The Gastromancer’s Guild - PACMAN

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/19/13) - First off, I’m a geek, and I’m a foodie, that was born and raised in Paducah, KY.

I’ve had an affinity for video games ever since the first time a controller graced my hands when I was six. My love for cooking took hold the moment I held a knife, and I started my career in food at 14. I’ve spent serious time playing every make and model of video game out there, while working every position in various area kitchens. At 21, I enrolled at Louisville Kentucky’s Sullivan University College of Culinary Arts and graduated with my degree two years later. From there, I spent the next three years in kitchens around the Washington, DC area. I’ve now returned to Western Kentucky and am completing another degree at Murray State University in Nutrition and Exercise Science. In my spare time, I co-host a video game podcast called TADPOG (Tyler and Dave Play Old Games).

I’ve had a strong desire to share my love of food and its preparation with others, and am honored that the good people at Sugg Street Post are giving me an opportunity to blend all of my passions together. I now have a place to present them to the public in the form of The Gastromancer’s Guild.

The Gastromancer’s Guild

Let’s cut straight to the event, Gastromancers. Pac-Man. After Super Mario Bros., I would say that Pac-Man is one of the most commonly played games for people who play video games and for those who don’t. While you’re running from or toward ghosts trying to eat every little pellet on the board, you can also get other foods for bonus items. This week we’ll weave some spells from those bonus foods that Pac-Man would much prefer to be eating.

Here’s a little clip to get your mind going:

As always, you can reach me with questions, comments or recommendations at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

WEEK 26 – Pac-Man Bonus Foods

Chilled Cherry Soup (Apprentice)

2 ½ lbs. pitted cherries
1 qt. apple juice
3 oz. honey
½ oz. cornstarch
lemon Juice to taste
4 fl. oz. dry champagne or sparkling wine
crème fraiche (as needed for garnish)
toasted sliced almonds (as needed for garnish)

1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves

Combine the cherries, apple juice, sachet, and honey. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the sachet. Dilute the cornstarch with a small amount of cold apple juice. Add it to the soup for thickening. Simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy flavor. Puree the soup in a food processor or blender and strain if desired. Chill thoroughly. At service, adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, stir in chilled champagne or sparkling wine and serve garnished with crème fraiche and toasted almonds.

Fresh Strawberry Pie (Apprentice)

12 oz. granulated sugar
4 fl. oz. water
1 ¼ oz. cornstarch
6 fl. oz. cold water
¼ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. lemon juice
red food coloring as needed
1 qt. fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced in half
1 flaky dough pie shell, baked
whipped cream as needed

Bring the sugar and tepid water to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and add to the boiled liquid. Cook over low heat until clear, around 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, lemon juice, and enough red food coloring to produce a bright red color. Pour this glaze over the strawberries and toss gently to coat them. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie shells. Chill thoroughly and top with whipped cream for service.

Orange French Toast (Apprentice)

4 fl. oz. whole milk
8 fl. oz. orange juice
5 beaten eggs
2 fl. oz. heavy cream
3 oz. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
18 slices of French or Italian bread sliced to 1 ½ inches thick
unsalted butter as needed
orange slices as needed
powdered sugar as needed

Whisk together the milk, orange juice, eggs, cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Place the slices of bread in the egg mixture and let soak for 15 minutes, turning them over after the first minute or so. Arrange the sliced bread on a baking sheet, pouring the remaining egg mixture not absorbed over the sliced bread. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Cook the slices of French toast in a lightly buttered, preheated sauté pan or griddle set at 350 degrees until well browned. Turn the slices and cook on the second side until done. Arrange the slices on each plate, garnish with orange slices and dust with powdered sugar.

Tiers of Difficulty

Apprentice – At this level, very few ingredients and basic preparation are used. Recipes of this level are often components of other dishes.

Journeyman – This is where applications of heat and knife-work may start, but the steps are still few in number.

Mage – A fairly competent level of work is required as a Mage. Recipes of this level require a fair amount of skill, use teachings from the previous tiers, and increase in complexity while adding more techniques.

Alchemist – At this level, very complex single dishes are created that require several applications of numerous techniques, as well as multiple ingredients.

Gastromancer – This is the highest degree of difficulty. This may take the level of the Alchemist, but will be multiplied into several dishes.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Tyler Holland
Photo by Jeff Harp

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