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Friday, January 31, 2014

Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop and the Caxambas Chapter of the American Culinary Federation

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is an Artisan pastry shop located off Old Highway 41 in North Naples. The owner has been making pastries for decades since being involved with his families' pastry business as a young child.

The vast majority of their business is commercial. They do have a retail area in their shop

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with some nice looking cookies

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and even better looking cakes and pastries.

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The final meeting of the season of the Caxambas Chapter (CCACF) (Naples/Marco Island chapter) of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) was at Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop. The ACF is an 85 year old organization of over 22,000 members with about 230 chapters nationally. Their primary mission is education, training and certification in the culinary world. Locally, the CCACF has approximately 140 members. About 60% of these are chefs, with the remainder being a part of a food-related function or business in the area. Interestingly, the majority of the chefs were employed in private (country club) rather that public settings. Caxambas is an area in Marco Island, FL, and is probably where this chapter got it's start.

Most of the meetings are structured to have a social and educational component. The meeting this day was purely social. This was my first meeting and I made the mistake of eating dinner beforehand.

A number of vendors contributed nibbles for the event. 

Boar's Head, a manufacturer of premium deli meats and cheeses since 1905, was there. They operate in all 50 states, the Caribbean and Canada.  The head of Boar's Head food service in the Southwest Florida area, their commercial end, was there to provide samples of their cheeses, sausages and dips. The sponsor of the event was most generous to make some flat bread as a vehicle for the (Hummus) dips.

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Swiss Chalet was there. They are a purveyor of goods to the professional chef.

They displayed and sampled a variety of vegetarian  Amuse Bouches (mouth amusers) as well as Macaroons.

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Traditionally, amuse bouches are small, complementary previews of what a diner has to look forward to in that particular dining experience. Macaroons are confectioneries, usually incorporating Meringues, combinations of egg whites and sugar. Both of these were excellent.

Swiss Chalet has a number of brands under their purview. One of these is Felchin, a Swiss manufacturer of chocolate. These were chocolates used for baking. Chocolate lovers, be prepared!

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Their flavoring was based on the percentage of Cacao in them.

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A couple of local vendors contributed to the event. One was Jabba Fine Foods. They are into smoked fish, and it was fantastic, smoked mahi-mahi, scallops and shrimp.

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I have never had smoked shrimp, but the flavoring and texture (moist) were amazing. 

They also had smoked salmon and grouper spread, the latter being amazing as well.

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Finally, Naples Smoke House and Provisions was there.

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They had a number of really good items.

Smoked salmon

bacon and crab dip.

The meeting was concluded with a call for arms for an upcoming charity event sponsored by the CCACF,  The Zoobiliee,

as well as upcoming CCACF meetings. All in all a really great evening and really good upcoming fodder for future blog posts.

Mikkelsen's Pastry Shop
1068 Business Lane
Naples, FL 34110

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