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December 2016 Chef of the Month Rod Knight

chef-rod-jump-with-hat2Can you believe 2016 is coming to a close already? We are extremely excited to showcase our last Chef of the Month for the year: Chef Rod Knight!

We guarantee this is one Chef of the Month you don’t want to miss! Chef Rod went above and beyond and his step-by-step recipes are incredible. Read more about his life and chef career below and make sure to check back next week for his first recipe!

1. Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut

2. Where do you work and where are you based?

I work at a French brasserie called Thursdays on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite kitchen tool is the vacuum chamber machine. It allows me to literally marinate or pickle something within seconds. It significantly cuts down a lot of time and the amount of waste. Plus, once you vacuum an item it increases the shelf life exponentially.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

Interesting, I think that my sense of touch is my sharpest sense. I have never cut myself more than a nick and I think that has to do with my sense of touch.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I would say stay curious and focus intently on the details. Good dishes are a combination of very small parts that are put together well. Make sure you are aware of how you communicate. How you communicate is a very important part of being a chef because how you speak and what you say translates to everyone you work with and it will literally better the team.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Keep your pans hot. You aren’t going to get far without hot pans.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is something that is exciting to share with others. It also takes into account health and nutrition. I believe you can’t untwine the two. What we are eating and how we are eating but it has to be good for you. Also, good food is fresh with fresh ingredients. I guess to sum it up good food is passion on a plate.

8. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

There’s been a lot of talk about no tipping. All of the servers’ wages and all of the food prices would get raised to cover the no tipping paradigm. Personally, I think if companies do raise the minimum wage, they will expect more from the employees.

I see a lot more with digital cloud services for cooks training and communication. I think we are going to see a breakdown of titles and positions and see more of the cooks and prep cooks taking on more responsibility which would allow the chefs on duty to administer more effectively. With everything online we are learning faster and quicker and the guys on my team who are in school ask me questions that stump me all the time. On a broader level, this will lead to a lot more creativity to make the things.

9. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

I definitely go with a short sleeve. I like to go with styles that breathe easy. I do like a more traditional style but with a modern fresh approach. I am slim, so I prefer a slimmer fit. I don’t like button ups. The coats I have now have material like Nike dry fit that wicks away moisture and are light weight.

10. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

For my go-to workwear, I usually wear a cargo style black pant. I typically wear one of my white chef coats. Sometimes I will wear a cap but I always wear crocs.

11. Favorite ingredient to work with?

This is hard, my favorite ingredient I like to work with is Dijon mustard.  I specifically like to pair it with maple, mustard, and Cajun to make a really good marinade that is a little spicy. For a quick fix, I like to have pan seared salmon and splatter mustard on there and bread crumbs. Or red wine vinaigrette adding Dijon. I find it to be a very versatile condiment. But of course, you can’t live without eggs.

12. Best Dish you have ever made?

Okay, so this is fun. I came across this recipe maybe a year ago. I came across a website that had Berbere, an Ethiopian spice. Last year I really got into spices. This one is really cool, so I tried it out. It is smoky, spicy and red in color. It is extensive work to toast it and to process it. It has a very eastern flavor, I guess they have been using it for centuries. So I went to the fish market and got Bronzino. I was having some people over for dinner so I did a dry rub and got a really nice roast on the fish, it was almost magical. I served it with lemon roasted tomatoes. It was very exotic, with Chile peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and a little bit of nutmeg.

13. Place you eat most often on your days off?

There is a sushi place in Pompano Beach. It is called 9 Face Sushi and they knock it out of the ballpark. Always fresh, the service is amazing. I like to sit outside and enjoy the view.

14. Person you would most like to cook for?

You know what, I’d like to cook for Stan Lee.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I am an only child. My mom is a chemical engineer. I would get out of school and go home. I would watch 3 shows on Food Network. These shows got me into and gave me permission to get my hands dirty. I would have food made, I can’t imagine it was good at the time. So I started doing things in elementary school.

