Tag Archives: chef coat

Interview with Chef David Blackmon

Chef David Blackmon has been a professional in the culinary industry for 19 years now, and currently works as the Program Administrator for Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Agricultural Sciences in the Chicago Public School System. His style of cooking has been known to have multicultural influences, including Southwestern, Italian, Southern and Asian. As October’s Chef of the Month, Chef David was happy to share some of the wisdom with us that he has gained over the years with his experiences in the field. Below, find our interview with the chef. To learn more about Chef David Blackmon, visit his website: www.chefdavidblackmon.com.

1.         What made you decide to become a chef?

In high school, I used to sell homemade cookies. I got a lot of good comments from people about them. Plus I found out it was a great way to get a girlfriend. So I pursued it when I graduated.

 2.         What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?

Culinary schools can be very expensive. I recommend that you try working in a kitchen for free (unpaid) to see if it fits first. If it still feels good, then go get professional training.

3.         What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?

Seek out and learn as much as you can from the best chef you can find that cooks the way you want to. Be humble.

4.         What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need?

I live in the Midwest, but love to cook with Seafood from Coastal regions. So getting them without all the up charges has been challenging. Man, I wish crabs and lobsters would grow in Lake Michigan!!!

5.         Has the price of energy and fuel affected your industry?

Yes it has. I fold the fuel charges into my food cost. I also joined a local CO-OP that increases my buying power for “green” cooking technology to add to my kitchen and save on energy.

6.         Do you see new dining trends surfacing?

Handcrafted DONUTS!!! & Food Trucks

7.         What fabric and style of chef coat do you enjoy wearing the most?

Style# 67518 in black with the roll-up sleeves, and Style# 63313 in white and black – when I want to get all fancy!

8.         Do you enjoy dining out on your free time?

Yes of course. I enjoy Sushi and Korean BBQ.

9.         Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?

No I don’t. I don’t mind saying this but my product is better than theirs. LOL!!

10.       Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?

I have a standard order for rotational inventory. But also like to visit the markets. I draw my culinary inspiration from what I see there, plus I get a chance to form face to face relationships with the vendors and farmers.

11.       How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?

First the kitchen staff, then I run it as a special, go out and touch the table to speak with the diners on the dish.

12.       Do you notice any resistance to the unhealthier dishes?

No. Butter, Fat and Sugar still rule my kitchen. But I do preach eating food in moderation.

13.       What is your advice for planning a menu for a new restaurant?

Try to incorporate costly protein items across the menu to 2 or more items so they don’t go to waste.

14.       Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?

Cook with your heart. If you put love into your food, it will be adored by others.

15.       Would you please send us a recipe?

Catfish Croquettes

  • 6 Cooked Catfish fillets, cooled, roughly chopped.
  • 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, fine diced
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded, deveined, finely chopped
  • 6 Green Onions, both green and white, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Old Bay
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 3 cups Corn flake crumbs

Mix first 9 ingredients and form into mini patties with 2 oz scooper. Roll in Corn flake crumbs. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Bake in 425 oven about 8 minutes until heated through. Serve with Fruit Salsa. Yield: 50 Pieces.

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 Red Pepper, fine diced
  • 1 cup Pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup Mango or Papaya, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 Red onion finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ¼ cup lime juice

Mix all ingredients. Chill. 

Yield: 1 quart

Enjoy National Egg Month!

May is National Egg Month, and we decided to use this opportunity to remind our loyal readers about the many benefits of eggs. Not only do eggs contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A, B6, B12, D and E, as well as iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and more), they are also only about 75 calories. In addition, they are a very inexpensive source of protein, and can be prepared in many different ways. Since tomorrow is Saturday, I thought it might be nice to give you some ideas for tomorrow’s breakfast (egg-inspired, of course). Bon Appétit!

  1. Fried Eggs – there are many ways to fry an egg, here are a few options below:

Sunny Side Up – only cook the egg on one side, the yolk and the white should still be a bit runny.

