Tag Archives: chef

Chef Oscar’s Ancient Grains Veggie

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If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious dish, then Chef Oscar’s Ancient Grains Veggie recipe is the way to go! Complete with fresh herbs and savory blends, this recipe contains all the the veggies and grains to satisfy your taste buds.

Ingredients

6 ounces ancient grains

4 ounces veggies (peppers, corn, heart of palm, sweet potato)

1 ounce thyme and mint mojo

2 ounces cilantro pesto

2 ounces red bell pepper sofrito

Directions

Use a blend of quinoa, farro, amaranth and lentils, cooked as per instructions on the packaging.

1. Heat the ancient grains and set on a plate or a bowl.

2. In a hot pan, sauté the veggies in hot oil until golden and add a mint sprig, a thyme sprig and a garlic mojo. (the sweet potato might have to be boiled before this point).

3. Remove the stems of the fresh herbs and set on top of the grains.

4. Place a spoonful of pesto to the right and a spoonful of red pepper sofrito next to the pesto.

 

Connect with our April Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @oscardelrivero

Website: http://www.jaguarhg.com/

 

Chef Oscar’s Vigorón Sauté Recipe

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Our April Chef of the Month, Chef Oscar Del Rivero has shared his delicious Vigorón Sauté Recipe! A traditional Nicaraguan dish, the Vigorón is made of yummy Latin American flavors and fresh ingredients such as yuca and chicharrón! Get the mouth-watering recipe below:

Ingredients

3 ounces pork belly

4 ounces yuca

3 ounces pickled veggies for Vigoron

2 ounces chicharrón

1 pinch parsley, chopped

Directions

1. Boil the yuca pieces and set in the center of a bowl or plate.

2. Prepare pickled veggies with a dash of vinegar, salt and sugar.

3. Top the yuca with pickled veggies.

4. Fry pork belly until golden and set on top of the pickled veggies.

5. Top with chicharrón and sprinkle with parsley.

 

Connect with our April Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @oscardelrivero

Website: http://www.jaguarhg.com/

 

March 2019 Chef of the Month- Chef John Wilson

 

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We’re happy to introduce our March Chef of the Month- Chef John Wilson! Chef John, also known as “The Soup King” is a Chef at Sophie’s Cork and Ale in North Carolina. He is a believer in going the extra mile for his customers and strongly believes that one must “be passionate or go home.” He first fell in love with the kitchen back in high school, and it his positive attitude , perseverance and passion that has led him to his successful chef career! Read below to learn more about Chef John’s Story!

 

 

 

 

1. Where were you born?

Frederick, MD

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

Sophie’s Cork and Ale, Lexington, NC

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

An immersion blender because it can be used for so many different things and dishes.

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

Vision. I like to believe I see everything around me.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Be passionate or go home.

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

Customer service and by that, I mean always going the extra mile for the customer and making the answer “no” impossible for the guests.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Bringing joy and smiles to faces with “good food”.

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

I mostly look for style, pockets, and heavy or light weight coats or shirts depending on the time of year.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I could not survive without honey

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Winston Salem, NC

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

In my opinion, it was the time I made bacon fat confit rabbit with cornmeal dusted okra, and parmesan polenta cakes.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

Go to Mom’s house for dinner, good ‘ol southern food, hamburger steaks, friend chicken, mashed potatoes, greens beans etc.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

The first chef that ever gave me a chance in the kitchen when I was 17 years old, Sean Devine, I haven’t seen him since I was about 19, and I feel I’ve come such a long way and I know he would enjoy and be proud to eat one of my dishes.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

The kitchen culture and lifestyle, I feel in love with it as a young dishwasher still in high school.

