The Traveling Chef | Lake Minnetonka

Excelsior aspiring chef Spencer Olson might only be 18 yrs outdated, but he’s presently packed in 3 yrs of culinary coaching.

“The 1st position I was capable to get was a senior living spot,” Olson says, wherever he been given plenty of operate working experience. Although there may be some stigma all over the menu selections at some senior dwelling communities, Olson says there are numerous situations where very well-educated, experienced chefs invest their times doing the job at these spots, as they offer work security and stable hrs.

Case in issue: It was at the senior residing heart the place he worked that Olson satisfied his to start with mentor, a pastry chef, who now is effective at the Grocer’s Table in Wayzata.  From there, Olson embarked on part-time work that took him all-around the space. “I labored at a cafe in Chanhassen as a line cook,” Olson claims. “That [allowed] me to get the experience of working in a professional cafe, operating quickly, dancing all around a kitchen area.” He served as a bread baker at Pink Bench Bakery’s Chaska location. “That genuinely received me fascinated in the finer aspects of cooking,” he says. “I also operate at [Olive’s Fresh Pizza Bar in Excelsior], so in excess of a pair several years here, I’ve had a number of restaurant jobs. It is been genuinely remarkable.”

But in his downtime involving entire-time university (At the time the posting was created, he was a senior in higher faculty.) and occasionally a 50-hour perform 7 days, Olson embarked on a new venture—The Wood Spoon website. “It’ll have a lot more of my recipes as it grows, but it’ll have market techniques and posts about gizmos that several foodie blogs really do not generally supply,” he suggests.

Olson’s inspiration for his culinary blog was borne out of a private chef small business he had planned ahead of the pandemic struck. “It was established and prepared to go in a make a difference of months,” he suggests. “But I noticed that there is not a good deal of persons who know the details of the culinary market and the track record guiding it.”

While lots of weblogs concentrate on recipes, Olson wished to give his viewers a peek into the restaurant business, bringing tips and methods from cafe kitchens to the fore. “My goal is to bridge the hole among methods utilized in the cafe and strategies you can use in your kitchen to turn out to be a superior cook dinner or chef or baker,” he claims.

Olson also hopes to start off making a local community all-around foods and methods for improving upon followers’ kitchen know-how. “I’ve experienced the privilege to talk to any chef all around me that I work with—if a recipe does not transform out, ‘What went completely wrong in this article? What can I improve?’ Not everyone has that [opportunity].” To that stop, Olson provided a “groups” function on The Wooden Spoon website. The teams include things like a normal discussion board, a group-sourced recipe reserve and a recipe troubleshooting source, where by Olson will recreate a recipe or culinary method that went inadequately for a reader, high-quality-tune the information, and recommend enhancements.

“I hope to grow my web site into anything a lot more than a weblog [that is] centered on a neighborhood of like-minded foodies,” Olson says, introducing, he desires The Picket Spoon to be “a put where by absolutely everyone can lead and bounce tips off of [one another]. Someplace people today can share their individual recipes and use my trusted recipes and learn a matter or two on how to grow to be improved chefs.”

Olson symptoms off on his website posts with the moniker, The Flying Chef. “When I was 14, I [attended] a flying camp. I started off out wanting to fly and finding it genuinely interesting. My neighbor was like, ‘You know what? I assume your nickname really should be The Flying Chef’ …” suggests Olson, who now has his personal pilot’s license.

Olson hopes to combine his passions, melding a occupation as a industrial pilot with the chance to cook for private clientele all-around the earth. His fast options include attending the University of North Dakota this fall to analyze industrial aviation.

Humble Potato and Leek Soup (Soupe à La Bonne Femme)

“It’s a light, humble French state soup [that] ties in with Escoffier, just one of my inspirations for cooking,” Olson says. (Auguste Escoffier was a nicely-regarded French chef, lively from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries.)


  • 750 ml white wine
  • 3 1/4 cup drinking water
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 20 (~25 g) parsley stalks
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp. (10 g) salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. (5 g) whole peppercorns


  • 1 3/4 cup (250 g) white leek, shredded
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp. (75 g) butter
  • court bouillon as well as supplemental water to equal 7 1/2 cups
  • 3 1/4 cup (500 g) russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 (160 g) strips of thick bacon, diced
  • 1/8 cup whipping cream (optional)
  • 1 strip of bacon for garnish (optional)
  • parsley, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • French bread, toasted

Area all of the courtroom-bouillon substances, apart from for the peppercorns, in a Dutch oven or significant inventory pot. Enable simmer for 20 minutes ahead of incorporating the peppercorns. Simmer for a different 10 minutes, and pass liquid through a good sieve or cheese cloth. Insert extra water to make the courtroom-bouillon equal 7 ½ cups, and permit it sit coated. Cook dinner leek and bacon with 4 Tbsp. (50 g) of butter in the base of a Dutch oven or huge inventory pot for 15 minutes about minimal to medium warmth. Stir occasionally. Increase the potatoes and court docket-bouillon collectively into the stewed leek. Simmer gently until potatoes are cooked by means of, about 45 minutes. Soon after totally cooked, incorporate in the remaining 1½ Tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup of cream if working with. Year with salt to flavor. Speedily dip parsley in ice cold water, dry and finely chop. Finely chop up a single strip of bacon and fry on higher heat right up until crispy. Sprinkle the parsley and bacon above the soup, and serve with evenly toasted French bread. 

Poached Pears 

Via his website, Olson reaches out to his audience for suggestions on what recipes to cover in his web site. “It’s as a result of this, from a straightforward post about a poached pear, that I’ve met a lot of people … It just goes to clearly show that meals has the electrical power to bring men and women with each other,” he says.

  • 4 pears
  • 750 ml purple wine
  • ½ cup (150 g) firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 4 entire cloves
  • 3 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla paste

Peel the pears, and remove the bottoms. In a weighty-bottomed stock pot, area the pears at the base, and absolutely go over in pink wine. If the pears aren’t fully included, increase a touch of water. Include the remaining ingredients, and simmer carefully for
30 minutes. The pears should have a deep purple color and must be just comfortable enough to poke a knife as a result of and clear away with simplicity. Following the pears are smooth, pour half of the wine combination into a small sauce pan, and boil until eventually a syrup consistency is reached, about 15 minutes. (Go away the pears in the remaining wine to obtain much more shade.) To provide, put a pear at the centre of a smaller plate, and spoon the syrup at the base of the pear. Serve warm.

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