the essential focus point in many cultures. In fact many families celebrate and enjoy them year after year. Very often they are being taught by the elders to their children in hope they will continue them. I guess one of the biggest Culinary Traditions are the Holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve, Easter and many more, just to name a few. The point is families have a particular ritual to cook and present their food, which makes it so interesting. Obviously religions play a vital part of traditions, too.
Culinary Traditions in the Caribbean with Curry Goat
Interestingly every nationality celebrates their Holidays differently from others. Whether it’s potato latkes and apple sauce for the Jewish Holidays or a roasted duck with orange juniper berries and braised red cabbage on many Christmas menus. A Caribbean Holiday tradition is to serve curry goat with green beans as well as the famous honey glazed ham we have here in the states as well.
But what is yours?
Do you have a culinary tradition that your family continues? I would be thrilled to hear what your specialty is for the Holidays. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment below. Thanks – You know I love comments.
A Culinary Tradition is to make Holiday Cookies
Culinary Traditions bring forward memories and rituals from our ancestors. How powerful is that? If you are in the fortunate position to ask your grand parents why and how they prepared and cooked their traditional foods, whether its for a Birthday or a holiday, you might get some answers you wouldn’t have expected. Before I came to America I only knew about German traditions. However, I can honestly say that America is a hot spot of culinary traditions and a melting pot of fantastic multicultural cookery. That being said; these traditions don’t always have to happen over the Holidays.
Germans Culinary Traditions is to serve coffee and cake in the afternoon
Daily Eating Habits as a Result From Culinary Traditions – It’s Tea Time!
England and Germany have one tradition in common. Tea Time – which is around 4pm in the afternoon. Although, Germans serve more coffee than tea, the ritual is very similar. Tea time in England is also called High Tea, which is served with an abundance of finger-sandwiches, scones and sometimes petis-fours like pastries. In Germany we would serve Danishes and cakes with our coffee.
Plum Cake – a German tradition
In fact when ever I visit Germany I can’t get away from looking at the fancy pastry shops and bakeries. The first is called Konditorei and the latter is Backerei. A Konditorei offers very fancy cakes, petit fours and usually hosts a Cafe on the same premises. Many of the elderly come here and meet with friends to enjoy coffee and cake also called “Kaffeeklatsch”. That’s the time when women of age come together and chat, chat and chat :-).
Belegter Boden – Fruit Tart – A simple but satisfying cake
The tradition continues as coffee and cake is served in many households as it is in ours, too. It is a beautiful thing to bring the family together around 4 or 5pm, usually after work. As everyone talks about the day’s events accompanied by a good cup of coffee with a delicious piece of cake is certainly a highlight. It’s a tradition even my sons and my wife enjoy here in the States.
Bakeries and pastry shops alike play a vital role in Germany as they offer a staple food in German tradition. Many bakeries now offer a few tables and a simple lunch menu with sandwiches etc. The beauty is – everyone knows everyone. Who ever comes in says “Malzeit”, which is translated as “it’s time to eat”
If you like fancy cakes and you have the chance to visit Germany than check out a Konditorei. You’ll be glad you did.
A Bread Basket in Germany…
Another Culinary Tradition that can’t be ignored. German bread. The variety of breads offered in most Bakeries are astonishing. From the rustic sourdough, six grain, whole wheat, almond white to organic multi grain bread. There is something for everyone. The majority of breads are crispy on the outside, yet soft and moist inside. Most people here do not toast their bread unless it’s white bread. I truly love a great breadbasket with a variety of breads and rolls for breakfast. Most German breads are made from a good amount of whole grains and include a lot of fibers. Although there is an increase in outlets of large commercial bakeries throughout Germany, the quality of bread and rolls offered is superb.
What’s your thoughts on this?
What is your favorite family tradition and what do you cook?
During my trip through Germany I had the pleasure of eating all my favorite foods again. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always have a field trip when I visit my homeland. I guess it’s with everyone else the same, too. Visiting my family made it even better, since everyone wanted to cook for me. (Lucky me) From vanilla rice pudding, Salmon baked in foil to Matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) and not to forget – plum cake with whipped cream – I was the lucky son. And my mother was the happiest of all of them. Since she get to see me only every 2 or 3 years it’s kind of tough for her and my dad. Nonetheless, in the first week we visited the Oktoberfest Kirmes. That fair was a lot of fun and you can see this post by following the link.