Connect with our March Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chefjohnwilson

 

FEBRUARY 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- CHEF KRISTAL

We’re excited to introduce our February Chef of the Month- Chef Kristal Kirkland! Chef Kristal is a personal chef in the New York and New Jersey area with a passion for paprika, good food and determination! Chef Kristal followed her dreams and became a successful chef- and she advocates all aspiring chefs to do the same. We are thrilled to share her delicious AND healthy recipes, and we know that she will inspire current and future chefs to keep on dreaming. Read below to learn about Kristal’s story!                                               

 

 

1. Where were you born?

I was born in Long Island, NY, but raised in Queens, NY!

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

I am a Personal Chef so I don’t have a set location for work, but my clients live in New York and New Jersey and I cook out of their homes

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

My favorite tool in the kitchen would have to be a channel. I love using it to create fruit platters! It makes an ordinary fruit platter look extraordinary. I use the channel by carving out pieces of oranges, lemons or watermelon and turn it into a cool design!

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

My sharpest sense is my sense of touch! Without using a thermometer, I can tell if steak or chicken is cooked by simply touching it.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

My advice to aspiring chefs would be to learn as much as you can and to keep practicing! After a while cooking will become so natural to you. Learn what flavors work well together and never stop believing in yourself (as cliché as it sounds)! When I first started cooking, I didn’t really see my full potential and always looked at other chefs and felt as if I would never be as good as them. But here I am, living out my dream and I’m so much better than I could have ever imagined! That’s why I say never stop believing in yourself…you never know what you are capable, and you might even surprise yourself.

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

Taste, taste, taste! You must always taste your food while cooking it and before sending it out to the customer/client!

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means that it is seasoned well, has fresh ingredients and is cooked to perfection. Overcooked food can really ruin a meal for me.

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

I look for quality material when picking out a chef outfit because I want my chef outfits to last. I would rather spend the money on a good quality chef jacket than to buy a cheap jacket and have to constantly replace it throughout the year because of tears or the stains that won’t come out.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient to work with would have to be paprika/smoked paprika. I put that stuff in almost everything!

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

New York City, of course! It’s home for me but you can find almost every cuisine here!

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

My baked macaroni and cheese because my clients always wonder what’s in it. The spices and cream cheese that I put in it really kicks the macaroni up a notch.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

I’m actually a pretty boring eater on my days off. I feel like I cook all of these gourmet meals for clients, but I never cook anything gourmet for myself. On my days off I tend to eat baked chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli. If I’m not being healthy I will get something to eat from the Spanish spot by my house. I order baked chicken, rice and beans with a side of fried plantains!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would like to cook for Barack Obama. I admire him as a person because I like the way he carries himself, how he speaks, how he treats others and his sense of humor. I think he has a lot of wisdom and I would love to learn from him

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I decided to become a chef simply because I enjoyed cooking and I realized I was happy whenever I was in the kitchen. However, when I attended culinary school I realized that there is a difference between cooking for your family and cooking for large groups of people. Culinary school was hard for me at first, but I stuck it out because the love for cooking was still there and it was always my dream to be a chef!

Connect with our February Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @ksoulsservices

Facebook: @KsoulsServices

Website: https://www.ksoulsservices.com/

CHEF KARMA’S CARIBBEAN YELLOW RICE

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Rice is a staple food in the Caribbean (of course it is, it’s delicious!) and it’s often a great addition to any dish AND it’s easy-to-make. Chef Karma has a wonderful recipe to enhance any dish- her special Caribbean Yellow Rice! This is a flavorful & savory dish to make & we guarantee that it’s a crowd-pleaser! Get her recipe below!

Ingredients

1 cup Jasmine rice

1 cup Coconut Milk

1 cup Coconut Water

1/2 cup Water

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 pack Sazon

1/2 c chopped onions

1/2 c chopped bell peppers

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients.

