Tag Archives: international

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!

Who Will Win The World Cup of Flavor?

world cipAs always, the World Cup this year has been filled with excitement for some, and disappointment for others. However, it is undeniable that this was the most shocking World Cup in recent years. From the United States surviving the “Group of Death,” (Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the U.S.) to powerhouse favorite Brazil getting romped by Germany 1-7, this World Cup has provided fans with the entertainment and action they crave. One of the most notable things about the World Cup, though, is its ability to stir up strong sentiments of national pride, as millions of people from across the globe gather to watch their team proudly represent their home country on the Brazilian battleground. Though soccer is certainly the star of this global spectacle, the rich cultural traditions from all types of nations is definitely a dominant presence. With this in mind, we have selected well-known, delicious dishes from each country to feature. Sink your teeth (like “World Cup biter” Luis Suarez!) into these plates that make their respective country proud.

  • Brazil: Aside from hosting the World Cup, Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world and home to the world’s most popular and frequently visited beach, Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro. A national favorite is lagosta grelhado na casca, or “grilled lobster,” which is full of complex flavors. Add some lime for a kick!
  • Croatia: Homeland of Marco Polo, Croatia is also home of gnocchi, or potato pasta! This delicious, doughy pasta, tastes light and airy with a doughy texture.
  • Mexico: Aside from its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant Mexico City (which sinks 10 inches per year!), Mexico is home to flavorful cuisine. Tamales, or beef wrapped in corn husks, are delicious and packed with flavor!
  • Cameroon: Hailing from Africa, Cameroon is a nation rich with culture and tradition. Aside from being the first African team to make it to the quarter-final of the World Cup in 1990, Cameroon boasts world-famous brochettes, or lamb kabobs. These kabobs are succulent and tender, and pair great with grilled vegetables!
  • Paella - SpainSpain: Soccer powerhouse Spain is home to some of the most beautiful cities, beaches, and art in the world. When Spain isn’t busy producing 44% the world’s olive oil, Spain’s many chefs and families enjoy making paella, a flavorful dish loaded with saffron-infused rice, seafood, and chicken. The ingredients are added into a skillet and cooked in an oven for rich, bold flavors.
  • Netherlands: Much like the stature of the Dutch people, culinary standards in the Netherlands are very tall! Slavinken, or mince meat wrapped in bacon, is a fusion of meaty goodness.
  • Chile: A very long, thin, and mountainous country, Chile is home to delicious South American/Spanish cuisine. Palta Reina, or avocados stuffed with chicken salad, tuna, prawns, or other fillings, is a favorite.
  • Australia: In the land down under, sports and fitness are to priorities: 70% of the population participates in sporting events at least once a week! But when these athletic people need to let loose and eat some desert, they turn to national favorite, Pavlova – a meringue desert with fruit and cream! Sweet and (somewhat) healthy!
  • Colombia: Colombia, home of soccer fanatics and many miles of coastline, is known for their ajiaco dish, a stew of chicken, corn, and potatoes.
  • Gyro - GreeceGreece: You guessed it, Greece is known for its gyros (grilled lamb and veggies wrapped in pita bread)! Greece also has an impressive track record for sporting events – the Olympic Games originated here!
  • The Ivory Coast: Like chocolate? Then thank the Ivory Coast for being the world’s largest exporter of cocoa! They are also home to Mafé, or meat in a flavorful peanut sauce!
  • Japan: Futuristic Japan is home to healthy citizens who, on average, have a life expectancy 4 years higher than that of an American. Their most well-known food staple is sushi!
  • Uruguay: A charitable nation, Uruguay was the first nation to implement the one Laptop per Child Program. When Uruguayans are not busy improving the lives of others, they enjoy eating asado, or barbequed beef.
  • Costa Rica: This nation’s cuisine is as rich as its biodiversity, which accounts for 5% of that of the entire world even though the nation itself takes up .03% of the earth’s landmass. Their culinary claim to fame is Gallo Pinto, a breakfast dish featuring rice, beans, and veggies served with sour cream or a scrambled egg.
  • England: Geographically diverse and historic nation England is known for its famous Yorkshire Pudding, a baked batter served with roast beef and gravy!
  • Switzerland: World leader in the manufacturing of luxury watches, Switzerland is also known for Zurcher Geschnetzelte, a veal dish containing veal liver and mushrooms that is served over a cream sauce and potato pancakes.
  • Ceviche - Ecuador Ecuador: Named after the equator that runs through the country, Ecuador is home to the popular citrusy seafood dish known as ceviche!
  • France: The birthplace of modern-day culinary technique, France is known for its excellence in the culinary arts. With elegant and flavorful dishes, its no wonder that France is known for this artform. Their well-known coq au vin, or chicken marinated and cooked in wine, is an irresistible classic.
  • Italy: Between the beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and breathtaking views, Italy is an incredible destination for travelers and foodies alike. Their cuisine is a worldwide favorite, and Bucatini al’ Amatriciana, or Bucatini pasta with pork in a robust tomato sauce, is a national favorite.
  • Honduras: Home of the Platano Forest, which has been nominated as one of the Wonders of the World, Honduras also boasts another delicious wonder: Baleada! These flour tortillas are folded and then filled with refried beans, cheese, and sour cream.
  • Carbonada - ArgentinaArgentina: The birthplace of the tango, Argentina is a land full of culture. Their famous carbonada dish, stew with potatoes, meat, pumpkins, and corn is incredibly delicious.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: These Euopean nations are home to sarma – stuffed cabbage rolls filled with meat and rice.
  • Iran: This Middle Eastern nation, where people eat meals on carpets instead of tables, features fesenjoon, a stew made of pomegranate, walnuts, and chicken.
  • Nigeria: Nigeria, the most populated country on the African continent, is home to jollof rice, a mouth-watering chicken and rice dish.
  • Germany: Dominating this year’s world cup with impressive wins over both the US and Brazil, Germany also succeeds at making delicious dishes! Their schnitzel is thin, boneless meat that is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with slices of lemon for flavor.
  • Portugal: A nation of seafood lovers, portugals notable dish is bacalhau con natas, or salted cod with cream.
  • Ghana: This African country is known for its hkatenkwan, a groundnut stew!
  • USA: We don’t need to tell you how great America is. Aside from being the first country to land on the moon, we are also the first country to perfect the delicious, highly-fattening bacon cheeseburger!
  • Belgium: Home of castles and delicious waffles, Belgium is known for, well…its Belgian waffles! These homemade, battered waffles are served best with fruit and powdered sugar!
  • Mechoui - AlgeriaAlgeria: With the Saharan desert covering 80% of Algeria, it’s amazing how these people find the energy to cook! Their mechoui, or roasted leg of lamb, is a popular choice.
  • Russia: The largest country in the world, Russia proudly makes beef stroganoff, a world-famous dish featuring noodles and pieces of sautéed beef in a hardy, savory sauce.
  • South Korea: Technology oriented South Korea is the home of kimchi, a specialty dish made by fermenting cabbage in a bed of pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallion!

Even though Germany has won the FIFA World Cup this year, who do you think deserves to win the Food World Cup?

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