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Chef Heidi

Chef Heidi    |    Weddings

A Shared Company Holiday Party?!

Have you ever wondered how you are the last one to hear about something that everyone else seems to know about?!  Well, that is exactly what the concept of a Shared Company Holiday Party is all about.  How is it that this concept is so insanely popular in England, our country’s closest relation, but it is rare to find someone here in the U.S. who has heard of it?  Well, it’s our job as a cutting edge caterer to learn about these things.  Not only have we learned all about them but we were so impressed that we decided to be a part of the birth of the concept here in the U.S.  

So….. we are officially announcing our Rock The Holidays Extravaganza!!  It will be held at the beautiful Canfield Casino on December 11th.  The Canfield is very excited to play a part.  We will offer over-the-top foods and décor.  If you’ve ever been to a BDC (Black Diamond Caterers) event you know you will be fed amazing food and lots of it.   

What exactly is a Shared Holiday Party?  It follows the concept that businesses, corporations and companies like to have holiday parties not to actually celebrate but more to release and create energy, extend gratitude to employees, offer a time for reflections and relationships as well as give a unique opportunity to socially network with peers from other forward-thinking and motivated companies.  

The age of the not-so-looked-forward-to and often awkward holiday party in the back room or the tight quartered restaurant with Muzac is over.  It is no longer the unending and unappreciated responsibility of one person to organize the holiday party.  We are offering a way out, a revolution for change in this new century and for a new way of thinking.  

It is as simple as:

1.      Buy the tickets

2.      Attend

3.      And we’ll do this step for you…. a portion of each ticket bought will be allotted to non-profits supporting children’s needs.  These will be announced soon.  So you can all go and feel good about it too.

If you were in England you, as a business, would have the choice of an endless list of parties to buy tickets to all through December and in every city and town.  For the 2009 season for example, there is currently advertised a James Bond themed party, a Comedy Club theme, an Arabian Nights theme, a Motown, a Big Band, a Masked Venetian Ball, a Disco theme, a Las Vegas theme, an ABBA theme…… you get the idea.  It’s huge.  These parties are attended by hundreds to thousands depending on the venue size.  It is the rage to book early and get into the best party in town.  

Well……………. WE WILL HAVE THE BEST PARTY IN TOWN!  BDC will be transforming the Canfield Casino’s parlor and ballroom into a winter wonderland.  The entertainment will be the amazing live band The Lustre Kings who have played a few times at WAMC’s The Linda as well as venues across the country.  They will fill the room with electric energy riding along their music of bluesy (is that a word?) rock and roll or in their words “preaching the rockabilly gospel”.  You will see blue suede shoes and pompadours.  If you’re not eating, which will be hard not to do, you will be dancing! 

There will be lots of cocktail tables and some seating but we expect everyone to be milling about dancing or eating at the many exquisite food stations I will be creating.  We will offer a coat and purse check complete with a security person.  For a the menu go to Rock the Holidays Extravaganza!  I have to admit the menu does not do the food justice.  Let me just say this event will be a diner’s delight.  

The ticket price will climb as the date draws nearer so I encourage you to talk it over, commit to making a change for the better and buy the tickets.  Viva la révolution!  


A Discovery

There is a part of me that does not want to share this perfect summer treat.  I want to keep it all to myself so I can enjoy it with selfish pleasure.  I want to smirk at you down the bar and know I am drinking the most amazing beverage I’ve had in ages. 

But I will share. 

Recently, Michael brought me to the Parting Glass here in Saratoga.  The Parting Glass is a famed Irish Pub with many, many beers on tap.  I started with a pint of Weiss.  I can’t remember the name but it was a very good one.  I completely enjoyed it.  As I was contemplating the contents of my next pint a couple further down the bar ordered two Guinness.  The lady asked for something to be drizzled in her beer.  My curiosity piqued I asked the bartender what this was all about.

Kathy, the bartender, asked if I’d like to try it.  I hesitated.  I’m not a Guinness fan.  But I’m a foodie and what is our motto?  We will try anything at least once.  “Sure,” I say.  She makes me a little glass and I sip.  I sip again.  My eyes open wide.  I’m hesitant to share with my husband.  I throw back what’s left and stare at the bartender.  “What is this?!” 

“The girls in Ireland drink their Guinness with a bit of black currant syrup,” she says.  “I had to take many, many trips to Ireland to get it right,” she quips with a smirk. 

The beer is complex with slightly sweet berry overtones.  My taste buds in the back, on the sides and on the tip of my tongue are all alive and wanting more.  I soon had a thick, creamy mustache.  Aaaahhh!

According to this beverage is named a Black ‘n’ Black.  Even though it may be popular with the ladies I have to say “who cares!”.  Men should definitely drink Black ‘n’ Blacks. 

