Just Another Day

I’ve finally gotten the chance to sit down and catch up with what’s going on. I’ve finally come back from New York in a carbohydrate daze from all the great pizza and bagels, because I had to hit up the clichés while I was in town visiting friends and family. Here’s what happened my first day back at work.

Let’s all keep in mind that I’m fairly new to working the line. I am a pastry cook by trade. So, when I finally get back to work I was not expecting to be the only one working the line. Nevertheless, there I was working three different stations because the rest of the staff was away at two different catering events. Talk about a busy week. Half way through the lunch rush, I managed to burn the outside of two burgers with the inside still raw (yep, had my heat up too high). My boss, a 60 something year old man, pulls me aside. I am fully prepared to get chewed out, aware that I completely deserve it as well as thoroughly pissed off with myself. Instead this is the conversation that followed:

“Emily, are you feeling a little stressed?”

“Yes, chef, a bit,” cue my face turning tomato red. My boss shakes his head and leans in really close.

“Well, you have three options. You need to start-up smoking again, take a Xanax, or get you some weed. If you get some weed, don’t get that cheap shit. Make sure it’s the good stuff.”

Welcome to the food industry, where illegal activities are endorsed by your boss. Let’s just all take a second to appreciate the humor in the fact that by boss was probably a wild crazy kid back in his day. For those of you who’re wondering, I didn’t follow through with any of his suggestions. While some people can cook like champions while half in the sack, this girl can’t. I find that I work better, the more organized I am.


Red Wine And Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Cake

2 c. sugar

1-3/4 c. ap flour

¾ dark chocolate powder

1 ½ tsp bp

1 ½ tsp bs

1 tsp salt

1 c. milk

½ c. vegetable oil

2 tsp red wine

1 c. boiling water

Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder (I used a dark chocolate variety). Next add oil, eggs, and milk.Mix together until relatively smooth.  Next slowly add boiling water while stirring (this is going to break down the cocoa powder, giving you a very moist rich cake). I then added some red wine.

Fill the baking cups 3/4th of the way full.

Bake at 350’F 10-12 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry

Simple Red Wine Icing

2 c. unsalted butter

1 c. cream cheese

¼ c. red wine

1# powdered sugar

Leave your butter at room temperature till it’s soft to the touch. Then add it with your cream cheese to a mixer using a paddle attachment and beat it till it’s smooth and fully combined.Add your powdered sugar and red wine. When the cake is cool you can pipe or spread to your heart’s content.

Before I piped the icing onto my cupcakes I used a wooden spoon to poke holes in the tops of each cupcake. Dip the spoon into hot water between each cake. Then I put raspberry jam into a squeeze bottle and filled the centers.

Eat up!

Lightly Seasoned With Timeless Elegance

The question I often hear is, “What makes the SHD chef coat different from the others?” I feel like this is a valid question, so I’m choosing to answer it with pictures taken by Aaron Cash. I went through my closet and gathered coats from the three different brands that I own.

This jacket is not loving my hips; it’s extremely uncomfortable.

The first chef coat I purchased as a young culinary student was from ChefWorks. The sales associate urged me to get an extra small as the sizes ran large and all they offered were unisex uniforms. This coat was not made for any woman in mind. Straight at the waist and bulky, I spent my semester constantly rolling up my sleeves, the front of my jacket dragging through my work, and a bottom button that couldn’t be buttoned. I’ve lost some weight, so as you can see it’s buttoned in the picture, but the tension caused by my hips is quite noticeable.


At least they tried right?

My second chef coat I purchased was a woman’s extra small from Uncommon Threads. Again, I might as well be wearing a men’s dress shirt. I was still stuck in a much too large potato sack that got in the way and was a fire hazard (ask me how I know). This jacket’s only saving grace were the slits cut at the bottom to accommodate my Italian hips and ass.

Both Jackets retailed for about $30.00.

So let’s take a look at the SHD jacket. This fitted jacket is crafted out of wonderfully breathable and flexible fabric. Made for chefs by chefs, this classic look designed for comfort and free movement. Not only is it a visual masterpiece, it holds up to hard work and intensive labor. I never have to roll up my sleeves—when I pull the cuff up it stays. With the other two jackets, I don’t look like I even have a place in the kitchen. I would never take anyone seriously who looked that sloppy (and through no fault of my own, jackets that fit women just didn’t exist). Another thing I would like to point out is that these jackets are beautifully hand sewn right here in North Carolina. If you’re anything like me, you love local and lord knows I do—from good brew to good food! The fact that I can extend that same local love to the threads I sport in the kitchen is an exciting thing to me. So for the next person that asks me, this is why I wear Sandra Harvey Designs.