But I applied and got into a Connecticut vocational technical school in the culinary department when I was in high school. I started learning techniques. My junior year, Johnson and Wales got accreditation and I got an associate’s degree in culinary. It took burning a lot of things and figuring out where I went wrong and teaching it to the next person. To sum it up, I became a chef because of curiosity and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am creative. Being a chef, I found a happy place to be and express my creativity every day.

16. What is new on your DVR?

On my DVR is Preacher, The Walking Dead, and The Flash. Those are my top three shows that I make time to watch.

Once again thank you to Chef Rod Knight and don’t forget to stay tuned for his recipes that will be featured throughout the month.

 

Chef Mikey Termini’s Crab Cake Recipe

crabcakesHoliday season is in full swing. Our final recipe from our Chef of the Month Mikey Termini is a crab cake recipe that serves as a great appetizer to bring to any holiday party.

Recipe makes: 2x 2.5oz cakes with Floridian corn salsa & corn puree

Corn Puree:

1q Grilled Corn

1q Vegetable stock

25g Cream

24g Butter

Directions: Char corn over grill until kernels begin to take on a light char color. Cut corn off the cob. Combine corn with vegetable stock, cream, and butter. Let simmer until soft. Then puree till smooth.

Corn Salsa:

50g Roasted corn

3g Minced Red Onion

2g Minced Jalapeno

1g Salt

1g Pepper

1g Chopped Cilantro

1g Lime Juice

5g Cream

1g Butter

Directions: Sautee corn, onions, jalapeno for 2 minutes. Add cream and butter. Season with lime, salt pepper & cilantro.

Crab Cake:

880g Jumbo crab

880g Lump crab

100g Panko Bread Crumb

25g Dijon mustard

5g Mustard Powder

100g Lemon Juice

18g Old Bay

1g Worcestershire

1g tabasco

600g mayo

4g lemon zest

Directions: Mix all together and fold in crab meat. (Note: combine until moist without breaking crab or overdressing). Consistency should be creamy.

All of us at CU Chef Uniforms hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a food-filled holiday season!

Chef Mikey Termini’s Veggie Burger Recipe

Another week of great recipes from our November Chef of the Month – Mikey Termini! For vegetarians and meat eaters alike – this veggie burger will not disappoint. Great with a side of waffle fries, hand cut, or cole slaw. veggEnjoy!

Ingredients: 

7 oz. (200g) Veggie Patty

1 Brioche Bun

20g Cashew Sour Cream

42g Sliced Roma Tomato

42g Avocado, Sliced

28 Cucumber, Shaved

1 Serving Handcut Fries

 

Veggie Burger Patty: 

3.15 kg black beans cooked

300g red quinoa

150g PB&G bourbon caramelized onions

250g PB&G magic mushrooms

60g old bay

15g cumin

700g water

400g grilled corn

40g kosher salt

700g panko

15g parsley

15g cilantro

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and put in Robo-Coupe until well incorporated.

 

PB&G Bourbon Caramelized Onions:

650g onions

50ml bourbon

40g brown sugar

 

PB&G Magic Mushrooms:

850g button mushrooms

130g soy sauce

60g sherry vinegar

 

PB&G Cashew Sour Cream: 

300g raw cashews

150g apple cider vinegar

150g water

Stay tuned next week for our Chef of the Month, Mikey Termini’s last recipe it is one you do not want to miss!

Chef Mikey Termini’s Watermelon Salad

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, we could all use a tasty and healthy recipe. Our November Chef of the Month, Chef Mikey Termini has got us covered with his delicious and refreshing Watermelon Salad recipe. Enjoy!

watermelon

A note from Chef Mikey: “The Watermelon salad is a light and refreshing salad that plays on the sweetness of the watermelon and the smooth texture of vine ripened Heirloom tomatoes. Some candied pistachios add a slight crunch, and the goat cheese panna cotta contrasts the watermelon just enough without overpowering the salad all together. Finally topped with a balsamic reduction and some finely shaved red onions, this salad is great anytime of the year.”

