Tag Archives: chefs

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

 

CHEF KRISTAL’S PAN SEARED SALMON, COCONUT RICE & MANGO SALSA

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Wow. That’s the only word that we think gives this recipe any justice. Chef Kristal’s Pan Seared Salmon, Coconut Rice & Mango Salsa Recipe is out of this world, and if the image above doesn’t make your mouth water, then we don’t know what to tell you! Read below and ‘wow’ your taste buds!

Ingredients

2 fillets of salmon

1 1/2 cup white rice

1 cup coconut milk

2 1/4 cup water

Salt to taste

1/2 onion, small diced

1 mango, diced

Half of red onion, diced

Green pepper, diced

Cilantro, one handful

Lime juice from half a lime

Pepper to taste

Olive oil

Directions

1. In a sauce pan, turn the stove on medium heat and drizzle the pan with olive oil.

2. Season the salmon with salt & pepper and pan sear on both sides for 5 minutes.

3. Drizzle olive oil into a pot and sweat the onions.

4. Add in the rice and toss the rice until it is coated with the onion and olive oil.

5. Add in the water, salt and coconut milk. Stir, cover with lid, and cook rice until the water has evaporated.

6. Chop up the red onion, mango, cilantro and green pepper.

7. Squeeze lime juice over this mixture and add 2 pinches of salt.

8. Toss and combine.

 

Connect with our February Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @ksoulsservices

Facebook: @KsoulsServices

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

 

 

CHEF KRISTAL’S SHRIMP & GRITS

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If you’re looking for a tasty, low-maintenance & exciting dish, then Chef Kristal’s Shrimp & Grits is the way to go!  Get your taste of some traditional soul food & read her recipe below!

Ingredients

1 lb shrimp

Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

Olive oil

1 cup grits

3 cups milk

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Season shrimp with salt, pepper paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.

2. Heat sauce pan on medium heat and cook shrimp about 2 minutes on each side, or until pink.

3. Heat milk, season with salt, and then slowly add in the grits while constantly stirring.

4. Cook grits for about 20 minutes while constantly stirring or until smooth.

5. Once the grits are smooth add in the cheese and serve.

 

Connect with our February Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @ksoulsservices

Facebook: @KsoulsServices

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

 

Check Out Our 2018 Chefs of the Year!

This year, 2018, has come and gone in the blink of an eye- cliché but true. The year has been complete with great food, fresh styles & delicious recipes, all thanks to our wonderful 2018 Chefs of the Month! Read below to find out more about what inspires & motivates our chefs & feel free to try some of their recipes!

January 2018- John Charles

Chef John attended Le Cordon Bleu in Dallas and worked in various Italian restaurants in New York to perfect his craft. He is now located in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, specializing in Italian cuisine.

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Shop his look! 

February 2018- Amy Irizarry

Chef Amy is the Executive Pastry Chef at Bite Bakery and Café in Downtown Utica, NY.

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Shop her look! 

March 2018- Patty Francis

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!

Patty Kitchen

Shop her look! 

April 2018- Simone Bridges

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!

View More: http://pinkshutterphoto.pass.us/foodgodess

Shop her look! 

May 2018- Will Staten

Chef Staten is the founder and head chef of Ragin’ Cajun Cookin’, Dubs’ Rubs Spice Line and Dubs’ Po’ Boy Shop. You can find him in Las Vegas cooking or working on special projects.

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Shop his look! 

June 2018- Julie Herrera-Lemler

Chef Julie Herrera-Lemler is an prize-winning baker as well as a jack of all trades! If she is not baking, you can find her teaching baking classes, public speaking or even officiating weddings!

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Shop her look!

July 2018- Andres Sen Sang

Chef Andres is a recent winner of Chef Showdown 8 with his signature Quinoa Latina and Chili 35 dish. If you do not find him in the kitchen as the Executive Chef for Suyo, a GastoFusion restuarant in the Bronx, you can find him with his family or working on his own business ventures – Eighty6Brand.

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Shop his look!

August 2018- Claude Luciani

After growing up in the Bronx, Chef Claude Luciani made the move to South Florida where he now owns the Pizza Rustica Hollywood location. His mouthwatering, cheesy pizza will not disappoint!

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Shop his look!

September 2018- Penelope Wong

Since childhood, Chef Penelope has spent her life in the kitchen, from working at her family’s restaurant to being the Executive Chef at Glenmoor Country Club in Colorado.

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October 2018- Morghan Medlock

Chef Morghan is one of a kind – she went from playing basketball to whipping up masterpieces in the kitchen. Chef Morghan has all aspects of the meal perfected from breakfast to dessert.

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Shop her look!

