Tag Archives: pastry chef

September 2017 Chef of the Month Michelle Sohan

 

Chef Michelle Sohan based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago runs her own bakery where she is the lead cake artist and designer. It was a treat to learn more about Chef Michelle and chat about how she designs her stunning sweet treats. So without further ado, we’re happy to introduce you to Michelle Sohan, the September Chef of the Month!

 

1.Birthplace:

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

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

I own my bakery, Bakery Treatz, where I am also the Lead Cake Artist and Designer.

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

I love working with the basic modeling tools, as I can create almost any shape or structure. When I started, and even now, I have to be as creative as possible, as many cutters and modern tools are not always available when needed, and very costly to ship last minute into the island. So I improvise! And that’s been the best training for me.

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

Has to be both sight and taste!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 

There’s no easy way to become a professional, take your time to develop your talents, be nice to others in the industry,  and remember, we never stop learning!

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

Learn your ingredients, so you know how to find that perfect balance when using them, from colors, textures, and taste.

7. What does good food mean to you? 

Oh! Good food to me means finding the flavors in harmony with each other from the first bite! I absolutely appreciate when there is a thought process combining ingredients.

8. What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? 

I have to feel comfortable in how I look and how it fits! I’ve actually been wearing ChefUniforms.com jackets for the last six years! And I recommend to all my colleagues as they’re always complimenting me.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Spices and herbs, cardamom, nutmeg, bay leaf, ginger, basil, and turmeric.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Chicago and more recently, Miami, especially the new Wynwood district. My favorite pastry chefs include Stephane Treand in Costa Mesa, California, Antonio Bachour in Miami and in Trinidad, Chef Josef Habr, who makes the most delicious Lebanese food.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

Spiced Trini Rum Cake (recipe coming soon!)

12. Who would you like to bake for?

I would love to bake for the Wounded Warriors Project after meeting one of their reps at a cake convention in Virginia recently. It is one of my goals after I compete this upcoming October in Milan, Italy, at the Cake Designers World Championships.

13. What made you decide to become a chef? 

I actually had never liked being I the kitchen whilst growing up! In fact, my two sisters were the cook and baker, I did all the other chores, like making the beds etc. But I had a very serious accident whilst at work, and I was just finishing my masters in Food technology at our local university. Our faculty had a bake sale, and I took my sister’s cakes, which sold out immediately, and everyone came asking to place orders! That’s when it happened, I said yes I do! And I’ve never stopped since! It’s like a switch you can’t turn off, everything around me I use as inspiration.

Connect with Our September Chef of the Month:

Website: BakeryTreatz

Instagram: @bakerytreatz

 

Chef Marcela’s Honey Mascarpone Mousse

2420538.jpgBeat the summertime heat and sadness with this sweet treat. Impress both your friends and clients alike by serving this simple but flavorful dessert after dinner. The mixture of honey and vanilla sweetness is perfect for the season. So go sit outside and enjoy the warm Summer nights while enjoying this delightful dessert!

 

Honey Mascarpone Mousse

Ingredients:

3 sheets of gelatin

8oz of mascarpone

1 cup of heavy cream

5oz of honey

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 cup of heavy cream, whipped to soft peak

Directions:

1.If using a hotel pan, lightly spray it with baker’s joy and line with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment.

2.Bloom gelatin in cold water.

3.In a saucepan, combine the mascarpone, half of the cream, the honey, and vanilla. Heat until the mascarpone has completely melted (you may need to whisk it a little).

4.Add gelatin and transfer to a bowl. Cool until barely warm to the touch.

5.Whisk the second amount of cream to soft peaks and whisk into the mascarpone hone mixture.

6.Pour into pans and let it set for at least 4 hours.

Connect with Our June Chef of the Month:

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

Facebook: The Sweet Brigadier Chocolate Truffles

Instagram: @fashionpastrychef

Twitter: @SweetBrigadier

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June 2017 Chef of the Month Marcela Ferrinha

Picture 2

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

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Chef Alekka’s Chocolate Espresso Brownies

brownies2.jpgThis recipe comes from our February Chef of the Month, Alekka Sweeney. Valentine’s Day is approaching and we all like to take this time to indulge in some dessert. This recipe caters to anyone with a sweet tooth and love for all things chocolate. Take a break from your New Year’s diet and enjoy the finer things in life… and one of those things is sugar!

Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Yields 32 brownies

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter

5 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon instant-espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup 64% Chocolate pistols (I prefer Valrhona)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 15- by 10- by 1-inch baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of foil to hang over ends of pan, and grease foil well (except overhang) with 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Melt remaining 11 tablespoons butter with unsweetened chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, and salt (mixture will be grainy), then add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth.
  3. Toss together flour and chocolate pistols in another bowl and add to batter, stirring until just combined.
  4. Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes –be careful not to overbake.
  5. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then carefully lift brownies from pan by holding both ends of foil and transfer to rack to cool 10 minutes more. Cut into 32 squares and lift brownies off foil with a spatula.

Love this recipe? Get in contact with Chef Alekka and visit her shop Give Me Some Sugar if you’re in the Chicago area so you can learn to bake like a pro!

Website: Give Me Some Sugar 

Facebook: Give Me Some Sugar

Instagram: @givesugar

Twitter: @ChefAlekka

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