Blog

To sum it up 2018

Hello everyone!

I just logged in and I can’t believe it’s been three months since I last blogged. Time can really fly during the off season.

I thought I’d kick off the new year with a recap of 2018. What an amazing year it has been. Taking risks, trying new things and learning and becoming a part of a new community and organization has changed my whole outlook on my career and purpose.

In fact, it has been almost exactly a year since I made the decision to join the Philadelphia Fusion as the team Chef and move to Burbank, CA. You can read all about that in detail in one of my earlier blogs titled Amuse Bouche.

Since that time I have created some fun exciting food for the team, built new relationships within the organization and learned more about esports on the whole. The biggest event of my year was the experience in New York. I never thought I’d travel there, let alone be standing in an arena surrounded by some of the most welcoming people in the world. It was thrilling!

It was humbling to see tweets like this where someone snuck a photo of me chilling Waiting for the match to start! It was also pretty amazing to meet the fans, have brunch and other random encounters in the “big apple”. Check out this rad collage someone made! Tweets like this really make my day.

Collage tweeted by @eatmyhands

I love seeing the experiences everyone in the community is having and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of it!

After Overwatch Season 1 came to a close, I wasn’t sure what to do next! I was invited back for Season 2 and the thought of rejoining the restaurant or corporate world didn’t align with my heart so I kept with the spirit of just doing whatever was right in front of me!

I cooked for a few different retreats, did a little meal prep for some friends, and I set out to make some new friends going to beach parties, game nights, club events and even took a trip to Las Vegas for a week. I also made a cake or two.

And then there was BlizzCon! Finally I could reconnect with my esports family. I was so lucky to tweet and meet Adam Wozniak with Blizzard Entertainment. He helped me purchase my ticket to attend BlizzCon and even invited me to tour the Blizzard entertainment complex where all of the magic happens.

Here we are!

Words to live by

Usually not a frappe girl, but I couldn’t resist this masterpiece

Meeting Adam and touring with him was refreshing. He is so informative about the ins and outs and all together an exciting and amazing guy. I love how passionate and knowledgeable he is about what he does and it really shines through.

I was able to tour the library, learn about the archiving of books, games, props and art. I toured some of the offices, health and wellness area, the main headquarters where they monitor all gameplay activity, and of course the cafe where I had a special treat.

Being away from OWL for a few months put me in a state of limbo, however this tour combined with Adam’s enthusiasm gave me just the energy charge for BlizzCon that I needed.

Cosplay fun
Chef Moira comes to life

Food truck food!
Just look at that hot dogger

One of the first new people I met @clonejet from Minnesota

Reunited from New York!

There was so much to see, do and eat! I did spend a lot of my time in the Overwatch arena cheering on Fusion players individually in the World Cup finals, which definitely was the highlight of my experience!

@squashmoen stealing the show

Let’s go @carpe_ow
Congrats team South Korea on the gold

My favorite snack during the World Cup Games

I took away so many fond memories from this experience and I’m forever grateful for this community…..

Back to business with the Fusion as we gear up for Overwatch Season 2!

Keep checking into see recipes from the Fusion House. Feel free to comment and ask for anything

in particular you would like to see!

~Chef Heidi

Chef collage…. Overall Overwatch has made me way more fun!

Celebrate your life with Cake

Hello everyone! I hope you have been enjoying your Summer. As you all know I’ve been on a break with the close of Overwatch Season I, leaving off with creating a lot of celebratory desserts for the team. This opened the door to the summer of cake for me! I’ve been doing more desserts this Summer than I have all year, and I’m loving it! I feel like this has been the Summer of yes for me! I embrace any opportunity to create, give and inspire! And of course any opportunity to surprise someone is a bonus!

Why are people so shy about Birthdays? It is one day a year to be recognized, as if we really need a reason to celebrate our awesome self! If you aren’t celebrating yourself daily, at least do it on the day your spirit and your body came to be in this world! And of course let’s do it with cake!

