Tag Archives: chef ben

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 BEN’S YAKISOBA BOWL RECIPE

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Chef Ben’s Yakisoba & Udon Broth recipes are perfect for the month of November! Stay warm with the Udon Broth, and the Yakisoba noodles will add some stir-fry perfection that you never knew you needed in your life!  This recipe is very quick & simple to make. Find it below!

Ingredients for Udon Broth

  • 1 Gallon chicken stock
  • 1 Gallon veal stock
  • 2 Cups miso paste
  • 2 Ounces sriracha sauce

Directions for Udon Broth

  1. Place all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat, place into a plastic container label and  store until needed.

Ingredients for Yakisoba Bowl

  • 2 Cups Udon Broth
  • 1 Packet Yakisoba noodles
  • 1 Each light poached egg
  • 2 Ounces wild mushrooms
  • 1 Ounce pea sprouts
  • 2 Teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 Teaspoons Teriyaki sauce

Directions for Yakisoba Bowl

  1. In a hot wok, saute the mushroom,  pea sprouts, soba noodles and Teriyaki sauce for 2 minutes.
  2. Place into bowl and ladle 2 cups of hot Udon, serve with half an egg.

 

Connect with our November Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefbendiaz

Catering Instagram: @cbdcuisine 

Website: http://www.cbdcuisine.com/

CHEF BEN’S OREO DONUTS RECIPE

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Our November Chef of the Month has a delicious sweet treat for us- his Oreo donut recipe! Perfect for breakfast (or dessert), these homemade Oreo donuts are guaranteed to be a hit! Find the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 8 Cups Oreo pieces
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Ounces cocoa powder
  • 3 Ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 Ounces whole milk
  • 4 Ounces half and half
  • 2 Cups sour cream
  • 1 Ounce canola oil
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Large eggs

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 Cups powder sugar
  • 4 Ounces cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the Oreo cookie pieces into food processors and blend smooth until mixture resembles sand texture. Remove the ground cookie pieces and place into a large bowl.
  3. Next, add all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder to the Oreo crumbs and whisk to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, add the whole milk, half and half, sour cream, canola oil, vanilla extract and eggs whisk to combine.
  5. Now, pour in the wet mixture into the dry Oreo mixture and whisk smooth to combine. It should form a slightly thickened batter.
  6. Pour the batter into a large piping bag,  place small silicon donut molds onto a sheet pan and lightly fill the molds ¾ of the way up. Place the mixture into the pre-heated oven at 350 degrees and bake at low fan for 15 minutes.
  7. While the donuts are in the oven, prepare the frosting by combining powdered sugar, cream and vanilla into a bowl and whisk smooth to combine.
  8. Next, remove the donuts from the oven and let sit for 7 minutes to cool. Once cooled, remove the donuts from the molds (they should still be warm) and gently dip one side into the frosting.
  9. Once frosted, place the donuts on a serving tray and garnish with Oreo cookie pieces, serve immediately.

 

Connect with our November Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefbendiaz

Catering Instagram: @cbdcuisine 

Website: http://www.cbdcuisine.com/

 

NOVEMBER 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- BEN DIAZ

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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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