829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Sunday, February 12, 2012


My birthday weekend in Vermont, not unlike dozens
in the past.  At this point, Liv is well familiar with
Grampa's antics and if you could see her eyes, they'd
be looking away as to say, 'you're embarrassing me,
Grampa'.  He's been patrolling at Stratton since the mid-
sixties, and still sees it as a privilege to provide his 
EMT and skiing expertise most winter weekends so 
that the tens of thousands of skiers who visit here every
winter can ski, knowing that he and his fellow ski patrolmen
are there for them in times of need.    

Saturday evening I participated in a charity event, the 
Stratton Foundation's  'Taste of Vermont', held at Stratton 
Mountain's Base Lodge on Saturday night.  I entered as an amateur 
chef, of whom there were 20, and we were to be judged on the taste
and merits of our dishes. I chose two items to serve with which I 
was very comfortable:  Gravlax and Knob Salad.  

They were to open the floodgates at 7:00 p.m., but at 6:45 the 
masses started to appear, and I was in full swing plating dishes
whether I was ready or not. My volunteer assistant Claudia stood by 
my side and helped stem the tide by spooning Knob salad on those
 plates to start the presentation. I couldn't have done it alone. The 
sweat started to bead on my brow, and I turned away several times 
to blot it and keep it from dripping on my already cured Salmon. Not 
something you want the customer to see.  Things didn't slow down 
until about 8:15, which was good because the Gravlax was just about 
gone.  I had a ton of  feedback and lots of genuinely nice 
compliments, and after so many years of not having done something 
quite like this it was really refreshing and a great 
re-introduction to the food show scene.  

Evidently, the presiding highly acclaimed chef/judge, Suvir Saran,
liked the Gravlax enough to honor me with one of the top 
five spots.   I thank him for the opportunity to showcase food 
that's near and dear to me. The anticipation leading up to the 
judging was a little nerve-wracking, but regardless of the 
outcome, it was fun as hell and something I plan on doing for 
years to come.  And ultimately, it was all for a good cause. 
What a great way to wind up my birthday. 


  1. Man, talk about dedication to one's art!

    If I asked my wife to cook on her birthday, I'd be eating my words.

    Glad you got some recognition for your talents and hope this encourages you to get back in the game.

  2. Congratulations! Are we going to see you on one of those TV cooking competitions next?

  3. Great job Baydog, just by looking at your other presentations on the Web, I had no doubt about the outcome. By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  4. Despite wearing a NY Giants Chefs tunic, in the the middle of NE Patriots country, you were a winner in the "Taste of Vermont" which in its "smack talking" way, is awesome. Job well done Baydog! I will have to try your Gravlax recipe, I think it will be a nice addition to the whitefish salad and sable at my next bagel breakfast shindig, hootenanny and or hoedown.

  5. happy hppy birthday! aquarius!!! yay!!!! most awesome.
    We have a few diesel ovens and stoves here on some historic vessels, and the idea to have chefs do a cookout on these unmanageable cooktops. Feeling like a challenge one day??

  6. happy (belated) birthday, baydog! and congrats on the "taste of Vermont" - that gravlax does look pretty tasty.

  7. I think I might be part robot... these 2 word WV things now on blogger are brutal.