I know I’ve told you that Shaune went back to school this year. I’ve likely expressed aptly that his passion lays in all things culinary. He studied at Humber College in his early twenties and then was lucky enough to work alongside some talented chefs. He gets jazzed about making things like dough and fresh tomato sauce.
For no reason.
For fun I mean.
Listen, unless there are people coming over with the sole purpose of eating and by fluke I’ve promised them food, I don’t see the point in cooking. Making something just because?
Shaune has cooked in fancy and simple kitchens; he’s managed some of those, keeping within pre-set budgets while creating wonderful food. He served tables and tended bar. He managed some of those bars too, getting jiggy with their wine lists and tightening up their menus. He ran a steak and seafood house for a few years and really learned the ways of the industry from the top down. In all that time, I’ve watched him work harder than anyone I’ve ever met with a quiet diligence that never fails to impress me.
After Toronto he moved back to Sarnia and that’s when we met. We worked at the same restaurant – he was in the kitchen, I was behind the bar. We were friends for quite some time before taking the situation to the next level. He won my heart through my stomach. To this day, our idea of a lovely evening includes eating something delightful that he happily toiled over. So when he learned about a new program Ontario teacher’s colleges were offering to people in the trades he applied. The province recognized the need for teachers specializing in trades and technologies to support those kids not planning to go to university. Here’s a link to program’s site if you’re interested.
I can’t imagine anyone more suited to teaching his passion. I have no doubt he will inspire more than a few kids.
He finished his last day of school on Friday. His parents, the kids and I bought him a stand mixer. There was champagne and a singing card. It’s a big deal, when a grown man takes a leap like this. Shows his kids that change is always possible. And that night he sat quietly and told me there was a possibility he would miss school. And I understood.
He acted just the way I would if you'd bought me a new pair of nude peep-toed pumps.
Today I asked him to share one of his recipes on this site for all of my friends. He has made this pizza twice in the last week. It’s life changing.
½ cup of warm water (100 – 110 F)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
4-4 ½ cups white bread flour
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ warm water (same temp as above)
• Combine ingredients (1/2 cup of water, yeast, and sugar) and let stand until frothy (about 15 minutes)
• In a mixing bowl (or stand mixing bowl) add 4 cups bread flour and salt
• When yeast mixture is frothy, add to flour mixture, olive oil and 1¼ warm water
• Mix until combined (if dough is still really sticky, add the remaining flour a bit at a time up to 1/2 cup) and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. If using stand mixer, use dough hook attachment on low to medium, mix until smooth and elastic and the dough comes away from bowl easily
• Form into a ball and rub with olive oil. Place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and store in a warm place until doubled in volume
• Punch down dough and cut into four equal parts, then form those into balls
• Roll out and place each on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal
• Top with sauce, cheese and favourite toppings (this week he made one topped with fried onions, garlic fried mushrooms and chicken)
• Place a pizza stone in oven and preheat to 415 F
• Bake pizza on baking sheet until it can be moved around using tongs
• Slide the pizza onto the stone to crisp up the bottom and brown the top
• Slide back onto the baking sheet, then remove from oven. Let sit for five minutes before slicing
That Deaglan couldn't get enough of this pizza, this alone made it a winner for me. We'll get those vegetables into him by any means possible.