NOVEMBER 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- BEN DIAZ

Chef uniforms coats

We are excited to introduce our November Chef of the Month- Ben Diaz! Chef Ben was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently resides there. Chef Ben works at the Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. He also owns and operates 3 pop-ups & concepts in the LA area! Chef Ben comes is of Mexican-Guatemalan descent and he began his passion by following in his father’s footsteps (who was also an amazing chef). Chef Ben’s love for his craft is inspirational, find his story below! 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Los Angeles CA, my background is Mexican-Guatemalan.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
Currently I am work at the Napa Valley Grille in Westwood. I also own and operate 3 other concepts especias pura vida LLC, CBDcuisine Events Specialist and Tacos El Chapin pop up taqueria.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
Kitchen Aid is my go-to favorite kitchen tool, it is super versatile and I have created many great dishes just using this tool, plus with all the attachments, the possibilities are endless.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Smell. For sure sometimes the nose just knows what’s going on and what someone is doing without even looking over.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Makings mistakes is okay, as long as you own it and learn from it. The best knowledge and experience I have was because I learned from my mistakes.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Searing is one of my pet peeves. You must get the timing right, not only that, but use the proper heat source. I can’t tell you how much it kills me when I see a cook or a chef f not sear product properly. You are not getting the best flavor potential possible, plus you have to think of how your presentation will look if your product is not seared properly.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food for me is food that makes you relive those amazing moments you shared with friends; food has to be an experience that leaves an impression.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
For me it is comfort and versatility, plus a sexy looking coat isn’t bad either.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?
Soy Sauce believe it or not! It adds that bit of a savory aspect (umami) especially when I cook vegetables.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?
La Vegas, simply because you have some of the best chefs in the world there and their restaurants. If you know where to dig, you can find amazing local gems that will blow your socks off.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?
This one is a tricky one. Over the years, I have created many amazing dishes, but the one that tops them all has to be my scallops with wasabi crust, corn crumble, pea shoots and grilled pears, pomegranate pearls. Every time I make it, it is a hit.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?
Lately I been into eating pipian de pollo con arroz, basically it’s a Guatemalan mole with chicken and rice.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
My mom, she was always proud of me and what I was doing. Sadly she passed away about 5 years ago. I would love the opportunity to cook for her one last time.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
Well, at first this was not my first choice, but after watching my dad ( who was himself a chef at the time) cook and his passion for it I decided to give it a go and never looked back. Now, 20 years later I am still going strong!

 

Connect with our November Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefbendiaz

Catering Instagram: @cbdcuisine 

Website: http://www.cbdcuisine.com/

 

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