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Over Easy – cook the egg on both sides lightly. The yolk should be a little runny, and the white shouldn’t be fully cooked through.

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Over Medium – cook the egg on both sides. The yolk should be cooked but not completely solid and the white should be cooked all the way through.

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Over Well – cook on both sides until the yolk is solid.

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 Over Hard – cook on both sides with the yolk broken until it is hard.

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Overcooked – cook on both sides until the egg white and yolk are hard and starting to turn brown.

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2. Scrambled Eggs – mix the yolk and the whites (or just the whites if you want to be healthier about it) in the pan as it cooks, not allowing it to come together.

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3. Omelets – mix the yolk and the whites together before cooking, and let them solidify together when cooked. Add cheese, breakfast meats, veggies or whatever else you like with your eggs. Fold in half and enjoy!

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4. Hard-Boiled Eggs – boil an egg (still in its shell), until the yolk and white are solidified.

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5. Egg Salad – hard-boil some eggs, and then mash them up with some mayonnaise, celery, and spices to taste.

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These are just a few of the many different ways that eggs can be prepared, and I’m sure you’ll have a great breakfast ahead of you! If you cook your eggs a little differently, or if you have a recipe that you’d like to share, post it below and I’ll cook it! And don’t forget to throw on your chef coat before making your breakfast! Happy cooking!

A Gift for Father’s Day

Father’s Day. The third Sunday in June, when families come together and honor that person they so affectionately call dad. And how do we honor our dads? Presents! It is a proven fact that dads love presents. But what do you get for the guy who has everything? Isn’t it obvious? No, not another tie. Get him a brand new chef uniform from ChefUniforms.com! You might say, “But Father’s Day is just 4 days away! How can I order something online and expect to receive it by Sunday?” Well, with ChefUniform.com’s Express or Overnight Delivery, you can be sure your gift reaches its destination on time. And hey, there’s always his birthday!

Whether or not he’s a chef, a new chef uniform would make a great gift for any dad. You can embroider “#1 Dad”, “World’s Greatest Dad”, or even his name onto a new chef coat. Trust me, he’ll love the thought, and he’ll really love that he has one more thing that proves his greatness to all of the other dads in the neighborhood.

Another idea for a gift is a pair of slip resistant chef shoes. You don’t have to be a chef to wear them, and there are a number of uses for these shoes, only one of which involves the kitchen. In addition to the obvious kitchen use, you can wear slip-resistant shoes on a boat, in a hospital, on a running track, or anywhere else you can think of where you might be in danger of losing your footing. Of course, if your father is a chef, then what better way to say “I love you” and “I care about your well-being” than a good pair of don’t-slip-in-the-kitchen chef shoes?

Want to spoil your dad without spending too much money this holiday? Here’s a tip – the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to sweep dad off his feet:

  1. Start his day off right by bringing him breakfast in bed. Don’t forget the OJ!
  2. Cook him a big, juicy steak or burger, but add something new to the mix: find a recipe for an “ultimate burger”, or anything that is bacon-wrapped.
  3. Dads work hard all week; Fathers Day should be his day of rest and relaxation. Bring him his favorite beer and he’ll be your best friend.
  4. Take his favorite food and kick it up a notch. Deep-fry it or wrap it in bacon (again, bacon always gets a thumbs up), but whatever you do, don’t make it healthy! It’s his one day to eat like a king, so let him! His arteries won’t thank you, but his stomach and taste buds will.
  5. Take him to his favorite restaurant and surprise him with a meet and greet with the head chef, followed by a food tasting. If he loves food as much as we do, he’ll love every minute of it.

And remember, if you are going to buy him a gift, as much as dads love wearing ties, there is a limit to the number of ties a man can own, so stop buying ties for father’s day and start thinking outside of the box! Visit ChefUniforms.com for more gift ideas for this coming Father’s Day.

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