Jack’s Story

How PAZAZ Came To Be

I’ve been in the restaurant business most of my life. I started working at a French restaurant in Tiburon California (The Caprice) when I was very young. Years later, after college, I became a partner in a restaurant (Epanoui), also in Tiburon. While I was there, Epanoui was voted as one of the top ten restaurants in the entire country by Time-Life Books. Following that unique experience, I left California on a new culinary journey.

After working as a manager/maitre’d in south Florida (The Plum Room) I went to upstate New York and worked at L’uberge Du Cygne in Manlius New York. I heard of a chef in upstate New York with a famous reputation and that is when I went on a quest to work with one of the greatest chefs in the world. This is when I met and worked with chef Joel Chenet who had been the Chef at the French Consulate in Paris France and prepared food for the President of France.

Missing California and my family I traveled back home and got a job working as the lead captain at Amelio’s under executive chef Jackie Robert in San Francisco (check out New York Times article in 1987, “ FOOD; KNOWING NO BOUNDARY”).

I had the pleasure of working with chef Jackie Robert whom prepared one of the inaugural dinner’s for President Ronald Reagan. With that experience I then eventually became the General Manager at Masons in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. After that I was in charge of all the restaurants at the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill, including room service and the Top of the Mark.

Now I work for Chef Jean George Vongerichten in Las Vegas, and have decided to take my culinary expertise into the very products that help produce “World Class Cuisine”.

The Heavy Duty Aluminum Baking Sheet Pan, Non-Stick Baking Mat, and the Steel Mesh Cooling Rack are examples of my exhaustive search for quality merchandise. I had these products custom made to my specifications, with the knowledge I have attained over the years through my apprenticeship with world-class chefs and the focus associated with every aspect of the creation of a dish.

In the world of the culinary arts the tools that you use help produce the “Magic” associated with dishes that captivate the mind, stimulate the palate, and test the very boundaries of the “dining experience”. It is with this attention to detail and commitment to excellence that I bring you my brand, “PAZAZ”.

About

PAZAZ TM is more than a brand… it’s a lifestyle.

The “Magic of Cooking” implies the creation of something special in the kitchen, a transcendent experience by which all other experiences are judged. 
Music and Cooking are very similar. Both require passion, attention to detail, and a love that transcends the musical score or the recipe.  As you are the conductor of your life, we take very seriously our responsibility to give you the greatest kitchen equipment to help create your culinary experience. 

Mother’s Day…

mother's day - pazaz bakeware
I would like to think that if your mother is still alive you hold this holiday very dear to your heart. I would also like to think that if she is not alive you cherish the memories you shared over the course of a lifetime.

Mother’s day is a day to honor your mother. Usually this takes on the form of a card, flowers, and even a meal (if you are lucky enough to have her close to you). The many times we shared this special day revolved around how blessed I was to have her in my life. The very special moments I remember sometimes seemed like mundane events but looking back, accentuated the fact that I miss her everyday.

My mom, Dorothy, used to consume her steak a certain way with each bite using a different condiment until the very center of the steak, the prize, was delightfully enjoyed. I remember the smile on her face and her hands giving a happy sign to signify the utter joy in this simple yet satisfying experience.

“How Grateful I Would Be To Have Just One More Day”

By Kathy J. Parenteau

“If I could have just one more day and wishes did come true,
I’d spend every glorious moment side by side with you.
Recalling all the years we shared and memories we made,
how grateful I would be to have just one more day.
Where the tears I’ve shed are not in vain and only fall in bliss.
So many things I’d let you know about the days you’ve missed.
I wouldn’t have to make pretend you never went away.
How grateful I would be to have just one more day.
When that day came to a close and the sun began to set,
a million times I’d let you know I never will forget
the heart of gold you left behind when you entered Heaven’s gate.
How grateful I would be to have just one more day. “

When I was younger she would help me with little booklets that taught me English, history, and math. She would also help me memorize my lines for the many plays I was in. In addition to teaching me just about everything I knew she also helped me with my violin lessons.

My mom was a concert pianist and would go over every piece to help me with my intonation and violin lessons which I would have to complete for that week. She would read my homework to make sure I completed the assignments, and through that process exhibited the patience of Jobe. My teenage years proved to be a bit challenging. Not because I was such a problem but because I didn’t drive.

Orchestra was at 7:15 am, football practice after school, then drama practice across town. Each day was some type of practice which involved orchestra outside of school, singing, violin lessons, etc. My mom never complained about the schedule and many times would wait for me to complete my lesson or practice.

