Archive | Interview with a Chef RSS feed for this archive

April 2018 Junior Chef of the Month Chef Simone Bridges

We are excited to introduce Chef Simone Bridges as our April 2018 Junior Chef of the Month! Chef Simone is a 12-year-old from Jacksonville, Florida who demonstrates excitement, drive and passion in everything she does. At such a young age, Chef Simone has been able to grow her business as the Goddess Food Factory including cooking classes and a subscription box! Read more about our Junior Chef of the Month Chef Simone below!

 1. Where were you born? 

I was born in the beautiful, sunshine city of Jacksonville, Florida.

 2. What are 3 things most people don’t know about you? 

  • I am a very shy person, when it’s one on one if I don’t know you yet. When I am baking and I get to know you, I’m very energetic. Also, when I’m in front of a large audience I shine bright.
  • I love to play sports, especially basketball and track. My favorite sport is running track. I have a lot of energy in me and I always love to compete. I love the competition, the speed and the wind pushing against my face when running track. It puts me in a good mood.
  • I love to play with and teach kids, especially babies.

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

My favorite culinary tool is a wooden spoon. I use a spoon to mix up different recipes and to taste the food I’m cooking. I’m always using a spoon and it is very easy to carry around when traveling.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring young chefs?

My advice would be to put your best foot forward every single time you are baking. I like to imagine baking for Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, or Beyoncé. Make it the best you can every time, so it can be the best for the people you are baking for.

5. What made you want to begin the Goddess Food Factory?

I started the Goddess Food Factory because I wanted a way to connect with other girls like me and other people who like to bake. It is a great way to connect me with other children and a way for other kids to learn how to cook. A lot of grandmas like to cook, so the kids can be the grandma they might not have had or the mom/dad who can’t take time out of their busy day to sit down with their kids or know how to bake. With the Goddess Food Factory, I like to take simple steps to make it easy for them to learn.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

My chef coat must be pink – it’s my signature color, and it must have pockets on it for my chef tools or flyers and my card to hand out. Another thing I need is comfort – the texture must feel right and smooth.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Sugar – sugar makes everything taste right. It perfects everything, sugar is the key ingredient!

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

Every chef should know how to present their dish. Presentation is key. You want it to look and taste good. You do not want it to look all over the place and messy, it should be plated well. Some people taste with their eyes initially. If it doesn’t look good, they may not taste it at all.

9. Best Dish you have ever made? 

My best baked dessert would have to be my famous snicker brownies! The chocolate melts in your mouth with the caramel inside. The flavors are well combined and it has a crunchy nutty and silky chocolate sauce that makes you want to dance when you bite into it.

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

I would love to cook for a few people- Michelle Obama and Beyoncé. Michelle Obama is the first black woman in the white house and she teaches us how to keep our heads high. She is a great inspiration for all little girls. I admire her so much Beyoncé has been my favorite singer since I was 5 years old and she’s such a phenomenal woman. I would love to have a seat at the dinner table with the whole family. We would eat a great meal or desserts prepared by me and chat about her kids, her inspiration for her music, and I would ask about business advice because she’s a mogul.

11. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years in your culinary career?

I see myself with a lot more products in my merchandise line and having my own baking show in which I cook and bake with other celebrity chefs. I want to travel all over the world to empower and inspire other young children. I want to have TV commercials, maybe even a reality show about my life and business, and to compete on Food Network. Additionally, I would love to be a judge for a kid’s baking championship to inspire other kids all over the nation.

Fun Facts!

Chef Simone has been on the cover of Inspire magazine, the Steve Harvey show, in the news, appeared on Trinity Baptist Network in Smile of a Child commercials.

She teaches kids in elementary school to help them get a better understanding of STEM-based learning through her ExSTREAM Baking program, in which she infuses baking and cooking with Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.

You can book our Junior Chef of the Month for motivational speaking, purchase products, desserts, and subscription boxes!

Connect with Our April Chef of the Month:

Website: www.goddessfoodfactory.com

Instagram: @goddessfoodjax

Facebook: Goddess Food Factory

Twitter: @goddessfoodjax

Youtube: Goddess Food Factory

 

 

March 2018 Chef of the Month Patty Francis

We are excited to introduce Chef Patty Francis as our March 2018 Chef of the Month! Chef Patty has a passion for creativity. She loves to express her creative side through many avenues, and we are lucky that baking is one of them! Read more below about Chef Patty and her love of baking.

