Jose Luis Usquiano
Jose was one of the contestants with the most votes in the ChefUniforms.com Cash for the Holidays Contest, and is January’s Chef of the month! Below is a short interview with Jose about his experiences in the contest and his career thus far, followed by a recipe that he submitted. Enjoy!
1. How did you go about getting all of your votes? What did you do that helped the most (Facebook, Emails, etc)?
Email, my friends’ Facebook pages, coworkers, etc…
2. Why did you want to become a chef?
The reason being, I would like for people to know my work and to be able to show others what I learned in my culinary experience.
3. What fabric and style of uniform do you enjoy wearing most?
I love the ones that have mesh panels.
4. Do you enjoy dining out in your free time?
Yes. I do enjoy going out to have lunch or dinner on my time off. That is how I’m able to try new dishes. I learned new combinations of tastes and styles of foods, especially plates from different countries. This is how I’m able to experience other culinary cultures.
5. Do you see any changes in food trends?
Yes, well going to different places that serve international food, I can say that the culinary art is changing and everything is in the imagination of the cook.
6. What are your future plans for your business?
Being from Peru, I have not seen many places to eat the food of my country, and I would really like to one day open a Peruvian restaurant. It would be really traditional, and would show people how good Peruvian food is!
7. Is there any one thing you would have done differently in starting your culinary career?
My mother Beatriz Chale showed me how to cook when I was 10 years old. Afterwards when I came to the United States I had to cook for myself for necessity. I love eating so I had to cook a large amount of food. Because of this, my cooking improved as well as my culinary knowledge. This is when Chef Leon Teow gave me the opportunity to work beside him and direct me to what I am today.
8. What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into culinary school?
I honestly believe and would say go to culinary school if you really want to work in the culinary industry. You must enjoy cooking, and not only because people would be calling you a “cook”, because you would just waste your money. The kitchen is a place that you have to love, and care about doing it right.
9. Would you please send us a recipe (either a favorite food or one you made up) to post for our readers?
Ceviche de Pollo
- Cut a chicken in small pieces with skin and bone.
- Marinate the chicken with yellow hot sauce (Peruvian yellow pepper) for about one hour (the amount of hot sauce depends on how spicy you would like it).
- Fry cut red onion (julienned) until it is translucent (about one and a half red onions).
- Add a spoon full of chopped garlic with the onion until it is well cooked.
- Add a little bit of chicken base, then add the chicken and let it cook.
- When well cooked, turn off the stove and add a little lime juice. Stir well.
Afterwards, the chicken is served with white rice and yellow Peruvian potatoes
Thanks again to all who participated in the ChefUniforms.com Cash for the Holidays Contest!