New Rim Club Chef Loves Exotic Foods

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The Rim Country's top culinary notables will share their talents for a benefit to raise money for the Payson Public Library expansion project.

The Library Friends of Payson and the Payson Roundup, will co-host this savory event, A Taste of Rim Country, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Tonto Apache Community Center.

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Randy Ortega, the new chef at the Rim Club Restaurant, will participate in the Feb. 17, A Taste of Rim Country fund-raiser.

General admission tickets are now available.

Fifty percent of the ticket cost is tax-deductible. Funds raised will go toward the $1.4 million library expansion project, designed to fit the growing needs of Payson.

The plan calls for a 5,500-square-foot wing stocked with wireless Internet access, 20 computer terminals and extra space.

Chef profile: Randy Ortega, Rim Club Restaurant

What is your favorite dish to cook?

A dish from the Philippine Islands called Chicken Adobo. It is a dish incorporated with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and vinegar and uses techniques of sautéing, steaming and braising.

What do you love to eat?

Seafood, sushi and sashimi, poultry, potatoes and eggs, over-easy.

What is the most complicated dish you've ever made?

A layered terrine of salmon, spinach, lobster and scallop mousses studded with mini-Parisienne vegetables.

What inspired your love of food and cooking?

My grandfather was a great family cook. Family gatherings are my earliest memories of my love of food and zeal for cooking.

What is your worst cooking disaster?

Making multiple double-chocolate cakes for 120 people and forgetting to put the sugar into the ingredients.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Finding the right people to fit the right spots in the culinary team. Personality plays a part in filling the positions needed.

What do you love most about what you do?

I am able to express myself through food and art. Food is a part of the joys of life. Associating smells and tastes with memories enables me to create memories for those for whom I cook.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to start cooking?

There are classic ways of cooking and there are ways you learn from others. You can learn from everyone even if you know classical cooking.

Is there a trade secret that every person who cooks should know?

Steam can burn.

What is in your refrigerator at home?

Baked chicken, soymilk and salad items.

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