  1. Where were you born?

I was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I moved to the States when I was 13 years old. I’ve lived in Lynn, MA practically my whole life as this has been my adopted home for over 20 years.

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

I am the proud owner and cake artist of Luna Sweets in Lynn, MA.

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

My favorite kitchen tools are any that provide precision; measuring cups, spoons, scale, etc. I’m such a perfectionist and you need to be when you’re a baker, the wrong measurement can ruin a recipe in no time.

  1. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Believe in yourself. I still find myself doubting my skills and looking for approval sometimes. Confidence is the most important thing to have in the kitchen. It frees you up and lets you be the best you can be.

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

Know your temperatures. Whether it is food safety temperatures, sugar stages, etc. cooking temperatures are so important. They are the difference between a successful dish and a cooking/baking fail.

  1. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?

A chef outfit needs to be comfortable. I move about a lot in the kitchen, I don’t like feeling restrained, to warm or too cold. It needs to feel like second skin so I’m focused on what I’m doing, not on what I’m wearing.

  1. What is your favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient to work with are eggs, they are so versatile. Eggs are in everything from cake, custard, meringue or savory dishes like quiche, Spanish tortilla, etc. Eggs make everything better and did I mentioned that breakfast is my favorite meal? I can have breakfast anytime and eggs are a quintessential part of it.

8. What is your favorite City to dine out in?

My favorite city to dine out is definitely Santo Domingo. There’s so much variety, especially if you are like me and love Dominican food.  I love to eat Chimis (a Dominican version of a burger) from a food truck, or have fried fish and Yaniqueques at the beach, or go to Jalao Restaurant for live music and great ambiance. There’s so much to eat and so little time when I visit my country.

9. What is the Best Dish you have ever made?

The best dish I’ve ever made is strawberry shortcake cake from Luna Sweets. It’s my favorite cake on the menu. It’s very light, has tons of fresh strawberries which is one of my favorite fruits. It’s made with sponge cake, filled with whipped cream and chopped strawberries and frosted with strawberry meringue buttercream. It’s so delicious, I almost ate a 8 inch cake by myself.

10. What is the place you eat most often on your days off?

When I eat out on my days off, I usually eat Mexican food. Mostly, because I love having chips and salsa with a tall glass of Margarita. It’s my guilty pleasure that I indulge in whenever I possibly can. Nothing like fried food and alcohol to help you get the edge off.

11. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?

I’m currently watching all the Marvel Studios series on Netflix while waiting on my favorite shows to return. I just finished watching Daredevil and The Punisher, but I cannot wait until the new seasons of Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and The Americans come back.

Connect with Our March Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.lunasweets.com

Instagram: @luna_sweets_

Facebook: Luna Sweets

Twitter: @Luna_sweets_

Youtube: Luna Sweets

February 2018 Chef of the Month Amy Irizarry

Meet Chef Amy Irizarry, we’re happy to introduce her as our February 2018 Chef of the Month! Chef Amy is the Executive Pastry Chef at Bite Bakery and Café in Downtown Utica, NY. Read more below about Chef Amy Irizarry and her love of cooking.

  1. Where were you born?

I was born in Utica, New York.

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

I am the Executive Pastry Chef at Bite Bakery and Café in the historic Franklin Square of Downtown Utica, NY

  1. What is your favorite kitchen tool to use while creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My favorite kitchen tool would be my commercial grade KitchenAid mixer. It is the perfect size for small to medium batches of just about everything from macarons to bagel dough. My Thermoworks Thermopop digital thermometer is a close second. Baking is a science, and temperature is extremely important. Thermoworks has made a thermometer that is easy to use and accurate.

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

My sharpest sense would have to be my sight. I am obsessed with final touches and miniscule details. I love putting desserts together and making all the garnishes flow just right.

  1. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

If you’re an aspiring chef, I would like to offer this piece of advice: work hard. This is a crazy industry. You will work holidays, weekends, and in less than favorable temperatures. If you can work hard through all of that, you will be successful.

