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The Top tools for every professional Chef

Chef in kitchen on blog.chefuniforms.comHave you ever heard the saying “A Tool is only as good as the person using it?”

Every professional chef has their favorites that they just can’t live without! They will use these items over and over even when it’s falling apart or broken, until they are like, “okay, I have to replace them now!”

From all of our Chef of the Month interviews this year, one of our questions asked was “what is your must have kitchen tool for professional chefs?”

Here’s the list of their “must haves” that made our Chefs of the Month celebrated for what they do in the kitchen:

Chef Ron Duprat – Thermal Circulating Bath. It enhances the flavor, texture and aroma of dishes.

Chef George Duran – Pickle Picker. It is a device that has 3 prongs and so easy to use to get those must have pickles! I love the name and it is a tool that not everyone has.

Chef Jenn Louis – Bob Kramer’s Knife. “Bob Kramer lives in Olympia, Washington. He’s one of the only guys in the US who makes handcrafted knives of really high quality. (He has an interest in samurai sword-making and has made a few.) I met him at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in 2011. I told him I’d been wait-listed for years and that it was my birthday, and he made me a workhorse steel knife. He takes many, many layers of metal and puts them in a 2,300-degree kiln. His skill level is just phenomenal.”

Chef Brian Rutherford – Japanese Mandolin. It is a versatile veggie cutter and it cuts vegetables very thin and very fine like a julienne cut (cutting into long, thin strips, like matchsticks) and batonnet cut (another type of long strips).

Chef Anish Rana – Knives! I love Wüsthof knives which is a German brand.

Chef Jason Connelly – Spoons. I love my spoons like Banquet Spoons. They are versatile and can use them on fish and veggies and saucing.

Chef Lorenzo Boni – French Made Cast Iron Dutch Oven – I love the way it is designed and it cooks so easily and the food comes out great!

Chef Robyn Almodovar – Spoon. A nice tablespoon.

Chef Charlise JohnsonKitchenAid Mixer – they are so amazing. I make all kinds of things with it like dinner rolls and cupcakes. It makes life so much easier.

Chef Andrea Litvin – A Scale – I must know exact measurements down to the gram!

Chef Lisa Nakamura – A great pair of Knives – you can do anything with them. I like the brand, Global because they are easy to sharpen and maintain.

Chef Carlos Gaytan – Vitamix Blender. I can do many things with it like sorbets and purees.

Chef in kitchen on

Professional Chef Knives seem to be the leading choice…..

We would like to know what are your favorites that you cannot absolutely live without in your kitchen?


Are 2014’s Culinary Trends taking effect in full force?

2014 culinary trendsThe most noticeable themes amongst 2014’s culinary trends all fall under the umbrella term “healthy eating.” Emphasizing locally grown foods, sustainable options and whole grains, chefs are now focusing on creating flavorful cuisines that please both the palate and the conscience. Creativity and sustainability play a part in the development of cookery, perfecting the balance between what tastes good and what is actually good for you without compromising either. A major factor to consider when choosing ingredients and producers is the value that comes with selecting locally sourced produce and meats. These trends signify that consumers are starting to realize that the impact of their culinary choices affect more than what ends up on their plates. With these trends in play throughout the 2014 culinary year, chefs and restaurateurs alike are finding the balance between delicious food and food that is good for you without compromising either.

Given this information, it is important to notice what a role that sustainable practices play in the restaurant industry – a factor that affects the customer’s decision to dine at a venue even before they set foot in the establishment. The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Program known for “serving up sustainability” provides statistics on these trends. In the 18-34 year old age demographic, 43% said that environmentally safe food is an important factor in making a dining choice. In addition, 55% of consumers would be more prone to select a restaurant if their menu items were produced in an organic or environmentally-friendly way.’s “Top 20 Trends” list further details these trends mentioned above:

1 . Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Locally grown produce

3. Environmental sustainability

4. Healthful kids’ meals

5. Gluten-free cuisine

6. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)

7. Children’s nutrition

8. Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)

9. Sustainable seafood

10. Farm/estate branded items

11. Nose-to-tail/root-to-stalk cooking (e.g. reduce food waste by using entire animal/plant)

12. Whole grain items in kids’ mealslocally produced food

13. Health/nutrition

14. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, tri-tip)

15. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)

16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)

17. Grazing (e.g. small-plate sharing/snacking instead of traditional meals)

18. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)

19. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items

20. Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

Our Chefs of the Month can testify to these popular trends taking the American culinary landscape by storm. Chef Anish Rana (June’s Chef of the Month) of popular Ft. Lauderdale restaurant Bistro Mezzeluna has noticed the popularity of healthy foods, small plates, gluten-free options, and kid’s meals in 2014. February’s Chef of the Month, Ron Duprat (made famous for competing on season 6 of Bravo’s Top Chef) said this of 2014’s culinary trends: “I see a few dining trends occurring in 2014 including incorporating locally sourced meat and seafood, locally grown produce, environmentally sustainable food products, healthy food options that are also kid-friendly, gluten-free cuisines, and the new Haitian cuisine.”

