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Carlos Fuenmayor Carlos
Fuenmayor

Private
Chef
Caterer
Exceptional
Memorable
Food & Service

Family Reunion…..

After four years of planning with my baby sister Luz Adriana, we managed to get my family from Venezuela to travel and meet our Mother’s family from Colombia. This sound normal but you see our mother emigrated to Venezuela in the early 70’s because of the volatile and violent times in Colombia in those days. They called it “La violencia.”

We went back with our mother in 80’s and 90’s
to visit our grandparents but after the violence increase we stopped going so this was the first time our two families in 35 years got back together.

My family flew from Caracas to Bogota on December 15th and I was not able to go and meet them until New Year’s Day. What a great occasion to start the year, it was a very emotional reunion.

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With my brothers, sister and cousins in Bogota!

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My two little nieces Daniela and Valentina with cousin Paula

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From right to left, my nieces Flor, Genesis, my sister Luz, brother Jairo and cousin Galvez.

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My niece Genesis and cousin Daniela

We had so much fun traveling all over Bogota visiting my mother’s brother and sister’s and their families. As always, the food and drinks never stopped.

Roast chicken, avocado salad and boil potatoes

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Changua[milk, bread and egg soup] so delicious

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Bandeja Paisa[Grilled chorizo, chicken, rice, beans, fried plantain, arepas, avocado]

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I was so happy that my family had the opportunity to get out of Venezuela for a well deserve holiday and to see how much Colombia has changed for the better.

My brothers and nieces were so happy to be able to walk freely everywhere without being alert or in fear that something bad might happen to them. I’m so blessed to have had this opportunity to be with them. I’m thankful for my family, friends and my blessings every day.

Grabiel Garcia Marquez National Gallery

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The Botero Museum, is a must see in Bogota!

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Frutas de Botero[ fruist by Botero]

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Going up to Monserrate mountain.

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Bogota at night, just love it!

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The last few years my home country has gone thorough serious changes for the worse with high levels of corruption, crime and political violence which has taken over the life’s of 25.000 Venezuelans and with over 5.456 kidnappings a year it makes Venezuela one of the most dangerous places on the face of the earth. Most of the crimes go unpunished. Sadly some members of my family and friends had been murdered, robed and kidnap.

I have not seen my family from Venezuela in four years because most of the major air lines stopped flying into Venezuela because the Venezuelan government stop paying them and also for the lack of security for the tourists and their employees.

The irony here is that my mother left Colombia because of the history of violence now my family is trying to get out of Venezuela for that same reason. This just not only happened to my family but also to thousands of families all over Venezuela.

We want a peaceful and democratic nation just the way that it was when my brothers, sister and I grew up in Venezuela.

Sadly my holiday with my family ended on January 15th they went back to Venezuela and I pray to God to look after and protect them every day.

I will always be thankful for my mother.

Thank you Mom, I love so much.

Yours, celebrating my Colombian and Venezuelan family roost.

Carlos

Totalmente Tamales Battle @PAFF!

I got very excite to be invited back to the 2nd annual Pan-American Food Festival!!

This year the organizers decided to add a competition to showcase one of the most  traditional dishes, that truly is representive of the Hispanic culture the tamal, with the “Totalmente Tamales battle

I was representing Venezuela with the Hallaca, which the Venezuelan version of the tamal.

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In my kitchen getting ready to make 300 Hallaquitas with my good friend Valentina Mena, thx for you help Bella!

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Arina Pan, the main ingredient of the making of Hallacas

Tamales is a traditional Christmas dish, but also is made all year round in some Central and South American countries.The essence of the tamal consists of “la masa” [dough made from corn meal or another starch) that’s been wrapped in leaves, then steamed or boiled. Some are wrap in corn husks or  plantain leaves. Some are plain or sweetened with molasses, coconut milk or chocolate, and depending where you are from some are stuffed with pork, chicken, beef in a sauce call guiso or stew[onions, garlic, peppers, leeks, tomatoes]

The word tamal comes to us from the Aztecs, who already had myriad interpretations of the leaf-wrapped parcels when the Spanish arrived.

