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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

 

 

Chef Patty’s Margarita Cupcakes

IMG_1688Cupcakes are always a delicious sweet treat! Chef Patty has spiced up the cupcake game with her Margarita Cupcakes recipe! If you are looking for something delicious and festive, look no further than her special Margarita Cupcakes!

Margarita Cupcakes

 Ingredients:

1 C sugar

1/2 C all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)

2 large eggs

1 1/2 limes (zest and juice)

2 TBSP good tequila

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 C buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter

8oz block cream cheese (softened)

1TBSP heavy cream

3 C powdered sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Lime zest for garnish

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven 325 degrees F. and line cupcake pan with 12 liners.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.

3. Mix butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

4. Add lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (Batter will curdle, it’s normal and you’re on the right track!)

5. Add dry ingredients on low speed alternating with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour. Mix the last addition by hand with a spatula.

6. Bake for 25 minutes until a toothpick shows only moist crumbs. Rotate your pan at the half way point.

7. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5-10 min. Remove and place on cooling rack. Brush the tops with 1-2 TBSP tequila.

8. Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Directions:

1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar, salt and heavy cream. Blend well.

2. Add cream cheese and vanilla extract. Mix until frosting has reached desired consistency.

Shop her look!

Website: http://www.lunasweets.com

Instagram: @luna_sweets_

Facebook: Luna Sweets

Twitter: @Luna_sweets_

Youtube: Luna Sweets

Chef Patty’s Tres Leches Recipe

tres leches cakeIf you are looking for the perfect Spring dessert, look no further than Chef Patty Francis’s Tres Leches recipe! This recipe is full of flavor and personality!

Tres Leches

Ingredients:

6 large eggs

1.5 C sugar

2 C all-purpose flour

1 TBSP baking powder

1/2 C whole milk

1 TBSP vanilla extract

For the milk Mixture

1 can evaporated milk (12oz)

1 can condensed milk (14oz)

12 oz whole milk

1 tsp vanilla

For the Meringue garnish

4 oz egg whites

1 C sugar

1/2 C water

maraschino cherries (optional)

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks on separate bowls (you will use them both).

3. Place egg whites with 1/2 cup of sugar in electric mixer and beat on high speed until you reach soft peaks for the meringue. Place aside.

4. In a clean bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar (1C) with electric mixer on medium speed (4) until the mixture turns light yellow and ribbons fold on itself.

5. Using a strainer, mix together dry ingredients, flour, and baking powder. Stir in dry mixture to the eggs, alternating with the milk. Starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Add vanilla extract and do not over mix.

6. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites in 3 separate batches until the batter is uniform.

7. In a non-greased 9×11 pan, pour the batter and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

8. Once baked, poke holes in the cake with a skewer, knife or wooden spoon. Slowly pour the entire milk mixture over the cake. Cover with saran wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

9. Take the cake out of the refrigerator and frost with the meringue. You may garnish with maraschino cherries on top. Keep dessert refrigerated until ready to enjoy!

Milk Mixture Directions:

1. Pour all ingredients in a blender and mix well.

2. Place in sauce pan and warm the milk mixture on low until it is warm to the touch.

Meringue Directions:

1. Place water and sugar in a sauce pan and boil until it reaches 236°F (soft ball stage).

2. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites on high until soft peaks form.

3. Add sugar syrup slowly until all is poured in and continue whisking until the bowl is cool to the touch (this will take a few minutes)

Want to see more of our March Chef of the Month:

Shop her look!

Website: http://www.lunasweets.com

Instagram: @luna_sweets_

Facebook: Luna Sweets

Twitter: @Luna_sweets_

Youtube: Luna Sweets

 

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

Chef Amy’s Marshmallow Cream Macaron Filling

marshmallowcreamMarshmallow is a Spring staple for the upcoming Easter holiday! Chef Amy has shared a great recipe for light and fluffy Marshmallow Cream filling that will leave you wanting more!