Matjes with Dill Sour Cream & Bratkartoffeln
A New Culinary Trend
However what I really wanted to do in my hometown was to eat true German cuisine. Guess what, these type of restaurants are slowly dying out and being replaced by American or Italian themed chain restaurants. It’s kind of sad, but what can I do? So I cooked my own German food, as simple as this. The old rustic pub with well-known German cuisine is hard to find in its own country. Because young generations are being influenced by guess what? By American food culture. I’m not saying I don’t like American food culture, it’s just new to me to see that kind of change in Germany. To be quite honest I think American food trends are the most versatile and amazing ones in the world since we have the most cultures living and eating together. I guess that’s what happening in Germany, too.
Matjes or Herring?
In this post I featured matjes filets and I can truly say it’s one of my favorite German recipes. The difference between matjes and herring is; the first is the younger and more delicate fish that has not yet spammed. Herring is the older fish, but just as tasty. Both are very popular in Germany as they are here in the USA. Although they are fished mainly around May they are eaten all year round. Matjes or herring are preserved in a number of different ways, ranging from pickled, baked to smoked. Matjes is also called soused herring, which comes from the Netherlands and is brinned in a mild vinegar solution. The famous roll mops is a rolled up herring and pickled in an oil, vinegar, onion brine. It’s the right food before or after a beer (s).
Matjes with Dill Sour Cream
How to make Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed Potatoes)
The matjes recipe below is featured with Bratkartoffeln, which are sautéed potatoes. Bratkartoffeln are very famous in Germany and very often served at any time of the day. If you don’t like your matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) it can be served with a variety of potato dishes. However, the most famous potato side dish is the boiled potato with parsley & butter. Matjes can also be served with bread.
Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed potatoes)
Many cooks “dump” their potatoes in a fryer. That’s the easy way out. However, sautéed potatoes will always taste better. So take the time and saute them. See recipe for instructions
Matjes salad with bratkartoffeln (herring stip)
Matjes with Dill Sourcream & Bratkartoffeln
Recipe Type: entrée, Seafood, Salad
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
8 Matjes / herring filets, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 red onion, finely sliced in half rings
1 large Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1 cup chopped dill pickles
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
1 cup yogurt
1 cup sour cream
0.5 cup mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp brine from the dill pickles
1 tsp horseradish
8-10 potatoes, boiled with skin on
1 onion, chopped
0.5 cup vegetable oil (such as peanut oil for frying)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Mix yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish and the brine.
Add all other ingredients and let marinate for an hour.
Peel potatoes ones they are cooled out. Quarter each potato and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. If potatoes are small cut them in half.
In a large frying pan heat oil on high heat.
When oil is just before its smoke point add the potatoes.
Do not overfill the pan or potatoes will not brown and stick to pan. Stir potatoes every once in a while.
When potatoes begin to brown add onions. Do not burn onions.
Potatoes are ready when all sides have a golden color.
Potatoes need to be stirred frequently after they start to take on color. Avoid burning.
Add chopped parsley at the end.
Serve immediately with matjes salad.
Tip: It is very important that the oil is very hot to sauté the potatoes, otherwise the potatoes will stick to the pan.
It is essential that the potatoes are boiled with the skin on before being sautéed.
That in turn will seal in the flavor as well as the starch for density.
Use an oil that can take a lot of heat and your potatoes will taste better. I prefer peanut butter oil, which is great for high temperatures, doesn’t over power the food, yet actually compliments it.
What are your thoughts on this?
Have you had matjes yet?
Did you know Bratkartoffeln is an art in Germany? Let me know if you had your experience with them?
What’s your Favorite German dish?
What’s happening when you visit your homeland? Do you enjoy it?
Hello and thanks for visiting Kraemer’s Culinary Blog.
I am in the process of changing my blog name to Life of a Vegan Chef.
I have been a vegan for some time and love it.
I am also convinced that veganism is the most sustainable lifestyle, which will ultimately help the environment.
Please excuse any of the confusion, while I change my theme and concept.
As a chef I am thrilled to write about a fine dining vegan lifestyle.
For more info about superior vegan recipes please sign up.