As we are halfway through the 2014 year, would like to hear your thoughts on this year’s culinary trends and if these predictions ring true!

healthy eating


Chef Ron Duprat’s Giving Nature

Chef Ron Duprat 2

Chef Duprat has a selfless nature and a huge heart as well! According to the chef himself, his biggest passion in life after cooking is to give back, not only to his homeland and nonprofit and charitable organizations but also mentoring new chefs to help them grow and be successful in their culinary art.

He stated in our interview with him that aside of being a chef, he is a strong advocate for Haiti; specifically promoting a sustainable food movement that would reduce the country’s reliance on imports, and focus more on local production. He is a supporter of policies that limit the amount of imports the country uses and reward the use of Haiti’s existing culinary resources – ultimately resulting in job creation for the country’s farming industry.

Eating healthy, and specifically the fight against childhood obesity, is an area that he is passionate about. According to data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, obesity is disproportionally more rampant in areas with low income and education and high unemployment rates. These statistics have driven him to come up with solutions for providing high quality, healthy food at affordable prices. Haiti’s fresh and healthy ingredients lend well for creating dishes with these qualities and he is exploring business ideas to get these dishes into the hands of people that need them. wanted to highlight the organizations he has partnered with. Through his philanthropic efforts, they have contributed and given back to the culinary community and people all over the world.

Thank You Chef Duprat for being an exemplary example to us and the communities you have touched, and for showing us that giving always brings so many blessings… 

Chef Ron Duprat 3

  • The American Culinary Federation
    • The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF) promotes the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education, training, accreditation.
  • Real Men Charities, Inc.
    • Real Men Charities, Inc. focuses on providing opportunities for committed and detached men to become involved, responsible, and committed fathers through education and outreach on food resources, healthcare and public policies.
  • Black Culinary Alliance (BCA)
    • The BCA is a nationwide non-profit organization whose mission is to create exposure and provide educational and professional opportunities for African American culinary and hospitality professionals.
  • No Kid Hungry
    • No Kid Hungry teaches kids in need and their families the importance of nutrition, and how to cook healthy, affordable meals.
  • The College of Culinary Arts in Miami
    • Le Cordon Bleu in Miami offers intensive and practical culinary training programs.
  • First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!
    • Let’s Move! is dedicated to solving the problem of obesity, by ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food.
  • Basil Magazine’s Chef Council
    • Basil Magazine is a global Food & Wine publication that also focuses on lifestyle and philanthropy.
  • Fleur De Vie
    • Fleur De Vie (or Flower of Life) is a not for profit organization that works with struggling not for profit organizations globally in order to implement social change in their communities.
  • Food for the Poor
    • Food for the Poor is an international relief and development organization that provides housing, healthcare, education, fresh water, emergency relief and more.

The Birthplace of our Chef of the Month, Chef Ron Duprat

Chef Ron DupratIn order to learn more about our Chef of the Month, we thought it might be helpful to educate our readers about his birth place. Ron Duprat was born in Mare Rouge, Haiti. It is located in the northernmost region of the country, with a population of almost 450,000 and an area of about 2,200 square kilometers. The closest major cities to Mare Rouge are Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Carrefour and Guantanamo.


Here are some facts about Haiti from

Haitian Flag

Haiti, in the West Indies, occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. About the size of Maryland, Haiti is two-thirds mountainous, with the rest of the country marked by great valleys, extensive plateaus, and small plains.

Population: 9,893,934 (2013 estimate)

Capital: Port-au-Prince

Ethnic Groups: Black 95%, mulatto and white 5%

Official Languages: French, Creole

Money: Gourde

Haiti produces: coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum, and wood.Haiti

National Sport:  Soccer. Haiti first competed in the World Cup in 1974.

Other Facts:

Haiti is the most mountainous nation in the Caribbean. Hayti is the Indian name for the country and means “land of the mountains.” The mountain peaks reach over 8,000 feet (2,400 meters).

Haiti is the second oldest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, after the United States.

