Saturday, February 28, 2015

POP up and Coming!

POP up and Coming!

The POP up and Coming! Dinner series was created by Chef Sessler and debuted in January of 2015. The premise of the dinner(s)  is for Chef Sessler to step back and allow his staff at Cava an opportunity to show case their skills by offering a venue for them to create a four course meal of their design.  There are a few members of the Cava staff that have been working for multiple years as cooks. The POP up and Coming! Dinners give these cooks the chance to be the Chef for the night.  

The Pop up dinner is all about the featured chef exploring food that intrigues them. The featured chef writes a menu as well as manages all areas of preparation for the event. They also develop an execution strategy for the service of the evening.   By engaging the staff in this exercise the Cava cooks are all learning how to develop and manage a dinner service. As well as lessons in team work, organizational skills and problem solving skills these dinners give them valuable experience that is part of their training in become a chef.  

The dinners are designed to give the young cooks a platform in which to execute their ideas. The menus below are the design of the featured chef. We have put together three dinners for the winter 2015 season.

Currently all events are sold out

Featured Chefs & Event Dates

Hillary Schmidle January 14th 2015
Qvon Williams February 18th 2015
Storm Addison March 4th 2015

About the chefs
About Hillary

Hillary graduated from UNH and is an avid adventurer, traveler and mountaineer.  She has a diverse knowledge of food and a tremendous work ethic. She started working at Cava about a year after we opened in the summer of 2009 as a dish washer and has been working her way up through the kitchen ever since. She is a dedicated chef who has spent endless dedicated hours to refining her craft. Her attention to detail and relentless self discipline gives Hillary an amazing chef quality. Along with her artistic touch and creative mind she is poised to take over a kitchen soon and put her spin on the culinary world. I am looking forward to seeing this young talent develop in the years to come.
-           Gregg Sessler


Qvon was the inspiration behind the “POP Up and coming!” dinners. Completely out of the blue one day this past summer he asked me if he could buy some duck breasts and some other supplies. He was putting on a pop up dinner out on Pierce Island. It was his night off and he had plans to do a four course menu for anybody that would show up. He put it out on Face book announcing the dinner. A few people showed up and he proceeded to make a great meal on a little grill. He had basically no equipment; he had to borrow plates for Cava and other small tools. He took pictures of each course and showed me the menu after the dinner. I was so impressed with his motivation, passion, and desire to just create food. It is not often you find young chefs with such motivation that they are willing to spend their own money and take their time outside of their work kitchen to go and offer up such an evening and cook for people not expecting anything (money) in return. Did I mention he wasn’t charging for his 4 course meal! He just wanted the opportunity to cook. It was from that pop up dinner we began talking about providing a venue for these guys to do an event of their own.

          Qvon has worked here at cava for five years now. He began his training where all great chefs start, washing dishes. He has put in many pain staking hours of washing scrubbing and sanitizing all to get to this point. He has earned a position in the cava kitchen where his passion for food and a relentless work ethic shine through.  Qvon is hungry for knowledge, filled with passion and highly motivated and that make him a wonderful student. Qvon has a real touch with food and as he develops his skills I am excited to see where it takes him. It is a pleasure to have him as a member of our team and a real honor to have him take over the Cava kitchen for a night. With his soon to be world famous southern fried chicken I know I can’t wait.
-          Gregg Sessler

About Storm Addison

Storm started at Cava as a dish washer five years ago and has been a valued member of our kitchen team ever since. He quickly moved from washing dishes and secured a place as a full time cook. His natural talents and his artistic eye give Storm an unusual ability to plate some of the most beautiful food I have ever seen. Over the years Storm has created many of our cold plate designs here at Cava and probably holds an unofficial record for the most photographed plate our Valhrona chocolate dish.  He is dedicated hard working young man with a bright future. His Art is his passion and it shows through to his daily work.  Storm’s influences in food have come from his Hawaiian and Philippians back ground.  I look forward to experiencing his creations and seeing artistry this young chef is capable of. 
-          Gregg Sessler


Is Proud To Present
Chef Hillary Schmidle
Wednesday January 14th 2015
Pop Up And Coming!

To Start
Everything Bagel Pretzels
Fig & Date Mustard

Country Salad with Boston Bibb
Poached Quail Egg, Red Blush Potatoes, Bacon Lardons
Dijon Champagne Vinaigrette

Braised Chicken Thigh And Dumpling
Celery Root Broth, Roasted Mire poix And Foraged Mushrooms

To Finish
Champlain Valley’s Triple Cream
Baked in pastry with walnuts, Cranberry & Orange

.               .               .

Is Proud To Present
Chef Qvon Williams
Wednesday February 18th 2015
Pop Up And Coming!

To Start
Hush puppies
Pickles & Dip

Shrimp Gumbo
Jalapeno corn bread

Chef William’s
World Famous Southern Fried Chicken
Waffles & Gravey

To Finish
Sweet Potato Cheese cake pie
Candied pecans

.               .               .

Is proud to present
MARCH 4TH 2015
POP up and Coming!

To Start
Crispy Wonton
Hon Shimeji Mushroom Dip
Soy. Fermented Black Garlic. Fish Sauce
Roasted Shishito Peppers

Yellow Fin Tuna Poke
Cured Egg Yolk.  Squid Ink Avocado Puree.
Lotus Root Chip. Fresh Wasabi Root

Brasied Ox Tail
Salsify Root. Fermented  Bok Choy  & Hearts Of Palm.
Roasted King Trumpets. Fish Sauce Demi Glace

Something Sweet
Blood Orange Sorbet Pineapple & Pomello
Pistachio Citrus Tuile. Yuzu-Lychee Gelee.
Pomegranate, Purple Shiso. 

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