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Chef Jouvens’ Conch Fritters Recipe

Conch Fritters are a seafood must-have! Luckily, our August Chef of the Month, Chef Jouvens has shared his delicious Conch Fritter recipe, and as an added bonus, his recipe for Epis seasoning! Get the recipe below!

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Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp complete seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mojo Criollo
  • 2 tbsp Epis
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups of diced conch (small diced)
  • 1 tbsp diced red onions
  • 1 tbsp diced mixed bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallion

Epis Ingredients

Epis is a seasoning blend used in the majority of Haitian food for marinating and flavoring

  • 1 oz parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 1 oz scallion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (peeled & roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper (roughly chopped with seeds)

Directions for Epis

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

Directions for Conch Fritters

1. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

2. In a 350 degree deep fryer, use an ice cream scoop or spoon and place conch fritter batter mix in the fryer and fry until it’s a golden brown.

3. Remove from fryer and season with complete seasoning and serve hot!

 

Connect with our August Chef of the Month!

Instagram: @chefjouvens

Facebook: @ChefJouvensJean

Website: http://chefjouvens.com/

Foundation: https://chefjouvensfoundation.org/

 

 

August 2019 Chef of the Month-Jouvens Jean

We are excited to introduce our August 2019 Chef of the Month- Jouvens Jean! Chef Jouvens was born in the Bahamas and now works and resides in Miami, Florida. This passionate chef has been on Food Network shows such as Cut Throat Kitchen and Chef Wanted! He also created the The Chef Jouvens Foundationwhich provides access to food and nutritional information for children and gives young adults culinary training. Currently, Chef Jouvens has 3 restaurants in the Miami area, with a 4th one coming soon! Read his inspiring story below!

 

1. Where were you born?

I was born in Nassau, Bahamas.

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

I work and based in Miami.

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

My favorite kitchen tool to use is my team as cliché as that may sound, but they’re the ones who assist in me creating a masterpiece.

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

I will say that my sharpest sense is sight but not sight as in the ability to see but the ability to see beyond the eye’s perception. Part of my success is attributed to my ability of seeing further than what is there… I think most great chefs share the same notion.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Stay focus and pay attention to details. Cooking is the easy part, not paying attention to the most minuscule detail is what will make you or break you at the end of the day.

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

Every chef should know and perfect the art of leadership.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is like music. When it’s good it makes your entire body move.
Good food means bliss…

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?

Features that are important to me in my chef outfits are comfort and practicality. When you look good you feel good but the outfit should also serve a stylish purpose.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Like my favorite tool to use, my favorite ingredient is my team. I live in Miami, so I have a melting pot of a kitchen team. That means that everyone on my team is an ingredient that brings a different flavor to my creations.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

I have a few of those… my top five cities are Miami (not biased at all…), New York, Port au Prince and Montreal.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

I think one of the best dishes I’ve ever made is the one I almost beat Bobby Flay with which is a breadfruit croquette with a chipotle aioli.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?

On my days off I like to eat whatever someone else is cooking.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
I’ll tell you the people I love cooking for is my stewarding team. I think that they hold the most important job in the kitchen and besides, they always tell me their honest opinion of my food. HAHAHAHA…

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
The decision to become a chef was not by choice, I was born and this is what I am. That’s the only truth I have for that because I never aspired to be a chef, nor did I have a grandmother or mother that taught me how to cook.

Connect with our August Chef of the Month!

Instagram: @chefjouvens

Facebook: @ChefJouvensJean

Website: http://chefjouvens.com/

Foundation: https://chefjouvensfoundation.org/

 

Check out Chef Jouven’s Restaurants!

Sawa Restaurant & Lounge
Middle Eastern, Mediterranean & Japanese fare
Located in: Shops at Merrick Park
360 San Lorenzo Ave #1500, Coral Gables, FL 33146

C’est Bon Cafe
European Style coffee shop with healthy smoothies and juices
Located in: Shops at Merrick Park
330 San Lorenzo Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Manjay Restaurant Miami
Modern Caribbean Cuisine at The Citadel in Miami.
Address: 8300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33138

Eclectico Restaurant (COMING SOON!)
Mexican/Pan Latin concept restaurant
Located in: Shops at Merrick Park
320 San Lorenzo Ave, Coral Gables, FL 33146

 

 

 

Chef Ale’s Panzanella Recipe

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Panzanella or Tuscan Bread Salad is a delicious Italian dish that is commonly very popular in the Summer. The dish is usually made out of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes. Chef Ale, our July Chef of the Month has shared with us her special Panzanella recipe (perfect for July)! Find the recipe below!

