As discussed in a previous Post, The American Culinary Federation (ACF) is a 20,000 member organization of chefs, food industry-related members and maybe a food writer or two. On this day, the monthly Naples and Marco Island ACF Chapter meeting was held at The Lely Players Club and Spa,
a private country club.
They have a beautiful dining area inside the club,
perfect for this month's food theme which was barbecue.
I was intercepted by The Players Club Executive Chef, Dan Kniola, who showed me the smoker he was using that day for his Beef Brisket.
The speaker that evening was Executive Chef Kristopher Jubinville (Chef K) of St. Matthew's House,
a local homeless shelter and their associated catering business, SMH Catering, which helps bring in revenue to the shelter.
Chef K explained the "low and slow" approach to smoker cooking. Typically the temperature is maintained around 200 degrees for about 10-12 hours. This breaks down the Collagen in the meat, effectively tenderizing it. The importance of knowing your flavors before using the smoker was also emphasized. The voluminous amounts of smoke generated by these cookers tends to dumb down the chef's sense of taste and smell. More on barbeque later.
These monthly meetings always have a social hour, an informational component and then a wonderful dinner.
As attendees gathered for the social hour
Pero Family Farms, one of the vendors donating their product that evening,
was highlighting their sweet peppers with a Bruschetta starter.
After social hour, the general and educational component of the meeting began.
After the Chapter President, Chas Tatigian, made a few announcements, Chef K talked a bit about barbecue.
He talked about the different woods used in smokers.
He liked to use Oak or Hickory wood as a base, adding sweetness with either Apple Wood, Pecan Wood or Cherry Wood chips.
He explained the use of Spice Rubs in barbecues, which almost always contain a salty and sweet element.
Brining was also touched on, good when smoking poultry as it helps retain moisture.
Chef K also likes to spray what he is smoking every 3 hours or so to keep it moist, but then leave it be. A Dr. Pepper/Rum spray is one of his favorites.
Now for the good part! After the presentation, attendees lined up for the food.
There were a number of salads served that evening.
There was a garden salad served with a Ranch or Balsamic dressing, an Asian noodle salad (a new item from Pero Farms), Genoa Salami with roasted sweet peppers and fresh Mozzarella cheese in addition to Caesar Salad.
The entree selection was really good too. Beef brisket,
smoked New York Strip,
chicken thighs brined in Vanilla/Dr. Pepper,
and Wax Beans.
As if there were any more room left in most for more food, the dessert table was very impressive.
There was white chocolate raspberry tart, Cheesecake, Ganache tart, fruit tart, Chocolate Mousse Tart, brownies,
chocolate cheesecake and Mocha Torte, among other offerings.
Yikes! But so good!
Before closing I would like to acknowledge Cheney Brothers, Pero Family Farms, Sturdivent's Food Purveyors and Naples Smokehouse and Deli, among others for their donations that made this great meal possible.
That's that for another post on Forks.
ACF Caxambas Chapter of Naples and Marco Island
Pres Chas Tatigian, CEC
P.O. Box 855
Naples, FL 34106