Learn basic knife skills and don’t quit, even if you’re the dishwasher, said chef and television personality Sam Choy during this morning’s appearance on the Pulaski Technical College’s LR-South campus.
Choy demonstrated two dishes and various knife skills during the demonstration, while sharing insights for students of the college’s Arkansas Culinary School.
Choy noted that many accomplished chefs have minimal knife skills or may not know how to break down a chicken or pig, and as students we now have the opportunity to learn these things.
In a later interview, Choy added that culinary students should take advantage of their time in school to experience as much as possible, and at the same time find an area of focus.
“You’re trying to balance school with the rest of your life, and some things may fall through the cracks,” he said. “But try to do as much as you can, and at the same time focus on what grabs your interest. Then you’ve found your focus, what you like to do.”
He also encouraged small famers and growers in Arkansas to cooperate with chefs in bringing local foods to the restaurant table.
“Farmers are no different than any other profession, in that they want to make sure change will be profitable for them,” Choy said. “But slowly they will start turning [toward growing for restaurant use]. The most important thing is growing food to be enjoyed on the table.”
Choy has appeared on Ready…Set…Cook! and Iron Chef America on Food Network, and will soon debut a show called What’s for Dinner? on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The new show will feature surprise visits to homes in which he creates a meal based on what he finds in the kitchen.
The dishes Choy demonstrated were poke, or Hawaiian dishes of various diced ingredients.
Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Salmon Poke
- 2 lb. Alaskan wild salmon, large diced
- 1/2 c. Soy sauce
- 2 T Sesame oil
- Medium white onion, diced
- Medium cucumber, diced
- 2 Scallions, sliced
- 2 Avocado, diced
Mix ingredients well and serve cold.