2. Place in oven-safe baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees-or until rice is fully cooked.

3. Garnish with cilantro and peppers.

 

Connect with our January Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @prettychefsinternational

Facebook: @prettychefsllc

 

 

 

 

JANUARY 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- CHEF KARMA

It’s the new year & we’re so happy to introduce our January Chef of the Month, Chef Karma! Chef Karma is a private chef and event planner in South Florida! She is also one of the few female hibachi chefs in the United States. Highly innovative and creative, Chef Karma enjoys fusion-style cooking and loves to stand out in bright colors! We can’t wait to share her story and yummy recipes. Read below to learn more about Chef Karma!                                                                   

 

1. Where were you born?

St. Thomas United States Virgin Islands

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

I work as a private chef and event planner in South Florida.

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

I am a hibachi chef. This is the best way to describe how I create my masterpiece. I am one of the only female hibachi chefs in the US. I love to be innovative and creative, so I would call my style of cooking, fusion.

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

My sharpest sense out of the five senses would be taste. I have a very sensitive palette, so I can almost pinpoint every ingredient in a dish.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

The advice I would give you an aspiring chef is to make sure that cooking is what you love, not like, so that it does not feel like work.

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

Mise en plac…. This means everything in its place, preparation is imperative to a good service.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Euphoria. People eat with their eyes first, there nose second, and lastly their mouth.

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

I love bright colors, so my chef uniform always has to stand out.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I love the Mediterranean spice Tahini, it amplifies any taste in any type of food.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Miami, of course.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Honey barbecue pulled pork on top of corn bread topped with homemade Cole Slaw

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

I love sushi, all types of sushi!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would love to cook for our last president, Barack Obama

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I believe that food brings people together, so I chose Culinary arts to make sure that I am a part of every single person’s laugh and every single person’s tear and making it memorable.

 

Connect with our January Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @prettychefsinternational

Facebook: @prettychefsllc

 

 

 

November 2018 Chef of the Month Gina Sansonia

Shop Her Look!

Image 2We’re delighted to introduce our November 2018 Chef of the Month, Gina Sansonia! Chef Gina is the Executive Chef/Owner of Cucina Bambina, a mobile, gourmet Italian eatery that is located in Hollywood, FL. Gina is a driven and passionate chef, with a zest for life…and basil! We can’t wait to share her story and delicious recipes!  Read below to learn about Chef Gina Sansonia and her passion for food.

 

 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born and raised in New York.

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

I’m the Executive Chef/Owner of Cucina Bambina Inc. We’re a mobile, Gourmet Italian Eatery based out of Hollywood, FL. We travel all over the state participating in various festivals in addition to catering private events.

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

I have an obsession with spoons…. they’re just so handy!

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

I have a keen sense of smell.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. If you have passion, drive, a strong work ethic and a vision….you can make it happen-you just have to put in the work

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

Work smarter …. not harder.

7. What does good food mean to you?

I firmly believe that good food comes from the heart, along with quality ingredients.

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

COMFORT and style.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I’m OBSESSED with basil.😍

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

NYC, baby! Although I would like to check out the Chicago food scene. I hear amazing things.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

I make a mean rice ball if I do say so myself and many call me “The Meatball Queen”. Both of those are always crowd pleasers.

12. What do you like to eat most on your days off?

I typically don’t sit down and eat structured “meals”. I’m content with a good old bag of Doritos surprisingly enough!

13. Person you most like to cook for? 

Hands down my nieces and nephews. I love how excited and engaged they become.  It really is special.

14. What made you decide to become a chef? 

After losing my father to cancer, and being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it made me look at food differently and (not to sound cliché) made me realize that life is too short. I just went for it!

Connect with our November Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @cucinabambinainc

Twitter: @CucinaBambina

Facebook: Cucina Bambina Inc

A Real Thanksgiving Treat From Chef Ace Champion

It’s 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The aroma of baked turkey still simmers through the living room. The mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and stuffing has already maneuvered itself into leftovers and now sits in the fridge inside a plastic container. The fall inspired tablecloth has been branded with gravy droppings and bread crumbs. Hungry gazes have glazed into satisfied smiles.

You can’t help but think: I couldn’t possibly have another bite. Except…

“What’s for dessert?” You utter the words that everyone is thinking.

Pecan pie? Pumpkin pie? Apple pie? 

