Where I’m From

Laurie Battaglia

Professor Akana

Intro to Food and Beverage


Where I’m From


Where I’m from, we eat Pasta with almost every meal. My favorite dish is Penne Alla Vodka. There aren’t many ingredients used in this sauce but it is definitely very flavorful. On occasions we eat this dish, which is usually served with chicken cutlets and Italian bread. The ingrediants in the Penne Alla Vodka sauce is heavy cream, pepper, salt, tomato sauce, vodka and a little bit of copped up onions if you like it. The pasta is made on the stove as well as the sauce. The pasta is put into a pot of boiled water until it is completely cooked. The sauce is also cooked on the stove in a pan. You mix everything together until it comes to a simmer and then add it to the pasta. In my house, my mother usually makes everything but now since my sister loves to cook and bake she has made the best Penne Alla Vodka I have ever tasted. At first the pasta is very hot so it feels like your mouth is burning, but let it cool down and you will taste the softness from the pasta but the craziness from all the flavors in the sauce. Eating this makes me feel complete because it it my favorite dish. I remember trying to make this dish for the first time with no help and it came out exactly like it should have. I was very happy that I knew how to cook my favorite food.


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“Where I’m From, We Eat…” Michael Pena

Where I’m From, We Eat


When going to Brazil, there’s always a barbecue at a family members house, friends house, wedding, or birthday. For as long as I can remember the “churrascos” always included “Picanha” or Culotte in english. I can already see it, our usual “churrasqueiro,” which is a word for a man who tends to barbecue, that my uncle hires scrunching up the meat into a horseshoe shape, spitting it, and then heavily sprinkling coarse salt onto the red meat. He then places the meat into a brick grill which could slightly resemble an outdoor pizza oven that has had wood burning for an hour or so. Every few minutes he would rotate the spits a few degrees so that the entire thing gets evenly cooked. Then after half an hour or so of this, he pulls the meat out of the grill, taps the end of the spit to remove excess sald, and stands it onto a wooden cutting board. At this point everyone that is sitting around at the party, enjoying a “Skol,” turn around and notice the churrasquiero just from the savory scent of the roasted meat. Then, all the churrasqueiro does is glide his knife across the meat, cutting off the out part of the picanha and serves it to the guest. My favorite side dish to accompany it is “Vinagrette” which is a salad of diced onions, tomatoes, olives, green bell peppers, and either lime vinegar or lime juice and white vinegar. This cold salad compliments the steaming and juicy slice of picanha which has a texture only a little tougher than top sirloin and gets it’s juicyness from the cap of fat that is kept on when cooking the picanha. When eating this meat, the fat from the meat perfectly coats your mouth and gives you the same feeling of any comfort food making it a perfect choice for any celebration and in my case it was a party my uncle threw for me and my mother’s visit to their home.

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Ruth Cancela’s Where I’m from, we eat…

Where I’m from, we eat rice. White rice or yellow rice. Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) or arroz con glandules (rice with peas). It feels like we eat rice almost everyday. If I ate anymore I would be sweating it out. Rice with fried eggs for breakfast. Rice with chicken for dinner. Rice in a main course or rice as a side dish. Sometimes rice by itself. My mom makes it, my aunt makes it, and I even make it. The rice is steamed in a big pot, at any given time of the day. The smell of fresh rice fills the house. Especially if its yellow rice. The smells of the seasoning can be smelled down the hall, outside of the apartment, all the way to the elevator. My favorite is when its hot and fresh, and steam is emanating from my plate because of it. I feel good when I am eating my family’s rice. It fills me up; warms me from the inside out. When I lived with my parents, I used to love it when my mom would put a little cheese on top of a piping hot scoop of rice. The cheese would melt and give the rice some extra flavor. MMM, delicious.

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Anna Nurse Workshop With Michael Ayoub

                                                                Anna Nurse Workshop Memo

To: Prof. John Akana

From: Ginette Castillo

Date: September 16, 2011

Subject: Anna Nurse Workshop Memo

Who Was There?  

The guy that was there was Michael Ayoub a pizza maker. He’s the chef and owner of Fornino’s at 187 Bedford Ave in Brooklyn. He has a lot of history and he loves to travel. He has a lot of history and he loves to travel. He makes pizza but he says that he has a new passion for making pasta. He said to be a cook is different than being a baker. Cooks love to do new things and experiment but bakers have to be on point and cant over do over or under do any work!

What Did He Do?

            The first thing he did was make mozzarella cheese. He had hot water in a bowl with cheese and was mixing it so it can turn a certain way, then he drained the water and started making balls out of the cheese and putting it in cold water. He made probably about 20 little balls and left them n the cold water for a few minutes. He just started answering questions and talking about the history of pizza. Then he started cutting the balls into three pieces so that he can give everyone a piece. He added big black pieced of salt called lava salt, with oil on top of the cheese to give it more flavor. After that he started talking more and asked more questions. He talked about the different pizzas he does in his restaurants, he stated that he has three generations of pizzas on he’s menu. One generation I the Italian types like the Neapolitan pizza. The second generation us like the pizzas we eat now like pepperoni and the third generation is pizzas he creates on his own.

How Did I Feel?

