"Wine Country Brunch"
Chef Paul Mach enjoys brunch at least twice a week. Cooking novice Tom (“I’m not a chef”) Speicher has brunch once every 104 weeks. Thankfully, Chef Paul does most of the cooking in creating a memorable family-style brunch sure to be savored numerous times every week: Wine Country Brunch Fry & Grits. But give Tom his due; he does an excellent job stirring the grits.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality graduate Barbara Willett chooses French knives for the kitchen.
Afraid that use of the term “Wellington” will instantly transform them into culinary snobs, cooking novice Tom expresses some discomfort to Chef Paul about making the English classic. Chef Paul, though, appeases his poultry-loving friend by making Chicken Wellington with Mushroom Sauce in addition to Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce. By the end of the show, Tom doesn’t care if he’s a snob; he just wants more of the chicken dish.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Errol Bell prepares velouté.
For cooking novice Tom, a comfort soup is one that comes in a can. For Chef Paul, a comfort soup is one that causes Tom discomfort. That is, a soup recipe that actually requires some effort! Chef Paul squashes Tom’s canned tomato soup aspirations in preparing French Onion Soup and Split Pea Soup. Even though they aren’t from a can, Tom does admit that Chef Paul’s soups are “pretty good.”
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Jay Harter makes chicken stock.
"Chef Paul Classics"
Displaying impressive versatility, Chef Paul cooks a classic entrée dating back 250 years to France, Chicken Chasseur, before making a classic dessert dating back 35 years to his household in Buffalo, NY, Strawberry Whip Cream Cake. Like an esteemed food critic, cooking novice Tom gives a “thumbs-up” to both recipes, although he is upset that Cool Whip can’t be used for the strawberry cake.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality graduate Barbara Willett prepares rice pilaf.
"Mad About Mussels"
Initially, cooking novice Tom, who has never tried a mussel, is mad that Chef Paul wants to feature the bivalve mollusk. Incorporating the skills that have made him a master teacher at Penn College, Chef Paul turns his wary friend into a mussels fan as Tom goes mad over Mussels, Mariner’s Style and Baked Mussels with Chili Garlic. “Mad” might be bit of an overstatement, but it sounds good!
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Errol Bell reduces stock to a glaze.
Let’s see.... Assumed by many to be a vegetable, eggplant is actually a fruit. While it is technically a fruit, eggplant is actually used like a vegetable. Confused? So is Tom until he tries Chef Paul’s two creations: Eggplant Strudel and Eggplant "Parmesan" Lasagna. The picky cooking novice is so impressed with the tasty dishes that he says it doesn’t matter if eggplant is a fruit or vegetable.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Jay Harter breads foods.
It’s not exactly an earth-rattling occurrence, but Chef Paul does manage to shock Tom by expanding the cooking novice’s world view of crêpes. Believing crêpes are exclusive to desserts, Tom is stunned to learn that crêpes can be used for appetizers and entrées. Much to the chagrin of the chef, Tom is equally surprised that Chef Paul’s two crêpe recipes taste good: Chicken & Asparagus Crêpes and Crêpes & Caviar. Surprise, surprise, Tom also likes Chef Paul's Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality graduate Barbara Willett makes crêpes.
Cooking novice Tom calls Chef Paul the “dasher of dreams” after learning the day’s cakes don’t involve “sweet” ingredients. Undeterred by his co-host’s deflated aspirations, Chef Paul generates sweet dreams for seafood lovers everywhere with two memorable cakes: Crab Cakes “Le Jeune Chef” and Mousseline of Shrimp “Cakes”. At last report, Tom was still wondering what to do with the candles he bought for the “cakes."
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Errol Bell utilizes shrimp shells.
When asked to recommend some Asian delights, cooking novice Tom suggests chicken on a stick and fortune cookies. To the relief of all, Tom’s fortune doesn’t involve much cooking. Instead, Chef Paul shares the tasty reality of Asian cuisine by preparing Asian Shrimp, Pork & Vegetable Soup and Fried Spring Rolls. Tom makes his contribution to Asian cuisine by “tasting” fish sauce.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Jay Harter works with miso.
Despite containing one of the most frightening scenes in television history—cooking novice Tom trying to operate a blow torch—these 30 minutes produce a sweet result. Chef Paul, displaying battle-hardened nerves of steel, crafts two amazing desserts: Crème Brûlée and Festive Fruit Napoleon. Fortunately, Tom directs the heat of the blow torch toward the Crème Brûlée instead of Chef Paul’s fingers. Talk about fear factor!
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality graduate Barbara Willett prepares whipped cream.
Chef Paul lives up to his nickname of the day—the “crafty one”—by devising a way to stuff a New York strip steak with peppers, garlic, onions and other ingredients. Even though he hasn’t consumed beef for four years, cooking novice Tom admits he’s fascinated by the tasty end result: Stuffed New York Strip with Boursin Brown Sauce. In fact, Tom breaks down at the end and actually tries the remarkable beef creation. Bells everywhere are still ringing.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Errol Bell selects knife blades for the kitchen.
Chef Paul and cooking novice Tom face a perplexing predicament: trying to prepare paella without the use of a paella pan. To no one’s surprise, the practical duo saves some bucks and makes do with a typical pan in producing Paella Valenciana, featuring rice, chicken and seafood. However, the “strong camaraderie between the two takes a blow when Chef Paul “accidentally” shows Tom a clam’s “foot.”
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Jay Harter makes Tomato Concassée.
Following a tour of his famous herb garden, Chef Paul coerces cooking novice Tom to participate in the “dirty deed” of the day: preparing a live lobster for grilling. Tom uses the table for support as Chef Paul effortlessly concocts an outdoor feast featuring Grilled Fresh Maine Lobster and Grilled Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli. Tom feels so bad about the lobster’s demise that he pronounces the sumptuous result as “outstanding” instead of “superior.”
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality student Errol Bell differentiates between yams and sweet potatoes.
Tom’s idea of grub takes about 10 minutes on the grill. Chef Paul’s idea of grub takes one full propane tank to fulfill. There is no need to ask who wins out. Banning Tom’s frozen veggie burgers and baked potatoes, Chef Paul concentrates on Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Pita, Mid-Western Brined & Grilled Smoked Pork and Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanoush). Tom pronounces Chef Paul’s grub as “great” even though smoke from the grill seems to be constantly directed in the cooking novice’s face.
Cooking Key Focus: Penn College School of Hospitality graduate Barbara Willett reviews brining basics.