Nope. Not this Thanksgiving. Thanks to Chef Ace Champion, we have a mouth-watering treat that is just waiting to be gobbled up at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not your average pecan pie, it’s Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with White Chocolate Ganache Drizzle. What can we say? There’s always room for dessert.

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with a White Chocolate Drizzle

Make 1 pie for 8 slice servings

Pie Ingredients:

3 large eggs

1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar – packed

1 Cup Light Corn Syrup

3 tablespoons Southern Comfort – 3 ounces

2 tablespoons Real Butter

1 tablespoon Heavy Whipping Cream – optional

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon/a pinch of Salt – Kosher or any Table Salt

1 – 1 1/2 Cups Pecan Halves – Ruff Chopped

3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips – Semi-sweet baking chips/half way melted

1 Pre-Made Pie Shell – to fit a 9″ deep dish pie plate

Drizzle Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Southern Comfort – optional

8 ounces White Chocolate – melted

1 tablespoon Cream – for the right consistency

1 teaspoon Dark Brown Sugar

Instructions for the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie:

1. Roll pre-made pie shell to fit a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate.

2. Transfer pastry to pie plate; trim to 1/2 inch, beyond edge of plate and flute edges.

3. Par-bake the pie shells for 10 minutes on 325 degrees then remove from oven and cool.

4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrups, bourbon, butter and salt until blended.

5. Fold in 1 cup pecans and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

6. Pour filling into crust; sprinkle with remaining pecans and chocolate chips.

7. Bake at 325° for about 1 hour & 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is puffed and set.

9. Cool completely on a wire rack.

10. Allow the pie to rest for at least 2 hours before cutting.

This is a great make a day ahead pie!

Instructions for the White Chocolate Ganache:

1. In a double broiler, add the cream and Southern Comfort and allow cooking for about 2 minutes on a steady medium high heat.

2. Add the chocolate chips in a few at a time to allow them to melt nicely with the cream and whiskey.

3. Cook until all chocolate is melted and you have a smooth consistency in your sauce.

4. Note if the sauce is too light, add more chips and if it’s too thick, line it out with a little cream or whiskey.

Presentation: Place a slice of pie on a small plate and top with pecans and drizzle.

Enjoy this delicious dessert!

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef Rey De La Osa

If you are a true Floridian, you have a huge appreciation for Publix! Chef Rey De La Osa is the Resident Chef for Publix Aprons in Plantation, FL. Check out his culinary journey and what he has to say about participating in Gridiron Grill-Off Wine, Food & Music Festival for his third year in a row!

I joined Publix in 1999 to work in customer service. While attending Johnson & Wales University, I worked at The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. In 2008, I transferred to the Prepared Foods Department at Publix Greenwise Market in Boca Raton to pursue his culinary career. I began working at the Apron’s Cooking School in 2010 to share his culinary passion with others.  I am now the Resident Chef in our Plantation location. Together with the Apron’s staff, we want students to “learn to have fun in the kitchen!”

1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

I’d say my mom inspired me as she can put a great meal together with just about any ingredients she had laying around. I also watched a lot of Food Network when I was younger back when it was just starting.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine?

Having my Latin background, it’s my biggest influence however I like different ethnic foods. I love creating recipes that fuse 2 or more ethnicities.

3. What is one of your favorite ingredients and why?

I love garlic!!!! Obviously it’s very versatile but I find a way to put some garlic in anything. No one can disagree with some roasted garlic spread on a nice piece of bread!

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 11?

This would be my 3rd year, participating. Personally, I believe in the great causes it helps support. The event is very well organized for the chefs and guests.

5. What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Where to begin? I look forward to working with Mark Duper once again. I’m really excited that it’s now a multi-day event with the concert series. The BBQ pit master competition is going to be really cool for guests to check out and taste some great food. Lastly the corn hole competition is a must!!

