Food column: Chef succeeds with mobile kitchen
According to Chef Rebecca Briody, she has been taking her kitchen “on the go” for more than 20 years. She started her career at the very popular family-owned Timbers Restaurant and Dinner Theater in Mt. Gretna. The family business prepared her for her career.
“The Timbers gave me a great base,” said Briody. She started with simple kitchen tasks; later she worked in the pantry and helped with banquet cooking. Briody then trained and worked in New York City for five years in the early 1980s in a private executive dining room as assistant chef. The business was owned by a wealthy man who would invite from 25 to 40 different people every day. A four-course, fine-dining lunch was served on crystal and silver. According to Briody, she prepared food for Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger and many other VIP’s while working there.
The menu changed daily, which was very a very valuable experience in her career.
“I learned to do a lot of things,” she said.
She returned to Mt. Gretna in 1985 and managed the kitchen at the Timbers for 13 years using the many talents and different cuisines learned in New York City. Briody decided at the age of 40 to open her own catering business, thus Chef on the Go was established. It is located in historic Mt. Gretna. Briody will cater a special event whether it is casual or elegant, small or large. She will help you to develop your menu to suit your individual needs and tastes.
Briody offers a wide variety of custom menus. She will work with each individual client to create a unique, personalized menu. She promises a friendly, professional staff with attention to detail at your function. Briody will cater almost any event: weddings, conferences, showers, dinner parties, banquets, and many more.
Her business will come to you along with food to make your event a success. The types of menu choices are versatile, as you can choose from many menus. For a brunch menu, you can choose to have an omelet bar with a buffet, including your choice of meats, fresh fruits, warm sticky buns and, of course, a coffee bar. After all, what would brunch be without coffee and tea?
You can even choose to include hors d’oeuvres. A Mexican fiesta menu is very authentic. For the appetizers, you can choose a taco bar, tortilla chips with Beck’s Mex Salsa and Buffalo chicken wings. The main course would have to be chili. Some of the choices are chicken chili, burritos, Mexican rice and beans. Kahlua flan or apple empanada are just a sampling of dessert choices made by Briody. The choices on the dinner menu, served by Briody’s staff, are vast. The main selection includes a variety of foods such as filet mignon, crab cakes, salmon, prime rib, chicken marsala and others. Briody offers a choice of a combination platter. This is served with your choice of vegetables, starches and salad. Hors d’oeuvres and desserts can be chosen.
Instead of a sit-down dinner you may choose a buffet with hors d’oeuvres, main courses, starches, salads, soups and desserts. Briody also offers a carving station with choices of meats and vegetables, pasta station with different items, fruit and sweet station with a variety of fruits and finger-food desserts. When choosing hors d’oeuvres, there are a variety of cheeses, fruits, veggies, seafood, dips and meats to choose from. The list is extensive, with some examples including crab and artichoke dip, ceviche of scallops, Swedish meatballs, cheese torta with sliced baguettes, fine cheeses with crackers and red grapes, and baked brie with lingonberry jam and toasted almonds. Canapes are another selection to choose from.
Briody has an extensive menu to choose from. She also offers sushi. This menu does not feature everyday foods. You can choose scallops wrapped in bacon; or crab, turkey sausage or spinach or feta stuffed mushrooms. Briody also stuffs filo cups with curried chicken salad, or pepper confetti and goat cheese. One of the popular canapes is beef tenderloin tips served on crostini with horseradish cream. I had the opportunity to watch Briody make and serve these at a local function.
Briody has very different foods on this menu. Puntititas de Solomillo al Ajillo is one selection, which translated is, beef tenderloin tips in garlic sauce. Salpicon de Langostino is shrimp in caper and pickle vinaigrette. This menu has other items to choose. Something very different on Briody’s menu is “Cowboys Chuck Wagon BBQ.” This menu sounds like fun for a party. Many of the foods have a tex-mex, southern, Cajun flare. From tortilla chips with Beck’s Mex Salsa to chuckwagon chili, many different choices are available. She also supplies linens, dishware, glassware and flowers for your special event.
“I get satisfaction from parties I cater that go well, and people who enjoy my food,” Briody said. “My food is made from scratch.”
She said her greatest compliment was at a sports banquet for the Annville-Cleona track team when two boys about age 12 came up to her after the meal and told her that she served the best food they ever had. For your next event, contact Chef on the Go at 717-964-3541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet Curry Dip
- 1/4 Cup Grated Sweet Onion
- ¼ Cup Ketchup
- ¼ Cup Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Sweet Curry Powder
- 2 Cups Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
- Wisk all ingredients together.
***This dip is best made in advance so the curry has a chance to incorporate into the mixture.***
Raspberry Schnapps Pudding Shooters
Heat in Sauce Pan:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 quart whole milk in separate bowl, and whisk together 3 egg yolks ½ cup sugar
- Add 4 tablespoons corn starch into yolk and sugar mix
- When milk mix is hot, add to egg mix (Be sure to add hot milk. Mix a little at time to egg mix so as not to cook the eggs. This process is called tempering the egg.)
- Put this mix back into the sauce pan and cook it until thick. Be sure to stir constantly so it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
- Take off the stove and add 3 ounces Raspberry Schnapps.
- Put it in a container, cover with plastic wrap and cool in Refrigerator. Plastic wrap should be put directly on the top of pudding so it does not form a skin.
- Put in Shot glasses or shot size plastic cup and garnish with a Raspberry
**Other flavors can be used. I also like Grand Marnier or Irish Cream flavors. This is also a good base for Trifles**