Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Deja Vu...again?

Ahhh, airports. I landed at 1105pm on Thursday, it is now 940pm on Monday, and I am sitting in the food court at Bradley International Airport, in lovely LAX, waiting for my second of two flights today. Although not aesthetically pleasing to the eye, it is a fun place to be, I am afraid to admit. It feels like what I would imagine Ellis Island may have been like- thousands of people, seemingly with every bit of crap they own boxed up and ready for delivery, of every ethnic derivation you can imagine, and all going in a different direction. If you are a people watcher, this is your Mecca, your Shangra-La.
When I was a child and we were going on a long driving trip, my mother would amuse my brother and me by having us play a game where we would locate items starting with the letter A, then B, then C, and so on till we completed the alphabet. I sometimes think that if I was travelling with a friend, and we were in this airport, we could play a similar game, only with people.
I would say, "Try and locate a "fish out of water" American family, with way too much luggage." , to which my travel mate would say, "Got it, they are off to the left, the father is impatiently waiting for the wife while she is in the duty free attempting to buy all the Marlboros and all the Malibu rum." My friend of course would gain extra points for each child that was either crying or behaving badly.
I say au revoir, but remind all that read these words, Bradley International is proof that 'getting there' IS more than half the fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Leaving, on a jet plane...Again.

Hello all-

I leave tomorrow, again, off to the South Pacific for another go round of the lovely game called 'motor yachting'. I have to put that chef's hat on again, and go to work. I would like to say that had a great experience on Friday night, with a great dinner party for some friends returning to the East coast after 4 years here in the Willamette Valley. Five different types of sausage, grilled and served with some of the finest wines around, bacon and blue cheese potato salad, grilled sweet potatoes with cumin and cilantro, salad, cheese platters, a green salad with pomegranate and chevre, and about 30 great fun people. I shall not soon forget that time. Bravo!

But I'm off to Polynesia, back to the grind. Will write again in a week or so, if not a quick one in the airport tomorrow. Stay safe while I'm gone, fair readers!

Friday, November 21, 2008

... as told from coach class at 39000 feet...

