Tag Archives: Chef Jenn Louis

The Top tools for every professional Chef

Chef in kitchen on blog.chefuniforms.comHave you ever heard the saying “A Tool is only as good as the person using it?”

Every professional chef has their favorites that they just can’t live without! They will use these items over and over even when it’s falling apart or broken, until they are like, “okay, I have to replace them now!”

From all of our Chef of the Month interviews this year, one of our questions asked was “what is your must have kitchen tool for professional chefs?”

Here’s the list of their “must haves” that made our Chefs of the Month celebrated for what they do in the kitchen:

Chef Ron Duprat – Thermal Circulating Bath. It enhances the flavor, texture and aroma of dishes.

Chef George Duran – Pickle Picker. It is a device that has 3 prongs and so easy to use to get those must have pickles! I love the name and it is a tool that not everyone has.

Chef Jenn Louis – Bob Kramer’s Knife. “Bob Kramer lives in Olympia, Washington. He’s one of the only guys in the US who makes handcrafted knives of really high quality. (He has an interest in samurai sword-making and has made a few.) I met him at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in 2011. I told him I’d been wait-listed for years and that it was my birthday, and he made me a workhorse steel knife. He takes many, many layers of metal and puts them in a 2,300-degree kiln. His skill level is just phenomenal.”

Chef Brian Rutherford – Japanese Mandolin. It is a versatile veggie cutter and it cuts vegetables very thin and very fine like a julienne cut (cutting into long, thin strips, like matchsticks) and batonnet cut (another type of long strips).

Chef Anish Rana – Knives! I love Wüsthof knives which is a German brand.

Chef Jason Connelly – Spoons. I love my spoons like Banquet Spoons. They are versatile and can use them on fish and veggies and saucing.

Chef Lorenzo Boni – French Made Cast Iron Dutch Oven – I love the way it is designed and it cooks so easily and the food comes out great!

Chef Robyn Almodovar – Spoon. A nice tablespoon.

Chef Charlise JohnsonKitchenAid Mixer – they are so amazing. I make all kinds of things with it like dinner rolls and cupcakes. It makes life so much easier.

Chef Andrea Litvin – A Scale – I must know exact measurements down to the gram!

Chef Lisa Nakamura – A great pair of Knives – you can do anything with them. I like the brand, Global because they are easy to sharpen and maintain.

Chef Carlos Gaytan – Vitamix Blender. I can do many things with it like sorbets and purees.

Chef in kitchen on blog.chefuniforms.com

Professional Chef Knives seem to be the leading choice…..

We would like to know what are your favorites that you cannot absolutely live without in your kitchen?

 

A Chef and His Coat: The Perfect Pair

womens_coats

The chef coats that we know today are incredibly diverse and come in a myriad of patterns, cuts, colors, styles, and fabrics. While some chefs prefer to keep it more on the traditional side with a white coat, others like to add some spice in their wardrobe with bright colors. Fortunately, this wide range of options means that chefs can truly personalize their coats to fit their personal preferences and styles in the kitchen. For example, Chef Anish Rana, our June Chef of the Month, enjoys Poly Cotton mix and short sleeves: “Poly Cotton Mix – kitchen friendly material. I am a very hands on chef and work behind the line. I like to wear short sleeves. When they started making short sleeves, I was in heaven!” Other chefs, such as Chef Jenn Louis, prefer a more relaxed look, such as sporting a t-shirt with an apron accompanied by Dickies pants and clogs.

54318_HPBLAIn recent years, modern chefs take their everyday cosmopolitan, fashionable look and carry it into the kitchen. Many young, up-and-coming chefs show urban influences in their wardrobe with edgy cuts inspired by the runway and pop culture. A very popular color aside from the classic white is black, which gives chefs a modern, urban appeal. Skulls have even become a popular pattern for chefs to sport in the kitchen! Whatever your preference for uniform style and comfort may be, Chef Uniforms has a wealth of options to showcase your passion and creativity in your workplace!

Here are some historical facts found on Wikipedia about the chef coat and how its iconic image came about!

