Patrick Travis
Patrick Travis
Don't believe everything you think!!
Coeur d'Alene, ID (United States)
Joined July 21, 2009
Intermediate Cook
Active Chef, Top Reviewer, 403 CookEatShare points

About me

I grew up in the Sunset district of San Francisco in the late 40’- early 60’s. My mother was from the Midwest and her special dishes were of the church social type. Rather bland without much in the way of seasonings beyond salt and pepper and very well done meats. But when we went out for dinner! Chinese food in Chinatown; Hispanic food in the Mission; Italian food in North Beach (the Golden Spike was a great family spot); pizza at the Villa Roma or at Pasquale's on Irving; the Occidental Hotel and Union Hotel in Occidental, CA; and for that special event, brunch at the Starlight Room of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. Every Saturday my father would take us to the California Delicatessen on Clement Street where we would buy the weeks deli meats. I could go on forever! What great food.

I think the most exciting culinary experience my wife and I have had was when we were invited to dinner at Rene Verdon's Le Trianon on O'Farrell Street in San Francisco, by a business associate. This was a very special occasion and my associate, whose wife was a very old and close friend of Rene’s wife, asked Rene if he would fix something special for the occasion. The entire meal was specially prepared by Rene. It was completely off the menu, and served with several bottles of 30-40 year old Gran Cru Bordeaux’s. The evening was topped off with a grand tour of the kitchens and then Rene presented my wife with an autographed copy of his cookbook “The White House Chef Cookbook”

I am a self taught cook (with a lot of help from my wife). In 1980, my wife and I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Goodbye great restaurants and ethnic foods, hello chicken fried steaks and mashed potatoes SMOTHERED in sausage gravy.

This was really the start of my culinary journey as a participant rather than an observer (or taster).

When we moved to C d’A, the deli at a new supermarket was considered the gourmet spot because you could get hot mac & cheese and chicken strips! If we wanted good food, the only recourse my wife and I had was to cook it ourselves.

Although my wife was, and still is, an excellent cook and bakes most of our bread, I got the bug to try my hand at cooking. I started with simple dishes and have progressed to where I like to think I’ve become fairly competent in the kitchen.

I’ve cooked in many chili cook-offs and won the 1991 Idaho State Chili Championship. I’ve packaged and bottled and sold my dry BBQ spice mixes, chili mixes, and marinades. For about 3 years I had a catering business with a focus on chili feeds for large groups of 100-300 people.

In 1994 my wife and I opened the “¿Qué Pasá? Chili Company”, a hot sauce store where we sold over 350 different hot sauces, over 150 salsas, over 100 BBQ sauces, plus many other pepper and spicy food related items. We installed a tasting bar where our customers could taste any of the products we sold. We closed the store, much to our regret, in 1999 due to a heavy travel schedule from my primary job. While the store was open I wrote a monthly news letter discussing the various hot sauces and other products we carried and providing recipes featuring the products we sold.

Although the restaurant scene is greatly improved in Coeur d’Alene, we still entertain our friends with brunch/lunch/dinner parties 2-3 times a month, not to mention trying to outdo each other when cooking for ourselves the rest of the time.

Cooking Influences

All of the fantastic ethnic restaurants in the San Francisco bay area.


  • Kyra Martin
    Kyra Martin
    I love Capones!!! We have eerily too much in common for me to not say hello. My boyfriends family is from Cd'A, and we are about to move to the Bay Area. Small world. Do you have any good recommendations for places to try out in San Francisco? I'm totally unfamiliar with the area.
    • Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
      Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
      I see you have some great recipes that I will have to try!
      • Purabi Naha
        Purabi Naha
        Hi, I am your new follower. Please visit my blog for some delectable Indian curries at Looking forward to share a lot of recipes with you.
        • Marguerite
          Patrick: Merci beaucoup for trying my Shrimp Creole recipe and for the great review! So glad you and your guests enjoyed it!
          • Nanette
            Patrick: I'm flattered that you've tried 2 of my recipes. The Shrimp/Bok Choy is so easy, isn't it? I hope I can post another recipe you and your wife will enjoy. Thanks for taking the time to not only try what I post, but to comment. N
            • Nanette
              Patrick: Thanks for trying out my recipe Pork & Red Wine Cream Sauce. It's good to know that it doesn't need the cream...I was afraid the sauce would be too thin without it. Yes, less fattening. What type of pasta did you use? And I loved the story that went with your comment...I could visualize how the meal finally got to your table. So what is your favorite hot sauce? I just went to a Garlic Festival and purchased homemade horseradish jelly, sweet with just the right amount of zing! Will come up with a recipe to use it in....I hope. Come back and enjoy one of my other recipes soon. N
              • Patrick Travis
                Patrick Travis
                Hi Nanette - The availability of ethnic foods has gotten much better in the Coeur d’Alene area over the past 10 years or so but unless you go out of your way (in my case about 35 miles) to a speciality food store, things are still somewhat limited. The closest thing to I could find to orecchiette was large shell pasta. It worked very well.

                Hot sauce is an integral part of my daily food intake. I have 15-20 sauces at home at any one time and currently have 4 in my desk drawer at my office. There is no one sauce I can call my favorite but I think Iguana makes an excellent range of sauces covering cayenne, habanero, jalapeno, and chipotle. I also like Goya’s Salsita Arbol for an all around red sauce.
              • John Spottiswood
                John Spottiswood
                Cook headline, Patrick. Hope you'll enjoy the recipes here and share a few of your own with us!

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