‘Sausage king’ dazzles


Cody Casares / The Advocate

Culinary chef and author Bruce Aidells churns his chorizo recipe during the guest chef event in the culinary arts department’s demonstration kitchen in the Student and Administration Building on Friday.

By Jaleel Perry, Advocate Staff

Culinary chef and award-winning author Bruce Aidells showcased his well-known cooking skills for attendees at his cooking demonstration and book signing on Friday in the Student and Administration Building.

Since the birth of the culinary arts department’s new demonstration kitchen this fall, CCC has hosted a number of celebrity chefs to put on exhibitions for culinary arts students.

With roughly 50-60 students and faculty in attendance, people were paying close attention to how Aidells was performing. Some students even took notes.

With six display TVs in their new kitchen, following Aidells’ every movement was as simple as watching the screens, even for students in the back of the room.

“I thought it was really nice and unique having him here. He taught us important lessons. It was pretty exciting.” culinary arts major Christopher Williams said.

Melanie Rubin, also a culinary major, said the event was exciting and hopes the program keeps bringing in well-known chefs to demonstrate for them.

Aidells said, “Just takes a little effort sometimes. I’ve been dealing with sausages basically my whole life.”

Chef Aidells is well-known around the Bay Area for his sausage making. Some people even refer to him as the “King of Meat.”  Aidells Sausage Company was established in 1983.

Aidells stopped cooking in 2002 to write recipe books, which turned out to be a successful strategy. He became an award-winning author and one book turned into four recipe books.

He has authored “The Complete Sausage Book,” “The Great Meat Cookbook,” “The Complete Meat Cookbook,” and “The Complete Book of Pork.”

“I think that is my last book,” Aidells said.

The chef gives his wife credit for helping him make it to where he is today.

His wife, Nancy Oakes, is also a chef and the coordination chef for Meals on Wheels. She took over for him as he shifted careers and began writing recipe books.

Culinary arts major Elizabeth Razo said, “It was great having him come here. It’s very interesting, especially since I’ve never been into sausage that much.”

During his demonstration, Aidells was accompanied by culinary arts department Chairperson Nader Sharkes.

Miscommunication seemed to be an issue at the start of the event. Aidells had trouble finding the right recipe to cook.

Fortunately, Sharkes was able to provide him the recipe before it became too much of a distraction.

Aidells prepared chorizo samplers for the audience while still prepping his main course. Unfortunately, Aidells was only able to produce one course for students.

After the chorizo samplers were done being passed around, Aidells finished making sausage links that were prepared by culinary arts department students before his arrival.

“The sausage was good, but I really liked the chorizo,” Rubin said.

The amazement was visible on the faces of students and faculty members as they began to taste the savory flavor of Aidells’ meat.

“Everything tasted great. The sausage was on point.” Williams said.