One of the most popular foods in Haiti is Griot, a fried pork dish. We thought you might enjoy this great looking recipe from

Griot (Fried Pork)


Serves 6-8


  • 1.5 lbs of pork
  • 1 hot pepper
  • 1 tsp of parsley
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp of rosemary
  • 1 tsp of Adobo® seasoning salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange


  • Cut the meat into medium sized pieces.
  • Wash thoroughly with the lime and/or sour orange juice.
  • Season well with Adobo seasoning salt, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic powder, pepper and let marinate for 4 hours (or overnight for even better results).
  • In a saucepan, cover meat with water and boil over medium-high heat until water evaporates.
  • Stirring occasionally, continue to cook until meat is tender.
  • Remove the meat and set aside.
  • In a skillet, heat oil and fry each side to brown evenly.
  • Serve hot with banan peze and diri kole.

Are any of our readers from Haiti? Please share a fond memory from back home, or your favorite dish from the country below!

Sweet Treat recommended by Chef Ron Duprat

Chef Duprat's Signature Flourless Chocolate Cake paired with Black Elk Wine found on

This love crazy combo is surely irresistible and will definitely give you the “eyes” for each other all over again.

Whip up Chef Duprat’s Signature Flourless Chocolate Cake for your Valentine and he suggested pairing it off with your favorite Black Elk Wine.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy!

Chef Duprat’s Haitian Flourless Chocolate Cake

  • 12 ounces Haitian Chocolate  chopped
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)Buerre Margarette
  • 1/4 teaspoon Maldon Salt
  • 6 large eggs,
  • 1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
  • Confectioners’ sugar and/or cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Tahitian  Vanilly Whipped cream:
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9 by 2-inch spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Put the chocolate, butter, and salt in a large microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with an inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl on the pan without touching the water. Stir occasionally until melted.

Beat the eggs and sugar with a standing or handheld mixer until light and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Fold the melted chocolate into the whipped eggs until evenly combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out wet but not gooey, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Remove cake from the oven and cool on a rack.

When ready to serve remove ring from spring form mold. Dust cake with confectioners’ sugar or cocoa powder. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

Tahitian Vanilly Whipped cream

Beat the cream and vanilla in a chilled non-reactive bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until they hold a loose peak. (Lift the beater from the cream and look at the shape of the peak at the end of the whisk; it should hold a lazy curve.) Sift the sugar over the cream and continue to beat just until it holds a soft peak. Take care not to over beat the cream or it will be look curdy. Serve, or refrigerate covered for up to 4 hours.

February 2014 Chef of the Month, Ron Duprat’s Chef of the Month for February is none other than acclaimed Chef Ron Duprat. He is a well-seasoned executive chef, culinary experimenter, connoisseur and philanthropist. He is known on season six of Bravo’s “Top Chef” as a fierce competitor, an expert in exotic flavors, often incorporating his own Haitian and Creole influences with French-Asian Fusion cuisine, a restaurateur and the author of “My Journey of Cooking.” His infectious passion about his culinary profession provides the perfect outlet for his creativity. He is leaving a long lasting legacy for up and coming chefs and the communities he touches.

Duprat is affiliated with organizations that contribute and give back to the culinary community and people all over the world, including The American Culinary Federation, Real Men Charities, Inc.,  Black Culinarian Alliance, No Hungry Kids, the College of Culinary Arts in Miami, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!, and Basil Magazine’s Chef Council.  According to Bravo TV, “Ron always likes to keep vanilla bean, saffron, truffles, Spanish olive oil and chocolate on hand, and his favorite thing to make is his signature flourless chocolate cake.”

Congratulations Chef Duprat and Thank You for bringing your infectious passion to!

Chef Ron Duprat

Chef Ron Duprat - Chef of the Month Feb 2014

1.  What is the name of the Restaurant/Hotel you work with and where are you based?

I am the consulting food and beverage director and executive chef at the Sugar Bay Resort and Spa in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

2.  Where were you born?

Mare Rouga, Haiti

3.  What made you decide to become a chef?

I became interested in food and cooking at a very young age. My grandmother cooked with such fragrant and fresh ingredients that I couldn’t help but join her in the kitchen to prepare meals and learn from her cooking techniques. Joining her in the kitchen jumpstarted my passion for cooking and inspired my decision to become a chef.

4.  What do you enjoy doing aside from being a chef?

Outside of being a chef, I am a strong advocate for Haiti, specifically promoting a sustainable food movement that would reduce the country’s reliance on imports and focus more on local production. Haiti is home to a rich variety of agricultural assets and I am a supporter of policies that limit the amount of imports the country uses and reward the use of Haiti’s existing culinary resources – ultimately resulting in job creation for the country’s farming industry. I also enjoy helping new chefs grow and succeed in the industry.