            I felt that it was a really good experience. It was the first time I’ve seen a person make mozzarella from scratch and also seeing the way he made his pizza. I really expected the cheese to be really good but I honestly wasn’t a big fan of it, however my friends loved it only because of the lava salt. On the contrary the pizza was good and it had me thinking that I might want to visit his restaurant maybe at least once. Over all I was glad I showed up to this Anna Nurse Workshop.

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Where Im From … We Eat _______

Where Im From ... We Eat ... Lasagna

Where I’m from we eat Lasagna. The ingredients in lasagna are ground beef, cheese, pasta, and tomato sauce. People prepare it different way for example with vegetables or sometimes in my house we make it with potato, which I still think it’s extremely good. We usually eat lasagna on special occasions like thanksgiving or a party. The one person who prepares it in my house is my aunt. The way you make lasagna is by baking in the oven. The smell is just delicious and makes you want a plate right away. The flavors are cheesy and you can taste the flavor of the ground beef. The texture is chewy and smooth. Whenever I eat lasagna I feel like I’m in heaven because I usually eat it like once or twice a year and that’s my favorite meal. I don’t remember my best memory because every time I see lasagna I automatically get excited. I just know it will keep you coming back for more.

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Rebecca Charles Where I’m From…

Where I’m from, we eat tennis rolls. A tennis roll is a type of Guyanese bread. I don’t exactly know how they are made, but the best place to get a bag of tennis rolls is Sybils Bakery which is located in Liberty avenue. They are a small spherical bread that has a faint sweet lemony taste to it.  They can be eaten at any time of day but I usually eat them for breakfast. They taste good with just butter, but it is also good with melted cheese and I usually eat them with a cup of tea. Liberty avenue is the best place to get tennis rolls. My family and I love them. My whole family lives in Florida, and there is only one Guyanese bakery there. I have a fairly large family, my grandparents, their 7 children and their spouses, and excluding myself I have 12 cousins. My cousins are always complaining about how the tennis rolls in Florida can’t compare to New York’s tennis rolls. When ever I go to visit I have to bring bags of tennis rolls and other types of Guyanese food that they don’t have in Florida. I am actually going to Florida this weekend, and we already went to Liberty to stock up. We bought 6 packs of tennis rolls to take with us. That will probably last about two weeks. When my cousins and I are together eating tennis rolls we feel very nostalgic and reminisce about when we all lived in New York. Not only are tennis rolls a delicious snack, they also bring back fond memories.


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Where I’m From…

Where I’m From, we eat Soup Joumou. Soup Joumou is mostly based on a winter squash which is eaten on New Years day (Jan 1st).The slices of squash are simmered in a sauce pan along with potatoes, beef, vegetables (carrots, celery,etc.) and macaroni is usually added in the end during the late boiling process. My mom, aunts, and grandmothers are usually the ones who would prepare this meal during the holidays. This meal brings a rich smell into the air and although it is based on squash due to all the spices put into it there is a very diverse smell and unique taste. When eating this dish it brings me back to the times of being in Haiti and almost gives me a sense of the pride the slaves once felt when they celebrated with this traditional meal. My best memory of eating this dish would have to be when all my family comes together as one and we bring in the new year while eating this dish surrounded by laughter, smiles, and love.

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Anna Nurse Workshop Memo

To: Professor John Akana
From: Ashley A. Allman
Date: December 3, 2011
Subject: Anna Nurse Memo

On December 1, 2011 I attended the Anna Nurse Workshop located in N206. The featured chef was Joanne Lewis-Jacus who graced us with her skills of how to make a Buche de Noel or better known as a Yule Log.

The making of the Buche de Noel has many steps. It consists of making a biscuit chocolate, meringue, butter cream, heavy ganache and orange sauce.

I loved presentation. All of the steps that it took to make the yule log are so intricate and makes the dish impeccable in taste and in presentation. I also found it interesting that didn’t contain any flour.

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Where I’m From, We eat Bakes :)

Where I’m from we eat Bakes. Bakes is a Guyanese delicacy that is often eaten with saltfish, or as a bread substitute. It contains flour, baking powder, sugar and water and is often contributes to a breakfast meal. In my family, the women are often responsible for making this dish and ones similar to it such as roti. Despite the name being bakes, when it’s being prepared its fried and to me personally this cooking process makes the house smell like a bakery and the aroma is incredible and mouthwatering. What is even better than the smell is the texture and taste. When it is freshly made the outside is golden brown with a slight crunch to it and when it’s broken into a pool of steam is released revealing its fluffy insides. Once again, INCREDIBLE! My best memory of this dish isn’t of my eating it but of my making it with my departed grandmother. She was my cooking guru that taught me to makes traditional Guyanese dishes such as this one while sharing stories and many many laughs.

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George Bueno – Borough Hall Market


If there is one thing i can’t get enough of in the fall it’s apples. For me apples are synonymous with fall. Wether they’re served raw, candied, or as a filling in a pies, apples are endlessly used throughout the fall. A lot of times when I go to my local super market its hard to find perfect apples, they’re usually bruised or sometimes so chemically enhanced that they’re the size of a melon. I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh “real” looking apples at the market. Some even had leaves on them which is an extremely rare occurrence when subjected by years of supermarket shopping. Aside from my astonishment, I noticed a large variety of apples, far beyond the generic granny smith and red delicious amongst other eye catching items such as the heirloom tomatoes. I left the market that day with a new found appreciation for local farmers, farmer markets and a bag full of apples.

-George B.

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