Fish
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A Chat with Chef Gethin Thomas
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A Chat with Maker - Pastry Chef and Partner
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Essentials of a Summer Kitchen
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Unforgettable Fruit Soup - For 'Unforgettable Women'
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Unforgettable Fruit Soup - For 'Unforgettable Women'


Don’t be fooled by the funny-sounding name, this dessert will seriously wow you with its ease, and your dinner guests with its beauty. Dessert soups (chocolate soup, banana soup, etc.) have been in the pastry chef repertoire for years. Fruit Soup isn’t heavy like most common desserts, it’s more delicate than decadent. “For summer-time, it doesn’t get much better”, says Jonathan Thomas, Chef Thomas’s Pastry Chef, business partner and brother. “At the end of a big meal, you don’t feel like being full, you want to end on an up note- feel ready for more of the evening.”

The Story goes like this. Many years ago, Chef brought a date to the restaurant where his brother Jonathan, affectionately called “Maker”, was the Pastry Chef. In true brotherly form, Maker came out himself and presented Chef's date her fruit soup. As Maker is introducing himself and explaining the dish that he made just for her, she begins to unravel, first a teary sniffle to an honest sob. Through half-embarrassed, flooded eyes and a shaky voice the young lady gave her appreciative thanks to Maker. All this, before she had even tasted it.

Ingredients
Serves 8

Broth:
1 quart water
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 lemons zested
7 sprigs of fresh mint
1.5 ounces of fresh course-grated ginger (about as much as your index finger)

Fruit: (those plastic containers at the grocery aren’t really pints but they are still called that anyway)
1 pint fresh strawberry
1 pint fresh blueberry
1 pint fresh blackberry
1 small watermelon


One quart mildly tart sorbet (Mango, Raspberry…)

Method

For the broth - put all your broth ingredients in a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil then turn off heat. Cover your pan with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain your liquid through a screen into a plastic pitcher. Allow it to chill for 3-5 hours in the fridge.

Fruit garnish – Almost any fruit is good for this soup. We’ve suggested the berries and melon, but if you have honeydew or apples on hand, dice those and throw them in, they would work just fine. Cut strawberries into small cubes, a little smaller than a dime. Just sprinkle the fruit mixture around the empty bowl leaving a space for the sorbet in the middle. Less is definitely more per bowl so don’t do more work than you have to. As a side note, cutting the blueberries in half is a nice touch because it reveals the little star shape inside the berry.


Sorbet – Put some wax paper down on a cookie sheet. While the broth is cooling, scoop one small portion of sorbet for each bowl onto the cookie sheet. Use an ice cream scoop warmed in a mug of hot water. Put the portions back in the freezer to harden. (This way your sorbet is scooped and ready when you need it.) No more melted ice-cream drips and broken wrists around dessert time!


Bowls – shallow, white bowls are best because the soup has such beautiful color by itself, a busy pattern on a bowl might distract from the dish.


**In the pictures to the right you’ll notice that Maker added some sliced Kumquat, a white cake pedestal for the sorbet and a chocolate swirl – these are optional touches that show the possibilities for imagination and ornamentation. However, they are not necessary.

Please enjoy this recipe from Gethin Thomas Catering at your special family dinner, or just for fun. And please, please, please let us know your comments, suggestions and success stories!



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Essentials of a Summer Kitchen


The summer season has arrived in the Athens of the prairie! It’s time to trade your storm windows for screens, your heavy coats for light jackets, and your ice-scraper for gardening tools. But what do you need to change in your kitchen for summer? In this informative list from the Chef Brothers Thomas, we’ve laid out some steps in the right direction. These items are considered essential to Chef and Maker. All 7 are ubiquitous in their work kitchen and in their home. Let us know what works for you!

The Essentials of a Summer Kitchen

1. Space
“Give your food room to breath” - Maker

Spring cleaning is great for the carpets and closets but now that summer is here its time to ask yourself: “How old is that stuff in the back of the fridge?!” Free space is definitely an essential for a summer kitchen. One consideration should be that not everything needs to be refrigerated- clear counter-tops and windowsills can display the fresh tomatoes or strawberries from the garden or from Double Oaks Farm.

2. Lemon
“Fried chicken and lemonade…there’s something going on there.” - Chef

The lemon is a perfect example of a warm-weather essential. Lemon is so much more than a garnish for beverages. Its juice is a perfect acid to mix with olive oil for a light salad dressing. Steaks, pork chops, fried or grilled chickens are all paired well with fresh squeezed lemon juice. It provides that sour yet clean & crisp taste that cuts the heavy feeling of meats and adds a punch to grilled asparagus or even white rice.