To make this beverage at home I recommend Ribena Black Currant Cordial which can be found at Celtic Treasures on Broadway in Saratoga Springs.  And Guinness can now be found in most stores.  It has this wicked cool ball inside filled with nitrogen that explodes when you pop the tab to give the rich beer its creaminess without a tap in sight.

To find out exactly how this gadget ball works check out How the Guinness Gidget Works

I’ve shared my secret now go forth and enjoy!


Great Recipe for Your Party

I was on one of the best Public Radio Stations in the country, WAMC out of Albany, this morning.  If you’d like to hear and see the recipe click on the link below.

Because it’s a replay you’ll find the recipe for the Yellowfin Tuna hors d’oeuvre on the bottom of their page unless they move it to the top for viewer’s ease.

I will be doing a completely new set of five radio spots for the morning show on WAMC all focusing

on finger foods and hors d’oeuvres.   Coming soon!

Yellowfin Tuna on Cucumber


Summer Reading for a Foodie



I found a book that I have to share with you.  Let me give you a little peek and hopefully you’ll be inspired to search it out.

What if you were given a gift certificate to a cooking class?  What if you didn’t really want to go but decided to attend out of obligation? 

What if you were a very lonely person and discovered a cooking class.  What if you decided to go just to be with people? 

What if you were planning your wedding?  You completed all your premarital classes.  You made all your decisions together and were respectful of each other’s feelings.  What if a chef gave you the task of baking, building and decorating your own wedding cake?  What would be revealed in your relationship?  

To explore these “what ifs” further you must pick up a copy of Erica Bauermeister’s debut novel, The School of Essential Ingredients.  In her novel,eight people attend a cooking school, even though most have no real interest in learning how to cook.  Erica explores the relationship between food and emotions within the cooking equation. 

It’s a great read if you are a foodie.  Pick it up for your summer reading but don’t be surprised if you find yourself inspired to do a bit of cooking!


Wilton Gansevoort Life

We recently had an article written about us in WG Life, an insert to The Saratogian newspaper that covers our region.  The WG stands for Wilton and Gansevoort which are communities just to the north of Saratoga.


Article of our catering companies;  Black Diamond Caterers, Adirondack BBQ and On Call Caterers

Georges Bank

Georges Bank just opened this past Sunday night at midnight.  The first to arrive at the docks, the day boats returned with fresh, beautiful fish making the catch immediately available to all eateries and grocers by early morning.  I received a faxed list overflowing with seafood. 

Georges Bank is located east of Cape Cod and south of Nova Scotia.  This underwater plateau is larger than the state of Massachusetts, has depths ranging from very shallow to 150 feet.  The entire area was once part of the North American land mass.  It is now one of the richest marine habitats, spawning grounds and fisheries in the

The United States controls 80% of Georges Bank and Canada 20%.  The search for oil and natural gas in Georges Bank has been a hot topic in both countries.  The US has warring parties concerning the future of the area as well as Nova Scotia who is positioning itself to remove the current moratorium in place in Canadian waters. 

This amazing region brings to our tables Flounder, Cod, Haddock, Herring, Scallops, Lobster, Clams and more.  The harvest quota for each species is strictly regulated due to the collapse of the region’s fish populations in the 90’s because of  over fishing and commercial bottom trawlers.  It has been said that the trawlers are the ocean equivalent of clear cutting in forests.

But we can be an educated consumer.  Get your grills out, make your compound butters and go buy some great fish while they are in season.  Just be aware of the topic, the history and especially the future.


Let’s make a soup



We make all the soups served at Rockhill Bakehouse Café located in downtown Glens Falls.  I am completely in love with ALL of their amazing breads so I consider it an honor to create soups that will be accompanied by thick pieces of buttered Jalapeño Cheddar or Pane Bello Breads.

When ordering from the list of 72 soups that we offer, Rockhill has the choice of one called the Chef’s Choice.  This is a soup that reflects what ingredients are in season and in house at the time.  Today, I am making one and I thought I would write the recipe down for everyone as I make it.

My three main ingredients will be Smoked Turkey, Zucchinis and Tomatoes.  And on we go……..

·         First, I simmer turkey bones/carcasses in water that I save from roasting turkeys.  I just began the process and this will take about two hours for a nice broth to form.

·         I’m dicing lots of onion, zucchini and tomatoes that I will sauté in olive oil.  I want this to be rich in veggies so don’t be afraid to bulk it up.

·         I’ve decided to add minced garlic to the soup.  It is so hard for me to walk past the garlic and not throw it in soups.  And………..I’m going to add carrots.  They offer beautiful color and add great flavor and, ok, they are very good for you.

·         I’ve just strained the broth and it smells amazing.   Rich yet light.

·         I’m adding the broth and all the sauteed veggies together in a soup pot.