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices stale Tuscan bread
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 small red onion
  • White wine or apple vinegar
  • 8 basil leaves, hand chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cut the onion into thin slices, soak them in a small bowl with water and a tablespoon of vinegar for at least 1 hour.

2. Peel the cucumber with a potato peeler then cut into thin rounds.

3. Wash, dry and cut the tomato into small pieces.

4. With a serrated knife, remove the crust from the Tuscan bread slices, wet them with a water solution and 2 tablespoons of vinegar without soaking too much. Once softened, squeeze out liquid excess and chop it coarsely into pieces.

5. Place the bread in a large bowl, then add the drained onions, tomatoes, cucumber and basil leaves and mix all the ingredients with the help of a spoon.

6. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix again.

7. Place the Panzanella in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

8. Return the Panzanella to room temperature before serving.

 

Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

 

Chef Ale’s Tiramisù Truffles recipe

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In for a treat? Chef Ale has shared with us her Tiramisù Truffles recipe! This classic Italian dessert is a definite crowd-pleaser and a perfect finish to any dish. Get the recipe below and stir things up!

Ingredients 

  • 16 savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 shot espresso coffee
  • cocoa powder, to dust

Directions

1. In a food processor, pulverize the savoiardi. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Blend in the espresso, then add the savoiardi and mix thoroughly.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls then roll them into cocoa powder.

5. Store tiramisù truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.

6. Remove from fridge 10 minutes before serving.

 

Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

 

CHEF ALE’S POTATO & ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

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Lasagna is one of the tastiest dishes out there. Potatoes and Zucchini make the world go ’round. Together, they create a recipe for satisfaction! Chef Ale has shared her delicious Potato & Zucchini Lasagna recipe, and once you try it, you’ll crave it every single day! Get the recipe below:

Ingredients 

  • 1 package (12 oz) fresh lasagna sheets
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup water, warm
  • 2 cups whole milk, warm
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Directions

1. Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

2. Wash, dry and cut the zucchini into thin rounds. Peel, wash, dry and cut  the potatoes into thin rounds.

3. In a large skillet, brown the garlic with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Remove the garlic and add zucchini and potatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add 1 cup of warm water, salt and pepper to taste and cook at medium heat until tender.

4. In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Remove the butter from heat then add the flour and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture over medium heat, add nutmeg and cook until just thick. Set aside.

5. Boil the lasagna sheets on a large skillet of salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then remove and lay on a kitchen towel to dry.

6. To assemble the Lasagna, grease the bottom of a rectangular baking dish with a knob of butter, then spread over a couple of tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Place the first layer of lasagna sheets then some zucchini and potatoes, spread over some béchamel sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano.

7. Repeat (lasagna sheets, béchamel sauce, zucchini and potatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano) for 3 more times or until all the ingredients are gone. (I usually prepare my lasagna with no more than 4 layers).

8. Cook for 35 minutes.

9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

 

July 2019 Chef of the Month- Ale Gambini

We are proud and ecstatic to introduce our July Chef of the Month- Ale Gambini, also known as a Queen in the Kitchen! Chef Ale is not only a cookbook author and a cooking instructor, but she’s also a LA-based food writer AND an Italian food ambassador! Chef Ale also frequently travels the United  States and Italy as Keynote speaker for food-related events, a Queen in the Kitchen indeed! Read below to learn more about Chef Ale (prepare to be fascinated).

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Where were you born?

100% Italian, born and raised in beautiful Milan (Italy).

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

I’m a LA-based food writer, Italian food ambassador, cooking instructor and chef in online food programs. I also travel the U.S and Italy as a keynote speaker for food related events.

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

I’m a huge fan of the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, such a great help but as I always say to my students, your hands are your best tools in the kitchen.

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

The smell! Everything about my cooking starts from the smell. I want my dishes to be a bouquet of flavors through the nostrils first and then to the palate.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Passion and hard work are the key ingredients to succeed in the food industry.

