Tag Archives: catering

September 2021 Chef of the Month – Chef Jahnesta Watson (Chef Shaiheem)

We’re so excited to introduce our talented September 2021 Chef of the Month, Jahnesta Watson (Chef Shaiheem)! Originally from Mississippi, Chef Shaiheem moved around a lot before he permanently settled in Atlanta, Georgia. He owns The Guilty Plate Co. LLC, an Atlanta based catering company that he started back in 2016. Chef Shaiheem has been cooking ever since he was 17 years old! His first full-time job was at a burger spot in the Atlanta airport, and it helped him realize that food fueled his passions. Today, he continues to inspire his customers with the love he has for his craft and truly believes that he was placed on this earth to “Spread Light Through Food”. After all, feeding people is his love language.

1. Where were you born?
 I am originally from Gulfport, Mississippi but I moved back and forth between there and Georgia all my life. I moved to Atlanta, GA permanently in 2008.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I’m a Project manager/Sampling & Projections operations analyst.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My Cleaver is my favorite tool, it’s the sharpest knife in my kitchen and it’s never nicked me!

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Hearing, I am also a singer so working on that has always been important to me. No one is ever going to sneak up on me!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Never stop creating, I challenge myself to create at least two things a week with ingredients I have never touched. I think it is important to venture out into other styles of cuisine to bring nuanced flavors to your foundational cooking style.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
The culinary tip that I think everyone should know and perfect is effectively seasoning and building flavor profiles. Every seasoning that is in your cabinet, does not belong on your food.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food to me is food that is cooked with love and food where every single flavor profile is vocal in your dish in the way that it needs to be heard.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit? 
Comfortability and style is important. I want to be able to move around easily and to not sweat too much in the kitchen. Even more so, I want to look damn good in it!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
I love acidity so any excuse to use citrus and I am there for it!

10. Favorite city to dine out in?  
Chicago, IL hands down! Chicago is such a culinary melting pot and I love diving into everything I can get my hands on when I’m there. There is no such thing as a diet when I am in The Chi!

11. Best dish you have ever made? 
I honestly try to top myself every time I step in the kitchen, I feel like superiority to the chef I was yesterday is always my goal, so I feel like I’m only as good as my last dish. Now that I’m done pontificating, Hazelnut Coffee braised Oxtails w/ Smoked Manchego gremolata over creamy polenta.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
OXTAILS & JAPANESE FOOD

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
I would love to cook for Michelle Obama, I just love that woman!

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?
I would say the most difficult thing is staying inspired and keeping yourself separated and special. It is a blessing and a rarity that you can make the money you need to survive cooking full time if that is your dream. The Chef community is infiltrated because everyone claims the word in a community that is already so oversaturated.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
I have been cooking professionally since I was 17. Cooking truly centers me. When I am in the kitchen creating dishes for others to eat, it nothing brings me more joy.  I truly believe that I have something special in store for anyone who tries my food. I believe I was placed on this Earth to “Spread Light Through Food” and just want everyone to experience the love I have for my craft because Feeding People is My Love Language.

Connect with our September 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @thechefshaiheem
Website: https://theguiltyplate.com/
TikTok: @thechefshaiheem

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Chef Justin’s Honey-Drizzled Fried Chicken Recipe

Liven up your taste buds with our March 2021 Chef of the Month, Chef Justin‘s Honey-Drizzled Fried Chicken recipe! Whether you like your chicken crispy or extra crispy, this easy-to-make recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Plus, the extra drizzle of honey gives it that sweet kick we crave!

Whether you like your chicken crispy or extra crispy, this easy-to-make recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Plus, the extra drizzle of honey gives it that sweet kick we crave!

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast
  • 1/2 TBS garlic pepper
  • 1/2 TBS cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 TBS ranch dry seasoning mix
  • Buttermilk
  • Flour
  • Honey

Directions

  1. Season each chicken breast with ½ tablespoon of each: garlic pepper, Cajun seasoning, and ranch dry seasoning mix. Note: Also, use the same seasonings in your flour.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a buttermilk and salt mixture.
  3. Then, batter in flour and seasoning mixture. After, fry at 356 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes (until golden brown). Note: Double-Dip if you like it extra crispaayyyyy!
  4. Lightly coat fried chicken with a drizzle of honey.