·         Let’s add some basil, a little oregano and a bit of crushed red pepper flakes.   Add the pepper flakes to your liking but try to put enough in to give the soup interest without being hot.  I’m now adding kosher salt and some black pepper.  I’m going to add some garbanzo beans here.  It will give the soup body and texture.

·         And I’m now letting it simmer for 45 minutes or so.

·         At this point I’m going to dice the smoked turkey small, add it to the soup and allow it to simmer another 30 minutes.  If you like your turkey to stay in nice little chunks you can certainly simmer it for five or so minutes but I like my turkey to break down just a bit especially since it’s smoked and I want some of that flavor to infuse into the broth. 

·         After tasting the soup I’ve decided I want a stronger smoke flavor.  Now, there are good and there are bad liquid smokes.  Good Liquid Smoke is made with a distillation process. 

·         I’m going to add some good Liquid Smoke a tiny bit at a time until the soup is where I want it to be on the smoke scale. 

       And there it is!  Just what I was looking for and it’s yummy.  Add some aioli on top with some fresh basil leaves. smoked-turkey-soup.jpg

If you want to try some you’ll have to visit Rockhill  Bakehouse Café this week or make it yourself!




It was the first gorgeous Saturday evening of 2009.  The breeze was light and warm.  The sidewalks were still warm from the day of sun.  We were catering in the downtown center of Glens Falls where beautiful old warehouses and factories are being restored and filled with flourishing businesses focused on moving into this new century with style and global awareness.  The area can only be described as “the village”, hip and full of energy.

Now and then I like to bring new items to events just to turn people on to them.  Only arriving earlier that day was my newest item, Black Lava Sea Salt from the Hawaiian Islands.  It is a glossy, beautiful black and the crystals are a smidge smaller than the French Sel Gris.  The salt is a blend of harvested sea salt and purified volcano charcoal.  This salt is evaporated in above ground pools that are formed naturally from lava flows. The striking color and smoky flavor overtones make it a perfect finishing salt.  The salt is rich in trace minerals and the charcoal offers detoxifying benefits. 

I served it sprinkled on mini lamb and chicken gyros on that perfect spring evening and the black speckles looked just great on the Tzatziki sauce. 

If you’d like to try some of this amazing salt I found a website that offers it and many other types of salt.  I, myself, cannot have enough salts.  They don’t say “salt is the spice of life” for nothing.

Hawaiian Black Sea Salt


Mannix Marketing opens the doors to their new Offices

This past weekend we catered an Open House for Mannix Marketing owned by Sara Mannix.  They just moved into a gorgeous 3rd floor spread in downtown Glens Falls, NY.  The building seems to be an old factory and boasts beautiful, wide-plank wood floors, lots of large windows and a soaring ceiling.  For some views check out these pics:

 Pictures of the new Mannix Marketing Offices

We were there to welcome the almost 200 Open House attendees.  We filled a 16 foot table with all sorts of noshing foods including Artichoke and Pancetta Antipasti, various thin-crust galettes like Shitake Mushroom with Gruyere Cheese, Potato Gnocchi in a rich Truffle Sauce and some of our very popular dessert shooters like Mango and Lime Custard Parfaits.  We also put out quite a few cheeses. 

Now, Michael and I are very into cheese.  We anticipate the arrival of new cheeses like some people await a baby.  One of the cheeses we featured was a blue cheese from Spain.  It’s a raw cow’s milk blue named Valdeon.  It comes wrapped in huge Sycamore leaves and weighs approximately five pounds.  This cheese is creamy and mellow yet intense and complex.  I think I’m in love and I’ll be keeping this one around for a while.

You have to check out this beautiful, tasty cheese:  Valdeon CheeseValdeon Cheese

Follow the DOG!


One of our corporate clients is having a training session next month and wanted to do something fun and different for the catering portion.  Baseball and  spring training came to mind.  As it turns out the corporate client is a huge fan and asked us to “just come up with something”.  Michael, my partner, put together a ballpark menu that will make anyone want to hear the crack of bats but the jewel for the event will be the dogs.  Not just any dogs but the Official Dog of the World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies who wrapped up the title in five games.  Our client was thrilled. 

Hatfield generously helped us out by making a special shipment.  We’ll be serving them with all the fixings in hopes that a baseball game might break out.  The Phillies are very proud of their hotdog.  If you haven’t seen the video for their fascinating invention, the Hotdog Launcher, you need to check out this video.  It’s great! 

The Phillies’ Hotdog Launcher  

Since we serve many, many hotdogs in our Adirondack BBQ catering company, Michael and I decided to carry the Phillies’ dog for the entire year.  It certainly has a good story.  We even took it a step further and are considering using the official hotdog of each World Series Champion every year.  We will be ‘following the dog’ through the years.  The Series has a new meaning for us now.

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