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

I don’t have a tip, but a suggestion: always use the BEST quality ingredients.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Family, health and love. I grew up in a typical Italian family watching my Nonna prepare food for the whole family every single day. Cooking is one of the greatest acts of love. For us Italians, it is much more than fuel for the body, is sacred.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

The fabric is the most important thing, I love lightweight coats made with natural fibers. The colors hot pink and black are A Queen in The Kitchen colors.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Flour. I love to bake especially bread and baked goods.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Bologna in Emilia Romagna region (Italy), the capital of the Italian food: fresh egg pasta, lasagne, ragù, gnocco fritto, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella and so much more.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

People say that my Lasagne alla Bolognese is to die for.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

I try to eat as good as possible every day, but if I have to choose something not Italian, I would say ceviche de pulpo.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My daughter, when she cleans her plate I’m the happiest person on this planet. Mangia, mangia is my motto!

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

The love for the good food.

 

Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

Chef Stephanie’s Korean BBQ Braised Short Ribs

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Summer is the perfect time for BBQ and the perfect time to enjoy Chef Stephanie’s Braised Short Ribs! This dish is the sizzling recipe that all BBQ lovers will rave about. Get your recipe below and kick your summer up a notch!

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 8 each – Short Ribs
  • 1 Tablespoon – Garlic powder (Spiceology)
  • 1 Teaspoon – Ground Pepper (Spiceology)
  • ½  Cup – Korean BBQ rub from Spiceology
  • 1 Can Dos Equis beer  (or any favorite beer will do)
  • ¼ Cup – BBQ sauce
  • Fresh Parsley

Directions

 

1. Mix together the garlic powder, ground pepper and Korean BBQ rub. Lightly oil the short ribs in a bowl and coat them with the seasoning mixture.

2. Heat up a Dutch oven with a tablespoon of oil on medium heat.

3. Sear all sides of the short ribs, once they are all browned, pour in the can of beer and your BBQ sauce, turn heat down to low,  place lid on the Dutch oven and let it cook on low for 4 hours.

4. (Optional) Before serving make some Mashed Potatoes.

5. For serving: Place mashed potatoes at the bottom of the bowl, place two short ribs on to and pour a small amount of the braising sauce over the top of the ribs.
Optional: chopped fresh parsley.

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_

Chef Stephanie’s Cod Zucchini Salad in a Sweet Lemon Sauce

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Chef Stephanie’s Cod Zucchini Salad in a Sweet Lemon Sauce is a light and healthy dish that is easy-to-make, delicious and perfect for summer! Additionally, Chef Stephanie provides great tips on plating that are sure to impress. Get the yummy recipe below!

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 4 Cod filets
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 Large Zucchinis (one green/one yellow)
  • 1 pint – black berries
  • 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Peel the skin off the Meyer lemons with a vegetable peeler. Scrape away any white pith from the peels with a paring knife. Juice the lemons and strain.

2. Place the Meyer lemon peels, honey and 1 cup of water in a sauce pot.  Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer until peels are tender, (about 30 mins).

3. Transfer the mixture from the pot to a blender. Add lemon juice and salt, purée it until it is smooth. Keep warm for serving.

4. Season the fish on both sides with salt, pepper and lemon zest.

5. Heat a skillet on high heat until just smoking. Add a tablespoon of olive oil on the pan. Add the fish fillet- presentation side down first, and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. When done, remove the fish from the pan and blot on a paper towel.

6. Shave ribbons off zucchini with a mandolin . Dress with olive oil, salt-pepper and lemon juice. Roll the zucchini strips into small cylindrical shapes.

7. For plating:  Lemon sauce at the bottom, place fish in the middle, arrange zucchini rolls along the sides of the fish, and add blackberries.

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_

Chef Stephanie’s Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

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Cheesecake is undoubtedly one of the yummiest desserts out there, but picture this: a strawberry cheesecake with an Oreo crust! Chef Stephanie’s Strawberry Cheesecake recipe is guaranteed to satisfy. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients (Serves 16) 

  • 2 cups – Oreo cookies with cream center removed; finely ground (2 sleeves)
  • 1/4 cup – butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons – sugar
  • 4 each 8-oz.-  packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups – sugar
  • 3 tablespoons-  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup – sour cream
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 3 tablespoon- water
  • 2 tablespoons- sugar
  • 1 teaspoon-  cornstarch
  • Red food coloring, (optional)
  • 1 pint fresh small strawberries, washed and hulled

Directions

1. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325º F. Put a tea kettle or large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into 9” spring form pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream. Pour the batter into the spring form pan on top of crust.