3. Cucumber
“Salad ingredients are essential for summer!” - Maker

If you have a salad ready to go, you have a only short distance to go to finish out the rest of the meal. Cucumber, like lemon, is a light soothing taste that is incredibly versatile AND a good cucumber can last about ten days in a fridge. These green wonders should replace vegetables like carrot that have earthy tones, reminiscent of winter. If you are planting cucumbers this summer, remember that the pickle varieties are much better because of the smaller edible seeds.

4. The Grill
“The grill, even on a rainy day, smells like good weather.” - Maker

Indiana summers are hot and humid! Don’t turn on your oven if you don’t have to! Instead of heating your house up, go outside with an icy beer and light up the grill. Cooking outside usually means less dishes and less mess in the kitchen. And for vegetarians the grill is great. Grilled portabella mushrooms or sliced zucchini can be just as good as, if not better than, a burger. Get your back-porch on and say hi to the nieghbors.

5. French Mustard
“It is the best thing you can put on a steak” - Chef

Dijon, whole-grain or cracked mustard are all part of the French mustard family. These powerhouses of flavor and versatility aren't just for sandwiches. Adding oil, wine, cream, or lemon juice to mustards can make a super easy sauce. Right out of the jar, it can work well as a rub for pork loin or chicken and because of the low-sugar content, it won’t burn or flame on a grill.

6. Ice
“Ice is the most important ingredient in a drink” - Chef

Quality ice can make a huge difference in your beverage experience. Store-bought ice is clear, and odor-free as opposed to the ice in many of our freezers. Adding a carbon filter to your fridge's water line can help, or even better a reverse osmosis unit. But for an easy fix this summer, a $1.49 a bag is worth it. Even if you aren’t an ice chewer, these frozen gems can make a big difference in your kitchen this summer.

7. An audience
“Cooking for one stinks” - Maker

Fact: Cooking for someone or a group of someones is rewarding! Whether it is a bunch of burgers or a roasted duck, the simple act of preparing and sharing food is powerful. It’s so nice having people in your kitchen or out by the grill, all smelling the smells, and talking about life. Consuming calories is pretty important for survival but sharing beautiful food with friends or family, is pretty important to living.



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A Chat with Maker - Pastry Chef and Partner


Q & A with Chef Maker Thomas

What highlights and lowlights project from your years as a Chef?

Running my first kitchen service as sous chef while at L’auberge, Restaurant Francois…Seeing the Chef at restaurant Ja-Fe step into a pot of boiling stock and watching the paramedics deal with the situation…catching mackerel during the mackerel run at Goose Rocks Bay, Maine and then getting them on the menu that night…picking buckshot out of the partridge that Chef Albert Roux shot and had shipped all the way to our crew at the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam…Cooking a three course meal on a boat with no running water, in a kitchen smaller than my London apartment- and succeeding…have three hours of work thrown into the garbage by an Australian Chef, yelling in French calling me a “Stupid Yankee dog’s expletive”…watching a fist fight behind Restaurant le Gavroche, between two line cooks, over who got the last of the leeks…leaving work after a 18 hour shift and finding the pubs of London closed…



What honors have you received?

I was the honor camper at Interlochen Music Camp in the summer of 1979…I also won the long distance swim that year…5 time Honor Roll at Culinary Institute of America…Philadelphia Magazine voted mine, the best Gelato of the year 2000…

Is there a part of being a Chef that never gets old?

Working with your senses

If you could cook for one person, living or dead, who would it be?

Brillat-Savarin

First album you owned? Favorite of all time?

Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan – my favorite album always changes as soon as I think I’ve got it nailed down. That’s why I don’t have a tattoo

What’s your favorite thing to cook for your children?

Toad in the Hole

What is your preferred method of educating yourself on new trends in cooking?

Getting in the kitchen and trying them out

Describe the best restaurant experience you’ve had in the past few years.

No single best meal stands out, but I’ll tell you my favorites of each course…
Amuse- Lobster Bisque scented with Sambuca at the Inn at Little Washington
Starter – Braised chicken feet from a London Chinatown restaurant
1st Course – Panko crusted lamb tongue with pea shoot and fresh mint at the Ansill restaurant in Philadelphia.
2nd Course – Frisse salad with duck liver, shallots, lardoons of bacon, poached egg and a perfectly thin slice of toasted sourdough boulle on top, at the Café Boulud, Palm Beach Florida.
Main Course – roasted rabbit with mustard, lemon and Olives Tain Hermitage, France
Dessert – Fresh Mango Vanilla ice cream, Spanish brandy, Saint Maarten



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A Chat with Chef Gethin Thomas


A look at the guy behind the white coat

What highlights and lowlights project from your years as a Chef?