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

I think every chef should know and perfect the ability to understand what your customers want. Sometimes I want to put all these crazy flavors together and I have to stop and think about what my customers actually want. Over the years, I’ve struggled with finding a balance of being able to turn some of my ideas into a product that my customers will love. Having that ability is what makes you an amazing chef.

  1. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means happiness. Whether it’s an amazing dining experience at the best restaurant in the city, or Taco Bell after a 16-hour shift because it’s the only place open on your way home. That happiness you get from eating something you think is good is what every chef sets out to recreate.

  1. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? 

I believe the most important feature in a chef coat is the pockets. I always look for coats that have a lot of space in the arm pocket. As a pastry chef, I need a pocket that can hold more than just pens. The pocket must be big enough for pens, thermometers, mini offsets, and the occasional paring knife or pastry brush.

  1. Favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient to work with is chocolate. From baking to tempering – it is by far the most versatile and challenging ingredient to work with. Chocolate is more than just a cupcake flavor. It can be a massive showpiece you’ve worked on for months, or it can be molded into the perfect bonbon. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Favorite City to dine out in?

My favorite city to dine out in is actually the city I work and live in; Utica, New York. Some of my favorites restaurants here are The Tailor and the Cook, Mötus, and The Local Farm to Table.

  1. Best Dish you have ever made?

One of the best desserts I have ever made was a Valentine’s special a few years ago while working at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, for a restaurant called TS Steakhouse. The dessert consisted of layers of champagne bavaroise and strawberry curd over a chiffon base filled with a blood orange and champagne insert that sauced the plate when you cut into it. I made the insert using a technique called Spherification, where you create a chemical reaction by adding calcium lactate to the blood orange sauce and freezing it in small half sphere molds, then putting the frozen spheres into a sodium alginate bath which creates a thin skin around the insert while the center stays completely liquid.

  1. Who would you most like to cook for?

The person I would most love to bake for is Chef Dalia Jurgensen. I read her book in 2012 when I was a few years into my career and questioning why I was working in this industry. Her book solidified in me that crazy love for whatever being a Chef means. She is an amazingly talented Pastry Chef and instructor who inspired me to stay focused and work hard instead of walking away from the industry that I love so much. I would love to be able to sit down and swap kitchen stories and learn a t

hing or two from one of the greats.

  1. What made you decide to become a chef?

My parents inadvertently made me want to become a Chef. I’ve always loved art, drawing and painting. I wanted to go to school for art, but my parents were worried I would end up being a starving artist and told me how much I would struggle in an oversaturated field of work. I’ve loved all things food since I can remember, and I figured the closest thing to a career in art I could really succeed in was Pastry Art, so I ended up going to culinary school. It was by far the best decision I have ever made.

Connect with Our February Chef of the Month:

Instagram: @pastrykhaleesi

January 2018 Chef of the Month John Charles

 

Meet Chef John Charles, we’re happy to introduce him as our January 2018 Chef of the Month! Chef John attended Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas and worked in various Italian restaurants in New York to perfect his craft. Our January 2018 Chef of the Month is now a private chef located in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, specializing in Italian cuisine. Read more below about Chef John Charles and his advice for current and future chefs.

 

 

1. Where were you born?

I was born in Utica, New York.

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

I am a private/personal chef out of Garland, TX. Serving the Dallas and surrounding areas. I also work as a manager for Sur La Table helping customers with their cooking needs.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool to use while creating your masterpieces/dishes?

My pasta machine! I love using my Kitchen Aid pasta machine attachment. The tool is made in Italy and well made, enabling me to make sheets of pasta at a quick rate.

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

I would say my sense of taste. I had a lot of help refining my taste while attending Le Cordon Bleu. As a Chef, I am always tasting and adjusting until I get it just right.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Determination, and never give up. There will be ups and downs but always trust in yourself and trust in the process. Fight for what you want and always keep your standards high. Your name is on that plate, show the world who you are.

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

Taste your food throughout! When cooking pasta always cook it a minute or two less and never cook it with oil in the water. The pasta will continue to cook after it has come out of the water and if you add oil to the water the sauce will not stick to the pasta.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means authentic. If I am eating Italian, I want to feel like I am in Sicily. Food is an experience and brings people together. Whether I am cooking for someone, or eating myself I want it to do just that.

8. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? 

