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June 2017 Chef of the Month Marcela Ferrinha

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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!

May 2017 Chef of the Month Aryen Moore-Alston

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Chef Aryen is wearing ChefUniforms style 83355 in Black with White

Hooray for the Month of May! We’re excited to introduce our May Chef of the Month, Aryen Moore-Alston! Tune in this month for eclectic recipes and exciting exclusives like Chef Aryen featured on TV and even more. Read more below to find out more about our beaming May Chef of the Month!

 

1. Birthplace:

I was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. But I was raised in Naples, Italy and spent 12 years of my life there.

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

I am based out of Memphis, Tennessee. I work at Sweet Potato Baby which is a catering and baked goods company and café where I am the owner and executive chef.

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

My Sous Vide machine and kitchen tweezers.

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

Taste. Definitely taste.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I like to relate it to the movie Finding Nemo, when Dory tells them to “Just keep swimming.” There are so many setbacks in this profession and all you can do is just keep swimming and trek forward. If you don’t get the dream job or you don’t like what you are doing right now just keep swimming and go after that goal. There is so much competition I always say infuse your personality into your cuisine.

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

Learn the basics. Know your sauces you can always start a great dish or meal with a good sauce. Oh, and keep lemons on hand.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food means love. There is not one thing that I can say about dining that doesn’t take me back somewhere, whether it is eating with my cousins at my grandma’s house. Food is the way I show love. Food is my soul and it warms my soul and gives me a natural high. This is one of the few careers that you still touch with your hands. I love when people say they love my food. It makes me want to be better and try harder with every dish.

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

Definitely the style. I am a female and normal chef coats can swallow the female shape. I don’t want to look like a man in an industry dominated by men. I do the same thing as men but I want to feel pretty. I want to feel like a female. So the most important thing is my coat having great style, cut to accent my figure, and the perfect fit. The fabric also needs to breathe and feel good.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Oh gosh, that is so hard. You can’t go wrong with garlic. Garlic is a staple ingredient in most of my dishes. Oh, and I love salmon. Salmon is my all-time favorite; it brings out so many different flavors. Salmon and garlic.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

New York, ah you know what I am going to have to go with L.A. Los Angeles is bringing so many new and different flavors, cuisines, and you can find any type of food you want.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Oh wow- whoa. One of the best dishes I think I’ve ever made has to be recent. It was a Rosemary scented lamb with a mint pea puree. I made it for my Valentine’s Day Chef’s Table. It was definitely the most amazing lamb I have ever made. I was like, “oh yea, I just rocked it.”

12. Person you would most like to cook for?

I’d really like to cook for my dad again.  He passed away when I was 11 years old. He is the one I’d love to have one more meal with. He taught me how to cook. I’d like to just make a smorgasbord of food for him from different countries from all over the world. The way I found him and his death was very traumatic for me but he is the reason I cook now so I’d really like to just dine and sit with my dad and have one last meal together.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

Passion and realizing that nothing else was making me happy. I have a BS in computer science and have worked in several industries. After appearing on Food Network Star, Season 10, I came to the realization that I love to cook and share my food with people. I am a giver and this is my way of giving to others. I realized I had to become a chef because by not doing it I was holding back sharing something amazing with the world.

Want to hear and see more of Chef Aryen? Connect with her online!

Website: http://www.sweetpotatobaby.com/

Facebook: Sweet Potato Baby

Instagram: @sweetpotatobabyco

Twitter: @SweetPotatoBC

Shop her look!

Chef Carter’s Flank Street Tacos

Prepare yourself because we’re talking tacos! There are tacos and then there are TACOS. This recipe is the real deal, so it’s time to say no to drive-thru tacos or the ones out of the box. Get excited and ready for a flavorful recipe that comes from Chef Carter, a Texas native and our April Chef of the Month. These Flank Street Tacos will live on as your go-to on Taco Tuesday.

Street Tacos

Flank Street Tacos

Ingredients:

1 pound of flank steak, tenderized

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Canola oil

Garnish:

½ medium white onion, diced

½ cup cilantro, chopped

Queso Fresco cheese (white Mexican cheese)

Wedge of lime
Corn Tortillas

Heat grill to high heat.

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and chili powder. Rub/pat mixture generously over steak then sprinkle garlic on meat. Drizzle with Canola oil.