So here’s the story guys. This Summer I have met some amazing individuals. We brunch together, go to concerts, inspire each other and learn from one another. We surprise each other with the gifts we have to share with one another and watch each other flourish in this life! A couple of my new friends, even though it feels like we’ve known each other a lifetime, were set to celebrate a birthday. Immediately I wanted to do something special for them. Gifts come in many forms, mine crafted in the form of food. I give the gift of experience and positive energy through my creations. Through that creation, I too learn and grow.

Low and behold, over the course of two days I made the most beautiful and delicious cake I think I’ve ever made! The best part is they never saw it coming!

As you may know, I made a mirror glaze cake for the Philadelphia Fusion as we celebrated the semifinals.

This was my first shot at this particular cake and I decided it was time to do it again!!

I’ve been wanting to make a raspberry white chocolate cake for sometime now as I reminisce about this delicious cake I used to make over a decade ago at a little French bistro in Waconia, MN. So how about combining the two??

I set into motion to fuse the two into a delicious combination!

Here’s the basic set up for Chiffon Cake!

Whip the whites to form stiff peaks

The cake batter before baking
Hot right out of the oven!!
Raspberry filling
Buttercream frost the cake and chill completely before starting the mirror glaze process.
White chocolate and raspberry mirror glazes cooling a bit.

This is the setup for making the glaze.
Let the glazing begin!!
Edible flowers, more buttercream and berries!
Time to light the candles!

Here’s the recipe in case you want to tackle this project! Let’s get baking!

White chocolate raspberry chiffon cake

Ingredients

4 oz. really good white chocolate

2.25 cups sifted cake flour

1 T baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

.75 cup whole milk, room temperature

.5 cup canola oil

6 large eggs, separated, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

.5 teaspoon cream of tartar

Procedure

Preheat oven to 325, rack in middle position.

Prepare tube pan or 2 springform pans, clean and dry.

Chop and melt white chocolate over double boiler.

Grate remaining 1 oz of white chocolate and set aside.

Toss .5 cup fresh raspberries in 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl beat the milk, yolks, and vanilla together with an electric mixer. Stir in the flour mixture by hand and fold in white chocolate gently until smooth.

In a clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter in thirds. On the last third fold in the coated raspberries and the grated white chocolate.

Pour the batter into the clean pans and bake until center springs back gently, about 50-60 minutes. For spring form it will take half the time. Cool tube pan upside down on a bottle, springforms on a cooling rack. Remove from the pans and cool completely.

Raspberry filling

Ingredients

12 oz frozen raspberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons corn starch

Dash of balsamic vinegar

Procedure

Thaw raspberries and drain away juice, reserve. Add water to the juice to total .75 cups of liquid.

In a small sauce pan, combine raspberries, juice, lemon juice and cornstarch. Cook carefully over medium heat, whisking, until it bubbles. Remove from heat and strain the seeds out. Cool completely.

Mirror glaze

Ingredients

300 g corn syrup

300 g granulated sugar

150 g water

200 g sweetened condensed milk

300 g white chocolate

20 g gelatin

Food coloring or fruit purée for color

Soak gelatin in cold water and set aside to bloom

In a saucepan bring to a boil water, sugar and corn syrup. This boil should be constant and form large bubbles. Melt white chocolate in a separate bowl of double boiler. Add to the boiling mixture along with sweetened condensed milk and gelatin. Set aside to cool. At this time you can separate to as many bowls and add color before it gets to cool. You’ll want to keep it at 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the pour.

Buttercream frosting

Ingredients

2 cups unsalted butter, softened

1 pound confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8th teaspoon salt

Procedure

Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Main Course Let’s get right to the “meat” of it

“The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating.” ~ John Waters

In line with the article by Connor Jones and Unboxed, I feel like I’ve got to set the record straight about my favorite meal, style of cooking and basically the best meal I’ve ever eaten and cooked. There is nothing like kitting up a good braise, popping it into the oven for hours on a slow cook, running some errand or taking a long nap and experiencing the aromas that fill the house up making the dog and the gamers drool!

