A Ministry of Christian Chefs International (CCI)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 2012

News & Updates

Our third annual conference was a great success! Thanks to all who participated. 
Don't forget to begin to already think about attending the next year's conference!


The Soul of an Apprentice
- Food for your Spirit

This month we celebrate Resurrection Sunday. In a biblical culinary sense, Christmas is the appetizer, Good Friday the salad, Resurrection Sunday the main course, and Pentecost the dessert.

Neither the Nativity, nor the Cross, would have any meaning without Resurrection Sunday. Similarly, without the empty tomb, Pentecost would have remained a Jewish holiday - a fun one - but not the earth shaking event when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of heavenly fire, which still transforms us.

But why the empty tomb?

"Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-an image made by man's design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead." - Acts 17:29-31, NIV

For thousands of years God overlooked the great sins of humankind, and there was a good reason for it: without the power of the Holy Spirit, humans could not resist the devouring power of sin

The empty tomb changed all of it: the Holy Spirit came to be our strength in the battle against sin.

Jesus told his disciples:

"Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. - John 16:5-11, NIV

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead works now in us.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. - Eph 1:18-21, NIV

Because of this power, we can live a life of holiness, pleasing the Father in all things (Rom 8.1-17).

As we rejoice over the fact that the power of sin was broken on the Cross, let us not forget those who do not know the power of the Holy Spirit, who have never heard of the empty tomb, who are trapped in the evil cycle of sin and death.

We know of the empty tomb. 
This Resurrection Sunday, let’s share it with those who do not.

Susanna Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI

God's Garden
- Herbs, Spices, Vegetables, Fruits, and Grains

Basil [Ocimum basilicum]

Spring is almost here, and it is time to begin to think about the garden; what could be more appropriate for a Christian chef than the “holy herb” basil!

Part of the mint family, basil is a versatile herb that grows best in warm, tropical climates. There are more than 150 different varieties of basil, the main types include the large leaf highly aromatic French or Italian basil, Asian basil, Lemon basil, and the sweet licorice flavored Thai basil. The European sweet basil, cultivated and distilled in Europe, the Mediterranean region, and the United States, is considered to be of the highest quality, producing the finest odor.

For a comprehensive list of basil varieties, visit

Basil is a “hungry herb,” it needs a lot of nutrition for optimal growth. It requires also five or more hours of direct sunlight, wherefore it is important to plant basil in a sunny spot and add compost to the soil regularly. Basil is very sensitive to chilling injury, wherefore it rarely survives frost.

When the basil plant is at least a foot/ ca. 30 cm tall, and has at least three pairs of leaves, optimally four to six pairs on the stem, you can begin to harvest the leaves. Basil will grow new leaves all season, especially if encouraged to do so by the removal of leaves. Because basil deteriorates quickly after flowering, it is important to prune the plant regularly during the growing season. Once the flowers have matured, allow the seeds to dry on the plant, collect the seeds, and save them for the next growing season.

Basil contains polyphenolic flavonoids, beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, essential minerals, and iron, making it a good-for-you food.

Pesto, a favorite in the modern kitchen, originates from Genoa, Italy, and continues a noble tradition began by the Romans. The name pesto comes from the Genoese word pestâ, which means to pound, to crush. The allusion is to the original method of creating pesto with marble mortar and a wooden pestle, the ingredients being ground slowly. Traditional pesto contains basil, European pine nuts, (Many chefs toast the pine nuts, to bring out the nutty flavor), garlic, olive oil, and parmigiano-reggiano. Many chefs toast the pine nuts, to bring out the nutty flavor. Genovese and mammoth varieties of basil are often used to make pesto.

The traditional recipe can be easily altered, for pesto can be made of other plants than basil. Mint can be used as well, which is not surprising since basil is – after all - a mint. Outside the mint family, spinach, from the Amaranth family, can be used to make pesto. If European pine nuts are cost prohibitive, any local nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts - can be used instead. You can also omit the nuts and/or the cheese altogether for a nut-free, or vegan alternative.

For an intriguing method to make pesto, visit

Modern ways to serve it includes as-is with pasta, mixed with Alfredo sauce, as a sauce on fish and chicken, a dip as its own, as a spread on sandwiches, or as an addition to salad dressings.

Pesto freezes well, wherefore plant plenty of basil in the spring, and enjoy this holy herb all year long!

Susanna Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI

From the Burner
 - Life lessons from Christian chefs

Live a Life Worthy of the Calling You Have Received

How often do you and other Christians talk about what your calling in life is?
Well, I have a great answer to you.

 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have receive
- Eph 4:1, NIV

We are called, as God tells us through his word in Ephesians, to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Speaking in the past tense, we aren’t told to search for our calling – we have already been given our calling. So what is it?

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit- just as you were called to one hope when you were called- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. - Eph 3:16-4:6 NIV

In short, we are called to serve by being completely humble, gentle, patient, bearing one another’s burdens in love as equals, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit thorough the bond of peace. This is possible only after we understand the great love God has for us.

Our calling is to live kingdom lives here and now, for the ministry of Jesus was to live the humble, gentle, and patient life. God has called us to his kingdom, and that kingdom is already here and now. But God has also called us to make disciples of all nations, for his primary method of calling people into his kingdom is through his children. All God asks of us is to be willing to live lives worthy of the calling we have received.

Ira Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI


 Did You Know?
- Miscellaneous helpful hints and technical advice from the kitchen

When you use your knife, turn the blade upside down when you scrape the already cut objects to the side, it will prevent the blade from becoming dull, for scraping the cutting edge across the cutting board will dull the knife faster. By turning your knife over, you will save you time from having to sharpen your knives too often.

Ira Krizo
Board of Directors, CCI