Connect with our March 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef.jrob
Facebook: @chefjrob
Website: https://chefjrob.com/

Chef Justin’s Mac Attack Recipe

You can’t go wrong with Mac and Cheese – no matter the circumstance, it’s always a good idea. Our March 2021 Chef of the Month, Chef Justin, has shared his famous Mac and Cheese recipe; otherwise known as “Mac Attack”. There’s garlic, there’s pepper, there are 3 different types of cheese…we’re all in. Find the recipe below!

Chef Justin, has shared his famous Mac and Cheese recipe; otherwise known as "Mac Attack". There's garlic, there's pepper, there's 3 different cheeses...we're all in

Ingredients

  • Noodles
  • Whipping cream
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 1 TBS pepper
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS ‘Slap Ya Mama’ Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar Jack cheese

Directions

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil, and pour ½ pound of noodles into a pot of 4 cups of water. Boil for 5-10 minutes. Cook hack: Throw your noodle on the wall when you think it’s done. If it sticks, rock and roll with it; If it falls off, continue to cook. 
  2. Pour ½ cup of heavy whipping cream into the saucepot on medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Caution: The cream may boil out of the pot so keep a close eye on it. 
  3. Season the cream with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Slap Ya Mama–- 1 tablespoon each. Add in ¼ cup of cheddar cheese and whisk until fully combined. Don’t be afraid to taste test in order to ensure the flavor of the base is to your liking.
  4. Pour the sauce into the noodles, and mix the combination thoroughly. Then add ¼ cup of shredded gouda cheese and mix in.
  5. Cover the top of your Mac Attack with cheddar jack cheese and cheddar cheese. Lastly, place under broil until a crisp cheese crust is achieved (1-3 min.)

Connect with our March 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef.jrob
Facebook: @chefjrob
Website: https://chefjrob.com/

Chef Justin’s Coconut Curry Chicken Thigh Recipe

Our March 2021 Chef of the Month, Chef Justin, is cooking up a juicy recipe – coconut curry chicken thigh. Prepared with coconut milk and mixed with a variety of delectable spices, Chef Justin’s chicken curry is sure to become your next go-to meal. Try it below!

Chef Justin's Chicken Curry Recipe

Ingredients

  • Coconut milk
  • 2 TBS of tomato paste
  • 2 TBS curry powder
  • 1/2 TBS pepper
  • 1/2 TBS salt
  • 1/2 TBS Cajun seasoning
  • Chickpeas
  • Chicken thighs
  • Salt to taste
  • Peppercorn
  • Garlic
  • Thyme

Directions

  1. Add your coconut milk to a saucepan and allow it to simmer on medium heat for 6 minutes, or until it starts to bubble.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 2 tablespoons curry powder, and ½ tablespoon of each of the following: pepper, salt, and Cajun seasoning. Give it some wrist work!
  3. Rinse your chickpeas off in a strainer, and then combine with your curry mixture. Stir until the mixture thickens. Note: Do not forget to turn off the eye! When the chickpeas are added into the sauce, do not turn the eye back on; instead allow the temperature of the curry sauce to engulf the chickpeas. Let it develop into a euphoric dish.
  4. Season Chicken thighs liberally with salt, peppercorn, garlic, and thyme.
  5. Cook on each side for 10 minutes and finish in over at 375 degrees for an additional 12-15 minutes.

Connect with our March 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef.jrob
Facebook: @chefjrob
Website: https://chefjrob.com/

March 2021 Chef of the Month – Justin Robinson

We’re excited to introduce our talented March 2021 Chef of the Month – Chef Justin Robinson! Chef Justin was born in Mobile, Alabama and now resides in downtown Atlanta Georgia. He currently owns his own business called the Chef JRob Experience in which he’s a private chef, caterer and a content creator! Adding to the list of his successful endeavors, Chef Justin is also a tax preparer AND Epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health. Chef Justin is big on his work ethic and attitude, he strongly urges that being hard-working is one of the best traits you can have as a Chef. He’s been on MasterChef Season 10, Iron Chef Showdown and is a proud cookbook author! Read more about Chef Justin story below & shop his look!