Ingredients

2oz goat cheese panna cotta

4oz cubed watermelon

4 oz cubed Heirloom Tomatoes

1oz arugula

1oz shaved red onion

½ oz balsamic vinaigrette (combination of Balsamic Vinaigrette and Balsamic Reduction)

1oz candied pistachios

Goat Cheese Panna cotta:

1cup whole milk

6oz goat cheese soft

6 sheets of gelatin

Salt & White Pepper to taste

Directions: bloom gelatin in cold water, heat milk & Stir in goat cheese, add gelatin and allow to set.

Candied Pistachios:

2 cups pistachios

1 TBL sugar

1tsp  Water

1 TBL Kosher salt

Directions: Toss nuts in sugar, water & coat evenly, sprinkle salt onto pistachios, bake 300 degrees for 8 minutes

This salad is served in the casual dining room of PB&G or anywhere poolside at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando. The watermelon salad has been a favorite for guests and staff alike for over a year. Chef Mikey says, “When I first arrived at the resort 6 months ago after transferring from the Jackson Hole Four Seasons this salad instantly caught my eye. I take pride in offering this salad to our guests every time they return, and I feel they take comfort in that as well. My name is Chef Mikey, and I endorse this salad.”

mikey

November 2016 Chef of the Month Mikey Termini

We are happy to announce our new Chef of the Month for the month of November, Mikey Termini! He is a very talented chef, and we are excited to showcase Chef Mikey throughout the month. Read more below to find out about Chef Mikey’s life as a chef in Hawaii and now Florida. Make sure to stay tuned in the following weeks for his excellent recipes.

  1. Birthplacmikey.jpge:

I was born in Santa Cruz, Calfornia which is in Monterey Bay. Straight out of high school, I went to Maui, Hawaii and spent the last 15 years there cooking.

  1. Where do you work and where are you based?

Currently, I work at the Four Seasons PB&G Pool Bar and Grill in Orlando, Florida a part of Walt Disney World.

  1. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite kitchen tool is the spoon in my back pocket- I use it to taste dishes and spooning out sauces.

  1. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

That would have to be touch. I am great with my hands. I like to create things, feel out all of the textures and turn food into something great.

  1. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Run. Just kidding, keep the passion and don’t burn out. Find the love for food in everything you do whether you are making burgers and french fries or a $60 halibut plate.

  1. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

Have patience. In my experience, the one thing so many cooks and chefs don’t have a lot of is patience. Stay patient with the day to day work, if you have good patience, you can be a real strong leader in the industry.

  1. What does good food mean to you?

Love. The feeling of someone putting a lot of care into what I’m eating and bacon.

  1. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

I wish breakfast food would get a little bit bigger and work towards transforming it to a dinner atmosphere. Breakfast is one of the least tapped parts of eating. It is a great meal, nice, full, rich food at breakfast time takes you back to when you were a kid.

  1. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

The most important to me are the looks and style. I hate chef coats that are too baggy or the lines being too big for my build. I really look for nice lines that are not bunched in the back but at the same time are not too tight but fit just right.

  1. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

I always go back to white coats. I always like a nice white coat with long sleeves that are rolled up, paired with black slacks and a waist apron with a loop for my towel.

  1. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Bacon is my number 1. But after spending so much time in Hawaii,  I love using sweet chili sauce. My favorite way to use it is by adding it to crab cakes for sweetness and a little bit of spice.

  1. Favorite City to dine out in?

San Francisco, California. Because I grew up in Monterey Bay going into the city, I have never eaten at a bad restaurant there.

  1. Best Dish you have ever made?

One thing everyone wants me to cook when I go home is a pasta carbonara. It is an Italian dish that I like to make with fresh pasta peas, pancetta egg cream sauce and top it with truffle oil

  1. Place you eat most often on your days off?

Home. I love going to the Asian markets and getting stuff there. I usually like to get duck or some kind of pork dish depending on what they have.

