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Chef Benjamin’s Ostrich Pasta Recipe

An exquisite addition to add to your chef repertoire is Chef Benjamin’s Ostrich Pasta recipe. This dish is full of delectable flavors that blend to create the ultimate spin on to your everyday Linguini pasta. Find it below!

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Ingredients

  • Ostrich Meat
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Curly Parsley
  • Eggs
  • Semolina Flour
  • Linguini Pasta
  • Tomatoes
  • Greek Olive Oil
  • Green Onion
  • Italian Parsley
  • Danish Butter
  • Korean Basil

Directions

  1. Ground ostrich meat with shallots, garlic, curly parsley, eggs and Semolina flour.
  2. Cook Linguini pasta.
  3. Blend tomatoes, Italian parsley, Danish butter, Greek olive oil, green onions and reduce.
  4. Let it cool. Add Korean basil and serve as sauce.

 

Connect with our February Chef of the Month

Instagram@chefbenjaminepicure

Chef Benjamin’s Wagyu Enferno Recipe

Ever dreamed of biting into the perfect piece of beef? Now you can. Our February Chef of the Month, Benjamin Kal, has shared his Wagyu Enferno recipe. This gourmet dish is ideal for all you carnivores out there! Get the recipe below.

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Ingredients

  • Wagyu A5 tenderloin
  • Salt
  • Gold Leaf
  • Long grain rice
  • Beef broth
  • King Oyster Mushroom
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Honey
  • Starfruit

Directions

  1. Cut Wagyu A5 tenderloin into rectangles approximately 2 inches wide by 4 inches long by 1.5 inches thick. Season with salt & Gold Leaf.
  2. Cook long grain rice with beef broth & season with salt.
  3. Steam King Oyster Mushroom & glaze with sweet paprika & honey.
  4. Slice Starfruit

 

Connect with our February Chef of the Month

Instagram@chefbenjaminepicure

Chef Benjamin’s Lobster Pearl Recipe

We’re in for a treat this February! Our Chef of the Month, Benjamin Kal, has shared his gourmet Lobster Pearl Recipe. If you’re looking for a tasty, low-hassle dish to create, then look no further. Find his recipe below.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Maine Lobster
  • Mustard Seeds
  • White vinegar
  • Dark Maple Syrup
  • Scallops
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Potatoes
  • Lemon Peppered Pearls

Directions

  1. Cook Maine Lobster and deconstruct.
  2. Combine yellow mustard seeds, white vinegar and dark maple syrup.
  3. Cook fresh scallops with olive oil & butter, lightly add salt & pepper.
  4. Bake one potato and shape into a ball. Wait to cool, reshape the potato and fry the outside.
  5. Add Lemon Pepper Pearls.

 

Connect with our February Chef of the Month

Instagram@chefbenjaminepicure

February 2020 Chef of the Month- Benjamin Kal

serving-looks-pose-wine-cheese-1We’re happy to introduce our amazing February Chef of the Month, Benjamin Kal! Chef Benjamin currently operates a high- end French Chalet in San Diego that offers breakfast, dinner & private cooking classes. Although based in San Diego, Chef Benjamin is also a private gourmet travel chef and travels all over to share his fantastic food. Chef Benjamin didn’t always want to be a chef, but he found his calling when he least expected it. His story is inspirational, and we’re excited to share it with you!