Dit dit da dit dit dit dit... Dateline, 11-20-08, 2113hours PST, somewhere over Montana, some 36000+ miles above the earth, en route to Portland, OR.
Hello Faithful Blog hounds, all three of you! When you read this, it will be dated material, as I am up above, flying high in a jet propelled tin can. My time on the east coast is done, and as always, it is wonderful to have been there, but there is a bit of excitement of getting back home. But let me fill you all in on some of the fun, food, friends and family encountered in lovely, chilly New England.
When I last left you, I had spent some time in Boston with my good friend Sam, and had spent an evening in lovely Brewster, Ma. I spent much of the next day there as well, got to see my late mother's dog, Blue. Blue is an Aussie shepherd that won't call it quits. He is 16 or 17, and he looks every bit the part. He and I were inseperable after my mom passed away, and upon seeing him it was very apparent that senility had set in. He didn't know who I was, and remained aloof over the half hour that I spent with him. At first it made me a bit sad, but upon reflection, It's ok. In the past, he would freak out upon seeing me, after even a short period of time of being away from each other. With him not remembering me, it allowed me to see him without him going through the moping period and the confusion of my leaving that was a part of our lives when I had to go somewhere, even if it was to work. Bravo Blue, and I hope the time you have left is comfortable and without pain.
A few hours later, an old college friend, who I'd not seen in quite a long time, picked me up, and she took me on a tour of the lower Cape. Beaches, surfers, lighthouses, drive in movie theaters, her lovely Rottweiler, a 'Stuffie' at Land ho! Restaurant, where her boyfriend runs the bar. Now you dear readers who may not know what a 'stuffie' is, let me shed some light on this oh so wonderful culinary delight. A stuffie is a little treat that you find in the south eastern areas of New England. I've had stuffies from Portsmouth NH to Hartford, CT. In my experience, the best come from the RI and Cape Cod areas. Since I was in that area, I decided that I should dig right in, and did, to my delight. A brief description of a stuffie- shuck a nice sized Quahog clam. Save the shells. Grind the meat of the clam, keeping as much juice as possible. put into a bowl and mix with diced onions and celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, and possibly a hint of Old Bay if you wish. Fresh bread crumbs are then added, to make a stuffing, with maybe a bit of melted butter added if you desire. stuff the mixture back into the clam shells, and then bake in a nice hot oven. serve with lemon wedge and tabasco, or my personal preference, Cholula. If you and yours are on the lower Cape around Eastham, Wellfleet, Chatham areas, get your stuffies at Land ho! or at the Chatham Squire.
An evening bus ride and a commuter train brought me out to Norfolk, MA for a nice session with my Uncle Jim, cousin Alex and Jim's lovely girlfriend Rita. A few libations to wash down the grand bruschettas that Rita served up, coupled with fall out of your chair, side splitting stories, well that just makes for a memorable evening. Food Note- the Bruschetta's were smoked gouda, sweet red pepper, pulled turkey meat and anchovie. A very nice combination. In the conversation, I mentioned my love of the Boston Bruins, Jim said he could get tickets, so the date was set for the night before I left. More on that later.
Tuesday found me in my Uncle John's car, which I picked up in Warwick, RI, after Jim was generous and kind enough to give me a ride down from his area. I pointed the nose of that machine to New London, CT, to see my old friend Brendan. We met up, went to 'the Dutch', a quaint little locals hangout in downtown New London. A petite steak sandwich with extra onions and cheese, a burger, and a Black and Tan later, I was satiated, both with food and with good company. B still had some work to finish up, so took a quick ride over to where the Coast Guard training vessel Barque Eagle was tied up. A friend of my father's is stationed on it, so stopped in to pass on salutations, had a nice visit and a nice tour of such a historic boat. I won't go into much detail, just to say if you are interested in learning more of the Eagle, it is all over the web.
On the way back to Brendan''s palatial estate, in the woods of CT, we picked up some thick juicy ribeye steaks, red bliss taters and some fresh broccoli. As stated in a previous blog, good friends make simple food something that is over the top. Grilled ribeyes,bone in, with a rosted garlic and onion mash, broccoli sauteed in white wine, Brendan, his lovely girlfriend Laurel and myself and a piping hot woodfire was the setting. Does anything more need to be said? Nope.
The next day saw me oversleep, due to night visitin old friends can produce, an stellar breakfast, as hearty as they come was served up- two eggs, bacon, whole wheat toast and the secret ingredient, on rarely seen but one of my favorites, crispy pan fried scrapple. Not heart healthy, but too good to pass up. A late lunch with B's sister and nephew and I was off to Boston to see my beloved team play the Buffalo Sabres. An extra ticket was proffered to my aforementioned buddy Sam, and the stage was set. I could write a whole blog just on the game and the antics surrounding that evening, but suffice it to say it was probably one of the best games I've ever seen, and the fun we had in the stands was unparralelled. Bravo Bruins!
A lovely hike this morning(to work off all the fun and food I've had!) with my uncle Jim and Rita, then off to Providence for the plane ride. Got to see my Uncle Kevin one last time before I hopped on the plane, and that is where we stand! I hope you stuck through the whole thing, let me know if you think I got too carried away. Would love to hear comments from all of you, and let me know what's happening whereever you are.
Chef on wheels, signing off, till next time, New England rules!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The three 'F's'- Friends, Family and Food

