Friday, November 30, 2007

Introducing Chef Joseph Lowery

Joseph Lowery is a member of a generation of American food service professionals that witnessed a culinary revolution: a genuine revolution in our national attitudes toward food, wine and fine dining. Very few could have predicted the phenomenal increase in the quality of American wines or the enthusiasm with which we now dine and search for new culinary experiences.

His own epicurean revolution began with family, community and fresh ingredients. The chef’s childhood was a fairly common 1950’s suburban experience, descending from Scotch-Irish and Choctaws ancestors who were farmers in Oklahoma and Texas. His family knew and loved good food, but rarely dined at restaurants, with the notable exception of some legendary Tex-Mex and barbecue joints. They boasted a team of moms, aunts, and grandmothers highly skilled in their own traditions of fine dining. Their food was so good because it was fresh, clean, and authentic to a particular time, place, and experience.

My friend and mentor, White House chef to the Kennedys, Rene’ Verdon, wrote to me admonishing: 'Joseph, from one chef to another, fresh products are the secret of good cuisine.'
-Chef Joseph Lowery

Those ingredients that comprise his past evolved as Joseph entered food service in the early 1970’s. Fate took him to diverse regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico, allowing him to appreciate the concept of regional cuisine. He also had fantastic teachers, ranging from the most humble East Tennessee cooks to some very celebrated personalities.
The resulting culinary ideology is simple: straight- forward skills combined with the highest quality ingredients is the key.

During 36 years of various experiences as a chef, caterer, baker, teacher, writer and amateur gardener, Chef Joseph only become more convinced of the necessity of employing the freshest and finest ingredients and supplies.

Critically tasting wine is not that much different from the tasting of fine hand-crafted olive oil or rare aged balsamic vinegar.

Those experiences also gave him the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of wine appreciation in the pairing of food and wine. A tip of his toque (chef’s hat) should also go to the American Wine Society’s programs and commitment to wine education. Learning how to fully taste and evaluate wine has enriched and guided food experts tasting ability of just about everything. After all, critically tasting wine is not that much different from the tasting of fine hand-crafted olive oil or rare aged balsamic vinegars. A wine- experienced palette is also helpful to truly savor chocolates, teas, herbs, salts artisan pastas or any of the other delights from the Avanti Savoia pantry.

The chef says that his new association with Avanti Savoia “provides a golden opportunity to employ my enthusiasm for superb quality ingredients and discussions of food.

Now with the availability of the authentic recipes from Don Vito’s kitchen, you can create your own classics full of integrity that stems from superior ingredients and simple preparation steps. In time they will provide you with many other delightful recipes from regional Italy, the USA as well as other global culinary hotspots. Workable recipes and marvelous ingredients are just the beginning. Soon they will be sharing with you the results of several months of combining our extraordinary chocolates with a host of wines.

Expect useful techniques, a wide-ranging selection of recipes and our “Did You Know?” tips. And we will welcome interactive comments on the results of our constant food and wine paring and tasting.

Bon Appetit Y’all!– Chef Joseph Lowery

NOTE: Joseph Lowery, chef consultant with Avanti Savoia has worked as chef, author, and cooking instructor since 1971.
  • Professional food service since 1971 in three countries
  • Award winning cuisine including AAA’s Four Diamond Award
  • Culinary Instruction of children and adults
  • Food, wine and travel writer
  • Author of A Texas Family’s Cookbook published by Texas Monthly Press
  • Food Stylist for HGTV and Food Network programs

Introducing Vito De Carolis

For thirty years I have been a most fortunate man. Both my professional and personal lives have enabled me to travel some 120 countries scattered over 5 continents. In addition to the joys of discovering new and exciting cultures, I have been spellbound by the many cuisines and cooking traditions that I have encountered; traditions and customs which seem to me to be true artistic expressions. An art on the same level as other fine arts such as painting, sculpture, music, and dance.

Indeed, I see the cook’s array of ingredients and implements much like a painter’s palette of colors or like the individual instruments awaiting the symphony conductor. Tools and materials for the sculptor or the combination of sets, costumes, and musical scores in ballet and opera. Throughout my travels I have always searched for authentic regional tastes and dishes. And I have found them; unique and beautiful art created by local cooks and producers the world over. These are often small, family owned companies, producing delightful, high quality food not widely available to a majority of consumers. Avanti Savoia was conceived to make available a selection of these extraordinary products to anyone. We are very excited to offer you culinary treasures and pleasures to excite the five senses while deepening our understanding of the “secrets” of the Art of Cooking and Living.

NOTE: Vito De Carolis is a native of Turin, Italy. "Don" Vito delights in exploring the rich cultural expressions of his own country as well as maintaining a passionate love of fine dining on a global scale.