 
  1. Where were you born? Mesopotamia
  2. Where do you work and where are you based? I operate a high end 4-story French Chalet exclusive stay called “The Chamber House” in San Diego, offering breakfast and dinner, as well as private cooking classes 4 days a week. Although I am based in San Diego, I travel everywhere, local and across state lines as a Private Gourmet Chef for small and large functions. The Chamber House maintains a 92% occupancy rate and I am booked nearly two months out. I also hold a Five-Star rating in three categories: Food, Hospitality and Experience. You can find me on Instagram @chefbenjaminepicure
  3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes? A Spoon. Believe it or not, I use all parts of a Spoon when plating and certainly creating abstract and ornate designs. I utilize handle, the back, the neck, the bowl, the tip and even the inside. Each part gives me the desired outcome and whether I am pouring, shaping, smashing or spreading sauces and purees, I must have my trusted and handy spoon nearby.
  4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses? Being an Artist first and foremost, I consider sight as being my sharpest attribute. The nexus between universal beauty and the endorphins that the receiver of my dishes gain is in and of itself the magic and secret behind my success as a Chef, humbly.
  5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? Being a Chef isn’t something you choose. I truly believe that it chooses you. It’s not enough that food is your passion or that art is your calling. It’s beyond—it’s enchanting and addictive, spiritual and philosophical, pragmatic and absurd. Somewhere in that, it finds you, let it I say, if you’re the few lucky ones.
  6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect? Know the basics. Forget trying to be impressive with fancy dishes, colors and abstract. Make an egg or a burger. Embrace the classical rudimentary food techniques.
  7. What does being a good Chef mean to you? Being a Chef actually saved my life. I didn’t always want to be a Chef, food was not a passion of mine, nor was it something I thought about. Growing up, my level and interest in cooking was essentially nonexistent. It wasn’t until a minor time ago where I unknowingly suffered from depression and triggering levels of anxiety. I was in a different job, a completely unrelated career accompanied by arguably the most toxic environment one could be in. I would describe my state of mind at that time as that of traveling on a freeway tied up in the back seat of a car, desperately attempting to get noticed by all the cars passing, yet I cannot scream and when I do, they cannot hear me. Voiceless, nonexistent and living anticlimactic. I was, you can say in a very, very dark place. One day, I ended up at a Korean Market, I was drawn in by the large crowd and then gravitated to the array of colors, cooking components, and all the crustaceans galore. Without having any cooking experience, technique or skill I purchased ingredients. I don’t know why or for what. I still remember however, I purchased Quail, Rabbit, Octopus and Japanese Parrot Fish and various garnishes as well. I had never tasted, let alone prepared such exotic proteins before. When I got home, I remember being in a trance; a heightened sense of mindfulness hijacked my calm state of being. Without recipe or training, I went onto create 3 high-end Gourmet Dishes. I know that readers will find this hard to believe and trust me, as unbelievable as you find it, I find it even more so. It was such a spellbound moment that I was convinced there was something wrong with me. Soliciting the help of my siblings who are doctors, I frantically sought answers to these mystical questions. How was I able to create such works of art? Where is this coming from? How am I able to know these unlearned techniques? How is it that I tapped into this sphere in my brain? In short, rewriting my brain in such a way that shocked those around me. Likened to cases where people rise out of a Coma or experienced brain trauma and suddenly speak another language or having an accent in their native language or waking up one day spectacularly playing an instrument. Believe me, I am not complaining, and my wife certainly isn’t. We both view this as a gift, albeit unexplained and organic. My life you can say, is simply extraordinary.
  8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? Form fitting, there is nothing like a well-tailored outfit.
  9. Favorite ingredient to work with? Eggs
  10. Favorite City to dine out in? Chicago
  11. Best Dish you have ever made? The first dish I ever made, sliced Duck Breast over veggies and topped with a thick Cherry Reduction.
  12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? Chateaubriand.
  13. Person you would most like to cook for? My wife, she is one of the best food critics I know, she is a fantastical foodie.
  14. What made you decide to become a chef? The universe aligned itself in such a way that I didn’t decide. It made the decision for me.
Connect with our February Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefbenjaminepicure

Chef Whitney's Jackfruit Cakes Recipe

Perfectly crafted, deliciously seasoned and healthy, Chef Whitney’s Jackfruit cakes are great and easy dishes to enjoy. For an added yummy twist, Chef Whitney’s recipe is vegan friendly. Indulge below!

