Monday, December 28, 2015

Bison, Boar and Beer No. 4 --- a craft beer dinner at Beyond the Bull

 If you missed the first three, here we go again ... limited seating ... call 864 508 1254 ... 6 courses including wild boar and venison, and a brew master's choice from Anderson, South Carolina's Carolina Bauernhaus Ales ... reservations being accepted now ...

 Eat smart, feel good! Chef AngelaB
Beyond the Bulll (an "eat smart" kitchen)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Give up what? --- no more burgers, pizzas and fries

Numbers don’t lie.  So when your medical professionals tell you that according to your numbers, you are pre-diabetic and  pre-hypercholesterolemic,  and therefore a good candidate for heart disease, they  will likely tell you to change your diet as well.  The advice used to be something like this, “cut out rice, bread and pudding”, their way of saying avoid white bread, simple carbohydrates and desserts.  Now, medical professionals are more likely to say, “avoid inflammatory foods”.  What?  No more burgers and fries, pepperoni pizza and fettucini Alfredo?

It is almost impossible to eliminate some foods from your diet altogether, when you have been enjoying them for decades.  Unless you were raised in the wild and never exposed to foods like the all American beef burger, your comfort foods are here to stay.  For me, it was hot dogs and mac ‘n cheese, for others it is pizza and pasta or a Philly cheese steak and Dr. Pepper --- all 100% inflammatory,  all what I refer to as BAD FOOD. 

Don’t be sad.  There are ways to reduce the inflammatory element of your favorites by consuming what I refer to as GOOD FOOD.  Here are six ways to enjoy more GOOD FOOD and less BAD FOOD. 

Cut down on sandwich bread
It is tough to make a sandwich without bread.  Yes, you could “sandwich” a patty with condiments between slices of some plant food like sweet potato pancakes but if you are craving a burger, it will most likely not do.  Choose a thin sliced whole grain round or buy a fresh baked loaf of whole grain bread from any bakery and slice it yourself.  It will not eliminate the inflammatory element, but it will reduce it considerably when compared to a traditional hamburger, sub or deli roll.  Don’t substitute a flour tortilla wrap because it is no less inflammatory than white bread.   

Add more plant foods
All plant foods are anti-inflammatory, meaning that they do not contribute to inflammation and may even reduce it.  Add as many plant foods to your meals as possible.  Plant foods include herbs and spices as well as vegetables.  Heap on a pile of fresh basil and spinach and top it off with fresh, not canned, sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of chili powder, cayenne or red pepper flakes.  All of this is 100% anti-inflammatory --- GOOD FOOD.

Avoid bottles, bags, cans and boxes
Avoid them all.  Don’t believe the claims made on the packaging such as heart healthy, fat free, gluten free and others.  Those phrases are marketing gimmicks to make you believe that the product is good for your health.  Do any of them claim that their products are inflammatory free?   If you read the labels, both the nutritional labeling and ingredients labeling, you will see that almost all packaged foods have added sugar, salt, fats processed from soy and corn, and chemicals ending in ose, ase, ate, etc.   If the ingredient was added by humans or processed by humans, avoid it --- BAD FOOD.  Use fresh --- GOOD FOOD! 

Use condiments
Plain food is boring.  Food that is covered in condiments is much more flavorful and interesting.  Make your own condiments, salsas, pestos, sauces and spreads and avoid those that come packaged in bottles such as ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauces, relishes and dressings.  By making your own condiments from whole produce, vinegar, lemon, lime, whole garlic, whole ginger, chilis, herbs and seasonings like cinnamon and turmeric, you are boosting the proportion of anti-inflammatory ingredients --- GOOD FOOD.   

Choose wild
Protein animal foods are all inflammatory --- BAD FOOD.  But, any protein animal food that is wild grown, wild caught, fed it’s natural diet, or free roaming is LESS inflammatory than those that are farmed.  Farmed animals including fish are fed a diet manufactured in factories.  If the beef, pork, chicken, lamb, talipia, salmon, trout, and sturgeon processors included the feed ingredients, the list would start with soy, corn and chicken by-products.  When was the last time any fish, freshwater or salt water, naturally fed on soy, corn or chicken?   Wild means it feeds on its natural diet of whole food.  The more whole food, the less inflammatory!

Learn how to cook
In my opinion, the most important life skill you can learn and pass on to your children is how to cook.  Those of you who do not know how to cook are forced to rely on packaged foods  --- BAD FOOD.    Those of you who do learn to cook can rely on mother nature --- and  that’s GOOD FOOD!  

You can learn more about how to prepare foods that are anti-inflammatory in my book GOOD FOOD BAD FOOD  available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  

Good Christmas gift giving idea --- bring a copy to Beyond the Bull before December 23 and I will be happy to sign it.

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef AngelaB
Beyond the Bulll (an "eat smart" kitchen)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Feast of Seven Fishes Menu --- 

an annual event at Beyond the Bull

Please join us in celebrating a long time family tradition and dine with us on the eve of Christmas eve ---

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef AngelaB
Beyond the Bulll (an "eat smart" kitchen)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Eat Smart Designation

What is an eat smart kitchen?

I am often asked by my guests what it means to eat smart and I have covered that topic in a recent post.  But, a few days ago I was asked, not to explain the meaning of eat smart, but rather, how does a restaurant earn the designation of eat smart kitchen.  The question stumped me.  It never occurred to me that marketing the Bull as an eat smart kitchen, the first in the upstate, might lead someone to believe that there are others.  There are not --- not yet!

