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Anish Rana - chef of the month June

June 2014 Chef of the Month, Anish Rana

Anish Rana - chef of the month JuneExecutive Chef Anish Rana has over 15 years experience in culinary arts and training. He started off as a Sous Chef with Carnival Cruise Lines and moved up the culinary track to the Executive Chef of several South Florida establishments such as Bimini Boatyard, The Pin Deck and Bistro Mezzaluna which has been his home since 2012. He was also the Private Chef for NFL Running Back – Jamal Lewis, CEO of Dicks Sporting Goods – Richard Stack, CEO of Maclean Fog Company – Barry Maclean, CEO of The Expert Planet – Steve Doumar and CEO of Everglades Diesel – Nick Gibrants.

He loves variety and experimenting with different cuisines. Hence the fusion concept merging different cuisines together is a very big part of his culinary repertoire. His specialties are French, Italian and Continental Cuisines. The dish he prepared for me in our interview and included in this blog post, Peppercorn Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna, had an Asian and Middle Eastern flair. Chef Rana said “I like to take a classic dish and make it modern and put a little twist to it.”


Congratulations Chef Anish Rana on being our Chef of the Month for June!

Your Peppercorn Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna was very tasty and we truly appreciate your creative finesse!

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

Bistro Mezzaluna, Fort Lauderdale


2.   What is your birthplace?

Udiapur, Rajasthan, India


3.  What made you decide to become a chef?

My mom was a very big inspiration. I decided at a very young age, that I wanted to cook and make a living as a chef. Her health was not 100% and she was bedridden. As the older sibling, I would sit next to her bed and she would show me how to cook as we had a makeshift stove to prepare foods. This really made me very interested in cooking. I always looked forward to it after school!


4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?

I work 14 hours a day but cooking is one of the things I really, really enjoy and after a long day, I will still go home and cook. In the free time I do have, I watch a lot of sports like American Football and I actually used to play for the junior national soccer team for India. I also love fast cars and working on them. I own a Mini Cooper right now.


5. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

Knives! I love Wüsthof knives which is a German brand.

Wüsthof knives used by Chef Anish Rana


6.  Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine? 

Yes, absolutely! Nothing in particular but I like to go out and see what other restaurants have, not like big chain restaurants but smaller restaurants where they go out and do different things – soul food kinds of places. Love to explore different foods and different flavors.


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

Poly Cotton Mix – kitchen friendly material. I am a very hands on chef and work behind the line. I like to wear short sleeves. When they started making short sleeves, I was in heaven!


Chef Anish Rana’s Peppercorn Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna 


Yellowfin tuna… 6 oz.

Medium eggplant… 4 slice aprrox. Sliced 1/2 inch thick.

Baby heirloom tomato… 6 ea. cut in half

Seedless cucumber medium dice… 4 oz.

Pitted kalamata olive cut in half… 2 oz.

Fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon.

Fresh Oregano 1 tsp.

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper.

Micro greens for garnish


For the Vinaigrette:

2 tbs. tahini paste

1 tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil.



Marinate the eggplant slices with oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant 2 min each side. Crust the tuna with coarse ground black pepper and spray olive oil and grill the fish just enough so it has nice grill marks outside and still rare inside.  To make the salad – add the cucumber, tomato, and olives together and season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 min.

For the vinaigrette, add all the ingredients together and whisk.  To present the dish, lay the eggplant on the plate overlapping each other and put the salad on top of the eggplant and slice the tuna thin and also lay on top of the salad. Drizzle with tahini vinaigrette and garnish with some micro greens.


Chef Anish Rana Peppercorn Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna on chefuniforms.com



~His experience and advice~

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

19 years. I studied the Culinary Program of Arts at Johnson and Wales University.


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

Going to school is very important. Learning the basics and getting your hands dirty and seeing what you want in the future. It’s up to you and what you want to become. You will learn only if you do it which is something I tell my own guys in my kitchen. You grasp faster. At my stage of learning, I had to write everything and after that, I pushed a lot of paper and said let’s redo this process to the Training Chef.


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

Hands on Training – take a pen away from the chefs. You are in the business where you have to show what your hands can do.