I like long sleeve coats that are crisp and professional. I like color to add some personality with the standard pocket on the left arm.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I really like cooking with wine. From a great Bolognese to a delicious risotto, wine really helps give another depth of flavor.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

I live a few minutes from Dallas, so I’d have to say Dallas. Dallas has so many great places to dine out. No matter what your craving you’ll find something great in Dallas.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

One of my signature dishes is a play on an old-world recipe for meatloaf. It’s an Italian Florentine meatloaf. That dish gets requested quite a bit. I also really like making Veal Marsala. I love the flavor the marsala wine gives the dish. A very elegant meal.

12. Who would you most like to cook for?

That’s a tough one. I would like to cook for Giada De Laurentiis, Gordon Ramsey, and from a different side of things, Clayton Kershaw of the LA Dodgers.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

I have always had a love for wanting to cook and cook the best most authentic food I could. My Mom’s side of the family was from Sicily, and Italy so that’s where my passion for that cuisine came from. I would buy every cookbook I could on Italian food and study as much as I could. When I got the opportunity, I went to Le Cordon Bleu and learned from a lot of great people. Cooking for people is what I love.

Connect with Our January Chef of the Month:

Website: https://www.chefjohncharles.com/

Instagram: @chef_john_charles

Facebook: Chef John Charles

Twitter: @chef_john_charl

November 2017 Chef of the Month Jonathan Scinto

 

Introducing our November Chef of the Month, Jonathan Scinto! Scinto is a Private Chef & TV Personality born in Queens, New York. Notably featured on “MasterChef,” “Rooftop Chopped,” and “Iron Chef Showdown,” to name a few. Currently,  Jonathan is the owner of Chef Jonathan’s Private Parties & Events and lives on Long Island with his wife and their 3 daughters.

 

1. Birthplace:

Queens, NY

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

I work all over the United States as a Private Chef. I am based on Long Island, NY in a mid-size town called North Bellmore.

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

My Ninja Food Processor, my Chef Knife from Kayne Custom Knives, Chicago Cutlery Knives, my Plating Spoons from Chef Spoons and Plating Gold Tweezers from TrueCooks.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Stay humble and dedicated, don’t let rejection and negativity get in the way of your culinary goals.

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

Only use recipes as a tool for research, don’t be afraid to think outside the box to create your own cuisine.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your Chef outfit?

Comfort and styling.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Fresh Herbs and Spices

8. Favorite City to dine out in?

NYC.

9. Best Dish you have ever made?

Hard to narrow it down to one, but I like to cook Italian comfort food with Asian Influences. I’m doing a cuisine I invented called “Itasian”, which was first introduced at the Food Network Rooftop “Chopped.”

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

My local pizza place called Calabria Pizza

11. Who do you enjoy cooking for?

Family and Friends.

12. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?

Mind of a Chef, anything Disney, Marvel movies, and classic TV shows from the 50s-90s.

Connect with Our November Chef of the Month:

Website: https://chefjonathans.wixsite.com/jonathanscinto

Instagram: @chefjonathans

Facebook: @ChefJonathanS

October 2017 Chef of the Month Eddie G

Introducing our October Chef of the Month Edward Gallagher III aka Chef Eddie G! Chef Eddie is an American Chef, author, TV personality, born and raised in New York City. His long list of accomplishments includes being an alumnus of Johnson & Wales University of Culinary Arts, owning five restaurants, and cooking in the last eight NFL Super Bowls! Read more below about Chef Eddie G and we’re beyond honored to welcome him to the ChefUniforms family!

 

1. Birthplace:

Manhattan, NYC

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

I have been fortunate to travel and cook, filming my experiences for the last 10 years. I would say New York would be home base.

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

My favorite tool in the kitchen is probably an emulsion blender, but great knives and sauté pans are important as well.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I tell everyone who is interested in becoming a cook and eventually a Chef that the business is tough, with long hours, but is the most amazing experience to nourish and please other humans with great fresh ingredients.

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

Tips that every cook or chef should know is number one, clean as you go and number two learn correct temperatures of meats and fish and how to pan sear an item.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your Chef outfit?

The most important feature when selecting a Chef outfit would be comfort, it’s very important to be comfortable in clothes you are in 12 hours a day most of the time warm environments.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient would be things I find as I travel, food items indigenous to the area I’m at, Southern Spain has a ‘Roff Tomato’ that I loved cooking with, in Haiti the diri ak djon djon mushroom was amazing to cook with as well. Siracha would be the easy answer.