2. Grill steak on high heat searing both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Steak should look brown. Move steak to another burner on low and let sit another 3 minutes on each side until internal temp reaches 130-140 degrees.

3. Remove meat from heat. Let rest 5-10 minutes.

4. Chop/dice onion. Chop cilantro.

5. Warm tortillas on the grill or on a stovetop in a pan.

6. Cut meat in strips or bite sized pieces against the grain of the meat. Place meat on tortilla and garnish with onions, cilantro, and cheese, to taste. Can place the lime wedge on side or squeeze over mixture before you roll up the tortilla.

Tacos are popular in my house and in Austin, we have a lot of food trucks that serve any kind of taco you can dream up. These Flank Street Tacos are so easy to make and taste so good!

Shop ChefUniforms.com now! Keep in touch with Carter, our April Chef of the Month and see all the amazing things he has coming in his future!

Instagram: @chef.carterhull

Twitter: @chef_carterhull

Chef Carter’s Southwest Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are making a comeback, we’ve been seeing them on menus left and right. But our Chef of the Month, Carter’s recipe will make you rethink traditional deviled eggs and will have you dying to try tons of deviled egg variants. I mean, let’s be honest, it is not a party unless someone brought the deviled eggs. Try these out on your friends and family and you’ll surely be adding them as one of your regular go-to recipes!

Deviled Eggs

Southwest Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

6 eggs

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Salt, to taste

Ground pepper, to taste

2 large avocados

1 tablespoon of prepared Picante Sauce

Garnish: Paprika, Fresh cilantro (if desired)

For the Eggs:

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with enough water to cover the top of the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.

Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half, removing yolks to a bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

For the Guacamole:

Cut open the avocado in half, length wise, and remove the seed. Then scoop the avocado out of the skin. Dice the avocados into cubes. Using a fork mash the avocados into a paste. Add picante sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Putting it all Together:

Add the guacamole into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Place the yolk mixture into a pipping bag or a zip lock bag with the tip cut off. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites, garnish with paprika and serve. Place a little cilantro on the side for color.

Deviled eggs are a great thing to serve. Since I am from Texas, we like to serve guacamole on everything. One day, I decided to mix them together and my family loved the flavor.

Want to see more of Jr. Chef Carter’s recipes? Connect with our April Chef of the Month here:

Instagram: @chef.carterhull

Twitter: @chef_carterhull

Chef Carter’s Smoked Gouda Fundido

As the temperature outside rises, so do the number of invitations to BBQs, pool parties, and potlucks. This Smoked Gouda Fundido recipe from our April Chef of the Month, Carter Hull is the perfect party appetizer! No need to spend the extra money on food platters or time on elaborate dishes, this recipe is simple and combines outstanding Southwest flavors. Plus, it is a definite crowd pleaser and marvelous for sharing.

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Smoked Gouda Fundido

Ingredients:

8 oz Gouda cheese (I use a Dutch Gouda by Mill Dance)

4 oz cream cheese

4 oz sour cream

4 oz mayonnaise

5 strips of bacon

2 oz green chilies

1 tablespoon pimentos

1 teaspoon garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions:

1. Cook bacon.  Pat dry and then crumble into small pieces. Set aside.

2. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Add minced garlic to the saucepan and cook until golden brown. Set aside.

3. Grate Gouda into a medium bowl. Add cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. Mix together. Slowly add crumbled bacon, green chilies, pimentos, and garlic to the gouda mixture. Mix until well until combined.

4. Pour into individual ramekins. Put ramekins into the oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Note: Fundido makes a great appetizer. The individual ramekins are nice for parties because you can place them in different locations so everyone is not gathered around the same dish.

Love Jr. Chef Carter’s recipes? See more of our April Chef of the Month here:

Instagram: @chef.carterhull

Twitter: @chef_carterhull

April 2017 ChefUniforms First Junior Chef of the Month Carter Hull

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Junior Chef Carter Hull is wearing Uncommon Threads Coat Style #426.

Spring is in full bloom and we’re thrilled to announce our April Chef of the Month – Junior Chef Carter Hull! Chef Carter is 13-year-old from Austin, Texas who shows us all you are never too young to be passionate, positive, and chase your dreams. Although Chef Carter is young in his career, he has been very successful, speaks eloquently and is wiser beyond his years! Plus, he tears it up in the kitchen, this is going to be a month of food you won’t want to miss. Read more about our first Junior Chef below and stay tuned for some of his amazing recipes!