 

History

  • 165311_white6th century: Along with other artisans and free-thinkers in Europe, chefs faced persecution which forced them to seek refuge in monasteries where they adopted the clothing of the monks, such as toques (now known as “chef hats”) in order to fit in. Different heights of toques indicate rank within the kitchen – for example, the chef would have the tallest toque.
  • 19th century: Chef Marie-Antoine Carême redesigned chef uniforms in white to exude professionalism and cleanliness. During this same period, the chef and his staff began to wear double-breasted coats as another way to promote safety in the kitchen. This look stuck and is now the traditional garb we are familiar with today.

 

Features Chefs Love

Offering protection, durability, and functionality, chef coats are designed with these benefits in mind for their profession. Seemingly simple and sleek, the chef coats we are all familiar with today are designed with intricate detail and thought.

  • mens_coatsThe double-breasted look on chef coats was created so that chefs could simply reverse this double-breasted feature and maintain the look of cleanliness in the event that a spill were to happen on their coat.
  • The cloth buttons on the chef coat endure frequent washes and bleaches as well as the everyday wear-and-tear in the kitchen.
  • Chef coats are both insulating and heat protective – a true necessity.
  • Light, Textured Fabrics that include Mesh panels
  • Sleeves of varying lengths – long and short
  • Egyptian cotton is exclusively grown in Egypt (hence the name) and is known as the finest cotton in the world. This makes it a very popular for chefs who appreciate its strong yet soft fabric and high quality fibers. This reputation has put Egyptian cotton at the forefront for the past century-and-a-half as the highest lint quality available amongst world cottons.

As the culinary industry continues to grow, uniform designers like Chef Uniforms do their best to stay well-informed and design practical, comfortable, and fashionable coats that evolve with your profession and personal cooking style.

 Are there any styles or trends that you see emerging and would love to have? We are always open to ideas!

Chef Jenn Louis’ Culinary Treasures

Chef Jenn Louis - Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month April 2014Chef Jenn Louis is building her own culinary community in Portland, Oregon. Her leadership and culinary muscle has garnered attention on a national scale and allowed her to be a semifinalist for the 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest.” In 2012, the popularity of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern catapulted Louis’ presence on a national scale and she was named one of Food & Wine’s prestigious Best New Chefs. The following year, Jenn was selected as a cast member of season five of the hit Bravo TV show, “Top Chef Masters.”

When you go to each of her websites, you will be immersed in culinary visions of ecstasy! Their home pages include rotating images of delicious must-have dishes and make you immediately wanting to try them out. Let’s look at how it all started…..

 

~CULINARY ARTISTRY~

Website: http://www.culinaryartistry.net/

In 2000, Louis’ entrepreneurial spirit led her to open Culinary Artistry, a full-service catering company, providing everything from valet service to floral arrangements to an array of menu styles. Today, it is considered one of the top event planning companies in Portland. Here, she earned the respect and attention as a top Portland caterer.

 

~LINCOLN RESTAURANT~

Website: http://lincolnpdx.com/

Eight years later, in 2008, rooted by the myriad inspirations of their home, Louis and husband David Welch opened their first brick-and-mortar concept, Lincoln Restaurant. Lincoln is a balance between old and new, modern and classic, rustic and refined. Chef Jenn Louis’ menu takes its cue from the seasons, harvesting locally-grown Pacific Northwest ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated, yet honest fare. Her mix of fortitude and finesse immediately made Lincoln a standout in the Portland restaurant scene.

Kale Bagna Cauda

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound kale, thick stems removed
  • Chef Jenn Louis' Kale Bagna Cauda Recipe3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ teaspoons chili flakes
  • 3 small cloves garlic, sliced very thinly
  • 8 anchovies, packed in olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Method:

Blanch the kale in salted boiling water until it is wilted and the chalky flavor disappears. Shock the kale in ice water until very cold. Remove the kale from the ice water and squeeze out all of the excess water. Slice the cooked kale into thick ribbons and set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil, butter, chilies, garlic and anchovies. With the back of a fork, break up the anchovies as the mixture warms. The flavors will meld and the anchovies will dissolve. Add the kale and warm through. Squeeze lemon over kale, season with kosher salt and pepper, and serve.