Through-out all of this she had debilitating arthritis. Never once did she complain about her maladies though it was hard for her to walk. In addition to that her hands showed the arthritis disease in the form of swelling and curvature. Her inner strength, intelligence, and kindness were on display everyday. My mom was chairman of the Cancer Society for Marin County and she orchestrated drive schedules for many drivers that would pick up cancer patients that were either too frail to drive or were less fortunate and didn’t own a car. This led to her receiving an award where she was recognized by a San Francisco radio station as a person that gave so much back to society. I can not begin to express how grateful I was to be blessed to have my mom in my life (though it was for to short a period of time).

I look back and smile at the time we spent together. If ever there was a person that made the world a better place… it was my mom. I hope and pray that all that read this will either reach out to their mom or remember that time together you hold so dear.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ ™ “The Magic of Cooking” Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to pazazshop.com to purchase these “AMAZING” kitchen tools.

Music, Art, and Poetry… PAZAZ™ Style!

music art poetry pazaz style bakeware

Throughout the 50’s and 60’s (20th century), US history can find emblematic reflection of social consciousness traced to music, art, and poetry. Of course every decade has its statements that unfold the envelope of human societal evolution. But to see the beginning of this in my lifetime as I reflect on the current unrest that has divided our country I see the pendulum swing.

The music of the fifties was about love, dancing, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, within a framework of simplicity that captured the spirit of the times. The art movement was abstract expressionism while any disillusioned voice became vocal through the medium of beat poets. The 1950’s history can be summed up as a time of conformity and compliance. There was underneath it all a rising tide of rebellion that would rear its head in the sixties. However, for the most part, it was poodle skirts, cruising, interesting jargon expressed in jazz scat singing and beat poetry which made its way into mainstream television with the popular show, Dobie Gillis.

All of this relative peace and tranquility would soon lead to music beyond our shores with the onslaught of the “British Invasion”, and then our own full on music, art, and poetry rebellion.

The music of the sixties produced the most profound explosion of rock groups that has extended into our current lifetime. The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and a host of others produced music that was both creative and symbolic. Experimental drug use, the Vietnam war, riots across campuses through-out America, assassinations, landing on the moon, and the all important racial consciousness brought passion to music rarely experienced before or since.

In visual art, movements such as Pop Art (Andy Warhol) and Psychedelic Art (illegible hand-drawn type with intense optical color) became the most significant and shape-shifting concepts of these tumultuous times.

Poetry written by William Carlos Williams, Phyllis McGinely, John Berryman were conventional in composition and content but new ground was being broken wide open through cultural and political avenues highlighted by Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, and Gil Scott-Heron (The Revolution will not be Televised).

This poetic political landscape featured the rise of the Black Panthers, Flower Power, and Vietnam protests. This was the opening of the flood gate to pose important questions about race, gender, class, sexuality, and identity at large. Poetry is a tool which interacts with the world looking critically on the basis of language and aesthetics, but is also a counter-cultural product that has the ability to occupy both cult and mainstream status.

Today’s protests that have divided our country seem more a function of divide and conquer through a myriad of carefully calculated events. If you trust our government (Kennedy assassination, 9-11, etc.), and you trust Big Pharma, then absolutely go out and dance up and down for your vaccination shot (not knowing what’s in it our what the side effects are). But if you really want the truth go to “Part 1 “Birth of Big Pharma”. Just remember one thing in all the protests, vaccinations, and division politics… follow the money! Times they be a changing.

This blog is sponsored by PAZAZ™ “The Magic of Cooking” Kitchen tools for the discerning chef. Please go to pazazshop.com to purchase these “AMAZING” kitchen tools.

‘Mise en Place’ – PAZAZ™ Style

mise en place pazaz premium bakeware
‘Mise en Place’ – (French, ‘Everything in its place’).

Preparing anything requires thought and strategy. In this case we will be talking about the preparation of a meal.

Mise en Place means (in French) “everything in its place”.

In the world of the culinary arts it is important to plan the meal ahead of time. This planning requires a blueprint for execution which will include but not be limited to chopping, slicing, dicing, thawing, mixing, grilling, frying, baking, and of course the most important item… the timing. Integrated into this all important strategy are the tools you are using to execute this important creation.

PAZAZ ™products offer you the highest quality non-stick silicone baking mat, heavy duty aluminum baking sheet pan, and of course the steel mesh cooling rack for the most effective production of either sweet of savory foods. Using the highest quality kitchen tools from PAZAZ ™ ensures your sweet or savory dish will be afforded the opportunity to cook evenly without sticking.

This process begins in the store as you’ve determined the recipe and now search for the organic ingredients to execute the recipe. Sometimes your recipe will change depending upon what organic produce and meats are available. Not only will it change based upon whats available but also the quality of the products your searching for.

After the ingredients have been purchased you must determine the time line for adding the ingredients so that they will exhibit the profile your looking for. Each ingredient takes on a life of its own because in this part of the process lies the technique that moves the recipe from good to great.