  1. Who is a person you would like to cook for?

Bruce Willis or Rob Zombie. They are not chefs, but I would love to cook for them and be around them for a night.

  1. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I first moved to Hawaii, I was doing dishes at a restaurant, and the chef there asked me if I wanted to be a cook or a bartender. I chose cook because I figured I could last a lot longer on food than alcohol.

  1. What is new on your DVR?

Stranger Things on Netflix, it is a TV show that has a Stephen King type vibe. Then once The Walking Dead comes back on, that will fill my DVR because I’m a diehard zombie fan.

Chef Anthony’s Tomato Recipe

Our final recipe from our October Chef of the Month, Anthony Hunt is his tomato recipe. This recipe can be used for party appetizers but it is also very versatile.  Enjoy!

tomatoes with dish.jpg

Confi of garlic and tomato spread

Ingredients:

16 ounces cherry tomatoes
15 cloves of garlic or less.
Bay leaves 3 whole dry or fresh
6 leaves of Basil fresh

Directions:

Submerge ingredients in olive oil
Bake with aluminum foil for one and a half hours.
Allow time to cool.

Remove ingredients from oil. Rooftop ingredients to drain off excess liquid. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil finish with chopped fresh basil.

Best served on sliced toasted baguette. As a final finish, add a sliver of fresh parmesan.

A big thank you to Chef Anthony for providing these awesome recipes and being our October Chef of the Month!

Chef Anthony Hunt’s Top Fishing Techniques

anthony-smile-with-bait

Typically, our chef of the month provides three recipes. However, this month we are switching it up a bit. After speaking with our October Chef of the Month, Anthony Hunt we quickly realized his love and passion for fishing. Chef Anthony or maybe we should say Fisherman Anthony has finished top 10 in 7 tournaments, fished over 48 events, and his largest catch was over 24 pounds! You can see more of his fishing success stories here.

We got to talking about his fishing techniques and competitions and decided it would be great if he provided us with a fishing recipe for success. So this week our October Chef of the Month explains and gives us a few fishing pointers! Enjoy!

Flipping and pitching are some of my favorite techniques to do while competing at the National FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) Tournament circuit.

Here is the gear I use to do this very skilled technique:

Okuma TCS Rod and Reel Mat Daddy 7’6 with a Helios Air 7:3.1

Reel. 1.5 Pro Tungsten

Mustad pen grip flipping hooks

Fished on 65-pound Test Smackdown Seaguar Braid

Favorite plastic bait to use is Gary Yamamoto Flappin Hog in Black and Blue Fleck

Some information and direction on flipping and pitching:

Flipping involves peeling off about 50 to 75 percent or more line than the length of the rod and simply feeding the line back through the guides as you drop and lift the rod.

Pitching involves releasing the lure from your hand with an underhand pitching movement as you let the line feed through the guides while you thumb the spool.

Pitching and flipping are lure specific ways to fish. By that I mean there are only a few types of bait that are used with these techniques which also dictates the types of cover we fish.For example, you can pitch a slow, stationary bait such as a jig or worm, or you can pitch a faster-moving bait such as a spinnerbait.

Flipping the bait is usually only done with a stationary type bait, whether it is plastic or pork. By the way, it is not recommended to pitch crankbaits.Of course, when pitching or flipping, you will want to use as light a bait as possible, so you do not spook the fish.

Worms with a 1/8-ounce weight pegged or 3/16- to 1/ 4-ounce jigs with pork trailers should be the ticket in shallow water.Jigs and worms with up to a 1-ounce weight may be necessary to penetrate thick weeds such as hydrilla.

Now go catch some fish!