 

 

1. Birthplace:

I was born in Austin, Texas. I currently live in Austin and am in 7th grade.

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

  • I am a twin, we are fraternal so we don’t look alike plus we have nothing in common not even hobbies. We are basically complete opposites.
  • I am involved in student council a lot and I am also a boy scout, whenever we go on campouts everyone always asks if I can cook. I usually I say no because I don’t want to be a full-time chef on cookouts.
  • I am starting to learn how to speak Chinese, not a lot of people know this because most people learn how to speak Spanish.

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

I would probably say my chef knife and my cutting board. The dishes that you are cooking always vary but your chef knife and cutting board stay the same. I feel like they are really important and my favorite tools to work with.

4. What are some cool things that have happened to you since you were on Kids BBQ Championship?

The biggest thing that happened was that my school district asked me to create a barbecue sauce recipe that they wanted to use. So I did that and now all the middle and high schools in my district use my barbecue sauce recipe, I am known as the BBQ guy.

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

I think probably my sense of smell. You only have one pair of eyes but your sense of smell is like having eyes on the back of your head in the kitchen. When cooking something, smell is really important.

6. What advice would you offer aspiring chefs?

I think the biggest piece of advice I would give aspiring chefs is to be you, be courageous and do what you are comfortable with. To start the best thing is to be you and put you on a plate. And as you get better and have more experience you can expand from that.

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

I would probably say learning how to make deviled eggs is important. It is pretty easy but you can do them so many ways and they are very versatile. Plus, regardless of your skill level, deviled eggs look fancy and sophisticated.

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

When I first started I stayed around aprons. But as I have grown a little as a chef, I moved over to chef coats because they look more professional. So right now, I am into the chef coats.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I think my favorite ingredient is probably potatoes. You can do a lot with them and they are a great ingredient to work with and to have in the kitchen. You can do so many things with potatoes, grill, roast, and go so many directions. I like to experiment with potato dishes.

10. Best Dish you have ever made thus far in your career?

That’s really hard. I think my family’s favorite dish is a dish I make and it is basically little steaks on top of potatoes with roasted asparagus. All of the components are simple but the way you put it together is what makes the difference. This dish is really elegant.

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

I think my family or younger kids. My family gives me good constructive criticism especially if I make something completely out there they still give me positives that it tasted good. Also, I like cooking for younger kids because I think it helps inspire them. Kids can do hobbies besides play sports and I think cooking is such a good skill to have. I like being a part of their culinary journeys.

12. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Well, I haven’t really thought that far. But I really see myself going back to basics, solidifying a good base of what I have done in the past 5 years. Go over what I do well and what I can improve on. For now, I am looking towards some kind of culinary school.

Stay tuned for more from Junior Chef Carter! Want to be our next Chef of the Month?  Apply here: http://bit.ly/2oOndGV.

Guest Recipe: Chef Ana Birac’s Planika Mousse, Jam and Candied Planika

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We will be finishing off the month of March with a sweet treat from our September 2016 Chef of the Month, Ana! As our first international chef from Croatia, Ana shared amazing flavors and techniques with us last year and this recipe is no different! If you are in need of a new dessert idea or want to try something fresh this recipe will not disappoint. It brings together flavor, elegance, and flair.

Planika is a Croatian seasonal fruit that grows in autumn. It looks very much like cherry tomatoes with small bubbles. It tastes something like a mixture of strawberries and raspberries. If you can’t find planika near you, substitute strawberries or raspberries for this recipe.

Ingredients

0.25kg Puff Pastry ≈ 8.8 ounces

0.5kg Planika ≈ 17.6 ounces

0.5kg Sugar ≈ 17.6 ounces

0.1kg Honey ≈ 3.5 ounces

0.25L Sweet Cream ≈ 1 cup

0.2L Yogurt ≈ 4/5 cup

0.1kg Butter ≈ 3.5 ounces

0.1L Triple Sec ≈1/4 cup

0.2L Prosecco ≈ 4/5 cup

0.2L Rum ≈ 4/5 cup

 

Directions:

  1. Roll out one thin crust of a puff pastry. Bake it in the oven about 15 minutes at 200⁰C (400⁰F). Leave it aside to cool down.
  2. Put water to boil. Add about half of planika and throw it in the boiling water and blanch for about 3 – 5 minutes (until if softens).
  3. Take it out and blend it. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. During that time mix sweet cream with 0.1kg (3.5 ounces) of sugar, honey and yogurt and keep mix it until you get nice and firm mixture, but it must be soft enough to mix with a spatula.
  5. Add cold planika and stir well.
  6. Spread that mixture over cold puff pastry and put it in the cooler for a couple of hours.
  7. While your cake is cooling down, take one clear pan and melt the butter and add in (0.2kg/7 ounces) of sugar.
  8. Mix it well until the sugar completely melts, then add in Triple Sec and Prosecco and cook until the alcohol evaporates.
  9. When that happens mix in the rest of planika and cook until planika falls apart. Then strain it through a sieve and leave it in the fridge until if firms up a little.
  10. Caramelize (0.1kg/3.5 ounces) of sugar.
  11. Add in Rum and mix it until you get a nice thick mixture. When it cools down, throw in the rest of planika and then roll it in the sugar.
  12. Move it from freezer to the fridge 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Do you want to be featured as our next ChefUniforms.com Chef of the Month? Apply here.

Chef Megan’s Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Hummus

Recipe10-All-NaturalRosemaryLemonHummusDip--800x533.jpgSpring is the perfect time to put all of your fresh ingredients to use. Our Chef of the Month, Megan wows us again with this fresh recipe. Not only is hummus a tasty treat, it also has a ton of health benefits. So get ready to hop into Spring with fresh food and spend less time preparing this dish and more time enjoying it with your friends.

Meyer Lemon & Rosemary Hummus

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty Level: Easy

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cooking Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of Tahini (you can find this in the international food section at most grocery stores)
  • Juice from 2-3 Meyer Lemons (OR 1-2 regular lemons if you can’t find Meyer Lemon which is a sweeter version of a traditional lemon)
  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs (a small box is plenty)
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Jars of White Beans – drained and rinsed
  • Sea Salt

You will need:

  • Food Processor

Directions:

  • Place Beans, ½ the lemon juice, tahini, sea salt, and 2 rosemary sprigs (minus the stem) in the food processor along with ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Puree and taste. For a creamier hummus, add an extra ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of tahini
  • For a healthier/skinny version, cut the olive oil and tahini by half
  • Place the hummus in a circular deep serving bowl. Top with olive oil, a little fresh squeezed lemon juice, and some whole fresh rosemary sprigs

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with grilled chicken & veggies
  • Serve as an appetizer at a cocktail party and pair with pita chips, pretzels, and fresh chopped broccoli, pepper, cucumber, carrot, etc.
  • Use as a topping for a Greek salad
  • Make it ahead of time and pack for a healthy snack at work/school/camp/etc.

Don’t wanna miss a thing from Chef Megan? Follow her here:

Website: www.forkthisdish.com

Instagram: @forkthisdish

Twitter: @ForkThisDish

Chef Megan’s Spicy Gorgonzola Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Spicy MashSweet potatoes were arguably one of the trendiest foods in 2016. We saw sweet potatoes on toast, as bread substitutes, puddings, and pies. But March Chef of the Month, Megan puts an amazing spin on the trendy potato. Warning – recipe below will induce hunger.

 

Spicy Gorgonzola Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Serves:  4-6

Difficulty Level:  Easy

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time:  Approximately 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 Large Yams or a bag of small Organic Sweet Potatoes
  • 5oz of a smoky blue or Gorgonzola cheese (For those feeling adventurous, go with something extra smelly. For a family or for a dinner party, go with something mild to medium)
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper (If you love heat as much as I do, sub the Cayenne Pepper for something spicier – I used Trader Joes Ghost Chile Pepper).
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of cream (I use a heavy whipping cream, but you could also use whole milk if you are looking to make it healthier)
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter – room temperature

You will need:

  • Food Processor
  • Large Pot filled half way with water
  • Knife

Directions:

  • Place a medium to large pot on your stove top, fill half way with water (enough to cover all the potatoes), add 1 teaspoon of salt, and turn on high to bring to a boil.
  • While the water is heating up, scrub the potatoes and peel off skin. Cut the sweet potatoes into small to medium even sized pieces.
  • Once water is boiling, add potatoes.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your potatoes.   Rule of thumb:  when you can use a fork and easily break a potato in half, they’re ready
  • Place all ingredients and the cooked sweet potatoes into the food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Pro Tip: Add salt/pepper/spice to taste – start slow and work your way up to the level you want. You can always add more, but if you make it too spicy right way you won’t be able to tone the heat down.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Top with roasted veggies for a hearty and filling Vegetarian Meal.
  • Serve alone as a side dish at your next dinner party.
  • Top with Scallops & Filet Mignon (pictured) for a romantic dinner or splurge meal.

