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November 2017 Chef of the Month Jonathan Scinto

 

Introducing our November Chef of the Month, Jonathan Scinto! Scinto is a Private Chef & TV Personality born in Queens, New York. Notably featured on “MasterChef,” “Rooftop Chopped,” and “Iron Chef Showdown,” to name a few. Currently,  Jonathan is the owner of Chef Jonathan’s Private Parties & Events and lives on Long Island with his wife and their 3 daughters.

 

1. Birthplace:

Queens, NY

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

I work all over the United States as a Private Chef. I am based on Long Island, NY in a mid-size town called North Bellmore.

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

My Ninja Food Processor, my Chef Knife from Kayne Custom Knives, Chicago Cutlery Knives, my Plating Spoons from Chef Spoons and Plating Gold Tweezers from TrueCooks.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Stay humble and dedicated, don’t let rejection and negativity get in the way of your culinary goals.

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

Only use recipes as a tool for research, don’t be afraid to think outside the box to create your own cuisine.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your Chef outfit?

Comfort and styling.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Fresh Herbs and Spices

8. Favorite City to dine out in?

NYC.

9. Best Dish you have ever made?

Hard to narrow it down to one, but I like to cook Italian comfort food with Asian Influences. I’m doing a cuisine I invented called “Itasian”, which was first introduced at the Food Network Rooftop “Chopped.”

10. Place you eat most often on your days off?

My local pizza place called Calabria Pizza

11. Who do you enjoy cooking for?

Family and Friends.

12. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?

Mind of a Chef, anything Disney, Marvel movies, and classic TV shows from the 50s-90s.

Connect with Our November Chef of the Month:

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

Instagram: @chefjonathans

Facebook: @ChefJonathanS

October 2017 Chef of the Month Eddie G

Introducing our October Chef of the Month Edward Gallagher III aka Chef Eddie G! Chef Eddie is an American Chef, author, TV personality, born and raised in New York City. His long list of accomplishments includes being an alumnus of Johnson & Wales University of Culinary Arts, owning five restaurants, and cooking in the last eight NFL Super Bowls! Read more below about Chef Eddie G and we’re beyond honored to welcome him to the ChefUniforms family!

 

1. Birthplace:

Manhattan, NYC

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

I have been fortunate to travel and cook, filming my experiences for the last 10 years. I would say New York would be home base.

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

My favorite tool in the kitchen is probably an emulsion blender, but great knives and sauté pans are important as well.

4. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I tell everyone who is interested in becoming a cook and eventually a Chef that the business is tough, with long hours, but is the most amazing experience to nourish and please other humans with great fresh ingredients.

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

Tips that every cook or chef should know is number one, clean as you go and number two learn correct temperatures of meats and fish and how to pan sear an item.

6. What features are important to you when selecting your Chef outfit?

The most important feature when selecting a Chef outfit would be comfort, it’s very important to be comfortable in clothes you are in 12 hours a day most of the time warm environments.

7. Favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient would be things I find as I travel, food items indigenous to the area I’m at, Southern Spain has a ‘Roff Tomato’ that I loved cooking with, in Haiti the diri ak djon djon mushroom was amazing to cook with as well. Siracha would be the easy answer.

8. Favorite City to dine out in?

Wow so many, Barcelona Spain – wine & tapas, Negril Jamaica – Jerk Chicken & Red Stripe or Minsk Belarus for draniki & vodka.

9. Best Dish you have ever made?

Best dish I ever made would be Cajun Catfish with a Shrimp Cous Cous and charred asparagus, my mom & dad loved it!

10. Place you eat most often on your days off?

Ah, the place I eat most often would probably be local fresh sushi or pizza.

11. Who would you like to cook for? 

I have been so lucky to cook for so many pro athletes, celebrities and actors but the people I love to cook for are my friends and family and anyone who needs a meal. I try to do volunteer work whenever I’m free and there is nothing like cooking food for someone that needs nourishment.

12. What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?

Other than sports, I don’t spend much time watching TV.

Connect with Our October Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.chefeddieg.com/

Instagram: @chefeddieg

Twitter: @EddieGChef

Chef Michelle’s Rich Trini Rum Cake

fruitake.jpgThis cake is very popular in the Caribbean and especially in Trinidad, where it’s been the traditional flavor for wedding cakes for many years! It lasts very long when stored in an airtight container, so cakes weighed a ton! Recently, however, mainly the top tier is kept with traditional rum cake. It is a cherished treat for Christmas time, for all the office parties and family get-togethers, and given even as presents. It can be decorated with candied fruits, glazed with royal icing, and very good when covered with fondant.

Ingredients for Cake Mix:

454g butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp almond essence

2 tsp baking powder

6 eggs or 3 cups apple sauce

2 cups browning

1/4 cup candied orange peel

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp nutmeg

*2 cups pureed fruit mix

1 cup rum (leave out if you don’t want alcohol)

Ingredients for Fruit Mix:

Prepare in advance by marinating in 6 cups cherry brandy (use a berry juice if you want to keep it free of alcohol).

1 lb currants

1 lb raisins

1 lb cherries

1 lb prunes

Directions:

1. Sift all the dry ingredients together.

2. Cream butter and brown sugar, then slowly add eggs.

3. With the mixer on medium speed, add dry ingredients in 4 parts until fully blended. Do not overbeat.

4. Add the browning and the fruit puree mix, fold in with a spatula.

5. Pour into a greased and floured 8” tin about ¾ full. Bake at 250F for about 1 ½ hours. It will still be moist when a stick is inserted, but the sides will aleady start to release from the pan.

6. Pour the cup of rum and cover with aluminum foil until it cools.

This cake tastes better as it ages, and you can continue to moisten with extra rum as desired. Also served very nicely with a brown butter rum sauce and a scoop of homemade coconut ice-cream!

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Website: BakeryTreatz

Instagram: @bakerytreatz

Chef John Offerdahl’s Ultimate Stuffed Inside LineBurger

Offerdahl's Recipe Pic.jpgWe’re so excited to share another excellent recipe with you! Presenting, our Chef of the Month, John Offerdahl’s signature Ultimate Stuffed Inside LineBurger recipe! There is no time like Summer to start up the grill and cook some amazing burgers. This mouth-watering burger is a must-try Summer recipe that will rock your grill!

Ingredients: 

2 lbs Ground Chuck or Sirloin

2 T. Mustard

7 oz. Taco Chips, finely crushed

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

1 Egg

1/4 tsp. Pepper

8 oz. Sliced Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1 Ripe Tomato, sliced and seasoned with Lemon Pepper

1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup Dill or Sweet Pickle, sliced

1/4 cup Black or Green Olives, sliced

1/4 cup Melted Butter

1 T. Chili Powder

Directions: 

John Recipe 1.PNG

Stay connected with our July Chef of the Month:

Website: http://www.offerdahls.com/

Instagram: @johnofferdahl

Twitter: @GridironGriller

Chefuniforms.com’s First International Chef of the Month- Ana Birac

Congratulations to Chef Ana Birac- our September 2016 Chef of the Month! She is Chefuniforms.com first featured International Chef. All the way from Croatia, Chef Birac was almost as excited as we were to have her as our September 2016 Chef. Read below to learn more about her life cooking across the globe and stay tuned for some awesome recipes she sent us for you to check out!

ana-picture-with-staff

  1. Birthplace:

I WAS BORN ON JULY 31ST, 1991 IN ZAGREB, CROATIA.

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

I WORK IN ROVINJ – ISTRIA ON THE CROATIAN ADRIATIC COAST, WHERE I ALSO LIVE AT THE MOMENT. I’M BASED AT THE A LA CARTE RESTAURANT IN THE OLEANDER HOTEL– THAT IS BASED BETWEEN SOME OF THE BEST HOTELS IN THE WORLD: MONTE MULLINI (NO.1 IN THE WORLD), LOND (NO.3 IN THE WORLD) AND EDEN.

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

MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS ARE: A SHARP KNIFE, GOOD TWEEZERS AND A THERMOMIXER.

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

TASTE, MOST DEFINITELY.

  1. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

DON’T EVER LOSE MOTIVATION. BEING A CHEF IS THE BEST JOB EVER BECAUSE THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO SURPRISE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM FEEL ENCHANTED, HAPPY AND SATISFIED. YOU CAN CREATE YOUR OWN COLORFUL LITTLE WORLD MADE OF INGREDIENTS.

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

A SHARP KNIFE AND AN ENDLESS IMAGINATION ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS IN THE KITCHEN. AND OF COURSE, A TOUCH OF LOVE AND CRAZINESS.

  1. What does good food mean to you?

FOR ME GOOD FOOD IS MADE WITH LOVE. IT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN EXPENSIVE AND NUMEROUS INGREDIENTS. YOU JUST NEED TO PREPARE IT WITH LOVE AND PASSION, YOU NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF TO THAT DISH.

  1. What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

UNFORTUNATELY, IT SEEMS THAT TECHNOLOGY IS TAKING OVER THE KITCHENS AND REPLACING CHEFS. BUT AS LONG AS THERE ARE YOUNG CHEFS TRYING TO BEAT THE MACHINES, I SEE A LOT OF NEW VEGETABLES, SPICES AND PLANTS ENTERING THE KITCHEN SCENE.

  1. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR ME IS THAT MY CHEF COAT IS COMFORTABLE. AS AN EXECUTIVE CHEF, I SPEND 15 HOURS PER DAY IN THE KITCHEN WEARING MY UNIFORM. IT HAS TO BE LIGHT AND COMFY, BUT ALSO I LIKE IT TO BE A LITTLE FUNKY – WHETHER IS IT COLORFUL, WITH DOTS, WITH SOME PICS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I ALSO PREFER LITTLE POCKETS ON MY LEFT UPPER ARM TO KEEP MY PEN, TWEEZER AND SPOON.

  1. What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?skull-pants-image

MY GO – TO CHEF OUTFIT DEFINITELY MEANS PANTS AND COATS. APRONS HERE AND THERE, HATS (I HATE TO ADMIT IT, BUT ONLY WHEN HEALTH INSPECTOR COMES J ) AND GOOD SHOES.

  1. Favorite ingredient to work with?

MY FAVORITE INGREDIENTS TO WORK WITH ARE VEGETABLES (NO ONE SPECIFICALLY), BUT BEFORE EVERYTHING I ADORE THYME!

  1. Favorite City to dine out in?

I DON’T REALLY HAVE FAVORITE CITY TO DINE OUT IN. IN GENERAL, IN CROATIA THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE ZAGREB. FOR ME THAT IS MY LIVING TOWN  – ROVINJ. BUT DON’T GO OUT TO A RESTAURANT, GO TO YOUR FRIENDS HOME AND ASK THEIR GRANDMA TO COOK FOR YOU. YOU’LL HAVE THE BEST DINNER EVER!

  1. Best Dish you have ever made?

HOME MADE “ŠTRUKLI” FILLED WITH SQUID RAGOUT, DRIED TOMATO AND MOTAR SAUCE

 Place you eat most often on your days off?

BEACH OR WOODS – IT’S IMPORTANT THAT IT IS IN THE OUTDOORS AND WITH FRESH INGREDIENTS.

 Person you would most like to cook for?

FOR ALL MY FRIENDS AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING ME DURING THIS WHOLE PROCCESS OF BECOMING AN EXECUTIVE CHEF.

ALSO FOR ALL THE PEOPLE THAT MEAN SOMETHING TO ME IN MY LIFE.

FROM CELEBRITY CHEFS: GRANT ACATZ – OF COURSE, RENE REDZEPI, ALEX ATALA AND

ANDONI LUIS ADURIZ.

  1. What made you decide to become a chef?

LOVE FOR THE INGREDIENTS, LOVE FOR THE FOOD, LOVE FOR THE JOB, LOVE FOR THE UNIFORM.

I’M TELLING YOU – THE BEST JOB EVER!

THERE ARE NO LIMITS, THE IMAGINATION IS ENDLESS, COLOR YOUR PLATES AND MAKE THEM LOOK DIFFERENT AND PERFECT EVERY SINGLE TIME.

  1. What is new on your DVR?

THERE’S PRETTY MUCH NOTHING AND EVERYTHING NEW ON MY DVR! YEAH, FUNNY SENTENCE, I KNOW.

WELL, LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY: I AM TRYING TO DO SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY. SOMETIMES IT WORKS AND I GET COMMENDATION AND SOMETIMES I JUST… DO SOMETHING WRONG AND EVERYTHING GOES DOWN THE TOILET.

BUT I NEVER GIVE UP AND ALWAYS KEEP POSITIVE, SO THERE IS USUALLY SOMETHING GOOD TO TAKE A LOOK AT.

Come back next week for a new recipe from Chef Ana Birac!

Chef Dakota Soifer’s Harissa Recipe

Our Chef of the Month Dakota Soifer has shared another great recipe with us! You can use his Harissa as a great grilling marinade, add it to yogurt or aioli for a great dipping sauce, or even use it on its own as a vibrant condiment.

Ingredients:

meat

2 C Seeded & roughly chopped fresh fresno chilies

6 Cloves garlic

2t Tomato paste

1/2 C Pequillo peppers

1T Cumin

1T Coriander

1T Black cumin

2t Hot smoked paprika

1t Salt

2T Olive oil

Directions:

Toast the spices until fragrant and grind finely.  Put the chilies, garlic, salt and half the spices into a food processor. Let the processor run for a few minutes stopping it every now and then to scrape the sides down. You are trying to achieve a very smooth, almost liquid-y consistency. This will probably take longer than expected, be patient.  A well pureed base will ensure a successful Harissa.  Once pureed, add in the tomato paste & peppers along with the rest of spices.  Stir in the olive oil by hand, you don’t want an emulsion.  This will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, just pour a very thin layer of oil on the top to protect from oxidization, between uses.

Enjoy!

Chef Dakota Soifer’s Oyster Mushrooms with Sherry Recipe

oyster mushrooms image

Oyster mushrooms with Sherry.

At the cafe we love sherries and were always looking for a way to get people to drink more of it.  This dish, while great on its own, is a great showcase of how fun pairing sherry with food is.  We encourage you to check it out.

Ingredients:

½ lb oyster mushrooms

2T Olive oil

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1T (heaping) picked fresh thyme leaves

Salt

Black pepper

1/4c mushroom or vegetable stock

1T butter

1T fine sherry

Great EVOO

Directions:

Trim the woody root off the oyster mushrooms, saving them for mushroom stock.

In a thick bottomed pan with enough space to accommodate all of the mushrooms in a single layer, heat the 2T of olive oil over a high heat.  It is really important that the mushrooms aren’t overcrowded when they cook or the will steam rather than sear, muting the flavors & mushing the texture.

When the oil is simmering and almost smoking, dump the mushrooms in.  Don’t stir them right away let them sit & cook nicely for a moment.  Just stir once in a while. Think of it more as searing little steaks than stirring vegetables up in a pan.  Using this technique will help you take advantage of the mushroom’s unique texture and give the dish more character.

After 3 to 4 minutes and the mushrooms are browning nicely, stir in the butter, garlic and Thyme.  Once the garlic turns golden and the Thyme has become very aromatic, stir in the stock and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.  After the stock reduces and become a thick flavorful sauce, add in a nice splash of the sherry, careful not to flame it, return to the heat for a few more seconds and you’re done!

Serve over soft polenta, or on grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with some great extra virgin olive oil.

Enjoy!

August 2016 Chef of the Month Dakota Soifer

dakota_1-1-3

Congratulations Chef Dakota Soifer for being our Chef of the Month for August! See what he has been cooking up at his restaurant Cafe Aion, in Colorado.

Where were you born:

I was born in South China, Maine.

Where do you work and where are you based?

I am the chef and owner of Café Aion in Boulder, Colorado

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

My Paella pan is my favorite tool. It is made out of pounded carbon steel and the shape and thickness of the pan are great. I have one that is 12 inches and some that are 3 feet for when I cook for big farmer’s markets and large parties. I can get 40 or so servings out of each pan! I have a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant, so we make a lot of Paella.

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

I think touch would be my sharpest sense.  Growing up, I was always playing in the dirt in the garden helping my dad who was a carpenter.  We did a lot of hands on and hands in things. I love to be hands on in all aspects- feeling the fresh produce we get in and even in rebuilding the restaurant. I have a degree in architecture, so when we remodeled the restaurant I was able to build the bar, design the community tables and the kitchen.

What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t rush to open your own restaurant or jump from position to position. In this day and age, people move around quite often and try to get a sous chef or executive chef position as quickly as they can and there is really something to be learned while spending years at the same restaurant throughout the seasons.  Try to enjoy the process or you will burn out quickly if you don’t go slow.

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

Everyone chef should know how to bake bread. It is something that’s kind of become lost and it adds a complexity and another layer of wonderfulness to a restaurant. The difference of a fresh quality is a special thing. It is really nice when you can see people slowing down and baking bread well.

What does good food mean to you?

Good food is thoughtful. It has a human touch.  It’s not an assembly line.  It is interesting how many of the very best or highly regarded restaurants become scientific and industrial in prep and production now. Everything has become too perfect. As a business owner, I understand how important it is for consistency and controlling your product, but in a way its gets away from the real joy of cooking.  I also think good food is created on a wood fired grilled.  The real fire introduces a part of nature that can’t be tamed or totally perfected at home. There should be a difference in eating at home and eating out at a restaurant.

What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

I see fast casual currently trending.  It is really interesting from a business point of view.  You see people taking the farm to table and sourcing things carefully and then applying that on a larger scale. It is somewhat sad to see restaurants becoming more standardized. You can now have wine on draft from a keg.  Everything has become fast and easy.  There is no patience in cooking anymore.

What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

Definitely comfort and breathability.  I need to be able to move around and not feel like I’m wearing a cardboard box. You wear a chef coat because it’s a sign of your profession.  They’re white, which in our industry is ridiculous, but if you can work and keep it white, you’re skilled.  You can take pride in knowing that you look good to your guests and clean to keep your professional mentality.

What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

Jeans and a white t-shirt with my Dansko clogs.

Favorite ingredient to work with?

I really love bread.  It is so cool what you can do with a loaf of bread.  It is obvious that you can create sandwiches, but you can also tear it up and roast it to create crunchy croutons. You can do anything with these! You can use them to absorb sauces, add to a soup to create a luxurious consistency, create breadcrumbs to add texture to seafood pastas. It is so versatile and simple.  It lives on after its fresh state to being stale and has many different uses throughout its lifespan.

Favorite City to dine out in?

It may be clichéd, but San Francisco has a special place in my heart.  I moved out there after I graduated college to pursue my cooking career.  I moved around to get myself into the best places to work on my career, had no responsibilities, and was in my early 20s.  I had extra cash to go and try all these different places and explore the culture of San Francisco.

Best Dish you have ever made?

Paella.  It is a special dish for the restaurant, but one time a few friends of mine and I had an idea to have a mid-day picnic party.  We went into a field and made a fire. We had wine and cooked a paella and homemade sausage. It was great!

Place you eat most often on your days off?

Probably a dumpling shop that I go to with my daughter.  She is 8 and loves dumplings equally as much as I do. I have my partner in crime and we take down a large spread of them.  Dumplings are not something I cook or do often at home.  They are of a different cuisine and use other flavors than what I am around at work. My daughter and I have either pan fried pork or Chinese soup dumplings.

Person you would most like to cook for?

My grandmother was always very supportive, but she never got a chance to come to my restaurant. It would be cool to have had her to come to the restaurant.

What made you decide to become a chef?

I was in college for architecture, but I got a job cooking to make some money.   It was really fun! I was 20 or 21 and working late was always a party scene.  It was really cool and fun, and I was doing well.  Eventually I got a promotion and was taken under the wing by guys in the industry that I thought were cool and doing good stuff.  I didn’t get into it as my end goal.  I just followed a path and different opportunities opened up.

What is new on your DVR?

Bob’s Burgers is pretty funny.  I am not much of a drama person.  I want to giggle and relax when I’m watching tv. It’s a funny show and has to do with food.

Look out for some mouth-watering recipes from Chef Soifer this month!

July 2016 Chef of the Month – Joy Crump

joy-beth-feature picture

Congratulations to Chef Joy Crump for being our Chef of the Month for July! See what Chef Crump has been cooking up at FOODE!

Where were you born?                

I was born in Pittsburgh, PA.

Where do you work and where are you based? 

I am based in Fredericksburg, VA.  FOODE and Mercantile, my two restaurants, are both in Fredericksburg.  I’m usually at both restaurants all day every day.

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

My grill.  I think fire touching food is very basic and there is no substitute for it. I put anything and everything on the grill- fruits, vegetables, protein, herbs, anything at all!

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

I think sight has become my sharpest sense.  I have learned to look at everything very macro. I can walk into the room and see what’s going on with 30 employees while at the same time seeing if something is cooking too long.  I can see the vibe and see if were in trouble in the kitchen all at once.

What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?  

Be patient with your growth.  What’s getting young chefs now, is they expect everything to happen overnight and to receive a lot of rewards for their work. Reality is the very opposite in this industry.  The culinary profession is very thankless.  You are on a team and not singled out, but if you work hard, before you know it you will be standing out.

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

There is a discipline that goes along with being a good chef.  I think every chef should be making lists to never forget the a,b,c,d that goes along with every day.  Having a list for every task helps build your habits in the kitchen.  I live and die by list making, there is nothing more satisfying than crossing something off!

What does good food mean to you?    

What we try and do is remind people what they love about a thing, a dish, or even Thanksgiving. We like to remind people what they remember and love about that thing and introduce something new in how we present it to them.  We give you a little different twist on your everyday food, but it should still feel familiar and comforting.

 What trends do you see emerging in the near future?  

Definitely hyper local ingredients.  Chefs are now counting on themselves more than farmers to provide their products.  People want to feature things that they have grown themselves, which now has become everything- the meat they have cured, cheese they have made, herbs they have grown.  People don’t only want what is made just in your zip code, but what is made in your kitchen.  Chefs are reinventing their list of ingredients based on what they can accomplish in their own space.  Everything we have in our restaurants, we make in house.  We are working on moving to another location where I hope we can smoke and cure more than we have been able to in our own commissary where we have a small smoker now.  We like to smoke not just proteins, but also oils and vinegars, fruits, cheeses and even seasoning, especially salt.  Being able to accomplish this on a bigger scale makes me very happy!

What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)   

Having pockets and a nice fit are definitely the most important to me in finding a chef coat.  I have to make sure that the things I need and use every day are in there- my phone, sharpie, notebook, thermometer.  I find a lot of chef coats that look great, but with no pockets to hold anything.  I’m not a small chick, but I don’t like wearing men’s chef coats.  They’re usually too boxy for me.  I want something that is fitted and a women’s cut, but I hate when they are super girly and bell out at the bottom.  Just a simple chef coat with a tailored fit and pockets is what I like.

Favorite ingredient to work with?  

Salt!  Food is asleep without it and awakens with it.  People are afraid of salt and afraid to overuse it.  We have a fast-casual restaurant where you sit down and if you need a refill, you get up and get it for yourself.  We do not put salt and pepper shakers on the table, but we will put them out in the common area.  Our goal is to make the food perfect and for the customer to not need extra seasoning.

Favorite City to dine out in?   

That changes all the time, but I think right now it would be Nashville. Every year my business partner and I go to a new city to check out the food scene.  Last year we went to Burlington, Boston, Chicago and Nashville to eat our faces off and try as much as we could.  The food scene in Nashville was so cool and community based.  It was somehow so friendly and down home, while being refined at the same time.

Best Dish you have ever made?     

You’d probably have to ask someone else that! But my favorite dish that I have made would be my fried chicken.  My mom recently passed away, and she taught me how to make fried chicken. To me, family and things that reflect that for me are most important.  My fried chicken even won an award for us and nothing can top that!  Our chicken and waffles are the best in Virginia and I’m so happy we could share that recipe and tradition with a lot of people.

Place you eat most often on your days off?     

I go between Soup & Taco and Tarntip Thai.  Tarntip Thai has really authentic, yummy, cheap food.

Person you would most like to cook for?         

Probably my mom.  If I could cook for her, that means she would still be here.

What made you decide to become a chef in the first place?       

I have a big family. I have 5 brothers and sisters and my parents got divorced when I was 3.  My siblings and I all traveled a lot back and forth because my parents lived in different cities.  We had to get on a plane and travel to each other, which was really expensive. We didn’t have money to buy each other gifts for every occasion, so we stayed at home and cooked together.  It was such a great expression of love when we could all be together with family.  Holidays were huge in our family!  Thanksgiving is the day you don’t dare miss and it gets bigger every year than the year before.  Cooking together is what you do to say I love you and we cook our asses off! I didn’t realize until I was in my 30s that I could do what I love for a living.  It really is a real extension of my family for me.

What is new on your DVR?      

I’m watching a show called S.T.R.O.N.G!  Sylvester Stallone is the executive producer and Gabrielle Reece is the host.  It’s awesome! They pair up women who are on a journey to find their strength and their inner bad-ass with top male trainers.   It’s not just a weight loss program, it’s really to help empower these women who have gone through bad circumstances.

Ms.Cheezious Milkshakes!

Fire up the BBQ and get out the ice cream for this Fourth of July! There is nothing better than a creamy, cold milkshake on a hot summer day. We hope you celebrate your holiday in the sun with fun, friends, and food, of course! Chef Brian Mullins of Ms. Cheezious has come up with two unique shakes that you wont be able to resist!

First up is the Midnight Snack Shake.

Midnight Snack Coral Gables

Look no further for you sweet and savory needs than this outrageous shake! Your taste buds will be in heaven with a chocolate shake topped with chocolate covered potato chips, caramel corn, a peanut-dipped, chocolate covered pretzel and finally some whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

For all of you with a need for sweet, check out the new Pastelito Shake.

Pastelito Shake

This new Miami-inspired concoction is a vanilla and guava shake garnished with a fresh guava filled pastelito on top of a mountain on whipped cream!

Don’t miss out on these delicious milkshakes and more from Ms.Cheezious!

Happy Fourth of July and happy eating!

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