Archive of Events
This year was very difficult to choose the 2 stages for this years head to tail!! We had a great mix of very talented chefs form all over the country as well as Canada. As well as some amazing essays as well as some really bad ones, but that being said I feel we did a great job choosing our 2 stages for this year. So now the hard part is over lets let the fun begin. I have included their names and essays for you to read after the break. Thank you everyone for your time and effort in your essays, it is a very hard decision to make, all who applied were really great. keep cooking guts!!
After each years head to tail I look back and say how can we top that, and each year its a challenge that I gladly welcome. With the past 2 year we have brought in stages to spend a week cooking with the Incanto team, and it has been alot of fun and a great experience. Each stage has come and left their mark, thank you to Derek, Omar, Michael & Jonah!! So to continue on in that spirit we shall do it again, its time for someone else to come and play. This is all about sharing, inspired by the constant requests for knowledge about how to cook offal. Now’s your chance to learn. I will be accepting 2 volunteers to help with the event this year. You get to come into my kitchen and help cook 2 nights of head to tail dinners. You will work your ass off, have some fun and learn a ton, but there are rules to this game. This offer is open to professional cooks only. You will be an unpaid volunteer. You must commit to working in my kitchen for 5 days, from Friday, april 1st through Wednesday the 6th except for Tuesday, which you’ll have off to recover. You must submit your resume and a short essay on why you should be one of the chosen ones. This is a busy time and I don’t have time to be baby sitting. The Head to Tail dinner is a multi-course menu with a shit load of detailed work..
Here is the pay out; you get all 4 of my t-shirts to take home and you will be able to sit down and enjoy the head to tail menu in the dinning room on the last night. And you have to write a story for me to share on this website after your time here to share with the world. Jonah I am still waiting for yours, don’t make me call Paul.
Email your resume and brief essay to me at email@example.com by friday March 4th. I will make a final decision and contact the 2 lucky winners on March 7th to confim your participation. This gives you 4 weeks to make travel arrangements. Ultimately, this is a fun opportunity to be a part of a great team for a week and learn how to cook some innards.
After recieving 50 applicants from all over the US and Canada I have made my final decisions on the 2 stages for this years head to tail dinner at Incanto. This was not an easy decision since there were so many great applicants with great essays and resumes. But there can only be 2 people there is only so much room in our kitchen. Thank you all for your interest in being a part of this annual event just because you didnt get it this time dosent mean you wont get it next year.
Below are the winners names and essays:
Michael Hudman chef/partner of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis Tennessee
Hello Chef, my name is Michael Hudman, chef and co-owner of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen in Memphis, TN. I could tell you all about me and where I have worked in the past, but the main thing is I am very passionate about food and especially about nose to tail. Two years ago I opened my restaurant with my long time friend and business partner. We concentrate on bringing the best product we can to our customers. We are constantly trying to learn more and more everyday. When I first came across the offal good web site, it blew me away. There are not many restaurants or books that work offal ingredients or techniques. We have done a lot of trial and ERROR with offal, your web site has helped us improve. Last year we closed the restaurant down for a week and made a trip out to San Francisco and Napa. We ate at Incanto twice, the second time we did the Il Quinto Quarto menu and the dinner just stuck with me. (You even waited on a taxi cab for an hour with us, Thanks) It reminded me of the food my grandmother told me about as a kid and the food that we experienced in Italy while in school. At my restaurant we do a Nose to Tail dinner all with Newman Farm pork . We love pork and use it as much as we can, we are working on our charcuterie every day. Speaking of, I saw that y’all are making nduja, we have not had that since we were in Calabria. We are excited about tasting it next time we are in California. You have definitely inspired me to use more offal and push myself as a cook. It would be an honor to learn from you, thank you for your time and I hope to be able to help you and your staff on this year Nose to Tail dinner.
Jonah Resnick a line cook from Blackbird in Chicago
Cooking and working in a kitchen is a non-stop opportunity to learn and improve techniques on a daily basis. To have the chance to work in your kitchen for a week prepping and cooking the Head to Tail dinner would be one of those times where learning new techniques from you and your crew would be an honor. Eating and cooking offal and whole animal butchery is a passion of mine that I look to improve and get inspired by new ideas whenever the opportunity presents itself through other chefs, books, recipes, and blogs. I have worked in well-respected kitchens in both New York and Chicago so working long hours in the kitchen is nothing new for me. You would not have to be concerned with “baby sitting” me during the week. I would love the opportunity to do whatever was needed of me just keeping my eyes open learning the way you execute the Head to Tail dinner from start to finish. I currently work at Blackbird in Chicago where we focus on locally sourced produce and meats and turning them into upscale dishes. I have been there for a year and a half and have worked my way through all of the stations and continue to improve, learn, and help with menu development. Working for Paul Kahan and Chef de Cuisine Mike Sheerin has had a profound impact on me as a cook, as well as a chef, and I will carry the techniques, ideas, and philosophies on food with me for the duration of my career. However, I believe that traveling, eating, and experiencing other parts of the country and world is an invaluable part of becoming a well-rounded chef and cook. I was lucky enough to travel to San Francisco over the summer and experience the local food culture all over the Bay Area. I was blown away by places like the Ferry Building and the farmers market there, the produce, meat, and seafood available in one place blew my mind. While I was visiting the Bay Area I was lucky enough to eat dinner at Incanto and actually speak to you while eating at the bar. I had a wonderful meal there and really loved what you and your cooks were doing with food. Once I read that there was a chance to come there and cook the Head to Tail dinner I immediately jumped at the opportunity. That being said, please consider me for one of the two available positions to stage during the Head to Tail dinner. You will not be disappointed by my dedication and ability in the kitchen.