 

~SUNSHINE TAVERN~

Website: http://sunshinepdx.com/

The success of Lincoln was overwhelming, but it sparked an idea for her next venture. In the spring of 2011, Chef Jenn Louis and Welch launched their second restaurant, Sunshine Tavern, in the Southeast Division district of Portland. She and Welch sought to create a haven for both food enthusiasts and beverage connoisseurs, serving up soul-satisfying food, playful cocktails and an impressive selection of craft beers. For this quintessential tavern, Chef Jenn Louis created dishes that are comforting and unfussy, while using the highest quality ingredients available – a philosophy she has felt passionate about throughout her culinary career.

Chef Jenn Louis' Candied Hazelnuts from Sunshine TavernCandied Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

  • Curry Nuts
  • 2lbs hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ¾ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp black pepper, ground fine
  • 2 each egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks
  • 2.5 tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c brown sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix curry, cayenne, black pepper, salt and sugar together, then fold into egg whites. Stir in nuts and spread on a parchment-lined sheet pan in a single layer. Bake until coating is set. Immediately sieve brown sugar to finish. Let cool completely and store in airtight containers.

 

Sunshine Baked Eggs

Yield: 6 baked egg servings

Ingredients:

  • ½Chef Jenn Louis' Baked eggs with Tomatoes Recipe from Sunshine Tavern small onion, small dice
  • 2” piece of rosemary
  • 1 sage leaf
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • 1 quart whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand to leave chunky
  • 1T chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 black oil-cured olives, pitted and cut into halves
  • 12 large eggs
  • 6- 1/4” slices pancetta, seared in a pan
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees convection or 375 degrees non-convection. Over medium heat, saute onion, rosemary, sage, bay, and garlic, until onion is translucent and garlic is cooked through, but not brown. Add chili flakes and tomato and cook until sauce has reduced to medium thickness. Sauce should not be pasty or dry, nor watery. Season with chopped parsley, kosher salt and black pepper.

Place 1/4 c of tomato sauce in bottom of gratin dish. Crack 2 eggs on top of tomato sauce. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Bake for about 6 minutes in oven, covered, or until egg whites are barely cooked through.

Remove from oven, top with warm pancetta and serve.

 

April 2014 Chef Of The Month, Jenn Louis

Chef Jenn LouisChef Jenn Louis is consistent, simple and purposeful. This is the philosophy and approach that has propelled her to a culinary career spanning nearly two decades. After graduating from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, Louis traveled throughout Europe and North and South America, even settling in Southern Israel for several months to work on a dairy kibbutz. Upon her return to California, she learned of a job opening from a close friend cooking for an Outward Bound base camp deep in the North Carolina woods. Louis landed the job and after a few short weeks at the camp, she had an epiphany that cooking was her passion and could lead to a successful and fulfilling life-long career – something she had never considered before. Louis followed this dream all the way to the Western Culinary Institute of Portland, and shortly after began working as a line cook at the prominent Portland restaurant, Wildwood.

She successfully runs 3 businesses in Portland, Oregon: a full service catering company called Culinary Artistry, Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern. Just a few short months after opening Lincoln Restaurant, it was recognized as one of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Hot List” of 50 top new restaurants in North America, while Louis was recognized as a semifinalist for the 2010 and 2011 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northwest.” In 2012, the popularity of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern catapulted Louis’ presence on a national scale and she was named one of Food & Wine’s prestigious Best New Chefs. The following year, Jenn was selected as a cast member of season five of the hit Bravo TV show, “Top Chef Masters.” When not in the kitchen or planning events, Louis can be found traveling the globe with her husband, teaching cooking classes, playing the drums or spending time with her three cats, White Cat, Orange Cat and Wasco and sipping her favorite drink, Bourbon!

Congratulations Chef Jenn Louis on being our Chef of the Month for April and sharing with us your sunny personality!

 

1. What is the name of the Restaurant you work with and where are you based?

Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, Oregon 

 

2. What is your birthplace?

Pomona, California

 

3. What made you decide to become a chef?

I did not have a passion for cooking but after taking a job at Outward Bound base camp, I found my love for it. 