8. Favorite City to dine out in?

Wow so many, Barcelona Spain – wine & tapas, Negril Jamaica – Jerk Chicken & Red Stripe or Minsk Belarus for draniki & vodka.

9. Best Dish you have ever made?

Best dish I ever made would be Cajun Catfish with a Shrimp Cous Cous and charred asparagus, my mom & dad loved it!

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

Ah, the place I eat most often would probably be local fresh sushi or pizza.

11. Who would you like to cook for? 

I have been so lucky to cook for so many pro athletes, celebrities and actors but the people I love to cook for are my friends and family and anyone who needs a meal. I try to do volunteer work whenever I’m free and there is nothing like cooking food for someone that needs nourishment.

12. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?

Other than sports, I don’t spend much time watching TV.

Connect with Our October Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.chefeddieg.com/

Instagram: @chefeddieg

Twitter: @EddieGChef

September 2017 Chef of the Month Michelle Sohan

 

Chef Michelle Sohan based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago runs her own bakery where she is the lead cake artist and designer. It was a treat to learn more about Chef Michelle and chat about how she designs her stunning sweet treats. So without further ado, we’re happy to introduce you to Michelle Sohan, the September Chef of the Month!

 

1.Birthplace:

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

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

I own my bakery, Bakery Treatz, where I am also the Lead Cake Artist and Designer.

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

I love working with the basic modeling tools, as I can create almost any shape or structure. When I started, and even now, I have to be as creative as possible, as many cutters and modern tools are not always available when needed, and very costly to ship last minute into the island. So I improvise! And that’s been the best training for me.

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

Has to be both sight and taste!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 

There’s no easy way to become a professional, take your time to develop your talents, be nice to others in the industry,  and remember, we never stop learning!

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

Learn your ingredients, so you know how to find that perfect balance when using them, from colors, textures, and taste.

7. What does good food mean to you? 

Oh! Good food to me means finding the flavors in harmony with each other from the first bite! I absolutely appreciate when there is a thought process combining ingredients.

8. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? 

I have to feel comfortable in how I look and how it fits! I’ve actually been wearing ChefUniforms.com jackets for the last six years! And I recommend to all my colleagues as they’re always complimenting me.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Spices and herbs, cardamom, nutmeg, bay leaf, ginger, basil, and turmeric.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Chicago and more recently, Miami, especially the new Wynwood district. My favorite pastry chefs include Stephane Treand in Costa Mesa, California, Antonio Bachour in Miami and in Trinidad, Chef Josef Habr, who makes the most delicious Lebanese food.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

Spiced Trini Rum Cake (recipe coming soon!)

12. Who would you like to bake for?

I would love to bake for the Wounded Warriors Project after meeting one of their reps at a cake convention in Virginia recently. It is one of my goals after I compete this upcoming October in Milan, Italy, at the Cake Designers World Championships.

13. What made you decide to become a chef? 

I actually had never liked being I the kitchen whilst growing up! In fact, my two sisters were the cook and baker, I did all the other chores, like making the beds etc. But I had a very serious accident whilst at work, and I was just finishing my masters in Food technology at our local university. Our faculty had a bake sale, and I took my sister’s cakes, which sold out immediately, and everyone came asking to place orders! That’s when it happened, I said yes I do! And I’ve never stopped since! It’s like a switch you can’t turn off, everything around me I use as inspiration.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Website: BakeryTreatz

Instagram: @bakerytreatz

 

August 2017 Chef of the Month Lauren Lawless

 

 

compilation_images_ipadDefault@2x.jpg

Chef Lauren is wearing Coat #83315 in Black with Hot Pink

We’re so excited to introduce our newest addition to our Chef of the Month program, Lauren Lawless! Our August chef is self-taught and owns her mark as being an out-of-the-box, “unique” chef for the modern, ever-changing consumer. Chef Lauren is a mother who manages a full-time job, as she finishes her bachelor’s degree in business, all while breaking into the food industry. Watch Chef Lauren compete on MasterChef season 8.

Read more about Lauren below and shop her look!

 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Orange County but I grew up in San Diego my entire life.

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

I work for Accredited Debt Relief I am in a senior account executive and I help people become debt-free, we are based out of San Diego.

