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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Breakfast Spectacular, Pt. IV: ‘Jimmy Hall’s Famed French Toast—there ain’t none Better’ by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall”

Our new band for the next few days is an old acid band from Los Angeles, CA, the short-lived but great Pacific Gas and Electric.  Their first album, “Get it On,” was released in 1968 and is a classic album that we believe you will enjoy.  Their lead vocalist, Charlie Allen, was a wild soul singer fronting a hard-rocking band of West Coast hippies.  We love it and think you will, too, so go out and buy it by using the handy link to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and get it now! You won’t be disappointed!  Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.

Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 345 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!




Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

END Commentary 01-12-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 1,430.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall


Breakfast Spectacular, Pt. IV: ‘Jimmy Hall’s Famed French Toast—there ain’t none Better’ by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Bakersfield, CA, 01-12-2012 Th: I don’t know about you but I’m rather enjoying this BREAKFAST SPECTACULAR series, it’s a lot of fun and the wonderful thing is, I’m digging out recipes I have practically forgotten about, it’s been so long since I’ve worked a breakfast shift! My career began back in the late 1960’s when I apprenticed under my first chef, Executive Chef Garfield after having been a busboy for a couple of years.  He put me under the tutelage of Breakfast Cook Leroy Paris as I mentioned to you the other day.  The thing is, I never really worked the Breakfast Shift, I spent time on the Graveyard Shift and then became the Swing Cook before moving up the ladder by becoming the Pantry Chef.  From there, I eventually moved on with my career, having been in Bakersfield, California, for most of my career, the only exceptions being two years spent on Maui (1997-1999) and then my move to Santa Barbara, California, where I became the food and beverage director of a downtown hotel in 2005.  I was more or less retired when I was given the opportunity and have been in this beautiful coastal city ever since.  What I’m illustrating is the fact that my breakfast experience is somewhat minimal and yet, I am a fountain of recipes because of my coffee shop experience long ago.  

Anyhow, today’s recipe is for my delicious French toast, an egg-dipped treasure of small-loaf French sourdough bread covered in orange zest and powdered sugar.  The dish is sort of like a sweet-and-sour dish in that the sourdough provides an interesting contrast to the sweetness of the batter and the accompaniments.  Also, the French bread has a bit of a crunch which is extremely delicious, almost mesmerizingly so, it’s so good.  I love it when two opposite foods are combined into something so amazingly good that it causes one to be stunned momentarily.  I love this dish and everyone I know loves it, and this is one of the dishes I learned from my first tutor, Leroy Paris.  This was “the” recipe of the hotel in which I worked, the Casa Royale so long ago down there on Belle Terrace and Union Avenue in Bakersfield on the city’s once-famed, restaurant row. Yes, indeed, this is a dish you won’t soon forget so let’s get it going, shall we?


Yield:  about ONE quart batter / 8-12 slices / Mis-en-place: 30 minutes:

The Batter:
Whole eggs

Whole milk


Vanilla extract


Granulated sugar

Gran Marnier

Orange zest

Torani’s orange syrup

The Toast:
Sourdough French bread, small sliced

The Cooking Medium:
Cup +
Vegetable oil

The Finish:
Whipped butter

Powdered sugar

Maple syrup
Orange, sliced

Fresh sprigs of parsley
Orange zest

Ground nutmeg


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! This recipe will use either a griddle (flattop) or a couple of large, heavy-duty skillets, preferably no-stick.  If using a griddle, heat it to 350°F.  Spray it or the skillets with PAM or some such other food release spray.  Have ready.

2.      Beat the eggs until light and foamy using an electric mixer equipped with a whip attachment.  Then, add the milk, half-and-half, vanilla, nutmeg, and sugar and blend well.  Force this mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl large enough for you to dip the bread.  Force it though the sieve to remove any scrap pieces of egg shell and also to break up the albumin of the eggs.  You want it completely fluid and homogenized. Chill the batter for 10 minutes.

3.      Then, spray the griddle or the skillets with PAM again and then ladle some vegetable oil atop the cooking surface.  As soon as it’s hot, dip the French bread, a slice-at-a-time into the batter and if you can get 2-3 slices into the bowl, do so, because it’s good if they’re slightly soaked in the batter. 

4.      Place the slices one-by-one atop the oil and begin to fry the toast.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, turning over only once.  Cook until golden-brown and then transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels and keep in a preheated 300°F standard oven.  Continue cooking all of the slices until all done and then transfer to a serving platter or place three slices each on FOUR plates and dust with powdered sugar—heavily.  Then, using a 1-ounce ice cream scoop, scoop a couple of balls of whipped butter and then a ramekin of hot maple syrup aside each portion.  Finish them off with the traditional orange slice with a fresh sprig of parsley punched through the center and a bit of orange zest sprinkled over the top with a little bit extra nutmeg; then, they’re ready to serve.

Many times, it’s a traditional thing to accompany French toast with strawberry or apricot-pineapple preserves but you are the judge of that.  Actually, any preserves or fresh fruit in a sauce would be ideal for a dish like this which would allow you to present it with different looks at different times.  Be adventurous and take chances; this is what makes a chef!


As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

There you go: Hump Day over and done and in three days, I will be on vacation again of sorts.  Let me tell you, working in Santa Barbara, CA, is always hectic but the scenery is beautiful.  I’ve been here in Bakersfield the past several days because I’ve been here visiting friends and family but now, I am back on the California Coastline and enjoying every moment of it.  We have the most beautiful state in the Union or so I believe but the politics here has turned it into an illegal immigrant playground and that’s truly sad.  Our worthless governor would rather have the votes than do what’s right for the citizens of his state but then again, those are just my personal viewpoints so don’t go postal on me or Stinkbug.  As the caveat says, we are responsible for our own opinions and I take full responsibility for mine.  Granted: we couldn’t run a successful restaurant without the help of illegals a time has come for me to say, “Enough’s enough—I can no longer condone it, send them back!”  Anyhow—all we ask of you, dear readers, is that you please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com.  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!    

Thank you!

Jimmy Hall

James Hall

Cook III, CWC, ACF, CA273 Santa Barbara ACF chapter and HI033 Maui Chef’s and Cook’s Association


This is me as a chef during the 1980's when we took a group photograph for a Chefs de Cuisine yearbook. At the time, I was working at a hotel in Bakersfield, CA, down on Union Avenue. It was still somewhat nice and the area was still the original "restaurant row" of the city. Now, I am in my sixties and am working over in Santa Barbara, CA, as a food and beverage director for a country club.


END Commentary for Thursday, January 12, 2012 by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall.

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef James “Jimmy” Hall

Recipe created by Chef James “Jimmy” Hall on May 27, 1975 in Bakersfield, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!



This is #1341 an 8” x 10" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Mountain Home." It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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