 

4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?

I love movies (documentaries, action movies, period films to name a few), working out, spending time at home as I am at the restaurant most of the time and travelling

 

5. What is your favorite social media platforms?

Instagram and Twitter

 

6. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

A really good knife – Bob Kramer’s knife. “Bob Kramer lives in Olympia, Washington. He’s one of the only guys in the US who makes handcrafted knives of really high quality. (He has an interest in samurai sword-making and has made a few.) I met him at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in 2011. I told him I’d been wait-listed for years and that it was my birthday, and he made me a workhorse steel knife. He takes many, many layers of metal and puts them in a 2,300-degree kiln. His skill level is just phenomenal.”

Bob Kramer knives

7. Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I do! I love to try different foods other than what I normally cook. I am pretty open-minded and like all types such as Asian, Italian, Indian to name a few.

 

8. What fabric and style of chef uniform do you enjoy wearing the most?

I normally wear a t-shirt, black dickies pants with clogs and a nice Blunt Roll apron.

 

9. Chef Jenn Louis’ Eggs and Beans Recipe with tomatoes, chipotle chilies and black beans

This is one of David’s and my favorite late night dinners. I can make it from start to finish in about 20 minutes, just enough time to drink a bourbon before dinner is served!

 Serves 2

1T vegetable oil

1/8 small yellow onion

1 small clove garlic, peeled

1/2 c whole peeled tomatoes

¼ c chicken stock

½-1 chipotle chili in adobo

2 t cumin, ground

1X 14-ounce can black beans, with liquidEggs and Beans_Jenn Louis

4 eggs

Salt

Lime

 

Garnishes:

Lime wedges

Cotija, crumbled or grated

Avocado, peeled and sliced

Cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Jalapeno, chopped finely

White onion, chopped finely

 

In a blender, finely puree onion, garlic, tomatoes, stock, chilies and cumin.

Heat oil in a 7 or 8-inch non-stick pan over medium high heat. Pour contents of blender into hot oil, season sauce lightly with salt and reduce sauce by half, about 3 minutes. Stir beans, un-drained, into sauce. Cook for 2 minutes to thicken sauce. Crack eggs into 4 corners of pan, not touching the sides of the pan, reduce heat to medium low and cover pan to bake eggs. Continue gently cooking until whites are set and yolks are runny. Serve with warm tortillas and garnishes.

 

~Her experience and advice~

10. How long have you been a chef and where did you study?

20 years. I studied at the Western Culinary Institute of Portland.

 

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

Go to college and also culinary school. Learn what you need to know to be good at what you do and then get hands on learning.

 

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

Commit to working at a restaurant no less than a year to see what the cyclical calendar looks like. 

 

13. Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?

Be open-minded. New cooks form opinions before they get experience and exposure to learning new techniques and styles.

 

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

I am lucky in this area. I have easy access to high quality meats and ingredients in Portland. Regarding seasonal ones, I purchase all over the country and there are so many more products from overseas available in the US, it is much easier to get them without any problems.

 

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

I travel a lot within the U.S. and outside of the U.S and get exposed to many ideas. I also use social media as well to see what people are sharing and talking about.

 

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

Yes and no. As I work 60 – 70 hours a week, my time is very valuable and I can’t always visit. Our local farmers in Portland send me emails letting me know what they have available and there is no need for me to go to the markets. Email is so great because I place my orders with them depending on what I want. 

 

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

We change our menus every day and make little changes but if we have a lot of produce from farms, we continue to make dishes with those ingredients. 

 

18. How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?

My iPhone is such a great tool because I use it to stay active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I am able to show people what I am doing and what we offer. We also use a Point of Sale system to track reservations and sales.

 

~2014 and The Future~

19. What dining trends do you see taking place for 2014?

People are becoming more open minded to eating foods that used to be served in the 1920s – 1950s like liver and heart. People are eating more off cuts because they are accepting it and enjoying it more now.

 

20. How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?

My typical lifestyle has always been healthy and I believe in eating everything and in moderation. I don’t eat fast foods.

 

21. How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?

It allows us to show what we are doing and see what other people are doing.

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