November 2018- 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!

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Shop her look!

 

Happy New Year from Chefuniforms & a big THANK YOU to all of our amazing Chefs of the Month!

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!

Chef Morghan’s Shrimp Pasta Recipe

Shrimp. Pasta. What could be better? How about shrimp pasta? Chef Morghan has shared a mouth-watering shrimp pasta recipe that is a perfect dish for either lunch or dinner. Get her recipe below, and give your taste buds a treat!

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Ingredients

1 pack linguine pasta

1LB shrimp (peeled & deveined)

2 TBS EVOO

2 cloves fresh garlic

1 tomato chopped

Parsley bunch

1/2 lemon

Salt/pepper to taste

1 TBS red chili flakes

Sprinkle of shredded Parmesan

 

Directions

1. Boil pasta according to instructions on package.

2. Rinse and dry and season shrimp with salt, pepper and red chili flakes.

3. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add 1-2TBS of a high heat oil (veggie, canola, grape seed).

4. Add 1TBS of minced garlic to the heated pan, then add shrimp and begin to sauté just until the shrimp become pink (careful not to overcook them).

5. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. DO NOT RINSE PAN!

6. Leave all drippings from sautéing the shrimp in the pan and add 1 TBS of olive oil to pan.

7. Dice either a whole or 1/2 tomato depending on how much you like tomatoes.

8. Drain pasta and add to the pan. Begin to toss the pasta around in the drippings and EVOO. Then add the diced tomato and trim the heat to low.

9. Season Pasta with salt and pepper.

10. Add shrimp and toss everything around in the pan on low heat.

11. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and the juice of the 1/2 of lemon. Plate and serve.

 

Connect with our October Chef of the Month:

Get Her Look!

Instagram: @chefmorghan

Facebook: Morghan Medlock

Website

 

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef Eric Kaszubinski

The Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival is almost here! We have loved getting to know some of the talented chefs who will be participating in this year’s event. We’d like to introduce you to Chef Eric Kaszubinski of Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.

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1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

Food Network was not around till I was in high school.  However I would see chef’s including the late Julia Child and a program called Great Chefs on television which drove me to want to discover and learn more about food from around the world.  On a more personal level, my family has always been involved in the food business.  Some of my fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my family cooking up a traditional Polish meal.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine? (ie Thai, French, casual American, tex-mex)

Growing up, my family hosted exchange students from Japan and China.  I feel that my curiosity of their cuisine has played a role in some of the items I put on my menus today.  I would not say that I represent one style of food, instead I cook what I want and what my guests want; great food inspired by what is around us.

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

This is a tough question to narrow down just one ingredient as my favorite.  I have many items that I like to use and I also feel that this continues to change as I evolve my cuisine.  I would say that one of my favorite ingredients would be a sea scallop.  There are many ways to prepare this, whether it is raw or cooked.

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 10?

Pompano Beach Marriott  has been a longtime supporter of this event and as the Host Hotel… we wouldn’t miss it! It benefits a great Foundation, it’s here in our Pompano Beach community, it showcases the area’s culinary talents, and of course… it’s a blast!

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

Connecting with all the people in the community that I live and work in, seeing all the Dolphin “Greats”, participating in the corn-hole tournament, and the opportunity to win fan-favorite this year.

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

Come early, pace yourself and make sure you vote…for me!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Get Your Tickets!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

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

Twitter: @GridironGriller

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

 

 

 

 

Chef Jonathan’s Mock Scallop Rumaki & Soy Ginger Sauce

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This weeks recipe will become a household favorite dish, especially if you’re a seafood lover. We can thank Chef Jonathan for sharing the recipe to one of his signature dishes! This recipe has so much versatility, add a side and create a delicious meal or serve it alone as a tasty appetizer! Stay tuned for some more amazing recipes from our November Chef of the Month Jonathan Scinto! 

Ingredients

8 slices bacon, halved

18 sea scallops

2 green onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

18 toothpicks

24 canned water chestnuts, drained and halved horizontally

Fresh chives (optional)

Directions

Microwave bacon on high for 2-2 1/2 minutes, or until partially cooked but still flexible.

Top each scallop with some of the onion and ginger.

Drizzle evenly with lemon juice. Wrap a bacon piece around each scallop, and secure with wooden toothpicks.

Grill scallops on grill tray 2-3 minutes on each side, or until done.

Or broil 3 inches from heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until bacon is crisp and scallops are cooked.

Drain on paper towels. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Connect with Our November Chef of the Month:

Website: https://chefjonathans.wixsite.com/jonathanscinto

Instagram: @chefjonathans

Facebook: @ChefJonathanS

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