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Preparing for Your Holiday Meal

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Justin Beach

Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

Executive chef from Knoebel Events suggests a side dish for your feast

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Curry Cauliflower

Are you looking for some ideas on what to make for your holiday feast? Perhaps you want to try something new that no one else has had before?

How about Curry Cauliflower? It’s the creation of Timothy Downs, executive chef at Knoebel Events in the Daniels College of Business.

Situated inside the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, Knoebel Events hosts hundreds of occasions each year ranging from corporate events to wedding receptions. Inside the Meyer Family Kitchen, a student staff is led by Downs and a team of hospitality veterans.

“We have an environment here that gives our hospitality students an opportunity to get real-life experience,” he says. “When they graduate and are going out to find a job, having something like this on their resume is very important.”

Many of the students coming into the program have no experience working in a kitchen. However, by the time they graduate, they have the opportunity to manage a kitchen by handling ordering and schedules; they participate in menu development and some students even create their own dishes.

“This is a prime example of experiential learning,” Downs says. “The students become very comfortable coming down here and being a part of this and it’s fun to watch them grow. In any kitchen you are always teaching and learning, but this is definitely taking it to the next level.”

Knoebel Events does more than $1 million in business each year. Clients can order from a set menu, they can make special requests and they can even have the kitchen prepare a family recipe.

That brings us back to the Curry Cauliflower. It’s a dish Downs created as a good side item for any holiday meal. In this video, Downs shows us how it’s prepared:

Curry Cauliflower - serves 6

  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • Curry Aioli
    • 3/4 cup mayonaise
    • 1/4 cup malt vinegar
    • 1 tbl. curry spice
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper

Bake both potatoes for 1 hour and allow them to cool and refrigerate. Once cold, break potatoes into 1/2" - 1" chunks. Cut cauliflower into bite size pieces. Cut onion into 1/2" pieces. Combine potato, cauliflower and onion in a mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Put on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees. Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and drizzle curry aioli over the top. Bake or broil for 5 minutes and then it is ready to serve.