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Mobile, Alabama.

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

I am a located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. I own my own business called the Chef JRob Experience, where I am a private chef, caterer, and content creator! I am also a tax preparer and Epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health.

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

My favorite tool in the kitchen is my thermostat. Getting the perfect cook temperature on my proteins is crucial to the presentation of a perfect medium rare steak or rare double-chop rack of lamb, or the perfect pink when slicing into my duck breast.

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

I believe that using your senses in the kitchen is key to your success in the kitchen. Multitasking all the time, your eyes can’t simultaneously see everything, so my hearing is my sharpest sense. Being able to tell whether a protein is finished cooking by the way it sounds in a pan or hearing the crackles and pops to time the execution of dishes.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 

You don’t have to be the best chef in the kitchen, but you have to be the most hard working chef in kitchen.

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

Plating- People eat with their eyes first and plating can make or break dishes!

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food brings good conversations and good conversations leads to great friendships. My motto is “changing lives one taste bud at a time”. I want my client’s first bite to be life changing and a lasting memory that sparks conversation and relationships outside of the kitchen.

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

I like comfortable material that doesn’t stain and that has a nice athletic fit!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Lime: the acidity of a lime is so versatile in array of my dishes that I prepare. A coconut curry chicken, to a cilantro lime rice, or even a sprinkle of lime salt over a steak.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

I loved dining out in San Francisco. The culture of the food was so well thought out and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

The best dish I have made to date was my Mediterranean salmon, over a sweet corn puree, cherry tomatoes and fresh buttered popped popcorn with thyme as a garnish. It was such a summery refreshing dish.

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

On my off days I find myself making tacos with leftover ingredients in the fridge!

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I would love to cook for President Barak Obama or Snoh Aalegra.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

After graduating graduate school and trying to figure out my next step in life. I just prayed more frequently than usual asking God for direction on a path that would bring both happiness to me and him and I received a whisper that said “I got you” and I knew that perusing my culinary business full time would bring me ultimate happiness!

Connect with our March 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef.jrob
Facebook: @chefjrob
Website: https://chefjrob.com/

Shop His Look
Shop Chef Coats

Chef Stew’s Curried Cauliflower, Cumin Rice & Tandoori Tofu Recipe

Get ready to treat yourself (and others) to a fantastic vegetarian-friendly recipe from our November Chef of the Month, Chef Stew.

Chef Stew has shared his famous curried cauliflower, cumin rice and tandoori tofu recipe. It's simple to make and chock full of spices and flavors. From a blend of Tandoori spices to a palatable taste of cumin rice

Chef Stew has shared his famous curried cauliflower, cumin rice and tandoori tofu recipe. It’s simple to make and chock full of spices and flavors. From a blend of Tandoori spices to a new cauliflower recipe, this dish has it all. Find it below!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Curry powder
  • 2 cups of Basmati rice
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Cup Cumin seeds
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • Extra-firm tofu
  • Tandoori Spice Blend (Spiceology has a great blend)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of cilantro

Curried Cauliflower Directions

  1. Take one head of cauliflower and cut into florets.
  2. Toss in olive oil and curry powder and roast on 350 for 25 minutes.

Cumin Scented Rice Directions

  1. Make 2 cups of basmati rice. Drain and chill.
  2. Julienne 2 onions.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, and sauté the onion until translucent.
  4. Add tomato paste, cumin seeds and rice.
  5. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste.

Tandoori Tofu Directions

  1. Cut extra firm tofu into cubes and gently toss into olive oil and season with Tandoori spice blend.
  2. Sear in skillet on all four sides.