Follow Chef Megan for more recipes:

Website: www.forkthisdish.com

Instagram: @forkthisdish

Twitter: @ForkThisDish

March 2017 Chef of the Month Megan Corcoran

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Megan is wearing ChefUniforms coat style 86515 in Pebble Grey w/ Black

The countdown to Spring has officially begun and we’re eager to introduce our March Chef of the Month, Megan Corcoran. A lover of fresh food, she has been cooking since high school and college but up until a year ago, she worked in Social Media, Marketing, and Sales. In the last year, Megan started her own website and company, auditioned and appeared on Food Network, and made numerous other television appearances. Her chef career has seriously taken off, read more about her success and life below and stay tuned for her amazing recipes throughout the month!

1. Birthplace:

I was born in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania. It is maybe an hour outside of Philadelphia.

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

I own my own website and soon to be catering company. It is called Fork This Dish. We are based out of Arlington Virginia.

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

I would definitely say my food processor more than anything. You can do anything with it. You can make sauces or purees. It is a great way to make bases for dishes. I used to never use it but slowly I started using it more and more. Now it has become a regular and I use it for everything.

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

Sight. I was a dancer my whole life. I don’t know what I’d do without visual keys and I think I have transferred that over to cooking. I see a dish first and then make it. I don’t think my presentation skills are the best they can be. But for me, the presentation of a dish is very important.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I did cook in a couple restaurants. But I really have no formal training outside of that. I had been thinking about starting this blog and business for years. I told all my friends I wanted to do it. But I never felt ready. Finally, I just did it and it has been an amazing year. I guess I would just say do what you want even if you don’t feel ready. I never learned how to cook on the news but I just went and did it.

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

I would say cooking eggs. That is a good place to start. It sounds crazy but a lot of people overcook them. Or they don’t know how to make different kinds of eggs like over-easy eggs. Cooking eggs is great practice, you can use different pans techniques. Eggs are a good place to start and a cheap way to mess up. Honestly, I have spent an entire day making eggs and watching Bobby Flay’s YouTube Videos on how to make perfect eggs. Whatever he does, I follow.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means fresh. I am very particular with where my food comes from. I think it is important to only buy organic and when I can I try and find it locally. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I do sometimes and I’m to the extent of on Thanksgiving my family and I go to a farm and pick our own turkey. I want to know where my food comes from. I don’t want to buy and eat food with chemicals, we should be more aware of what is in our food. For me buying fresh, organically, and local is good food.

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

When I cook, I really like being comfortable. I typically wear jeans or khakis. I used hard top shoes and wear a polo type shirt. For my chef coat, I like short sleeves with breathable material so it doesn’t get too hot.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I really like cooking with white wine. I just like putting wine in my food. Plus, I cook a lot of seafood and white wine is the perfect base for seafood.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

I was dying to leave and my friends will laugh when they read this, but hands down, the best food is in Philadelphia.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

For my final audition to make it on Food Network, I had to make a dish live. It was extremely nerve-wracking and I was just getting over being sick so I didn’t have time to perfect the dish or practice. But I had an idea and vision and it was the best dish I’ve made. It was a truffle corn puree with scallops and shrimp with a ton of butter, bacon and fresh truffle. It was insane, I wish I wrote down the recipe.

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

I work from home. So most days I cook for myself. But whenever I am home in Glenmoore. I go to Ron’s School House. It is so good, the food is fresh off the table and they have an extensive menu. They make this fresh pasta but also delicious carrot cheesecake.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I have two Food Network heroes. I have cooked for one of them but the other is Scott Conant. I would like to cook for him a lot, I think he is great.

14. What is new on your DVR?

So I pretty much religiously watch Chopped. The other thing I just finished watching was West World. It was so good but I just found out the next season isn’t coming out for another year and a half so I am pretty devastated. I might just re-watch the past season.

Want to see more from our March Chef of the Month? Follow Megan here:

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