CAP Chef Studies Italian Cuisine, Culture During Apprenticeship Abroad
Capt. Adam Eudy has one word for Civil Air Patrol: “Grazie!”
Beginning when he was barely a teenager, CAP has supported Eudy in his quest to become a chef. Graduating from the family kitchen, Eudy arranged to work under the wing of renowned chef Robert Irvine of Food Network fame at a restaurant in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to further his home schooling. Soon after, when the cadet was only 14, the South Carolina Wing turned over its encampment kitchen to him, and he stylishly dished up three meals a day to 150 campers.
Along the way, Eudy encountered military chef and U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Derrick Davenport. Petty, combined with continued support from CAP, helped pave the way for Eudy with cooking stints at various events for high-ranking military officials, including occasions at the White House and the Pentagon.
Eudy has considerably upped his customer count, serving on the culinary team at Sky Ball, an American Airlines fundraiser for the Airpower Foundation held annually in Texas with as many as 4,000 guests. Recently, after completing studies at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Eudy was tapped for an apprenticeship in the epicenter of epicurean masterpieces — Italy.
The 22-year-old returned to the U.S. earlier this year with a renewed commitment to his chosen profession.
“This experience will serve me very well in the future,” he said. “I now have this extensive knowledge of Italian cuisine, not just in general but also regionally.”
Eudy’s trip abroad was designed specifically for him to study Italian cuisine and culture. He spent 15 weeks in Italy – 12 weeks in Ugento, Puglia, and three weeks in Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Guila.
“My 12 weeks in Ugento was for the studies of regional cuisine, both food and wine. And my three weeks in Pordenone was for an internship at Electrolux Professional World Headquarters,” Eudy said, adding he was heavily influenced by the Southern Italy culture, as that’s where he spent much of his time.
“As far as culinary endeavors, this has taught me to use the best and freshest ingredients possible, taking into account what is in season and what is available to you. I also became pretty great at pasta and risotto while over there, and that’s a major part of the cuisine.”
Regardless of all he learned in the kitchen, Eudy said it’s the culture he will remember most from his study abroad and his visits to Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice.
“I really enjoyed the small cafe shops for coffee, pastries and gelato during the day, and pizza at night,” he said. “These cafes are all over Italy, except the high tourist traffic areas. I will also remember the diverse culture, food and architecture throughout the country. No two regions are alike – the grand buildings and lighter food of Rome is so different from the Renaissance-detailed and heavier foods of Florence, and these regions border each other. So the diverse culture is what I will remember the most.”
While in Italy, Eudy also got a chance to visit his old deputy cadet commander from CAP’s Low Country Composite Squadron on Hilton Head Island.
Carlos Latorre is now a U.S. Marine stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, at the Marine Corps Command for Europe and Africa. Latorre is still active in Civil Air Patrol, serving as a major and cadet programs officer for CAP’s Ramstein Cadet Squadron, based at nearby Ramstein Air Base.
Capt. Adam Eudy shared a couple of recipes from his Italian visit, crediting them to chef Odette Fada:
RAVIOLI CAPRESI CON PASSATO DI POMODORINI DI COLLINA
(Ravioli “Caprese” Filled with Caciotta Cheese in a Pureed Tomato Sauce)
For the pasta:
250 grams 00 flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano
150 grams Caciotta cheese, grated
200 grams of ricotta
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
For the sauce:
500 grams ripe fresh tomato, peeled and seeded
1 bunch basil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mix all the cheeses very well and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Prepare the pasta dough as usual. Set aside for ½-hour to rest.
Roll the dough as thin as you can and place it on a cutting board, well-dusted with flour.
Put a mound of filling big as a half walnut every 2 inches on the pasta, then cover with another strip of pasta. With a round cookie cutter 1½ inches in diameter cut the ravioli. Press firmly on the borders.
Tomato sauce: Cut tomatoes in half. Put them in pot, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Then pass them in blender to obtain a tomato puree.
Put 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pot with 1 clove of garlic and 2 basil leaves. When it is warm, not hot, add in the tomato puree. Let it cook on a low flame for 10 minutes, season with sea salt.
Cook the ravioli in salted water about 3 minutes, drain and place on a platter that already contains the sauce. Sprinkle with a chiffonade of basil and some extra virgin olive oil.
RISOTTO CON VERZA E SPECK*
(Risotta with Speck and Savoy Cabbage)
400 gram Ostigliato Rosso rice (or arborio)
60 grams speck, finely diced
2 liters meat broth
30 grams Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 Savoy cabbage, finely sliced and sautéed in 20 grams extra virgin olive oil
30 grams of extra virgin olive oil
Pinch fennel seeds
Cook the shallot with 15 grams of oil until transparent. Add the rice, keep mixing and when it is hot pour in enough boiling broth to just cover the rice.
Keep stirring and adding more broth when necessary. Cook for 20 minutes; usually Ostigliato Rosso needs a longer cooking time (for arborio 15 minutes are sufficient).
Add cabbage, fennel seeds and diced speck, cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and butter, let sit for 1 minute, then stir it thoroughly and serve.
*Speck is a flavorful smoked, aged Italian ham. Use Google for retail availibility in your area.