Cilantro Chutney Directions

  1. Add 1/2 of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 garlic cloves, 1 bunch of cilantro and blend well.

Connect with our November Chef of the Month

Www.ChefStew.com

@Chef_Stew on Instagram

Robert Stewart on Facebook

Chef Stew on Linkedin

November 2020 Chef of the Month- Robert Stewart

Chef Stew was born in Baltimore and now resides in Las Vegas. He's  a father, a gourmet chef/caterer, TV personality, celebrity chef and president of the Transition Kitchen Foundation

We’re happy to announce our excellent November Chef of the Month, Chef Robert Stew, also known as Chef Stew! A true chef at heart, Chef Stew was born in Baltimore and now resides in Las Vegas. He’s a father, a gourmet chef/caterer, TV personality, celebrity chef and president of the Transition Kitchen Foundation, a culinary arts program dedicated to teaching life skills through culinary arts in Baltimore. He’s appeared on ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’, ‘Supermarket Stakeout’ and was the winner of Cutthroat Kitchen Season 8. Stay tuned for some great recipes & shop his coat!

1. Where were you born? 

Baltimore, Maryland

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

Las Vegas, Nevada. Stew’s Stix is my restaurant concept that currently is being introduced to the market via catering in SF, LA and Las Vegas. However, I’m also President of Transition Kitchen Foundation a Culinary Arts Training based out of Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve begun to help other chefs get TV shows and it’s been rewarding for me because I get asked for help all the time and now, I have a way to do just that!

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

My favorite Kitchen tool is the whole kitchen… Tt narrow down to one thing is hard. Good pots and pans play a factor. A sharp

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

Sight would be the answer. Being as though people eat with their eyes, I’m constantly using my eyes to make sure my work pleases their eyes.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Be a sponge, absorb as much as you can, be willing to speak up and say I don’t know how to do certain things, I’ve watched so many Chefs try to prove they are skilled but fail on simple tasks. The best chefs aren’t afraid to get help, pointers and advice.  The worst chefs know how to do everything. Lastly, I always mention staffing agencies this is a great way to pop in and out of operations. This allows to earn while you learn.

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

Effective communication skills… let’s stop throwing the titles out so easily. A Chef must have lots of qualities and experience to back the claim… a real Chef runs the operation and IS a leader – great leaders know how to make the operation run effectively and smoothly.

7. What does good food mean to you?

When I can think about it days after. Or the idea of eating it already, it makes me feel amazing inside. I like to consider good food like a party in my mouth

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

Comfortability is key… I like to look nice, but I like being able to move accordingly.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Fresh herbs, fresh fish, fresh, fresh and again, fresh… sorry my answers aren’t simplistic. To create a dish, I’m using multiple things. If I need to choose a favorite, it would be steak or crabmeat.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

New Orleans.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

All of them…but, I would say a Blondie because I made 10k with this dessert.

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

Great question… lately with so many Chefs coming on set to film, I’ve been eating their food. But, if I’m not actually cooking for someone and it’s my day off… Uber Eats isn’t a bad idea. I still enjoy Panda Express, Chipotle, pizza, wings… all the stuff that I could make but too lazy to do.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

Bobby Flay, Jay Z, Janelle Monáe, or Halsey.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I didn’t. A Chef decided to become me. I grew up cooking as a kid as a means of survival, my mother worked nights and she did cook, but my big mouth complaining turned me into a child home cook. I then went to get trained and eventually I took an inventory of my life and realized that the natural qualities I possess and skills I acquired all wrapped into one thing made me a great Chef.

15. How to find Chef Stew?

Please visit Www.ChefStew.com

@Chef_Stew on Instagram

Robert Stewart on Facebook

Chef Stew on Linkedin

CHEF ABYSSINIA’S LOBSTER TOSTADA RECIPE

Lobster Tostada.jpg

When in doubt, go for the Tostada! Chef Abyssinia, our talented September Chef of the Month has shared with us her Lobster Tostada Recipe. Tangy, sweet & fresh, this dish is ideal for any occasion. Get it below!