Chef Anthony’s Crab Dip Recipe

This appetizing Jumbo Lump Creamy Crab Dip recipe comes from our October Chef of the Month – Anthony Hunt!

crab dip 2.jpg

Ingredients:

1-pound jumbo lump crab meat
1 Cup white wine
1 pound 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 ounce of shallots diced fine
1 tablespoon of seafood seasoning or blackening seasoning
2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley
One teaspoon of fresh:
Salt and pepper TT
Slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Sauté shallots with a little olive oil 2 minutes.
  2. Add white wine, reduce down by three-quarters volume almost dry. Culinary term au sec.
  3. Remove from heat and fold in all the ingredients except for almonds and crab meat. Make sure cream cheese is completely melted and smooth.
  4. Fold in crab meat gently into mixture, so it does not break up into chunks

Chill for 1 hour until firm.

This is an extremely versatile recipe, you can slice little pieces of bread, put the mixture on top and sprinkle almond slivers and bake until light brown. Another option is to bacon cast-iron molds until lightly browned. This recipe is a great party idea and very easy to make.

Enjoy!

anthony-with-fish

OCTOBER 2016 CHEF OF THE MONTH ANTHONY HUNT

We are excited to announce our Chef of the Month for October is: Anthony Hunt!  See what Anthony is all about below and look out for his awesome recipes to come throughout the month!

Where were you born?anthony-face-with-bait

I was born in Laurel, Delaware.

Where do you work and where are you based?

I currently work at Yolo Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, as a corporate pastry chef and works for the restaurant people (group).

What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?

The Sous-Vide cooking immersion cooker.  It slowly cooks to keep the flavor locked inside. It doesn’t have an effect on the texture and keeps the food moist.

What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?

Taste. Some of your senses intertwine with each other. But I always try to taste as much as I can. I hated mango and cilantro because my taste buds did not understand it. After tasting it over and over I could finally understand the beauty in the flavors. I look for something different than what I pick up the first time.

What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Do something else. Be a teacher or be a chef only if this is something that is in your heart.  It is not a fly by night career, you have to really love it. Sometimes you may not figure that out right away. It takes time maybe 10 years after you start your career, then you’ll find out whether you aren’t into it or you’ll really love it. I was following my brother in the industry and I didn’t think I had it. I watched him fall out and I found that I really had a knack for it. Make sure you love cooking, pastries, and people – everything that is in the industry.

What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?

How to make an egg. The simple foundation in culinary is worth that if you can’t make an egg, he/she probably can’t boil a hot dog or make a steak. Knowing how to make a good scrambled egg is paying attention to the coagulation and the residual heat otherwise it will kill your egg every time.

What does good food mean to you?

Something you experience and taste. You can give the most expensive wagyu or whatever but I can taste the person’s passion in their food.

What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

Super-foods are taking over. Quinoa evolving kale and kale pesto alongside hearty greens and spinach. Healthier trends will evolve into the restaurant side and the heavy sauces will disappear, it’s happening already.

What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets).

For me a few things make good qualities in a chef coat. Egyptian cotton is a fabric I have grown to love over the years because its lighter. Having mobility is important you want to be able to stretch and make sure it’s not pulling on you. I shouldn’t have to put pounds of starch on it, I also like breathing holes. Dressing as a chef now is at its coolest point ever. We are not the traditional tall hat guys anymore; the style is a lot looser now.

What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

A custom chef coat that looks like every day clothes. How cool and breathable the jacket is. A pair of jeans and clogs. Then top it off with a cool apron and baseball cap and an old school Buff fishing bandanna, I have a mop head.

Favorite ingredient to work with?

I get excited about fish.  Especially fish that is caught by me. I love the freshness of fish – it cannot touch water, must be on ice and cooked the same day. Saltwater fish only. My favorite fish is flounder.

Favorite City to dine out in?

I am going to have to say Miami. I really like The Federal Restaurant, my friend is the owner.

Best Dish you have ever made?