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

I love a good cast iron skillet and a high-quality sharp knife.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t be scared to take risks, be creative, try new flavors, textures and techniques. Plus, always make your creation your own, be original because it will set you apart.

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

I think all chefs should master how to chop and how to perfectly cook your protein.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

When I am picking out my chef outfit, the three most important things to me are fit, comfort, and style.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I really like working with different global spices such as turmeric, ginger, and saffron. I also love all kinds of pepper, fresh herbs, and chili peppers.

8. Favorite City to dine out in? 

San Diego of course and Las Vegas.

9. Best Dish you have ever made? 

Halibut with creamed corn.

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

A few of my favorite restaurants in San Diego – Mr. Sushi, Costa Brava, Arrivederci and C Level & Island Prime.

11. Who would you like to cook for?

Oh, I would love to cook for Anthony Bourdain or Wolfgang Puck

12. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue? 

Some of my favorites are Chopped, MasterChef, Anthony Bourdain, Chefs Table, Bizzare Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Burnt.

Connect with Our August Chef of the Month:

Website: https://www.cheflawless.com/home

Instagram: @chef_lawless

Twitter: @chef_lawless

July 2017 Chef of the Month John Offerdahl

Offerdahls Pic 1John Offerdahl began his professional football career in 1986, when he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round. John was an inside linebacker, and had an extremely successful professional football career spanning a total of 8 years. He founded his first restaurant, Offerdahl’s Bagel Gourmet, while he was still playing football professionally, igniting his passion of freshly made food eventually leading to the creation of his quick-service chain of restaurants now known as Offerdahl’s Off the Grill.

Recently we had the opportunity to speak with John and we’re so thrilled to have him as our July Chef of the Month. Check out our visit to Offerdahl’s Off the Grill!

Keep reading to learn more about his time on and off the grill, and words of wisdom for future chefs looking to enter the industry.

1. After your incredibly successful career in professional football, what got you interested in the food business?

I was in the midst of contract negotiations with the team – actually the longest holdout in Miami Dolphins history – and during that time my wife Lynn and I started doing research into the food business, especially bagels, knowing that my professional career could potentially end at any moment! We happened to be in the market at a time when new technology, including a new type of bagel-manufacturing machine that made the process much more efficient and cost-effective, was revolutionizing the industry by combining two separate processes into one. We asked our lawyer at the time if we should really attempt to enter the restaurant business, and he began asking us questions: Where did we grow up? Do you have any previous restaurant experience? Business experience? It became painfully clear that we had all the wrong answers to these questions. Despite that, he later sent us a package saying his answer was inside, and low-and-behold it was a bagel toaster.

2. Tell us a about your restaurant, Offerdahl’s Off the Grill.

We are a fast-casual diner specializing in providing fresh, healthy choices that let you leave feeling refreshed, not weighed down! Since our founding in 2000, we have grown to six stores around South Florida.

3. What is your favorite hobby/pastime to participate in outside of work?

Bridge. I love the game and it is by far one of my favorite pastimes. I play every Wednesday with a group of four close friends. It gets extremely competitive and I absolutely love it! It keeps my mind sharp.

4. How many employees do you have at your stores?

We have more than 120 employees across our six stores.

5. What made you choose Chef Uniforms as your uniform supplier for over 120 employees and are you satisfied with the service you have been provided?

We are not only beyond satisfied, we love them! I walk into our stores and I am so proud of the way my employees look. A combination of factors – the branding, the embroidery, the styling, it just all comes together really nicely. I wear mine almost every workday! They hide grease and stains really well, especially due to the dark colors we chose. Most importantly though was the customer service Chef Uniforms provided. My wife Lynn said she was so impressed by how responsive you guys were as a company and by how well we were able to work together as partners to create this uniform line.

6. What is your favorite/best dish you have ever made?

The Inside Lineburger! I love making them because I can customize it with whatever ingredients I want in the burgers, creating new tastes and flavors! The largest one I’ve ever made was about the size of my grill!

7. Tell us a little about the charitable work you do.

Working through a charitable Foundation I created called the Handoff Foundation, we assist in enabling the homeless to get off the street and focus on rebuilding their lives. We also host an annual charity event called the Gridiron Grilloff – a premier venue where football and food meet. As a food, wine, tailgate festival, it is a fun way to support the less fortunate by bringing together professional Dolphins players with some of South Florida’s best professional chefs!