5.  What is your favorite social media platform?

It is impossible for me to pick just one, because I connect with so many people through all of my social media channels. However, I can narrow it down to four: Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.

6.  What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

A thermal circulating bath is a must for me. It enhances the flavor, texture and aroma of dishes.

Thermal Circulating Bath Chefuniforms.com7.  Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I love cooking so much that I actually cook almost every day. I really enjoy experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen and also do various cooking presentations. My favorite type of cuisine is Creole Cajun and Haitian cuisines.

 8.  What fabric and style of chef uniform do you enjoy wearing the most?

I enjoy wearing 100% Egyptian cotton coats with a traditional fit.

 9.  Chef Duprat’s Shrimp and Rice Cakes Recipe

 2 cups cold cooked Sushi RiceChef Ron Duprat's Shrimp and Rice Cakes Recipe -
2 large organic brown eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons red onion, minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves, minced
4 ounces Rock Shrimp
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup vegetable oil, for pan frying
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a bowl, combine the rice, eggs, onions and cilantro. Put into the refrigerator and chill for about 1 hour.
2. In a shallow dish, combine the flour with remaining ¼ teaspoon of Essence.
3. Divide the rice into 8 portions of ¼ cup each and form into patty shapes. Lightly coat on both sides in the flour.
4. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice cake in batches, adding more oil as needed, and pan fry until golden brown on both sides and warmed through, about 3 minutes preside. Press down using a spatula to flatten slightly.

His Experience and Advice

10.  How long have you been a chef and where did you study?

I’ve experimented with cooking since I was young, seriously since a teenager. I perfected my techniques by attending the College Aimee Cesaire and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine.

11.  What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?

Attending accredited culinary schools and programs like the Culinary Institute of America, Cornell University or La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine provide chefs the skills necessary to professionally prepare meals.

12.  What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?

Working with top-notch chefs help aspiring chefs gain experience and knowledge to apply to their career. I cannot stress the benefits of having a mentor in the industry. I’ve been blessed to have worked with fellow chefs, including Kevin A. Relf, Jaime Jerezano, Randall H. Cox or Adam Savage. Not only can I contribute my success to my strong work ethic and education, but also to the mentorship and collaboration these chefs provided me.

13.  Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?

Connect with as many professional chefs as possible, either individually or by joining professional associations like the American Culinary Federation. Having mentors in the industry is extremely valuable, as they can provide advice and guidance gathered from their experiences to help your journey to become a chef.

14.  What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need?

Seasonality and arability.

15.  Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?

It is important to know what other dining options your customers have and how you can provide an even better experience. I explore these options and learn how to improve my product and service to offer customers the best experience possible.

16.  Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?

I think it is very important to visit the markets, as they give chefs the foundation of all seasonal flavors and flair.

17.  How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?

I like to prepare meals for members of our service staff and make changes or tweaks based on their feedback. I enjoy getting their opinions and incorporating their feedback into the final product.

18.  What is your advice for planning a menu for a new restaurant?

Chefs should ensure that they consider food costs, customer profiles, staffing and seat turnover factors into the dishes they put on the menu.

 2014 and The Future

19.  What dining trends do you see taking place for 2014?

I see a few dining trends occurring in 2014 including incorporating locally sourced meat and seafood, locally grown produce, environmentally sustainable food products, healthy food options that are also kid-friendly, gluten-free cuisines and the new Haitian cuisine. 

20.  How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?

Eating healthy, and specifically the fight against childhood obesity, is an area that I am passionate about within and outside of my career. According to data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, obesity is disproportionally more rampant in areas with low income and education and high unemployment rates. These statistics drive me to come up with solutions for providing high quality, healthy food at affordable prices. Haiti’s fresh and healthy ingredients lend well for creating dishes with these qualities and I’m exploring business ideas to better get these dishes into the hands of people that need them.

21.  What do you think of “Green Kitchens?” Is it realistic to outfit your kitchens to be environmentally friendly?

I do think that environmentally friendly kitchens are possible. When it comes to cooking in an environmentally friendly way, it is important to think small and to also choose energy-saving appliances.

22.  How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?

Social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, allows Chefs to quickly connect and foster relationships with customers, business partners and other chefs. Social media allows chefs to quickly share ideas with each other, promote their great work and learn more about what customers want from their dining experience.

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