I’m also in love with the pockets and high collar.

The Couture Chef



Dear SHD fans,


Lately we’ve been getting a lot of e-mails and special requests for our couture top of the line chef coats. If you are not aware I am currently taking over sales and marketing. As Sandra Harvey’s business partner, I have been with this company since its inception. Sandra Harvey and I went to culinary school together and worked our way through the ranks of the kitchen. By the time we were done, we knew what we wanted in a chef coat.

We are both pleased to announce that we are expanding our designs to include a lighter weight chef coat. We predict that this new light weight chef’s coat will begin production this spring. Please feel free to send any questions to my personal email and keep up with our progress and special deals on twitter.






I am looking forward to working with you and providing you with the durability and dependability you have come to expect from Sandra Harvey Designs.


Yours Truly,


Emily Messick

Managing Partner

Sandra Harvey Designs

Exciting News

For those of you in my industry, you may be familiar with Sandra Harvey Designs. I’ve posted a little bit about the designer earlier on this blog. I’ve worked with SHD for a few years now and have fallen head over Danskos in love with the quality and timeless fit of her chef coats.

As a high end, hand crafted product– they are a little bit pricey. Rightfully so (just feel the high thread count linen and you’ll know what I’m talking about). These coats stand out with their classic french brigade style. They’re as hard working as they are elegant. My absolute favorite feature is that the cuff wont drag through my plates while I’m working.

So what’s the good news?! The company has decided to market these high end coats to reach a wider consumer base. Which means, we will soon be offering a lighter-weight more breathable version at a price that any culinary professional can afford. We’ve even toyed with the idea of having a hidden pocket for your flask of liquid bad-ass, if you know what I mean. I’ll keep you all updated as this develops.

In the meanwhile the original SHD design is on sale for 60$ a piece. These coats typically retail for 120$, so this is really a steal. We’ve already sold out of our black jackets and are working on clearing out our stock for our upcoming products.

Get familiar with the brand


or contact me directly for inquiries


Here are some of the “big names” that wear SHD chef coats

Chef Adam Hayes– of the Grand Bohemian Hotel; Asheville

Chef Susi Gott Seguret– of the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts; Asheville, Sonoma, Ithaca, Paris

Chef Anthony– of Strada; Asheville

Elizabeth Button– of Curate; Asheville

Rinaldo Linares– of Rinaldo’s Cocina; New York, New Jersy, Fox News, Better TV and Telemundo

                                                                                           ( http://about.me/ronaldolinares )

Be the next big name to sport this classic design in your kitchen. Wear a coat that was made to do what you do.

Chocolate Macarons

Alright, as promised– here is my macaron recipe. After my fight with the humidity, I didn’t have the time or the energy to start again. I’m going to post my pictures anyway because they are still relatively close to what I was aiming for. Just, again– check the whether before you decide bake these fussy little guys. If your arthritis is acting up, you should probably wait and try again a different day.


Chocolate Macarons


6 3/8 oz                egg whites  (1 egg white weighs 1 oz approximately, but can buy in carton to cut waste)

2 1/8 oz                10x sugar

2 tsp                      dehydrated egg white

8 1/8 oz                almond meal (can find at Trader Joe’s)

13 7/8 oz              powdered sugar (used Wilton’s found in the decorating supply section of Michael’s)

1 1/8 oz                cocoa powder (used Hershy’s special dark)


  1. Sift almond meal, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder through sieve into large mixing bowl.
  2. Whip whites and egg white powder to stiff peaks, slowly add 10x sugar while whipping.
  3. Fold dry mixture into meringue. Using a large round tip, pipe 1.5 inch circles onto silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  4. Let sit until skin forms (can be up to an hour under certain conditions). Bake at 310’F in a ventilated convection oven 9-12 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool completely before filling with ganache. These cookies can be stored in an airtight container for a few days, if you hold the filling and put them together just before service.

Check the weather

I didn’t forget about the macarons! True to my word I made a chocolate variety last night. I will be posting pictures and the recipe today. After much debate I decided the recipe was still worth posting despite the fact that the humidity turned my chocolate macaroons into a bizarre brownie like texture (my dad thinks that should be a new thing). I know this is a good recipe, but if you’re dealing with a lot of humidity, don’t expect perfect Parisian macarons…expect almond brownie cookies, yum?