Marshmallow Cream Macaron Filling

Ingredients:

4 Large Egg Whites

1 C Light Corn Syrup

1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar

1 1/2 C Granulated Sugar

1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt

2 Tsp Vanilla

1/2 C Water

Directions:

1. Place egg whites and cream of tartar in mixing bowl with whip attachment and mix on low.

2. In a sauce pot, bring corn syrup, water, vanilla, and sugar to 240°F.

3. Turn mixer up to high and stream sugar mixture into the egg white mixture.

4. Allow to whip until mixture is fluffy and cool to the touch.

5. Add Kosher Salt.

Love Chef Amy’s recipes? See more of our February Chef of the Month here:

Instagram: @pastrykhaleesi

Shop her look!

 

Chef Amy’s White Chocolate Passion Fruit Ganache

whitechocolateganacheSpringtime is full of fresh ingredients with bright flavors and colors. Our February Chef of the Month, Amy, shares some of her favorite recipes that will not disappoint! Try her recipe for White Chocolate Passion Fruit Ganache for Springtime parties and you will be sure to impress yourself and your guests.

White Chocolate Passion Fruit Ganache

Ingredients:

2 lb White Chocolate

1 lb Heavy Cream

4 oz Unsalted Butter

4 oz Passion Fruit Puree

.10 oz Sea Salt

Directions:

1. Boil heavy cream and passion fruit puree.

2. Pour over white chocolate and unsalted butter.

3. Immersion blend until smooth; finish with sea salt.

4. Portion into tart shells and refrigerate until set.

5. Finish and decorate as desired.

Love Chef Amy’s recipes? See more of our February Chef of the Month here:

Instagram: @pastrykhaleesi

Shop her look!

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

Chef John’s Asparagus Risotto

Asparugus RisottoThis is not your typical risotto. In fact, Chef John Charles’ Asparagus Risotto recipe features a combination of exhilarating ingredients. Another Italian recipe that you can knock your guests out of the park with. Devour the recipe below and stay tuned for Chef John’s final recipe next week.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias, set tips aside

¼ pound pancetta, small dice

1 quart of homemade chicken stock

1 ¼ cups of Italian arborio rice

Pinch of saffron

¾ cup of dry Italian white wine

2 tablespoons butter

¾ cup – 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

 Directions:

1. In a risotto pan or large skillet heat the olive oil over medium to just above medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the onion, garlic, and thinly sliced asparagus to the pan. Cook until onion softens, about another 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the arborio rice and stir constantly making sure to coat the rice evenly with the oil, about a minute.

4. Add the wine and continue stirring until wine evaporates. Start adding the stock a cup at a time, stirring constantly.

5. When the stock has been absorbed add another cup of stock and repeat this process until the rice is al dente. About 18-20 minutes.

6. About five minutes before the rice is al dente, stir in the asparagus tips.

7. Finish the risotto with butter, and then stir in the cheese and season to taste.

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

Chef John’s Beet Pasta

Beet pasta.jpgThis week, we’re thrilled to share a unique pasta recipe from our January Chef of the Month John Charles. Chef John Charles specializes in all aspects of Italian food. For a fun twist and color to homemade pasta, try this week’s featured recipe, Beet Pasta. Don’t forget to shop John Charles favorite chef coat here.

 

Beet Pasta Ingredients:

4 cups “OO” flour

1 large beet, roasted

4 large eggs

5 large egg yolks

Salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Clean the beet well and dry. Rub the beet with olive oil, and then salt. Roast the beet in the oven for 1 hour. Let cool, and remove skin. Puree the beet in a high-speed blender.

Make a mound on the table with the flour and make a well in the center. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and beet in a bowl and add to the well. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the egg mixture, and salt to the whole mound. Using a fork start taking a little flour at a time from the inner well and add it into the egg mixture, stirring to incorporate. Continue doing this until the mixture starts to form a dough. Using your hands brings everything together and knead the dough until smooth. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, wrap in plastic wrap tightly and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Once rested you are now ready to use the dough to make any pasta of your choice.

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

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

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