Ingredients

  • 1 Can jackfruit in brine, drained (TIP: Squeeze out access liquid from jackfruit and break jackfruit apart)
  • 2 TBSP mushrooms, diced
  • 1.5 TBSP red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 TSP sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ TBSP paprika
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • ½ TBSP dry parsley
  • 2 TBSP spelt flour
  • 2 TBSP grape seed oil

Directions

  1. Put all of the seasonings, mushrooms, onion and garlic in a bowl and mix together. Sauté for 1 minute on medium high heat.
  2. Remove vegetables from heat and place into bowl with the jackfruit and spelt flour. Combine with your hands until the mixture sticks together. Form into cakes.
  3. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with a thin layer of oil (1 to 2 tablespoons) and heat on medium-high heat.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the cakes and cook until golden brown (approximately 5 minutes). Flip and cook until golden brown, and firm to the touch.

Connect with our January Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thisgirlsgrub
Get Chef Whitney’s Catering

Chef Whitney's Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

Our January 2020 Chef of the Month, Whitney Watts, has shared her famous Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe. This cheesy recipe is always a crowd pleaser, and as Chef Whitney says, “who doesn’t want to know how to make a tasty, easy Vegan Mac and Cheese?”

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups cooked macaroni shells
  • 1.5 Cups cooked butternut squash (peel, deseed, chop & boil for 15 minutes until soft)
  • 1 Cup Daiya Classic Blend shredded cheese
  • 1 Cup Daiya Cheddar shredded cheese
  • 1/3 Cup vegan cream cheese
  • 1.5 TBSP Paprika
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 TBSP grape seed oil

Directions

  1. Preheat over to 400.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to butternut squash and purée.
  3. Add cream cheese, add 1/2 cup of each Daiya shredded cheese (both classic and Cheddar), and seasonings. Purée until smooth and creamy.
  4. Mix in macaroni noodles.
  5. Add to baking dish ( I baked in a cast iron skillet), top with grape seed oil and bake for 25 mins or until top appears a bit crispy.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Connect with our January Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thisgirlsgrub
Get Chef Whitney’s Catering

Chef Whitney's Vegan Gumbo Recipe

If you’re looking for a hearty, healthy stew, then look no further! Our January Chef of the Month, Whitney Watts, has shared with us her famous Vegan Gumbo Recipe. Complete with fresh ingredients and stock full of flavors, this Gumbo is a perfect to bring in the new year! Find it below.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup of flour (gluten free optional)
  • 10 Cups of water
  • 1/2 Cups of coconut aminos
  • 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 3 celery stocks, diced
  • 1.5 Cup of mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Cup of lentils
  • 1 Cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 Cup of crushed tomato
  • 1 TSBP Liquid smoke
  • 1 TSP Cayenne
  • 1 TBSP Thyme
  • 2 TBSP Garlic powder
  • 1/2 TSP Sea Salt
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 1 Cup of fresh okra

Directions

  1. Add vegan butter to medium heat and stir until melted. Mix in red onion and stir until onion softens.
  2. Add flour and stir. It will form a tough/ lumpy consistency. Add water and continue to stir until smooth.
  3. Add in soy sauce, crushed tomato, stir and bring to simmer.
  4. Stir in all vegetables, seasonings and beans. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes & stir occasionally. Eat with rice & enjoy!

Connect with our January Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thisgirlsgrub
Get Chef Whitney’s Catering

January 2020 Chef of the Month- Whitney Watts

4We’re excited to welcome the year 2020, and to introduce our first 2020 Chef of the Month, Whitney Watts! Chef Whitney was born in Illinois, and now resides in the Chicago area. She is currently opening her own grab & go gourmet meal pickup and delivery service, and also works at a shared kitchen space on the North Side of Chicago. Chef Whitney is a vegan chef, who often uses creative ways to blend and prepare her dishes. She is a headstrong entrepreneur, and we couldn’t be more excited to start the year off with her story! Read it below. 