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

It is difficult in getting what I want at times. You may want something in California as it may not be grown in Florida but for the most part, it is easier as most people carry everything. I go to the local farms/fresh markets and see what’s out there. I have my local network who supplies me with what I need. They also make suggestions to try out several items.


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

Yes. I go to restaurants around work. Being in the kitchen as much as I am, you want to also keep yourself knowledge able and be current in your restaurant. Always have a great attitude to learn.


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

Yes but not possible daily. I love local growers and they normally come to me and bring me samples.


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

I put together all the ingredients, make a plate and have my employees try it because they are promoting the dish. We list it as a special and get feedback from our guests and based on the amount of positive feedback, it then goes on the permanent menu.


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

Think of the theme, then design the menu to fit the theme. It takes a lot and you have to take into consideration your kitchen as it plays a big role on the kind of menu you should have and what kind of equipment you can fit in it. When putting the dishes together, you have to think of the kind of manpower you will have to put forth a lot of dishes. You can offer a combination of classic and unique dishes and balance it. Also, take into effect healthy and non-healthy dishes.


16.  How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations? 

Technology makes a big difference. From the little things to the big things like tenderizing meat for example…you used to take a mallet and pound it, not there are tenderizers to do that work for you. There are machines that shows you temperatures of water, mixers and all sorts of gadgets.


17.  What phone apps do Chefs use in their day to day?  

I don’t use any apps but Google is my best friend and the Food Network.


~2014 and The Future~

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

  • Healthy Foods/Dishes
  • Small Plates
  • Gluten Free
  • Kid’s Meals – 7 out of 10 parents ask me what goes into our dishes for their kid’s meals


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

Every dish I make, I am conscious of making them healthy. Eating healthy is part of my lifestyle and I transfer that philosophy to my dishes.


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

To the latter question, yes, to a certain level. You can do it in little touches. Regarding ‘green kitchens,’ you can recyle using recycled paper, bottles and plastics – one of the biggest things in being green. You can also apply this mentality in the way you use your materials as well.


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

It plays a big role especially in trying out places and our restaurant uses social media in this way to bring exposure of the meals I prepare and using a reservation system called OpenTable.

Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month May

May 2014 Chef of the Month, Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford - chef of the month MayChef Brian Rutherford is a native of Philadelphia who has called South Florida home for the past 17 years. A graduate of the prestigious CIA (Culinary Institute of America) in Hyde Park, New York, he honed his craft first in Philadelphia before landing in Boca Raton at Max’s Grille in Mizner Park. At Max’s Grille, he worked for South Florida restaurant icons Burt Rapoport and Dennis Max, while training with Chefs John Belleme and Joe Longo. After a three year stint at Max’s, Chef Rutherford moved to South Beach to head up the kitchen as the Executive Chef in opening Pearl Restaurant and Champagne Lounge. Pearl was a hip, innovative restaurant that on any given night entertained the likes of Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart and Michael Jordan. Being the Executive Chef of Pearl for over two years allowed Chef Rutherford’s creative abilities to blossom. From South Beach, Chef Rutherford moved to Ft Lauderdale, heading up the kitchen at Bistro Mezzaluna, a neighborhood favorite on the east side of town. Bistro Mezzaluna was where Chef Rutherford was most comfortable, spending the next 10 years as the chef. He was able to refine his talents in serving the best quality products while using simple, fresh ingredients, while satisfying even the most discerning palates.

In his latest endeavor, Chef Rutherford has spent the past few years working as a Chef Instructor teaching his craft to young culinary students at Sheridan Technical Center in Hollywood, Florida. Chef Rutherford’s focus has changed dramatically from being an Executive Chef to training the future chefs of tomorrow. Sharing his passion and dedication with young chefs has always been a dream of his after realizing how important the culinary school experience was in his own career path.

Along with teaching, Chef Rutherford keeps busy by spending time with his wife Michele and their two children, ages 7 and 9. Chef Rutherford also enjoys golfing and eating at other restaurants as much as possible.

Read on for our in-depth interview with our Chef of the Month for May.

Congratulations Chef Brian Rutherford on being our Chef of the Month for May! We love your personal touches on everything…


1.   What is your birthplace? 

Doylestown, Pennsylvania


2.  What made you decide to become a chef? 

I like to eat and my parents used to cook the same food all the time and I got bored eating the same dishes. I started experimenting and then got a job in a restaurant when I was attending high school and this where I fell in love with it.  I get a major rush every time I work in a restaurant.