I think it is a mojo pork belly with a cilantro key lime pie filling custard. Crispy curry lentils succotash grits cheesy grits and corn chutes (micro corn chute).

Place you eat most often on your days off?

Probably at the S3 restaurant. I really like the fresh sushi options and they have one of the best macaroni and cheese in the world.

Who is the person you would like to cook for the most?

My mom.  I haven’t cooked for my mom yet. I have been cooking for a long time, over 20 years. I have also been away from my mom for 20 years. Every time I go home my brother cooks so I haven’t had the chance to cook for my mother.

What made you decide to become a chef?

I kind of needed to pay for fishing. Fishing was the priority I never knew I would be in the chef industry this long. It took 10 years to learn that I loved it. I started to realize how many contrasts and textures flavors there are. The creativity and the artsy flow of cooking was the main force and reason, outside of wanting to compete and beat my brother.  The creative process is what I really love. I am at a point in my chef career where I don’t pull from other chefs anymore I pull from my own palate.

What is new on your DVR?

My episode of my food network chopped.  Episode 26 season 5 desserts.

 

 

Chef Ana Birac’s Tiger Shrimp Recipe

September is almost over, so here is the final recipe from our first International Chef of the Month, Chef Ana Birac – a fresh Tiger Shrimp dish. Enjoy!

tiger-prawn-recipe-image

Ingredients: 

Frozen White Tomato Mousse – Tomato Concasse with Bear Bow – Parmigiano Churros – Marinated Black Tiger – Chilly Cream – Cow Cheese Cream – Tuna Pellet

 

For 2 people:

0,25kg tomato ~ 8.8 ounces

0,2L whipped cream ~ 7 ounces

0,05L bear bow ~ 1.7 ounces

0,2L water ~ 4/5 cup

0,1kg butter ~ 3.5 ounces

0,2kg flour ~ 7 ounces

1 egg yolk

0,1kg grana padano (grated) ~ 3.5 ounces

2 pieces of black Tiger prawn

0,1kg mayonnaise ~ 3.5 ounces

0,05kg chili powder ~ 1.75 ounces

0,2kg cow cheese ~ 7 ounces

0,1kg cream ~ 3.5 ounces

0,02kg tuna ~ 1 ½ tablespoons

0,02kg onion (minced) ~ 1 ½ tablespoons

0,01kg parsley (minced) ~ 4 tablespoons

0,01kg thyme (minced) ~ 4 tablespoons

0,01kg majoran ~ 6 tablespoons

0,01kg rosemarie ~ 6 tablespoons

0,01kg basil ~ 6 tablespoons

salt, pepper

sunflower oil, olive oil

Directions: 

Blanch all the tomato. Take half of the tomato, peel it and leave to squeeze through cheesecloth over night. Take the other half and cut it into small cubes and marinate with olive oil, bear bow, salt, pepper, and basil.

The next morning whip the cream really hard, then add the tomato liquid and put it into freezer. Leave it there for 2 – 3 hours.

Heat the water with butter. When it boils, remove it away from the heat source and add flour. Mix it well and leave it to cool down to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). After that happens, stir in the egg yolk and grana padano and mix well. Take the patisserie bag and put the batter inside and make rings. Fry it in sunflower oil.

Clean the Black Tiger prawns and put them in one pan over boiling water. Add butter, salt, pepper, olive oil and all the green spices. Heat it for exactly 12 minutes (until Black Tiger becomes lightly pink) and then cool them down.

Mix mayo and chili in thermomixer and put in the fridge.

Mix cow cheese and cream in thermomixer, pass the mixture through the sieve and add some salt and pepper. Then put in the fridge to cool.

Fry the onion and add the rest of the green spices and tuna, mix them well. Make small balls and put them on a pan and fry in sunflower oil.

Put everything on the plate just like it is in the picture.

Bon appétit! 

 Note: Chef Ana is from Croatia so she uses metric system measurements (along with the rest of the world). We have done our best to convert the measurements to the U.S. customary system.