Poached Lobster w/ chipotle aioli & mango salsa served on a crispy tostada shell w/ guacamole

Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Poached Lobster

  • 4 Small lobster tails
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Guacamole 

  • 2 Small ripe avocados
  • 1 Plum tomato, small diced
  • ½ Bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ Jalapeño, seeded & minced
  • ½ Small red onion, small diced
  • 1 Lime for juice

Mango Salsa 

  • 1 Ripe mango, peeled & small diced
  • 1 Red bell pepper, small diced
  • ½ Small red onion, small diced
  • ½ Lemon for juice
  • 1 Pinch salt & pepper
  • ¼ Bunch cilantro, chopped
  • ½ Jalapeño, seeded & minced

Chipotle Aioli 

  • ¼ c mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo, diced
  • ½ Lemon for juice
  • 1 Pinch salt & pepper

Tostada Shell

  • 1 Bag of tortilla tostada shells-store brand tortilla chip cups
  • OR 4 corn tortillas to deep-fry
  • 2 tbsp Honey

Directions

Poached Lobster

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add bay leave, salt & pepper to flavor water.
  2. Poach lobster tail 3-5 min until cooked, when done place in ice bath or cold water to cool.
  3. Remove lobster tail from shell & small dice, set aside in cooler.
  4.  In a small bowl, mix chipotle, mayo, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Add diced lobster tail to the chipotle aioli mixture & place back into cooler.

Mango Salsa 

  1. In a small bowl mix diced mango, diced red onion, diced red pepper, chopped cilantro, honey, lemon juice & salt & pepper to taste, set aside.

Guacamole 

  1. In a small bowl mash avocado using clean hands or fork, add in chopped cilantro, diced tomato, minced jalapeño, juice of 1 lime, salt & pepper to taste.

Tostada

  1. Store brand tortilla shells, open bag & relax.
  2. To make your own tostada, heat a medium size frying pan w/ about 1 cup of oil. When oil is hot place corn tortilla in oil, frying one tortilla at a time for about 30 sec – 1 min. When tortilla is crispy, place on a tray with paper towel & sprinkle with salt.

Assembly

  1.  To assemble add 1 scoop of guacamole to the tortilla chip, top with lobster mixture & then garnish with mango salsa. Enjoy!

Connect with our September Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefabyssinia

Website: http://www.chefabyssinia.com/

Chef Abyssinia’s Red Wine Poached Pear Recipe

PEAR

Treat yourself to a delicious & fruity dessert with Chef Abyssinia‘s Red Wine Poached Pear Recipe! This dish can be served either hot or cold & is guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds! Get the recipe below.

Spiced red wine poached pear w/ spiced reduction & vanilla bean ice-cream

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 1hr 30min
Rest: 2 hrs

Ingredients

  • ½ bottle dry red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp additional sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange zested + orange juice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 4 pears, peeled, keep the stem on
  • Fresh Mint leaves for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients to a medium pot & let simmer on med-low heat for 1 hour.
  2. Continue to turn your pears every 15 minutes to ensure your pears are poaching evenly.
  3. Turn off heat after 1 hour, keep covered and allow pears to sit for 30 minutes until warm.
  4. When pears have cooled down, place them in the fridge & allow them to chill in poaching liquid for 2 hours or more. It is not necessary, but you may let them sit overnight.
  5. Before you serve your pears, remove 1 ½ cups of poaching liquid from your pears & add it to a small sauce pan, add ½ cup of sugar & cook on med-low heat for 5-7 minutes, allow poaching liquid to reduce down into a syrup, this is your reduction.
  6. To serve, scoop vanilla ice-cream into a bowl, top with a poached pear, drizzle with spiced reduction & garnish with mint.
  7. Enjoy!