Working at The Italian Store, an Italian Delicatessen, I fell in love with serving people food… Making a “living” as the Poissonnier (fish cook) in a Michelin 2 star restaurant near the Eiffel Tower…Drinking a 1959 La Tâche and Romanée-Conti and eating roast chicken with Albert Roux at his Windsor Estate. A moment that will stay with me forever is when my friend Peter, on his way to work, slipped on ice, broke his neck and perished days later.

What honors have you received?

I have received some “prestigious” awards none of which I care to mention. However, Frank McDonald once told me "you have a high standard", and Michele Trogois, after tasting my mushroom cappuccino, said surprisingly "not bad."

Is there a part of being a Chef that never gets old?

Teaching people how to cook the way that I’ve learned from great Chefs and seeing that light bulb of recognition click on in their eyes that I once had.

If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Oscar Wilde

What is the best hole of golf you have ever played?

Any hole at Pine Valley

Favorite thing to cook for your daughters?

Sea Creatures: whole fishes with their heads still on, clams in the shell and live lobsters.

What is your favorite method to educate yourself on new trends in cooking?

My friend Mickey Kim sends me articles from the New York Times food section every Wednesday.

Describe briefly the best restaurant experience you’ve had recently.

I had cocktails in Chicago at a bar called the "Violet Hour." Go there if you can find it, I would ruin it just trying to describe it.



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Fish


“Fish is my favorite thing to work with”

 

Chef Thomas loves to cook fish but it can be a real struggle, this far away from the ocean, to get fresh fishes.

 

From the butchering process all the way to putting on a plate, fish is something that you have to care for, handle gently and respect. Raw sashimi grade tuna or seared striped bass - when you get it right, it rewards you greatly.

 

We only buy from day boat fishermen; meaning that we call the fish monger and he calls to his captain and asks what has been caught that morning. We order that fish and write a menu around it before it reaches the shore that afternoon.



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Atlantic Cod and Potato Puree with Melted Tomato
Atlantic Cod and Potato Puree with Melted TomatoScallop and Tuna Sashimi with Avacado and Vanilla SaltCod wrapped in Serrano Ham, sautéed leeks and yellow tomato sauceCold Lobster on Cucumber and Melon under Saffron Citronette
 
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Gethin Thomas Catering

"Our small company is held by the belief that the highest standard is something that everyone deserves to experience."

 

Gethin Thomas Catering

Chef owned businesses are based around the standard of the Chef. The standard of the Chef comes from his or her balance of emotion and technique. Their emotion stemming from their unique passion for food and life - their technique harvested from their experiences with, or study of, other Chefs. Our business is Chef owned, local and striving for that balance in our art. Our small company is held by the belief that the highest standard is something that everyone deserves to experience.In this age of flashy sly dealing we are forced to understand the value of a good gimmick but we choose to not buy or sell any such thing. What we do buy are honest products. Whether it is organic tomatoes and onions from Lori, at our local market or fresh fish flown from Hawaii or Rhode Island, the cost varies greatly but the standard does not. This applies equally to the way we sell our products, the costs vary but the standard does not.

Chef owned businesses are based around the standard of the Chef. The standard of the Chef comes from his or her balance of emotion and technique. Their emotion stemming from their unique passion for food and life - their technique harvested from their experiences with, or study of, other Chefs. Our business is Chef owned, local and striving for that balance in our art. Our small company is held by the belief that the highest standard is something that everyone deserves to experience.In this age of flashy sly dealing we are forced to understand the value of a good gimmick but we choose to not buy or sell any such thing. What we do buy are honest products. Whether it is organic tomatoes and onions from Lori, at our local market or fresh fish flown from Hawaii or Rhode Island, the cost varies greatly but the standard does not. This applies equally to the way we sell our products, the costs vary but the standard does not.

There are few things more important to an event than the food. Some events would be insulted by anything other than a picnic menu, while other events would lose proper meaning without an air of elegance in the food.

In other words, sometimes a menu fits an event best when you make it yourself. and other times you need to be engaged in the event completely, detached from food preparation all together. We understand the former of the two but are experts on the latter. Our food is something we are very proud to serve. Our goal is to provide the best catered food in the region.

Our venues are as varied as our client base. We enjoy helping our clients transform their home, patio and yard into the perfect dining area or reception area. We not only work in homes, we work with the Inn at Irwin Gardens, the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Miller House, the Otter Creek Country Club, the Hilbert Theatre in Indianapolis and even tailgating parties near Lucas Oil Stadium.

 

Our staff strives for perfection, the perfect balance between our experienced talent and your imagination.

We make ourselves available through many different manners. This ensures that whether you are browsing through catering companies in the area, or you would like us to help you with an event today, you can find out exactly what you need and nothing you do not.