My last year of my apprenticeship The ACF Laurel Highland Chapter of the Culinary school I attended hosted a huge fundraiser, A Reception/Meet and Greet with the Famous White House Chef Henry Haller. I was chosen to be his Student liaison for this event, which entailed giving him a tour, answering questions about the program, seeing to his needs and making sure he got to his lecture on time. I was very nervous and very shy, but Chef Haller was very kind and put me at ease. In the afternoon he gave a short talk and answered questions from the students, after this presentation I walked him to a room that was set up with refreshments and it was a place for him to relax before that evenings reception. That’s when he shared this story with me (which shared that evening) plus he shared these words of wisdom. Never forget were you came from and never abandon family cooking (what was taught to you by others/traditions) no task is beneath you, but most importantly treat others with respect no matter your title. Oh and one more thing don’t be a snob regarding ingredients. Chef Haller told the story when he was the chef at the white house he was informed the president wanted to have an impromptu luncheon the next day, one problem it was already after midnight and at that time grocery’s stores did not open on sunday, Chef Haller had to make magic with what they had on hand. He needed to make appetizers and had a lot of bread but did not want to just plain garlic bread, so he took mayonnaise, crushed garlic, combination of grated Romano and Parmesan cheese mixed it all together and had it spread on the bread and place under the broiler, the toasted bubbly bread was cut into bite size pieces and garnished. He told his staff to serve it with confidence. It was a hit among the guest and someone did ask for the recipe but they were told it was a national treasure. Everyone in the Lecture hall laughed, and Chef Haller continued to say that if asked he would deny this story…lol
So my friends don’t be afraid to create, for you will have many successes and some failures but don’t let them hold you back. Cook with Passion and Love. K K
P.S. I have made this bread and it is amazing, i have used not only Italian bread, but French bread as well. I have also topped the bread with Sliced Roma Tomatoes and with italian meats after it has been broiled.