Hello all! I'm in Brewster, MA, a lovely community about halfway down Cape Cod. As a chef, it is important to me that in my travels I eat some good food, but more importantly that it is shared with good friends and family. Two nights ago I spent the evening with a good friend of mine, Sam Jackson, an Aussie that lives in South Boston. We met each other about 7 years ago, in Antigua, when we were both working on yachts. It had been a while since I had seen him, so reconnecting was great fun. 
We actually met up a few days earlier in Portland, ME, when he and another of our old mates, Tina Siegl, stopped in for lunch and a bit of a surprise for Tina. They were headed up to Montreal, and took a little detour up to Maine. We ate at a place called Gilbert's. There is nothing like good friends and fresh Maine seafood with a nice local ale to wash it all down with. 
 Our night in Boston consisted of a couple of lovely wines from the Willamette valley of Oregon, a Solena Pinot Noir and a Terra Vina Malbec. We ate at Saint Alphonzo's Kitchen, in Southie. And what is equally good as Maine seafood? A great cheese steak, the best calamari I've had in quite sometime, and once again, the company of old and new friends. The night continued on, but that is a story not for the faint of heart. 
Yesterday was spent with my old friends Dineen and Tracey. We went to a steakhouse called Abe and Louie's, in the Newberry street area of Boston. I had the Crabcake benedict. I'm not usually into Benedict type items, but good crabmeat made this an incredibly memorable meal, and not to sound redundant, but again good friends complete the experience.
A nice enchilada platter rounded out the evening at Sam Diego's in Hyannis, some fried ice cream all enjoyed with Dineen and her husband Michael. Fried Ice cream... yum.
So this morning was family, of a sort. My mother passed away 5 years ago, leaving an orphaned Aussie Shepherd. I located a family to take care of him here in Brewster, as my life unfortunately is not conducive to having a dog. Blue is 16 or 17 years old, and still kicking. It was great to see the venerable old man, and despite his ailments, he seemed to be in good health. I wish him well.
I'm off today to Norfolk, MA to see my uncle and cousin, but not before meeting up with an old college friend, Michelle. All of what i've written about are the reasons I love traveling, because there is always something new and exciting around each turn. Peace.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So here I am in lovely, lovely, Maine. I've been here for a few days, hanging out with my brother, his wife Kelly, and my great nephews, Mike and Sam, and my favorite niece, Kathryn.
They have three dogs- Pirate, a Dashchund, Max, hound/mutt, and Matilda, or Maddy is the beautiful specimen to the left. She is an English Mastiff, with a wonderful, mellow disposition.
I've had a wonderful time, but as a traveller, I must move on to the next stop on my journey. I leave today by bus for Boston to see friends and family. I came out to the east coast from Oregon on the 10th of the month, and leave on the 20th, back to the west coast. So though my time is limited, I'm making it all count. I came out here to see family and friends and to see a town square be named Corbett square, in honor of 6 of my great uncles. Check this video out, if you are interested in those festivities-
The ceremony was very touching, and I got to reconnect with many relatives. We Arlington Corbett's are quite prolific!
So I'm off to get ready to take my niece and nephews to a 'cookie bistro' where they will make, decorate, and bake cookies, drink milk, and have a great time. So until the next entry, 'May the Blog be with you!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hello! Bonjour! Namaste! Iorana! Hola!

Hello to all that read this!

My name is Quinn Corbett, and I am a chef for hire, a travelling chef. This is my first blog so bear with me. Many people in my life, friends and family have suggested that I write down some of the stories of my life, my trials and tribulations. So I'm throwing my hat into the proverbial "blog" ring, and we will see what happens.

So at the moment, I am in the great state of Maine, my self proclaimed 'home'. I say that Maine is where I come from, as that is where my mother's family is from, and my father and brother live here, and have lived here for 20+ years. I myself haven't lived here since I graduated high school, in 1988, with the exception of a few months in Rockland around 2004.

I know live in Carlton, Oregon, a lovely wine village southwest of Portland. I have a small catering company in which I work with local winemakers to produce wine and food paired dinners that, if are carried out properly make for a very memorable experience for the guests. I also have a more lucrative position as a personal chef on a private yacht in French Polynesia. I am lucky enough to work in one of the most beautiful placed in the world, and live in an equally beautiful spot right here in the good old U.S. of A..

So this is a little introduction of who I am, and what I do. My blog will be geared toward food from a professional culinary aspect, as well as travel, not only present experiences, but past experiences as well. I enjoy conversing with a diverse group of people, so I look forward to anyone and everyone's input. So happy trails, happy life, happy eating and happy drinking.