4. Place the spring from pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (If your cheesecake pan is not leak proof, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water).

5. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 70 to 80 minutes.

6. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. (Overnight is the best).

7. Purée frozen strawberries in a small food processor or with an immersion blender. Press blended strawberries through a fine mesh strainer in to a small saucepan. Add water.

8. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Stir into the puree in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened and clear. Add food coloring, if desired. Cool to room temperature.

To serve: Top each piece of cheesecake with broken Oreo cookies and drizzle strawberry sauce over the top!

 

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_

 

June 2019 Chef of the Month- Stephanie Hamilton

We are so ready for the month of June (can someone say summer?) and with it, we are happy to introduce our June Chef of the Month- Stephanie Hamilton! Chef Stephanie is a creative chef in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not running her own catering company, she is putting on events and constantly looking for different ways to create delicious new recipes. Read below to learn more about Chef Stephanie’s story!

 

1. Where were you born?

The Great Pacific Northwest is my home. I was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer-fresh seafood with local farmers all just right in my backyard and really an amazing place to live.

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

I am super active in many aspects of the culinary industry, I also have my own catering company ” The Creative Menu”. I pretty much will take on any event that comes my way, since it’s just me. At times, I get those large events that will challenge me, but at the end of the day it is so rewarding. I also love to put on “Pop Up” events, taking smaller groups of guests and creating a fine dining experience in the comfort of a home or small venue. It’s such a fun and creative way to challenge myself by taking a menu and being able to transport the guest somewhere new and exciting with the story you have behind each dish as you go through the night.

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

It’s really hard to pick a favorite kitchen tool, of course I love my Chef’s Knife. Thinking of something even more simple is the actual dish you plate on. The color, shape of the plate or board can change the whole dynamic of a dish. I want a dish that would be brought to life and contribute to the story.

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

My sharpest sense would be my sight, I am able to visualize and create a dish and keep great attention to detail, while not over complicating a dish, keeping it simple and letting ingredients shine. To me food should be vibrant, balanced and just simply put, make you happy.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Have a mentor that you respect and look up to and learn as much as you can from that Chef. Being able to work side-by-side with a Chef and having a hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Never stop learning and always challenge yourself and finally, do not be afraid to fail, that is the only way to truly learn and grow to be better.

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

What was taught to me was to never waste anything! Learn your ingredients and know how to utilize every component.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is simplicity and elegance, not over complicating a dish where flavors get lost.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 

When selecting an outfit, I look for material that is comfortable, washes well and holds its color. I like being able to customize my coat.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Favorite ingredients would have to be “Beef & Spices from Spiceology” (tenderloin, trip-tip, brisket, short ribs, etc.) Cooking up a beautiful filet seasoned perfectly with the balanced flavors of Spiceology will hands raise your dish to that next level.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Seattle, Washington is such a great city to dine in. Big variety of cultures with some of the best little mom and pop places to eat. The best part is being down by the waterfront and taking a stroll through Pike Place Market.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

One that is my favorite to make and turns out perfect every time is the Tri – tip coated in a dry rub from Spiceology. It’s cooked on the smoker at 225 degrees for about 90 mins then kick the grill up to high and reverse sear. Top it off with a fresh Chimichurri sauce and serve it up with your favorite side.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 

I love to eat Tacos! Steak, Shrimp, Brisket.  If you’re making it, I’m eating it. Plus, put a fresh bowl of salsa and chips down, and I’m one happy camper.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would be honored to cook for Chef Thomas Keller.  He is so talented and the chance to cook for and listen to his feedback would be incredible. Being able to learn about his experiences in the kitchen and how he got to where he is would be a great learning experience for me.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I did not realize in the beginning, but my journey started when I was just a kid. I am very grateful of how it began. I grew up on a little farm, between our farm and my grandparent’s farm we had about 15 acres. We raised our own meat, poultry, beef, lamb, rabbit and had a very large vegetable garden. I was taught the importance of working hard for what you have and never wasting anything.

Growing up I always loved to cook but not sure I really thought I was going to have such a passion for cooking, but then, it really kind of hit me all at once, (That fire & passion that burns inside of you) I took that desire to learn and started teaching myself everything I possibly could learn. Cooking for others makes me so happy, seeing the joy your guest has sitting around a table enjoying their meal and making new memories with their family… that right there is the best thing in the world!

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_