With each ingredient the chefs ability to add vinegars, salt and pepper to taste, other key spices, maybe a marinade helps the dish take on a beautiful complexity. This revelation of flavor highlights not just one flavor but a myriad of layers of flavors that elevates the dish from super to sublime.

When the chef has “everything in its place” the process of manufacturing the event becomes a soliloquy to the audience without a voice. The internal clock does not speed up during the creation of the meal because the careful orchestration and preparation becomes a testimonial to the caring and thought that makes any meal a special occasion.

Quality and the Art of PAZAZ

pazaz premium bakeware
Bake The Best – Pazaz Premium Bakeware

In the land of blogs and infomercials we tend to get lost if the message is too long and the product not to our immediate needs. The beauty of the Art of PAZAZ™ is the ability to find those that demand from the products we buy the inalienable right to the best quality available.

Yesterday I got a call from a dear friend that had purchased the combo PAZAZ™ Baking Sheet, Cooling Rack, and Baking mat. He has been a professional baker and was interested to test what I had told him are the best products available.

Now in the framework of an infomercial this would be a perfect time to dial the caller on line one and discuss their success with the product. Unfortunately because of limited time and money I can only tell you second hand what my friend (the baker) relayed to me.

He said, “I typically bake with the sheet pans I’ve been using for years. The problem was that the cookies at the back of the pan would cook faster then those in the front of the pan. Because of this one set of cookies would be overdone and the cookies in the front would be underdone. However, when I used your PAZAZ™ Baking Mat inside of the Cookie Sheet Pan it was Magic! The cookies cooked evenly and all I had to do was leave them alone for the allotted time and bingo… they were perfect.”

“In addition to that, I didn’t have to place any aluminum foil inside the cookie sheet pan or spray with an oil or other product to prevent sticking. Because of the silicone baking mat I could easily extract the cookies and enjoy the perfect product I’ve been looking for all these years. Bravo to PAZAZ™ and the wonderful products you produce.”

It is with great joy I relay this story to you, the customer, as I enjoy the satisfaction of producing the most amazing baking tools for home or commercial use.

Speaking of which, I also want to mention that because of the quality of the PAZAZ™ products, our baking mats are now being used at Jean George Steakhouse in Las Vegas under the umbrella of three star Michelin chef Jean George.

Thank you for your support and encouragement from all of us at PAZAZ™.

Summertime Recipes, Vacations, and the Quiet Explosion of Amazing Flavors

Today I prepare for a vacation that will rest the soul, stimulate the senses, and expand the horizons. Its interesting how we look forward to the journey, destination, and finally that solitude and satisfaction from rest and discovery.

Before we go I must say that preparing “Mama’s Muffins” from the PAZAZ cook book gives me a warm feeling that goes straight to the heart of this blog. As we journey to other places we are tethered to our home base but relish the discovery of new places, dishes in restaurants that bring joy and wonder, and finally the reflection of times and places that bring a similar sensation.

Summer around the globe is a time when people gather for outside activities which in many cases revolve around connecting to each other and nature. In this case we are going to a wonderful town located on the California coast that epitomizes the collection of my favorite two vacation topics… food and wine.

The restaurants we will be going to we have never been to before. This in a way is very much like when you are deciding which baking tools to use and you check out the reviews to determine the satisfaction level of the guests. The importance of the comments and passion in which they are illustrated demonstrates our belief that in some way shape or form they subliminally help craft our experience which could mirror their experience and thus becomes a trusting form of communication.

In the case of leaving a review that highlights the advantages of my PAZAZ kitchen tools its important to provide the necessary information to make an intelligent decision based upon real time users enjoying the satisfying ease of cooking with superior products.

This level of quality to produce a product, be it kitchen tools, restaurants, places to stay, or even the difficult to find wineries revolves around the commitment these businesses have made to provide an unparalleled moment that becomes the essence of satisfaction.

When we taste food or wine varietals that we’ve had hundreds of times it is rare and yet truly amazing when we stop and savor that moment which will be embedded in our memory if that experience is truly unique. The summer favors this type of enlightenment because of the vast offerings of harvest.

If just for a week a produce item is available we can align our thoughts to the calendar so that we can duplicate that experience each year. With infused oils and vinegars the recipes highlight simple yet satisfying delectable summer time dishes.

In this vein we are offered a montage of flavors that doesn’t overpower the product but enhances it. The beautiful berries from the west coast magnify the flavor profile of sweet and delicious to new sublime levels. Just a moment to savor the blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and tomatoes offer the taster with the satisfaction of living in the moment before the quiet explosion of our most amazing summertime flavors.