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La Masa* the dough

Culinary historian Maricel Presilla writes in Gran Cocina Latina. Some were stuffed with beans and chilies, others filled with “elaborate mixtures of meat, fish, turkey,” worms, seeds or cherries, she says.
“So prized were tamales that they were considered food for the gods,” she writes.
Aztec women, Presilla says, spent days making tamales for wedding feasts. And preparing them is still a grand production. Often friends and families will gather for tamaladas organizing themselves into efficient assembly lines to move the bundles along. All that work helps explain why, in many Latin countries, they’ve long been a treat synonymous with the holidays and other special occasions when people gather.
As for me, tamales has to made be like my Colombian grandmother, and my Venezuelan family use to make then, it brings me memories of my childhood and sense of who you I’m and where I come from, mi Raza.

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El relleno* The stuffing

IMG_3714Haciendo Hallacas * making the tamal.

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Mas relleno* more stuffing Thx for your help Velentina!

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*La Hallaca lista[the Hallacas are ready]

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Mas Hallacas! More Tamales

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With my good friend Liliana on the day of the event! Yeah maracuya

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This is it!

IMG_3734I battled out with my goods friends Mexican chef Paula Solorzano , Panamanian Chef Rosy Earle and Colombian chefs Claudia Gaviria, Cookie Martinez and Chilean chef Christian Heise.

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Chilean chef Christian Heise took the price for the best overall tamal with his version of the paella tamal.
My good friend Rosy Earle to the second place with the best masa.
And yours truly took the price for the best tamal stuffing.
I would like to thank the organizers, volunteers and all the people who came out on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to help us to celebrate our Pan-American Food Festival.
Special thanks to some members of the Venezuelan community who came out to show their support. Gracias

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Que viva los tamales!

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Yours celebrating Latino American food and culture
Carlos

The press party took place at Valdez Resto on July 21 with PAFF’s director Daniel Garcia-Herreros and the Culinary Director Mary Luz Mejia introducing the program for this year’s festival, celebrating the food, and featuring International chefs, vendors market, cooking- demos, art, films and local Latino chefs.

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With my good friend and PAFF’s culinary director Mary Luz Mejia

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Festival culinary Director Mary Luz Mejia will be featuring chef from south Florida Norman Van Taken,who is renowned for his fusion New world cuisine
Peru will be hosting Chef Roger Arakaki from Lima.

I will be representing Venezuela with my hallaquitas for the “Totalmente Tamales ” battle with my good friends Mexicaan chef Paula Solorzano,Panamanian chef Rossy Earle, Colombian chef Claudia Gaviria, Cookie Martinez, Chilean Chef Christian Helse  on Sat August 9th 2014 at 630pm-830pm

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The PAFF will start on August 8th till the 10th 2014 at Daniels Spectrum in the newly developed Regent park district of Toronto.

This year’s festival is a preview to the 2015 Pan American Games which will be held in Toronto.

A big thanks to my Pana and fellow chef Steven Gonzales and his crew for hosting the event in his resto Valdez!

With Steve @Valdez

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Yours in celebrating Pan Latino food and culture.

Carlos

A  cooking-demo class for a birthday present !!! YES
That is what my client Erin wanted as a gift from her husband , friends and family
I was  referred by my fellow chef Cynthia Peters, owner of  “From the farm cooking school” [Thanks Cynthia].
So after a call from Erin ,we discusted  the menu and logistics , in no time we where set up for the cooking demo in her kitchen
I was very happy to be part of putting together such a great and memorable  gift from her husband.

Erin with some of her friends in her kitchen!

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In the kitchen!

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More food!

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Chorizo!

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Just cuz I like flowers!

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Erin’s birthday menu consisted of the following;
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Guacamole & pico de gallo on corn chips

Classic Spanish omelette & watercress salad

Pan seared Dorado filet w/ fennel, sweet peppers, olives & Spanish olive oil

Grilled rib eye steak & papaya salsa

Roasted local chorizo w/ Yukon gold potatoes, spinach & caramelized onions

Trio of dessert
[chocolate chili truffles, alfajores, sweet plantain, fresh cheese & pistachio]

The evening was a great success, great food ,culture,  put in the mix friends and family what more do you need!
Yours celebrating Latino American food and culture!
Carlos

Happy Places! Costa Rica….

Costa Rica here I come!!

For the second part of my holiday ,I decided to do something completely different  then I normally do…..I wanted to relax and connect with nature ,chill and do nothing but pure relaxation, so Costa Rica was the place to do so..
I fell in love with how peaceful ,serene and Eco friendly. The place I stayed was call Whale & Dolphins spa ,this resort was 3 hours away bus ride from Costa Rica’s capital San Jose a incredible beautiful place.

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The view from my room at The Whales and Dolphins spa hotel.