Note:

Serve poached pears as you’d prefer; warm or cold. I prefer them warm over the cold vanilla ice-cream. To re-heat pears, place the pot back on the stove on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Connect with our September Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefabyssinia

Website: http://www.chefabyssinia.com/

September 2019 Chef of the Month- Abyssinia Campbell

chef uniforms 2

We’re happy to introduce our September 2019 Chef of the Month- Abyssinia Campbell! Chef Abyssinia was born in New York, grew up in Florida and now works and resides in New York. She is the proud owner of Chef Abyssinia LLC , a Personal Chef & Catering company that provides services to New York, New Jersey, Hamptons and parts of Connecticut! As a child, Chef Abyssinia has always enjoyed cooking and she now views it as her own form of art. Read her story below and shop her look!

 

1. Where were you born?
I was born in New Rochelle and partly raised in Mount Vernon, New York until I moved to Florida where I attended middle school, high school & college.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
I am the owner of Chef Abyssinia LLC a Personal Chef & Catering company business based in New York. My team & I provide services to New York, New Jersey, Hamptons & parts of Connecticut. We also travel, most frequently to Florida. The services that we offer are catered events of all sizes, private dining experiences, meal prep & cooking classes!

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My favorite kitchen tool has got to be my taste buds, without them I wouldn’t be able to create these amazingly tasty dishes. Following my taste buds, I would say my hands, they do all the work.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
I would say that my sharpest sense out of all five senses would be my taste, I can taste a dish and name most of the ingredients that it consists of.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
My advice to aspiring chefs is to remain humble and don’t stop learning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and don’t give up because anything is possible.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
This is a tough question. One thing every chef should perfect is presentation- you want your dishes to look just as good as they taste.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food to me consists of quality ingredients & great flavor. It doesn’t matter how much it costs really, you can overpay for a crappy meal & underpay for a crappy meal, but when it’s good it’s good and that shows that value of the dish, not the $ signs in front of it.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
When selecting a chef outfit, I like to look sleek, professional & most importantly feel comfortable. Safety is also another factor, something that will protect me from a burn but will not make me burn up in a hot kitchen.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?
My favorite ingredient to work with are vegetables. You can do so much with them. From vegetables to herbs to fruit, all things that come from the earth. They add flavor, texture, color, aromatics, health benefits, you name it! That’s why you will always find them in my pantry. I had a client recently who hired me for a dinner party. One of the guests was an older gentleman. The first course was a full-on vegetable course. Everyone enjoyed it, the wife of the older gentleman came to me and said “Wow, that was good. My husband hates cauliflower, but he loved it!” One thing for sure, that’s an amazing feeling, but that goes to show how you can manipulate & master the fruit of the earth. I’m strongly considering becoming a vegan chef.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?
My favorite city to dine out in would have to be Manhattan, New York because there is a large diverse culture in the city. You can find a wide range of cuisines here in New York, no matter your budget, you will find a gem in the city if you look for it.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?
This is really hard to say because I am always making new dishes and I don’t always write them down, sometimes I just go with the flow of things and work with whatever ingredients I have on hand. As I am writing this, I am thinking of about 3 different dishes I made several months a part that I thought were extremely good. I’m going to go with one of the more recent dishes, Mediterranean roasted chicken with tri-color lentils & spiced butternut squash.

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?
On my days off sometimes, I don’t even like to cook for myself, after being in the kitchen all week I don’t cook lavish meals for myself that often. I eat loads of fruits & vegetables. My favorite food is Caribbean food, I love Ackee & salt fish with sweet plantains & fried dumplings. I also love corn meal porridge for breakfast which is also Caribbean. I have a huge sweet tooth that I didn’t have growing up, now I crave pastries & fresh baked cookies all the time lol, it’s hard but I try to stay away from too many sweets.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
I have been cooking since I was very young, I always liked it. I liked the idea of creating things in the kitchen. One of my favorite subjects in elementary school was art. I really enjoy being able to create & I feel like when I am cooking, that is when my creativity comes out. The plate is my canvas and with the ingredients I like to paint stories. In middle school & high school I was in a Culinary Arts program and that really paved the way for me and helped me to realize that I had a true passion in food & cooking. From there I went to Johnson & wales to study culinary arts & food service management, the rest is history!

Connect with our September Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefabyssinia

Website: http://www.chefabyssinia.com/ 

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