1. Where were you born? 
I was born in Melrose Park, IL.  

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I am based in the Chicago, IL, Pilsen area. The address is 2150 S Canalport Ave. I am currently opening my own grab & go gourmet meal pick up and delivery service, but Iʼve been at a shared kitchen space on the North side. 

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My food processor runs my kitchen! Since I mostly make vegan food, it requires a lot of mixing/blending ingredients to give you all of the vegetable greatness and flavor profiles I look to create for people.  

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
My sharpest? Iʼd have to say my nose. I can smell everything all too well. People would assume itʼs taste because Iʼm a Chef, but I “taste” food in my head more than literally.  

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Keep going. Donʼt wait on anyone to help you. People will help you when they can take you seriously by how committed you show yourself to be. Create your own lane, because thereʼs more to the food industry than working in a restaurant. Weʼre in a trillion dollar industry that will never die, so thereʼs much room for you and your style of cooking, but itʼs important to also figure out how your talent can be an asset to the masses so youʼre not just another cook that can julienne a carrot and make chicken stock.  

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Timing. If youʼre planning to be on time, you will surely be late. Organization is vital to being on time.  

7. What does good food mean to you?
Itʼs tasting it in my head. Good food is putting my phone down, and interacting with the people around me about the flavors in the dish weʼre eating because weʼre enjoying it that much. Good food is colorful, flavorful, balancing healthy and delicious, and worthy of an Instagram feature! 

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
My main goal is always my own comfort.  

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Mushrooms. Iʼm a big mushroom lover, so much that Iʼve mastered hiding it in food because theyʼre so healthy and everyone should eat them unless they canʼt. My mom for instance, swears she hates mushrooms, but sheʼs emptied every plate Iʼve given her that had mushrooms, as well as many others.  

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 
New York City has some of the best vegan food. Seasoned Vegan, located in Harlem, is one of my favorites.  

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 
My vegan Mac n Cheese stands alone and proud.  

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
I love Ethiopian food. Or nachos. I eat a lot of basil veggie fried rice with Tom Yum soup, also. I rarely stray away from those meals.  

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
Miguel. Iʼm such a fan of him as a person, his music, his vibe. I will one day. 

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
I was an Accountant at a Real Estate company for nearly 5 years, and had been in the industry for 10. I just remember at one point sitting in my office and feeling like my 9-5 was an inconvenience, and that I could be cooking for someone, making them happy. Being in an office became stressful and I found myself going into a depression, but also noticing how cooking felt like therapy, because Iʼd just put on some jazz music and zone out, and when I was all done, I felt whole again.

Connect with our January Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thisgirlsgrub
Get Chef Whitney’s Catering

Chef Ethan's Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

Chicken wings are a delicious go-to meal that is ideal for lunch or dinner. Chef Ethan’s Smoke Chicken Wing recipe is a different approach for a well-loved classic. The addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper give it that extra kick that will definitely have people talking! Get the recipe below.

Instructions

  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dark chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon light chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground mustard

Directions

  1. Mix spice mixture onto wings and allow to sit at minimum 2 hours, but overnight is STRONGLY SUGGESTED.
  2. Smoke at 225 degrees F for 2.5 hours using peach wood-chips.
  3. Optional accompaniments: Ranch, Blue Cheese dressing, BBQ sauce

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

Chef Ethan’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Poke Recipe

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Chef Ethan’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Poke is a fresh & light dish with a tangy taste that is ideal for lunch or dinner. If you love fresh Asian flavors with a tropical twist, this is the recipe for you!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Lbs Fresh Tuna (small dice)
  • .25 Lbs Pineapple (small dice)
  • 2 Green onions (small dice)
  • 4 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger (minced)
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Mirin

Directions

  1.  Combine all the ingredients together.
  2.  Let ingredients sit at least 1-2 hours.

Optional accompaniments: fried wontons, seaweed salad, sticky rice, avocado and nori.

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

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