Chef Otto's Blog

Eggnog, Not.

I will go on the record. I am not a fan of eggnog. However, my wife Doti fresh from the Philippines has never had the seasonal lactose treat. By and large dairy is not in the Asian food pyramid. Name one great Asian cheese. Name one great Asian wine. No sour grapes here, It’s just the whey of the world. Doti recently said, “Babe I wanna try eggnog.” I gave her the eye roll. “Babe why that look?” “Oh nothing, I don’t like it, but you need to try it and I will make you some.” “Why don’t you like it Babe?” “It’s

Read More »

The Art Of The Card

On December 1, Doti and I received our first Christmas card of the season. The endorphins were firing their joyous pistons upon closing the mailbox. It was from my cousins Cheryl and John. Their mom, Mary, and my mom were sisters. The card took me back. To snowmen, snow angels and snow days, and sledding off course. I remember those days of Christmas past in Brownhelm, OH. The house was decorated to the nines. Mom had a special touch in arranging all the cards we received. Mom was an earnest letter writer and card sender. Just her immediate siblings alone

Read More »

Mr. Right Stuff

He was raised in Appalachia. The son of farmers. Enlisted as a Private and became a General without a college degree. Was a Flying Ace, shooting down 5 German planes in a single day. Along the way he became America’s Greatest Pilot. Mr Right Stuff himself broke the speed barrier and remains an inspiration for all to break existing barriers. A badass, a hero, a national treasure. The epitome of American Exceptionalism. Proof of grit, determination, Yankee ingenuity can result in soaring accomplishments. A thankful nation owes a debt of gratitude to this extraordinary man. A phenomenal example of a

Read More »

When Black Friday Comes

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (RIP) genius musicians. Artful, abstract and avant-garde their music stands the test of time. I was fortunate to see them twice. The sound, so crisp, the band, so tight. Recalling Fagen introducing the band he referred to Carolyn Leonart, Cynthia Calhoun, and Victoria Cave, the three ladies behind him as “The flat-out best background singers on the planet.” Indeed, human songbirds, voices kissed by angels filling the sold-out theater with their heavenly harmonies.  The ladies reflect the exacting standards of this progressive band. Fagen & Becker met at Bard College forming their first band The Bad Rock

Read More »

Take Stock Of Thanksgiving

Some people dread the holidays. The preparation, the out of town guests, the shopping, it’s enough to make one red as a wattle. I have worked plenty of Thanksgiving Days. Planning, prepping and executing Tom Turkey for thousands who were smart and decided to leave it to the professionals. No fuss, no muss, no cleanup. Others who stay at home plan the day with exacting detail like the D Day Invasion while others fly by the seat of their pants. Be your approach mirror Eisenhower or bomb like Erma Bombeck, one thing for sure. Take stock of the situation.  The

Read More »