Chef Edie Robertson signs on as Judge for Chowder Fest

We’re very excited to announce that local Santa Barbara legend, Chef Edie Robertson will be our third judge for the 2nd Annual Chowder Fest on October 23 at Montecito Country Club.

Best known in Santa Barbara for the ten years she spent as former Executive chef/co-owner of the Sojourner Café, Edie Robertson is a multi-talented woman whose petite frame conceals remarkable amounts of energy, talent, and kindness.

The impish Robertson achieved fame early: a world skateboarding champion while still in her teens, she was also the lead singer of She-Rock, an all female rock band that was the first American rock band to be allowed to perform and record on mainland China.

After graduating in 1996 from Western Culinary Institute/Cordon Bleu in Portland Oregon as Valedictorian with top honors, she completed her education with an internship at Aqua Restaurant in San Francisco under celebrity Chef Micheal Mina. Chef Edie returned to Santa Barbara in 1997 and became Executive Chef and co-owner of the Sojourner Café until August of 2008.

Edie brought a refreshingly creative, multicultural cuisine to the venerable health-minded coffeehouse, long a favorite locals’ hangout loved for its friendly ambience. Edie’s “Chef’s Specials” menu added a gourmet dimension that significantly increased the Sojourner’s customer base. She received top honors in three national recipe competitions, holds a Raw Food Chef certificate, has been a guest speaker at Santa Barbara City College’s HRC program, UCSB panels on healthy eating, career days at local High Schools, featured chef at many cooking seminars and is a long time member and co-chair of the Slow Food movement.

Her commitment to sustainable practices made her one of the first chefs to actively support local farmers, taking the time to peruse the aisles of the farmers market, her red wagon in tow, in search of the freshest organic produce, choosing to spend extra time and money to obtain organic ingredients for the restaurant’s kitchen, and becoming the first partner restaurant in the City of Santa Barbara’s pilot composting program.

Edie has a huge heart. Her charitable endeavors include serving as vice president on the Board of Directors of the Community Kitchen, feeding the homeless at Casa Esperanza, and participation in charity fundraisers too numerous to list.

An athlete dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle, Edie runs and rides with the Eschelon bike club, and she is a lead singer/guitarist for Jayne Wayne, a local rock band.

The ‘O’s of Chowder

Opal and Olio e Limone both have thrown their chowder in the communal bowl so to speak to join us on October 24th at the Inaugural Chowder Fest!

The ‘O’s of Chowder

Opal and Olio e Limone both have thrown their chowder in the communal bowl so to speak to join us on October 24th at the Inaugural Chowder Fest!

Greek House Cafe joins the fray!

Stanley Nicolaides called yesterday to say that he’s going to participate both in the chowder contest AND provide other finger foods for our guests to enjoy! Yum! i hope he does lamb kebabs!

I guess we’ll have to wait and find out – hope you’ll come out and join us.

History of Chowder – 1796

The first cookbook authored by an American was Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery or The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables and The Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes, from Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake, Adapted at This Country and All Grades of Life, published in 1796. Her first edition, published in the same year, did not include any soups. The second edition, published in 1800, was the first American cookbook to give a chowder recipe:

Chouder –

(http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/ChowderHistory.htm)

Take a bass weighing four pounds, boil half an hour; take six slices raw salt pork, fry them till the lard is nearly extracted, one dozen crackers soaked in cold water five minutes; put the bass into the lard, also the pieces of pork and crackers, cover close, and fry for 20 minutes; serve with potatoes, pickles, apple-sauce or mangoes; garnish with green parsley.”

History of Chowder – 1796

The first cookbook authored by an American was Amelia Simmons’s American Cookery or The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables and The Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes, from Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake, Adapted at This Country and All Grades of Life, published in 1796. Her first edition, published in the same year, did not include any soups. The second edition, published in 1800, was the first American cookbook to give a chowder recipe:

Chouder –

(http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/ChowderHistory.htm)

Take a bass weighing four pounds, boil half an hour; take six slices raw salt pork, fry them till the lard is nearly extracted, one dozen crackers soaked in cold water five minutes; put the bass into the lard, also the pieces of pork and crackers, cover close, and fry for 20 minutes; serve with potatoes, pickles, apple-sauce or mangoes; garnish with green parsley.”

History of Chowder – 1751

I thought it would be fun to track down some information about the origination of chowder or any other interesting tidbits that the vast resource of the WWW provides us. So if you find information worth sharing – please do send me a note, in the form of a comment or an email, and I’ll post it here. If you have recipes you would like to share – then we could start a new page with recipes – please provide proper credit to your source  if what you’re sharing is a reproduction, much like mine down here.

1751 – Even before cookery books were published in America, newspapers, magazines and travel accounts mentioned broth and soup as well as recorded recipes. According to the book 50 Chowders by Jasper White, the first and oldest-known printed fish chowder recipe was in the Boston Evening Post on September 23,1751. The use of herbs and spices in this recipe show the typical 18th century English taste for lots of seasonings.

 

First lay some Onions to keep the Pork from burning
Because in Chouder there can be not turning;
Then lay some Pork in slices very thing,
Thus you in Chouder always must begin.
Next lay some Fish cut crossways very nice
Then season well with Pepper, Salt, and Spice;
Parsley, Sweet-Marjoram, Savory, and Thyme,
Then Biscuit next which must be soak’d some Time.
Thus your Foundation laid, you will be able
To raise a Chouder, high as Tower of Babel;
For by repeating o’er the Same again,
You may make a Chouder for a thousand men.
Last a Bottle of Claret, with Water eno; to smother ’em,
You’ll have a Mess which some call Omnium gather ’em.

 

The first chowders were made with a technique called “layering chowder ingredients.” A layer is single thickness of some substance. Layering is the process of making layers of different ingredients. The onions were used to prevent the lean pork from burning. (Linda Stradley What’s Cooking America).

Scott Leibfried to Judge Chowder Fest

Scott Leibfried has agreed to participate in the judging of the 1st Annual Santa Barbara Chowder Fest, presented by Food & Home Magazine at the Montecito Country Club. Chef Leibfried is the culinary advisor and partner in the new seafood restaurant Arch Rock Fish slated to open later this summer.  Chef Leibfried can presently be seen on the hit television show “Hell’s Kitchen” as a sous chef for the FOX Network and has appeared several times on The Food Network’s series, “Party Starters” and the “Challenge” series. He is well renowned in the culinary industry and has been invited as a guest Chef at the James Beard House, Crystal Cruise Lines, Compass Group and at Nationwide Food and Wine Expos.

We’re excited to announce that Arch Rock Fish will participate in the ‘People’s Choice’ award but will not be judged by the professionals for obvious reasons.