6. Any recommendations for those planning to attend the Gridiron Grill-Off for the first time?

Bring an appetite and plan on staying the entire day as there is lots to do. Make sure you download the Gridiron Grill off app and vote for your favorite! (It’ll be ours)

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Find Chef Rey at the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Get Your Tickets!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

Facebook: Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival

Twitter: @GridironGriller

Follow Chef Rey on Instagram: @el_chef_rey

Chef Penelope’s Pork Belly with Peas & Carrots Recipe

IMG_4037Pair Pork Belly with a subtle blend of peas and carrots using Chef Penelope’s elegant recipe. This recipe highlights the use of various spices to activate rich, complex flavors in the pork and vegetable blend. Serves up to 4 plates – see Chef Penelope Wong’s recipe below!

Ingredients

Pork Belly

  • 10 oz. pork belly, skin diamond scored
  • 4 oz. store bought or house made hoisin sauce
  • 4 oz. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground toasted fennel seeds
  • 2 oz. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 oz. olive oil
  • 2 C. chicken stock

Carrot Puree

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 C. peeled, rough chopped carrots
  • s&p
  • pinch star anise
  • ¼ tsp. ground toasted fennel seed
  • pinch ground clove
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorn
  • 2 C. chicken stock

Anise Glazed Heirloom Carrot

  • 1 bunch assorted heirloom carrots, peel, tops trimmed and halved
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 4 oz. granulated sugar
  • 4 oz. chicken stock
  • 1 C. cleaned English peas
  • 8 oz. brown butter
  • 2 oz. pea tendrils

Directions

Pork Belly

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  1. Rub pork belly with hoisin, brown sugar, white pepper and fennel seeds.
  2. Heat a roasting pan on high heat with sesame oil and olive oil.
  3. When the pan is hot, place the pork belly, skin side down and sear. Cook for 8 minutes, or until skin starts to caramelize.
  4. Flip over and sear the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Add in chicken stock and cover with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender and cooked through. remove aluminum foil and continue to roast for 15-20 more minutes, or until skin is browned and crisp.
  7. Slice into 4 thick 2.5 oz. slices, reserve for plating.

Carrot Puree

  1. In a small stock pot, saute minced shallot with 1 tsp. olive oil.
  2. Add in chopped carrots, salt & pepper, star anise, fennel seed, clove, cinnamon and Szechuan peppercorn.
  3. Continue to saute for 3-5 minutes, until carrots begin cooking and spices become fragrant.
  4. Add in chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and allow to cook at a slow boil for 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer carrots and ½ amount of stock into a high speed vitamix blender.
  7. Add in 2 oz. chilled unsalted butter.
  8. Puree on low speed gradually increasing to high speed and continue to puree until mixture becomes smooth.
  9. Add in more of the cooking liquid if necessary.

Anise Glazed Heirloom Carrots

  1. In a saute pan, heat butter.
  2. When butter melts, add in halved carrots and saute for 3 minutes.
  3. Add in star anise pod and sugar, continue to saute for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in stock and reduce heat to medium low, making sure carrots are mostly submerged.
  5. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, or until liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze and carrots are cooked through. Reserve.

Peas

  1. Heat a saute pan with 2 oz. olive oil, saute peas with salt & pepper until cooked through.

Brown Butter Foam

  1. Heat butter in a small sauce pan on low heat, until butter starts to brown.
  2. Once you notice the butter starting to brown, start whisking the butter lightly to evenly distribute and brown proteins.
  3. Once desired darkness of butter is reached, remove butter from the pan to prevent further browning and possible burning).
  4. Transfer browned butter into a deep vessel. Using a handheld immersion blender,
  5. Blend browned butter at a 45 degree angle to create a layer of foam on the top.

Plating

Swirl carrot puree onto plate, spoon English peas on puree, place slice of browned pork belly nestled into peas and spoon brown butter foam on top of pork belly.  Garnish with snipped pea tendrils.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Shop Her Look!

Instagram: @penelopewong

 

 

 

 

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