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The view from the pool looking at the Pacific Ocean.

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Black and white chayotes!

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Coffee flowers!

Sadly my trip was interrupted by the sad and horrible news of the attempt car jacking that took the life of my brother in law…. It made me very and angry and sad at same time
My prayers and sincere condolences goes to my sister Andriana ,my niece Daniela ,the Riviero  Family  and my family in Venezuela.
Jonathan you were a great husband,father …you will be missed.
Yet another innocent victim of these senseless violent crimes destroying our way of life in Venezuela.

MY sister Adriana and Jonathan in Venezuela, really miss you bro….

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RIP my brother
Yours truly celebrating Jonathan’s life
Carlos

Happy Places…. Panama!

As winter became cold and grey …the only thing that I was thinking about was where to go this year for my holiday . So as the time came closer to fly away to a sunny and hot destination I decided to divide my holiday in two destinations…..First trip went to Panama.
Flew to Panama city with a good friend to be in time to celebrate the new year .upon our arrival we where transported to our beautiful hotel call Royal Decameron golf and spa resort,  which is located on Cocle province on the Pacific cost of Panama. WOW …..what. place
I have traveled to many places, but this by far was the largest all inclusive hotel .
2,400 rooms ,10 pools and 12 international restaurants, casino and to finish a spa
We welcomed the New year with 3,000 guests from all over the world
And w hat a party it was .After a few lazy days of laying by the pool or going out for a swim we headed out for a 2 days stay in Panama city at the Hard Rock Cafe.

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Just love he painting on the Old Panama City

At the beach at the Royal Decamenron

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Down town Panama city!

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First sunrise of the year!

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At the Royal Decameron many pools

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Panama City!

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The View of Panama City from my hotel room

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The view from my room!!

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.In Panama city [which looks like Dubai and it is known as the banking capital of all of Central America], we went on a  tour of the old and new city with a fantastic lunch and ended our day at the Panama canal [they are celebrating the 100 years of the canal]
We finished the night away dancing salsa in a small but great little club in the city.
What was the best for me on this trip  was the food ,history and the culture of the beautiful people of Panama
So long Panama till next time!

Yours traveling to Central America.

Carlos

 

Article by London base writer Anne Coles.
Serving up traditional dishes with a fruity Italian twist.
Prosecco, a classic Italian sparkling wine, is not only a cheaper substitute for Champagne but is also a true match for any Latin dish you may want to cook at home.
Produced in the village of Veneto in northwest Italy, Prosecco wines are named after the type of grape from the region. At the foothills of the Alps lies the vineyard yielding the fruity Prosecco wines, where winemakers constantly get inspiration to add to their wide array of distinct flavours that’s been produced for years.

The popularity of these wines has garnered international claim, which lead multinational retailer Marks and Spencer to create their own line called M&S Prosecco.

The wine must have, as prescribed by law, at least 85% of the Prosecco grapes but may include a good load of other variants. Pinot Blanc or Pinot Grigio grapes are sometimes added in small amounts. While a grape like Bianchetta, when added to the mix, tends to be dry and refreshing, a Perrera creates a hint of fragrant pear.
Although Prosecco is a favourite substitute for Champagne, it is made using the Charmat method as opposed to the French method of making sparkling wines. This process puts the second wine fermentation in a pressurized stainless steel tank and not in the bottle itself, preserving the fruity flavor that Prosecco is known for.

It’s easy to pair a Prosecco with any Veneto dish. But when it comes to Latin dishes, the Prosecco stands out as a viable pair. Well-seasoned Caribbean dishes are paired fantastically with this sparkling wine. The distinct flavors of the empanada or the ceviche works well with any Prosecco wine.

Pair any Peruvian dish with the Prosecco and experience the flavors come alive even more. The Paneton, originally from Italy, is made popular in South America through immigration and influence and is truly enjoyed with a glass of Prosecco. Lastly, if you are looking for a Shiraz substitute to pair with your lechon, the Prosecco is one of the best wines to go with it.

Latin food is definitely a treat on its own. But a glass of Prosecco would definitely spice up any Latin dish on any table.

Two of my favorite HD’s to serve with Prosecco!

Achiote pan seared sea scallops w/ avocado, apple and cucumber salsa.

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Peruvian Chifa style shrimp dumplings.

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Yours celebrating Latino American food and culture with Prosecco!

Carlos

 

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*Spanish for: "Mmm. Wow. That's good!"