8. What’s the best piece of advice you would give aspiring chefs?

The best piece of advice I could give to people considering entering the restaurant business would be to keep your 40 hour a week job and spend another 20 hours on top of that in working in the food industry. Not only will that give you appreciation for what working in food is like, but it will also give you an idea of how much time is required for a successful career in the restaurant industry. 60-hour work weeks are not only common, but nearly required for success! Also, I’m a big believer in pursuing your dreams, because after all, who would have thought I could have entered the bagel business!

Stay connected with our July Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.offerdahls.com/

Instagram: @johnofferdahl

Twitter: @GridironGriller

June 2017 Chef of the Month Marcela Ferrinha

Picture 2

Chef Marcela is wearing Chef Uniforms Coat #83511

Summer is about to get a lot sweeter with our June Chef of the Month, Marcela Ferrinha! A Brazilian native who now resides in Utah as a pastry chef that specializes in delicious vegan desserts. Read more about her life and pastry chef expertise below and make sure stay tuned all month long to see her tasty and delightful creations!

 

1.Birthplace:

I was in born Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I moved to the U.S. ten years ago – on June 1st.

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

I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have a business called The Sweet Brigadier, where I work as a private catering chef.

I am also a pastry chef at Zest Kitchen & Bar in downtown Salt Lake. In 2016, we won 5 awards from a local newspaper, one being Best Vegan Restaurant and we got awarded third place for best dessert in the state of Utah.

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

My offset spatula, I use it for everything!  Also, the oven without it, I can’t make most of my creations.

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

Vision, I eat with my eyes first!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

You have to read and study a lot – it is like being a doctor – researching and trying new things all the time. Change recipes. Modify everything. Even if you want to change a regular recipe into vegan or vegetarian – you make something totally new and awesome. The more knowledge you have, the better your creations will be.

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

How to make rice, not everyone knows how to do that, also cook eggs. I am terrible at that because I don’t eat them, so it’s hard for me to cook them. For pastry chefs, tempering chocolate, the more you practice the better you get. It is very tricky.

7. What does good dessert mean to you?

A good dessert has balance in the flavors and sugar. I eat a lot of sweets, but sometimes you go to bakeries and the desserts look beautiful, but you take a bite and can’t eat it because is terribly sweet, and you can’t distinguish the flavors in it.

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

I like colors. I have a lot of colorful ones from Chef Uniforms, I have the white with pink buttons, polka dots light pink, green, purple, white and now I got an orange one.

I also like the ones with light fabric and they have to have long sleeves. They need to be extra small, I don’t like the “baggy” ones.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Chocolate. I have 55 different flavors of my chocolate truffles, it is my specialty. I love mixing strawberry and chocolate together, that pair is always good.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Sao Paulo in Brazil. You can find any kind of restaurant there. New York City, it is very similar.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

My chocolate truffles are super popular, my clients love them. I also made a vegan chocolate pot de crème with salted caramel popcorn once that was amazing!

12. Name someone you’d love to cook for.

People who appreciate service and good food. Sometimes it is hard to cook for people who don’t care about that. It is really nice to get compliments and know when people love your food and appreciate that.

If it were to be a famous person, I would love to cook to Mario Francesco Batali or Gordon Ramsay. It would be scary to hear their feedback but I think they would teach me a lot of things just by trying my food.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I moved here, the only two things I knew how to cook were rice and ham & cheese sandwich (LOL). At that time I was working as a trainee in management in a country club in Florida, in their restaurant. And I was pretty much eating only bread and a lot of fast food.

On my days off, I was bored at home, so I asked the chef there if I could come in and help them in the kitchen. My first day, I cut all my 10 fingers. So, the chef asked me to do the dessert and salad stations, was when I felt in love for sweets. Also, I gained a lot of weight of my bad eating habits, so I was kind of forced to learn how to cook.

Want to get to know Chef Marcela more? Connect with her online!

Website: http://www.thesweetbrigadier.com/

Facebook: The Sweet Brigadier Chocolate Truffles

Instagram: @thesweetbrigadier

Twitter: @SweetBrigadier

Shop her look!

%d bloggers like this: