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June 2017 Chef of the Month Marcela Ferrinha

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Chef Marcela is wearing Chef Uniforms Coat #83511

Summer is about to get a lot sweeter with our June Chef of the Month, Marcela Ferrinha! A Brazilian native who now resides in Utah as a pastry chef that specializes in delicious vegan desserts. Read more about her life and pastry chef expertise below and make sure stay tuned all month long to see her tasty and delightful creations!

 

1.Birthplace:

I was in born Rio de Janiero, Brazil. I moved to the U.S. ten years ago – on June 1st.

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

I’m in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have a business called The Sweet Brigadier, where I work as a private catering chef.

I am also a pastry chef at Zest Kitchen & Bar in downtown Salt Lake. In 2016, we won 5 awards from a local newspaper, one being Best Vegan Restaurant and we got awarded third place for best dessert in the state of Utah.

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

My offset spatula, I use it for everything!  Also, the oven without it, I can’t make most of my creations.

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

Vision, I eat with my eyes first!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

You have to read and study a lot – it is like being a doctor – researching and trying new things all the time. Change recipes. Modify everything. Even if you want to change a regular recipe into vegan or vegetarian – you make something totally new and awesome. The more knowledge you have, the better your creations will be.

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

How to make rice, not everyone knows how to do that, also cook eggs. I am terrible at that because I don’t eat them, so it’s hard for me to cook them. For pastry chefs, tempering chocolate, the more you practice the better you get. It is very tricky.

7. What does good dessert mean to you?

A good dessert has balance in the flavors and sugar. I eat a lot of sweets, but sometimes you go to bakeries and the desserts look beautiful, but you take a bite and can’t eat it because is terribly sweet, and you can’t distinguish the flavors in it.

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

I like colors. I have a lot of colorful ones from Chef Uniforms, I have the white with pink buttons, polka dots light pink, green, purple, white and now I got an orange one.

I also like the ones with light fabric and they have to have long sleeves. They need to be extra small, I don’t like the “baggy” ones.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Chocolate. I have 55 different flavors of my chocolate truffles, it is my specialty. I love mixing strawberry and chocolate together, that pair is always good.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Sao Paulo in Brazil. You can find any kind of restaurant there. New York City, it is very similar.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

My chocolate truffles are super popular, my clients love them. I also made a vegan chocolate pot de crème with salted caramel popcorn once that was amazing!

12. Name someone you’d love to cook for.

People who appreciate service and good food. Sometimes it is hard to cook for people who don’t care about that. It is really nice to get compliments and know when people love your food and appreciate that.

If it were to be a famous person, I would love to cook to Mario Francesco Batali or Gordon Ramsay. It would be scary to hear their feedback but I think they would teach me a lot of things just by trying my food.

13. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I moved here, the only two things I knew how to cook were rice and ham & cheese sandwich (LOL). At that time I was working as a trainee in management in a country club in Florida, in their restaurant. And I was pretty much eating only bread and a lot of fast food.

On my days off, I was bored at home, so I asked the chef there if I could come in and help them in the kitchen. My first day, I cut all my 10 fingers. So, the chef asked me to do the dessert and salad stations, was when I felt in love for sweets. Also, I gained a lot of weight of my bad eating habits, so I was kind of forced to learn how to cook.

Want to get to know Chef Marcela more? Connect with her online!

Website: http://www.thesweetbrigadier.com/

Facebook: The Sweet Brigadier Chocolate Truffles

Instagram: @thesweetbrigadier

Twitter: @SweetBrigadier

Shop her look!

Chef Carter’s Flank Street Tacos

Prepare yourself because we’re talking tacos! There are tacos and then there are TACOS. This recipe is the real deal, so it’s time to say no to drive-thru tacos or the ones out of the box. Get excited and ready for a flavorful recipe that comes from Chef Carter, a Texas native and our April Chef of the Month. These Flank Street Tacos will live on as your go-to on Taco Tuesday.

Street Tacos

Flank Street Tacos

Ingredients:

1 pound of flank steak, tenderized

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

Canola oil

Garnish:

½ medium white onion, diced

½ cup cilantro, chopped

Queso Fresco cheese (white Mexican cheese)

Wedge of lime
Corn Tortillas

Heat grill to high heat.

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, mix cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and chili powder. Rub/pat mixture generously over steak then sprinkle garlic on meat. Drizzle with Canola oil.

2. Grill steak on high heat searing both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Steak should look brown. Move steak to another burner on low and let sit another 3 minutes on each side until internal temp reaches 130-140 degrees.

3. Remove meat from heat. Let rest 5-10 minutes.

4. Chop/dice onion. Chop cilantro.

5. Warm tortillas on the grill or on a stovetop in a pan.

6. Cut meat in strips or bite sized pieces against the grain of the meat. Place meat on tortilla and garnish with onions, cilantro, and cheese, to taste. Can place the lime wedge on side or squeeze over mixture before you roll up the tortilla.

Tacos are popular in my house and in Austin, we have a lot of food trucks that serve any kind of taco you can dream up. These Flank Street Tacos are so easy to make and taste so good!

Shop ChefUniforms.com now! Keep in touch with Carter, our April Chef of the Month and see all the amazing things he has coming in his future!

Instagram: @chef.carterhull

Twitter: @chef_carterhull

ChefUniforms.com First Year Sponsoring John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off Food & Wine Festival

We recently teamed up with John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® GridIron Grill-Off to be a sponsor for the 7th year of the event that helps local charities.

John Offerdahl’s Broward Health® Gridiron Grill-Off, features a Grill-Off competition with football legends and celebrity chefs from across South Florida. Because we are a leading manufacturer and distributor of chef clothing and apparel. We sponsored the local chefs and restaurants that partnered with the Gridiron Grill-Off. As sponsors, we supplied the 23 chefs with customized, embroidered chef coats and chef totes, hats, and gift cards for the participating local chefs.

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This year was the 7th annual Gridiron Grill-Off, held at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. The event hosted 23 of the top chefs in South Florida from great restaurants in the region along with football players and legends. Attendees spent the day eating and sampling different foods and wines, then voting on their favorite recipes. Hosted and produced by John Offerdahl, the event’s overall mission is “feeding the needs of kids in crisis.” 4KIDS South Florida and HOPE South Florida are among some of the local charities supported by the Gridiron Grill-Off, there are numerous other charitable partners in the hospitality and sports industries.

Hosted and produced by Former Dolphins Linebacker, John Offerdahl, the event’s overall mission is “feeding the needs of kids in crisis.” 4KIDS South Florida and HOPE South Florida are among some of the local charities supported by the Gridiron Grill-Off, there are numerous other charitable partners in the hospitality and sports industries.

“ChefUniforms is honored to sponsor events like this,” stated Susan Masimore, CEO of UA Brands. “Not only do events like this allow us to get out in the community, they allow us to give back to the community through great charity organizations.”

ChefUniforms.com, together with sister company, UA Corporate Solutions gave more than $10,000 to the Gridiron Grill-Off including in-kind and monetary donations to support the charity.

December 2016 Chef of the Month Rod Knight

chef-rod-jump-with-hat2Can you believe 2016 is coming to a close already? We are extremely excited to showcase our last Chef of the Month for the year: Chef Rod Knight!

We guarantee this is one Chef of the Month you don’t want to miss! Chef Rod went above and beyond and his step-by-step recipes are incredible. Read more about his life and chef career below and make sure to check back next week for his first recipe!

1. Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut

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

I work at a French brasserie called Thursdays on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is the vacuum chamber machine. It allows me to literally marinate or pickle something within seconds. It significantly cuts down a lot of time and the amount of waste. Plus, once you vacuum an item it increases the shelf life exponentially.

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

Interesting, I think that my sense of touch is my sharpest sense. I have never cut myself more than a nick and I think that has to do with my sense of touch.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

I would say stay curious and focus intently on the details. Good dishes are a combination of very small parts that are put together well. Make sure you are aware of how you communicate. How you communicate is a very important part of being a chef because how you speak and what you say translates to everyone you work with and it will literally better the team.

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

Keep your pans hot. You aren’t going to get far without hot pans.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is something that is exciting to share with others. It also takes into account health and nutrition. I believe you can’t untwine the two. What we are eating and how we are eating but it has to be good for you. Also, good food is fresh with fresh ingredients. I guess to sum it up good food is passion on a plate.

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

There’s been a lot of talk about no tipping. All of the servers’ wages and all of the food prices would get raised to cover the no tipping paradigm. Personally, I think if companies do raise the minimum wage, they will expect more from the employees.

I see a lot more with digital cloud services for cooks training and communication. I think we are going to see a breakdown of titles and positions and see more of the cooks and prep cooks taking on more responsibility which would allow the chefs on duty to administer more effectively. With everything online we are learning faster and quicker and the guys on my team who are in school ask me questions that stump me all the time. On a broader level, this will lead to a lot more creativity to make the things.

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

I definitely go with a short sleeve. I like to go with styles that breathe easy. I do like a more traditional style but with a modern fresh approach. I am slim, so I prefer a slimmer fit. I don’t like button ups. The coats I have now have material like Nike dry fit that wicks away moisture and are light weight.

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

For my go-to workwear, I usually wear a cargo style black pant. I typically wear one of my white chef coats. Sometimes I will wear a cap but I always wear crocs.

11. Favorite ingredient to work with?

This is hard, my favorite ingredient I like to work with is Dijon mustard.  I specifically like to pair it with maple, mustard, and Cajun to make a really good marinade that is a little spicy. For a quick fix, I like to have pan seared salmon and splatter mustard on there and bread crumbs. Or red wine vinaigrette adding Dijon. I find it to be a very versatile condiment. But of course, you can’t live without eggs.

12. Best Dish you have ever made?

Okay, so this is fun. I came across this recipe maybe a year ago. I came across a website that had Berbere, an Ethiopian spice. Last year I really got into spices. This one is really cool, so I tried it out. It is smoky, spicy and red in color. It is extensive work to toast it and to process it. It has a very eastern flavor, I guess they have been using it for centuries. So I went to the fish market and got Bronzino. I was having some people over for dinner so I did a dry rub and got a really nice roast on the fish, it was almost magical. I served it with lemon roasted tomatoes. It was very exotic, with Chile peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and a little bit of nutmeg.

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

There is a sushi place in Pompano Beach. It is called 9 Face Sushi and they knock it out of the ballpark. Always fresh, the service is amazing. I like to sit outside and enjoy the view.

14. Person you would most like to cook for?

You know what, I’d like to cook for Stan Lee.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I am an only child. My mom is a chemical engineer. I would get out of school and go home. I would watch 3 shows on Food Network. These shows got me into and gave me permission to get my hands dirty. I would have food made, I can’t imagine it was good at the time. So I started doing things in elementary school.

But I applied and got into a Connecticut vocational technical school in the culinary department when I was in high school. I started learning techniques. My junior year, Johnson and Wales got accreditation and I got an associate’s degree in culinary. It took burning a lot of things and figuring out where I went wrong and teaching it to the next person. To sum it up, I became a chef because of curiosity and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I am creative. Being a chef, I found a happy place to be and express my creativity every day.

16. What is new on your DVR?

On my DVR is Preacher, The Walking Dead, and The Flash. Those are my top three shows that I make time to watch.

Once again thank you to Chef Rod Knight and don’t forget to stay tuned for his recipes that will be featured throughout the month.

 

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