I like to do braised for The Fusion and because they can pack a lot of proteins away, it’s a great solution! I can get whole primal at a great cost and do the trimming myself. We’re talking about nearly 25-30 pounds of beef guys and gals!

Look at all that meat!! Once you’ve selected and trimmed it down, you can use any seasoning you like. For this dish I used sea salt and black pepper. I make a variety of braised meats and introduced spice families for different global dishes.

The key to a good braise is the sear. Season your meat liberally, and in a smoking hot pan sear each side until golden brown. I use a deep pan so as not to splash hot oil everywhere.

Searing the meat will create a barrier and trap in flavor. It will also create a soft texture. You can cube your meat down ahead of time, however I tend to go with large pieces for longer braises.

The next step in the process is the aromatics, vegetables and and if you like starches. You can put any combination in your braise from basic mirepoix, herbs and local avails to more heirloom and exotics like mushrooms or haricots vert (fancy French green bean). Just remember everything you put in will cook at the same temperature for the same amount of time so choose your sizes wisely!

Finally after you’ve sautéed the vegetable party you’ll need some liquid. I use different combinations for different braises and even colas or sweet chili sauce from time to time. For red meat, red wine and beef stock are the perfect duo. I’ll reduce the wine to take out some acidity and alcohol before adding the stock. Bring it all to a boil and put over the meat in a large pan. If you have a Dutch oven that can be convenient as well. At the Fusion house I use full hotel pans, two at a time.

Finally secure the package! Wrap with parchment paper and then foil to lock in the load for the long haul! I don’t want flavor and moisture to escape for the finale.

Several hours later I return to the masterpiece that swells the house with comfort and aromas so rich, I don’t know how the guys can concentrate on the gaming! They’re lining up and inquiring, yet I have a few more steps to accomplish before I can serve it up!

This dish is a beef pot pie braise. I’ll remove the beef carefully from the mixture. I’ll drain the vegetables reserving the juices, skimming the fat. I’ll make a roux and gravy with that lovely liquid. Cube the beef and reconvene everything for the final plating. Meanwhile I’ve got pastry puff brushed in egg wash, sprinkled in sea salt baking in the oven.

Abracadabra !!!

Beef burgundy pot pie

Believe it or not it will be all gone in just a few hours. The fellas love this dish, especially the puffs and it is so packed full of protein and root vegetables that as the comfort level tucks them in at night, the healing and repair works overtime to rejuvenate them for the next day!

I’ve included a basic recipe for 5 pounds of chuck. Again feel free to have a little fun with vegetables and spices here!

Let’s get cooking guys!!!!

Braised Beef

Ingredients

1 # onion, diced medium

½ # carrot, peeled, diced medium

1 # celery, diced medium

2 T C garlic, chopped

5 # chuck flap

½ # flour*

1/8 C salt

1/8 C pepper

⅛ C frying oil

½ oz Rosemary

1 Bayleaf

32 Oz Beef Stock

3 C Red wine

½ C Tomato Paste

Directions

Using seasoned Flour*, coat beef.

Heat oil in stainless rondo, sear beef. Place Beef in braising pan. Dump oil from rondo and saute the vegetables. Add red wine, and reduce. Add stock, tomato, and demi bring to a boil. Pour over beef. Seal pan with paper and foil. Cook in a standard oven at 450 for 2 ½ hours.

Remove beef carefully. Strain liquid reserving for gravy. Skim excess fat. You can thicken using a roux or bring to boil and whisk in a slurry of cornstarch and water to obtain desired viscosity. Cube the meat and return to sauce with vegetables.

***it is not necessary to use flour in this dish. You can use it later to thicken the sauce, or use none at all.

*****add a pound or two of your favorite local avails such as green beans, rutabaga, parsnip, sweet potato, or wild forest mushrooms for extra proteins.

Sometimes I like to Eat my Dessert First

 

IMG_0061Hey guys!!! Here is raw footage of me making a white chocolate cheesecake!! I have been mastering this recipe throughout the years and it brings me enthusiasm and joy to share it with you!!