The development of Beyond the Bull, an eat smart kitchen, took years of preparation that included a long and very detailed business plan.  As part of the marketing plan to differentiate the Bull from other restaurants,  I decided to market it as an eat smart kitchen, a kitchen that produced food which promotes wellness.  To me, that is eating smart.  Consequently, the kitchen at the Bull does not look like most restaurant kitchens.  There is limited shelving for canned goods, boxes or bottles, little freezer space for frozen foods, no storage for sugar or flour and no deep fryer or microwave.  As an eat smart kitchen, the Bull eliminates refined grains, added sugar and bad fats, the three most harmful ingredients in the American diet.  As an eat smart kitchen, we choose our proteins from those that are hunted, harvested, caught or farmed (if fed their natural diet, not pellets of soy, corn and chicken by-products).   As an
eat smart kitchen, we offer menu items that consist of 60% or more of plant based food in our sides, with the center of the plate, and in our salsas and sauces.  

This is not an easy feat for a restaurant, especially for one that is independent and still in the start up mode.  We restaurateurs are handicapped by the broadliners, the Syscos, the US Foods, the Performance Food Groups who supply us.  If the menu does not consist of the ingredients used by all the other restaurants in the territory, you are just NOT going to get what you want, only what THEY want you to have.  You need shrimp?  Sure, they have it, every size, every color, all farmed (and fed who knows what), and all imported from countries without adequate food safety systems.  You need American raised duck meat?  Sorry, special order --- grrrrrrr!  

But, with perserverance and a lot of legwork over the past three years, Beyond the Bull has been able to find alternatives by going direct to producers such as Dean's Rabbits in Fountain Inn, Carolina Bison in Asheville, Broken Arrow in Texas and the Portland Wharf in Maine.  And in a few cases, with the cooperation of a broadliner who can occasionally be convinced to accept a special order, it can be done! 

The customer who asked me that question was on to something.  How does one earn the designation and what if there were others?  What if chefs joined together and participated in more eat smart kitchens?  If more chefs demanded real food ingredients, wouldn't the suppliers follow?  So, as of the publication of this post, I am making it official.  I am creating a universal designation for eat smart kitchens---restaurant kitchens qualify if devoid of refined grains, added sugar and bad fats, avoid additives of any kind, source proteins that eat a natural diet and serve menu items that consist of at least 50 percent unadulterated plant foods .  

Now, all we have to do is come up with a universal logo which when exhibited, conveys to consumers that behind this door, inside these four walls, lies an eat smart kitchen.   

Any ideas?  If so, send me your concept design for the eat smart kitchen logo, one that is easy to see from a distance or drive by, original and identifiable.  In the meantime, eat smart, feel good!

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef AngelaB
Beyond the Bulll (an "eat smart" kitchen)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Now you can Eat Smart and Feel Good on Sundays as Well ---

Beyond the Bull is expanding hours to include a Sunday Supper menu serving from 5:30 to 9:00 on Sundays beginning Sunday, November 1.  The menu will include dishes not seen on the regular menu --- chicken, shrimp, lobster stuffed white fish, and quail for starters.  That's Sunday Supper at the Bull!

Eat Smart, Feel Good!

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef AngelaB

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Beyond the Bull not for the average person looking for a “retirement” meal --- restaurant reviews not for the faint of heart

As a chef educator and a restaurateur, I have been bombarded over the past several decades with reviews of my food, wine, service, d├ęcor, uniform, restroom cleanliness, and even choice of radio stations, not to mention parking facilities, lighting and level of noise.  Some reviews have been stellar, some not.  But, I have never been subjected to the level of inaccurate, inexperienced, uneducated and irresponsible restaurant reviews such as those that have occurred over the past several days for my newest restaurant known as Beyond the Bull in Seneca, SC.

I wouldn’t normally speak out about this sort of thing because, reviews, whether good or bad, don’t make or break a restaurant in terms of profitability.  And I doubt that they will have a long term impact on the success of Beyond the Bull.  But, they do have an effect on the morale of the people who work at those restaurants, those who are dedicated to providing the best service, ambience, and food possible to their guests.  Yes, I use the word “guest”, because that is what you are in our eyes.  It is our home, and we want to provide you with the most hospitable experience we can while you are there.  After all, we are in the business of hospitality. 

Beyond the Bull is not an ordinary restaurant.  We serve alternative proteins with original dipping sauces.  Our sides are preferred to be served at room temperature, not hot and overcooked.  We use lime, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cider vinegar, lemon, herbs and seasonings that are unfamiliar to many.  We do not serve fried foods, nor do we use packaged ingredients from bottles, cans, bags or boxes, sugar, flour or heaps of salt.  If you are looking for a cheap retirement meal, like the latest reviewer, go to one of the other 79 restaurants in the Golden Corner.  

Please consider that when you decide to write a restaurant review, we read them, and yes, we do take them personally.  There are bussers, cooks, dishwashers, hostesses, servers, chefs, bartenders, and owners who work at a very, very difficult job, most often for minimum wage, doing what they love --- trying to make each guest feel at home.   Hmmm, maybe it is time for someone to build a platform to post guest reviews.  You know, guest difficulty, number of allergies in the party, drunkenness and level of vulgarity, big tipper, no tipper, the perfect guest, the wannabe chef, how many ways to split a check, how many “on the sides”, how many "off menu" requests  --- just thinking! 

Buon Appetito e Buona Salute, Chef AngelaB

P.S.  If you really like a restaurant experience, please take the time to put it in a review.  Everyone needs to hear how good they are once in a while.  


Sunday, July 12, 2015

What’s new at Beyond the Bull, Seneca (Keowee) ---

Blueberry bbq lamb spare ribs, cucumber coolers, cooking classes to begin July 20, and a celebration of the “plant” as in plant based diet --- a six course fixed price dinner for our vegan friends, a once in a lifetime event to take place on Sunday, July 26 beginning at 5:00 PM.  Call 864 508 1254  to reserve a seat at our vegan table or a place in the class, an introduction to preparing "smart" food.