3.  What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef? 

I love spending time with my family – my wife and 2 kids and golfing is my next passion.


4.  What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

I like all kitchen tools but the Japanese Mandolin is one of my favorites! 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).


Japanese Mandolin Chefuniforms.com


5.  Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine? 

Yes. I love to eat at ethnic or small out of the way places.


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

Egyptian cotton and Seersucker chef jackets. I love that they are short sleeve perfect for the Florida weather and they are very light and has high textured patterns.


7.  Chef Brian Rutherford’s Chicken and Italian Sausage with Rigatoni and Balsamic Recipe


1.5 Ounces Olive Oil
3 Ounces Diced, Marinated Chicken (oil, garlic, basil, parsley)
Salt and Pepper
3 Ounces Italian Sweet Sausage (cooked and cut on the bias)
2 Ounces Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers (mixed)
2 Tablespoons Basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1 Teaspoon Pepperoncini, chopped
1 Teaspoon Garlic, minced
4 Ounces White Wine
2 Ounces Balsamic Vinegar
4 Ounces Roasted Chicken Stock
1 Ounce Butter
7-8 Ounces Rigatoni, cooked
Salt and Pepper
1 Ounce Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped
1 Ounce Olive Oil



Heat oil in a sauté pan until it just starts to smoke. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Brown chicken a little on both sides. Add the sausage, roast peppers, basil, parsley, pepperoncini, and garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce by half. Add balsamic vinegar and reduce by half. Add roasted chicken stock and reduce by half. Stir in butter, and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the pasta and add olive oil, salt, pepper, grated cheese, and parsley. Buon Appetito!


Brian Rutherford's Chicken and Italian Sausage with Rigatoni and Balsamic Recipe - Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month May


~His experience and advice~


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

Since 1985. I studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.


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

I highly recommend an apprentice program using the format I teach at Sheridan Technical Center. My students get hands on experience and learn a lot of different techniques and styles of the culinary profession and they practice what they learn. It is inexpensive, they build a good foundation with the basics and they also eat what is cooked getting exposure to casual and formal culinary styles. Experience is the best teacher and it is the little things that you pick up from being hands-on and experimental that theory cannot teach you which is what I try to impart to my students. Cooking schools are also another great choice as well because they also show you a wide variety of cooking techniques as well.


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

Go to a Technical School first as it’s a short program and learn the basics and get your hands dirty as you are practicing what you are learning and see if you still want to be a chef after that. If you do, then go and work at a restaurant. I would not recommend working for a restaurant only as you will only learn one or two specific specialties depending on what the restaurant’s niche is. Learn to be a great manager because as you move up the career path, you will be dealing with many personalities in high pressure environments. As part of Sheridan Technical Center’s curriculum, I teach my students in 3 courses: food handling and servsafe practices, culinary nutrition and management. They spend 30 hours a term for each class.


11.  Can you offer some advice for aspiring chefs?

Read and follow chefs who you can learn from and be your mentors.

When I was working at Max’s Grille in Boca Raton, Chef John Belleme asked “What I was doing outside of working” and I said “nothing.” He said “I should be bettering myself and reading all kinds of different materials and constantly learning so I can continue to be current and innovative.”


12.  How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?     

I used a technology called Chef Tech where you plug in everything you bought plus the recipes you want to create and the it then calculates the yields and estimates of how many meals you can create as well as the food costs associated with it each meal.


~2014 and The Future~

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

I see a lot of comfort foods coming back. A lot of Grilled Cheese places are popping up all over and Mac and Cheese is another favorite being served more in restaurants. People relate to these foods from when they were growing up and they want to continue enjoying them.


14.  How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef? environmentally friendly? 

I have always cooked healthy and like my meals to be light and fresh. At my last job at Bistro Mezzaluna, Fort Lauderdale, we had 10 pasta dishes on our menu and none of them were cream based but more olive oil based. At Sheridan Technical Center, we have a Chef’s Corner where 2 students get to try dishes that are healthy.


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

To a certain degree. It is still hard to do and if you choose in going that direction, you have to be 100% committed. Wood Burning grills is a good example and is used in many places.


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