Follow the steps and comment if you have any questions!!!

Cheesecake Recipe

8 oz white chocolate

½ # cream cheese, softened

¾ cup sugar

3 eggs

1 lemon zested, squeezed

1T vanilla

Procedure

Melt white chocolate over double boiler.

Using kitchen aid and paddle whip cream cheese. Add sugar and blend well. Turn on low speed and add eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl to be sure eggs are blended. Add lemon zest and juice, vanilla and white chocolate.

Crust

1/ 2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 # butter melted

Cook in springform pan set in half sheet with water at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until set. Turn off oven and crack the door. Remove after an hour. Let sit on the counter and chill in refrigerator overnight.

“Bon Appetite!”

Chef Heidi Makes the White Chocolate Cheese Cake

Amuse-bouche

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ~Julia Child

Welcome to my personal blog everyone. I have been so blessed over the last year to work with the professional esports gaming team The Philadelphia Fusion in the first season of the Overwatch League.

This season has brought me so much excitement. I have learned about the vast world of esports and specifically the game Overwatch. I have learned more about myself too in just a few short months working with the team.

There has been a few interviews and articles about me throughout the season, however I’d like to provide you all with a first hand experience into what it has been like for me joining the Fusion as the first private chef in the league.

Let us start with the story of how it came to be….

You guys, I cannot stress enough how important it is to make and hone lasting connections in this word for your career, your personal lives and through your family. Connections keep us rooted in the grown as well as provide branches for us to grow on. That’s how it started for me. Well over a year before I knew about the esports world I met a fellow chef who would then become instrumental in my introduction to the Fusion that would change everything I thought I knew about my profession. When I met chef Gregory Adams I was in a hallow place in my life and my career. I knew that I wanted a different life. A life I would not need a vacation from. A life that I could enjoy and grow in. I love being a chef, but the hours and personal sacrifice had brought me to a point where I would consider a career change that wouldn’t serve me or my purpose. Geographically I was also stunted. I stayed in the area I graduated High school and college out of fear. I feared change for so long and any sense of adventure was consumed by that.

The first thing I did was the opposite of anything I’d ever felt. I sold everything and moved to San Diego. I started working short term gigs with no real plans. I put my faith in the universe and started building a professional network. I took risks, worked hard and with purpose at everything I did, just as I’ve always done.

I remember the day I got the call from Chef Gregory. I was in LA on a temporary Gig and it was HOT outside. Chef beams through the phone “Heidi, you’re not going to believe this, I’ve got the perfect opportunity for you.” And we go on discussing the details, both of us thinking this was a soccer team of some sort! Shortly after our conversation I was put in touch with Scott, the VP of culinary excellence for Comcast Spectator and we discussed my experience. “I’ve looked at your past menus and I’m glad that you can cook global cuisine, we really need this”. I was ecstatically curious. He explained to me that this team was an esports team that live in a house in LA and they needed healthy global food. From that conversation sparked my introduction to Reston Yoo, the house manager of The Fusion. We set a time and date for me to come to the house, meet the team, and offer samples of food. This was a chances for them to try my cooking as well as an opportunity to get to know their likes. I put out an array of dishes for them to try. You can see some of those dishes below. I was so impressed with the fellas initially. They were all very polite and gleamed with excitement at the choices I’d put forth. I learned two things instantly. Convincing these guys to eat salad will be tricky and they can definitely put away some protein.

Rostov and I hit it off right away and I returned to San Diego in great spirit. The very next day I received the from Joe Marsh (we may be related, not sure), and I accepted without hesitation.

Two weeks from that day I had relocated to Burbank where my journey with The Fusion will begin.

Keep an eye out for The First course guys as I walk you through the my early work with The Fusion.

Harissa cauliflower ready for the oven
Roasted Harissa cauliflower, steamy bok choy
Patatas bravas, garlic and basil shrimp scampi
Korean Beef Bulgogi
Fresh pear salad with citrus vinaigrette
Marinated cucumber salad