I have decided to do something a little different for this year’s head to tail dinner, inspired by the constant requests for knowledge about how to cook offal. Now’s your chance to learn. I will be accepting 2 volunteers to help with the event this year. You get to come into my kitchen and help cook 2 nights of head to tail dinners. You will work your ass off, have some fun and learn a ton, but there are rules to this game. This offer is open to professional cooks only. You will be an unpaid volunteer. You must commit to working in my kitchen for 5 days, from Friday, March 19th through Wednesday the 24th except for Tuesday, which you’ll have off to recover. You must submit your resume and a short essay on why you should be one of the chosen ones. This is a busy time and I don’t have time to be baby sitting. The Head to Tail dinner is a multi-course menu with a shit load of detailed work..
Here is the pay out; you get both of my t-shirts to take home and you will be able to sit down and enjoy the head to tail menu in the dinning room on the last night.
Email your resume and brief essay to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by sunday February 28th. I will make a final decision and contact the 2 lucky winners on March 3rd to confim your participation. Ultimately, this is a fun opportunity to be a part of a great team for a week and learn how to cook some innards.
On august 5th at 1pm PDT/ 3pm EST I will be interview live on:
So if you have any questions or things you might want to know make sure you get your questions in.
Here it is, the time is nearing for my new show to premiere. check it out its a lot of fun working with Aaron on these challenge. For more info on the show check out food network by clicking on the picture of Aaron and I.
I have been getting asked alot of questions recently about Chefs vs City, I cant answer most of them since it won’t make it any fun for people to watch if you already know what happens. All I will tell you is that Aaron is a great partner in crime, we had a ton of fun, went to some great places and met some amazing people along the way. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this show in any way shape or form you are the ones who made it so great.
I hope you are a excited as we are for the premiere on Friday, August 7th at 10pm.
To get more info on when the show please take a look at our site by clicking the food network logo below:
After much request I would like to introduce the winners essays. Enjoy them as much as I did, I look forward to spending more time with both of them in the kitchen.
Good afternoon Chef, my name is Derek Dammann and I am chef of DNA restaurant in Montreal. I saw that you are offering an opportunity to stage for your annual Head to Tail dinner. I would like for you to consider me as a candidate. I admire your style of cooking and find that my approach is very similar in the way that you need to take a few steps back before you can move forward. Thinking in an old world way, and bringing back the artisinal traditions that have been forgotten. The “whole animal” philospohy is something that we practice at my restaurant as well. Using the entire animal, is both respectful to the beast, and exciting for us cooks. As well as having the opportunity to allow the customer to try somethings that they may never have had the chance to try before. I find that places with the approach that you have at Incanto offer a dining experience rather that a dinner out and I believe that is the direction that the food world is heading. Having a menu that is interesting, local, interactive and educational, that allows the guest to have fun and not just watch each other eat. That being said, I hope I get the chance to take part in this event. Best regards, Derek
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
Some of the fondest memories from my childhood were derived from my parents cooking. I remember standing next to my father on a hot south Texas summer night as he grilled fajitas, chicken and mollejas (sweet breads). As hungry as I would be for the mesquite grilled meat, the true reward for standing by my father’s side and waiting was getting the first hot off the grill pieces of mollejas. I remember taking a sizzling hot piece in my hand, blowing on it to cool it down and then crunching through the crisp mesquite smoked crust and into the warm juicy, buttery center. That was complete heaven for me.
The point I am trying to make with this story is that my childhood has been filled with offal eating. Growing up in a Mexican household meant eating many atypical dishes from most American households, especially offal. For me there are several offal that are comfort food, especially dishes like mollejas, lengua (beef tongue), menudo (tripe stew) and tacos de tripas (intestines).
Another favorite childhood dish was my mother’s lengua. She would place the lengua in the oven in the morning, and would not pull it out until she got back from work in the afternoon. I loved coming home from school those days and smelling the rich roasting beef scent permeating throughout the house. My mom would shred the lengua meat and stuff it into corn tortillas with shredded lettuce, chopped onions and my grandmother’s home-made salsa.
With the time I have spent in the culinary world I have had many opportunities to learn more about working with offal. Some knowledge has been passed on by other individuals or gained through my own research. I credit the book Charcuterie, as well as any one of Diana Kennedy’s books, as inspiration for many of my offal adventures. At Zaytinya in Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to work with Chef Mike Isabella. He demonstrated how to work with items like lamb tongue and brain. He also pushed me to pursue my love for charcuterie, which led me to create a merguez recipe for the restaurant. Last year I left Zaytinya and transferred to one of our sister restaurants Oyamel Cocina Mexicana. Under the tutelage of Chef Joe Raffa I have continued to pursue my love for offal and develop Mexican inspired offal dishes. I have been involved with creating an in-house chorizo recipe, lengua torta (beef tongue sandwich) and my favorite, queso de puerco (Mexican head cheese).
When I discovered Offal Good last year I was so excited that a chef had dedicated a restaurant towards the preparations of offal. It inspired me to experiment more with offal dishes at my restaurant and reconsider what can be cooked for dinner. There is still so much more to learn about offal cooking and I hope to continue to educate myself on the subject. I hope that part of this continuing education will involve the opportunity to assist you and your staff during Incanto’s annual Head to Tail dinner.
As promised today is the day for the stage winners to be announced. This was not an easy decision I reviewed and read over 25 essays and resumes for these 2 coveted spots. The applications came from all around the country it amazed me how many people wanted to travel for these work days here. But the info you have all been waiting for: Please pack your knives,
I look forward to having you both in my kitchen. If there are any questions please email me ASAP.
Thank you everyone for your essays and resumes I really appreciate all the effort and thought put into them. I wish i could have more people in the kitchen but there is only so much room.