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Chef Gina’s Fall-Inspired Spring Rolls

Our May 2021 Chef of the Month, Chef Gina, has shared her delicious fall-inspired spring rolls recipe! This dish is full of savory veggies like carrots, butternut squash and fresh additions like mint and cilantro. Her recipe serves 8 rolls – find it below!

Ingredients

  • 1 pack spring roll wrappers
  • 1 pack edible flowers (sourced here from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals)
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, julienned
  • 1½ cups carrots, julienned
  • 1½ cups butternut squash, boiled until tender and julienned
  • 1 bunch each of fresh basil, cilantro and mint, stems removed

Roll Directions

Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain rice noodles and pour cold water over to cool.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, mix carrots, bell peppers and butternut squash.

Step 3: Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip 1 wrapper for a few seconds and lay flat on a wooden board. (Two wrappers can be used if they break easily.) On the center of wrapper, place edible flowers first, then continue with a handful of rice noodles, vegetable and squash mix, and herbs.

Step 4: Fold uncovered sides towards the center of wrapper, then roll gently from one end to the other until sealed snugly. Rolls can be kept whole, cut into pieces like sushi, or cut in half diagonally.

Dipping Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce bottle of your preferred sweet chili sauce
  • 1 bunch each fresh basil, cilantro and mint, stems removed.

Dipping Sauce Directions

Blend sauce and herbs in a blender until herbs are in small bits. Serve beside spring rolls.

Connect with our May 2021 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @malibuseasidechef

Facebook: @malibuseasidechef 

Website: https://www.malibuseasidechef.com/

May 2021 Chef of the Month – Gina Clarke

Our May 2021 Chef of the Month is the talented Chef Gina Clarke! Chef Gina is California-born and raised and now resides in Malibu. She’s the head chef and owner of Malibu Seaside Chef, a high-end private chef service that provides catering, fine dining and more!
Chef Gina first studied at the French Epicurean School in Los Angeles and then apprenticed under renowned Chef Giuliano Bugialli in Florence and Wolfgang Puck in Malibu. Among this chef’s clientele are movie stars, musicians and athletes!
Chef Gina is passionate about traveling and creating delicious masterpieces. She is strong-willed and open for new techniques, ideas and methods of cooking. She believes that you can always learn from someone else when it comes to food. We can’t wait to introduce her and some delicious recipes!

1. Where were you born? 

I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California which lies on the Central Coast. Incredible coastline with beautiful beaches, farms, vineyards and farm to table food.

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

I am head chef and owner of Malibu Seaside Chef. I am a high-end private chef that provides services for catering, fine dining, and events. I am based out of Malibu, California, but service all of Southern California and have traveled to other states and countries to work.

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

Anything “Le Creuset” I’ve been using their pans for years and they are tried and proven with all dishes. They are beautiful, nonporous, not-reactive and resistant to scratches. They retain the heat and cook evenly throughout.

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

For me, the sense of “smell” is the sharpest of any. I can almost tell what food will taste like by the smell and if it needs any adjustments. Smell also brings back memories of prior food, restaurants and travel.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

You need to always educate yourself and be open for new techniques, ideas and methods of doing things. You can always learn from someone when It comes to food.

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

Every Chef should be able to improvise in times of need. You may be faced with many obstacles that force you to adapt and overcome in order to succeed. I’ve shown up to cook five course meals and the oven doesn’t work, thus, I’ve had to improvise and cook entire meals on the BBQ.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me incorporates all sense, I love the way food smells, tastes, the color, the textures and how it makes me feel. There’s no better food than when it brings people together.

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

The features to me that are important in a chef’s outfit are comfort, proper fit, durability and it has to be stylish.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I love using aged Balsamic, I can use it in marinates, salads dressing, soups, drizzled over fruit and veggies.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Florence, Italy. I attended cooking school in Florence, Italy and was able to sample the flavors throughout the region. It’s a magical city with incredible dining, flavors, wine and old-world restaurants.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

It’s hard to pick, but my husband dies over my Osso Buco. Veal shanks braised with vegetables, wine, and broth served over risotto or polenta.

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

I definitely enjoy food and dining out gives me inspiration. My favorite foods to eat on my days off are Indian, Persian, Thai and Sushi. I love big, bold flavor and lots of spices.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I think it would be amazing to cook for the Pope, I’d make him some amazing Italian food and finish it off with dessert and a good espresso.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I was an international model from the age of 16 to my early 30’s and was fortunate travel, dine and sample food around the world. This captured my attention to food and I wanted to do something after my modeling days were over that was creative and innovative. Becoming a chef fulfilled that creative side in me and allowed me to continue supporting myself in a way that I felt needed.

Connect with our May 2021 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @malibuseasidechef

Facebook: @malibuseasidechef 

Website: https://www.malibuseasidechef.com/

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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
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Chef Albertho’s Breakfast Potato Recipe

We’re a big believer in all things potatoes and our January 2021 Chef of the Month, Chef Albertho’s Breakfast Potato recipe does not fail to disappoint! Add poached eggs and homemade mayo to give the recipe a little kick.

Ingredients

● 2 Russet potatoes
● 5 organic eggs
● 2 limes
● 1 bottle red wine
● 1 cup of butter
● 2 cups vegetable oil

Potato Directions

  1. Peel the potatoes ( leave them in cold water while working).
  2. Cut potatoes into circles ( use a ring cutter to make different shapes if have one). Cut the potatoes half the length of an egg.
  3. Boil the potatoes on medium heat to not break them and cook until soft.
  4. Poke with a small knife in the middle. Add salt to taste on the water.
  5. Dry potatoes and sear on high heat with up to 2 oz of butter (sear until golden brown).

Poached Egg Directions

  1. Add red wine and squeeze a lime. Put lime juice in a medium pot on medium heat
  2. Bring water to a soft boil, and gently add the 2 eggs ( crack the eggs ahead of time and add to a small container).
  3. Keep wine on a soft boil until eggs are firm but soft in the middle. Add salt and pepper when eggs are done.

Fresh Mayo Directions

  1. Melt 4 oz of butter. Add 3 egg yolks in a blender.
  2. Blend on medium, add melted butter and 2 cups of oil slowly.
  3. Add 1 lime zest and juice to finish & salt to taste.

Chef Albertho’s Crispy Chicken & Tomato Puree

For a delectable and flavorful meal, try our January Chef of the Month, Chef Albertho’s Crispy Chicken & Tomato Puree recipe! This dish is packed with fresh ingredients and is simple to make. Whether you’ll want to share? That’s up to you.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs drums in
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 small can tomato puree
  • 4 fresh plum tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 lime

Directions

Chicken

  1. Season chicken with olive oil and salt ( let rest for 2 minutes).
  2. Sear chicken on a high to medium heat until golden brown and roast in oven at 350°  for 15 minutes (skin side only + add slices of butter and thyme to add flavor ).

Tomato Puree

  1. Cut tomatoes into big dices.
  2. Sauté the fresh tomato with garlic cloves and oil.
  3. When softening, add the tomato puree and blend on high with 2 TBS olive oil+ up to 4 oz of butter.

Sautéed Kale

  1. Sauté the kale on a small sauté pan on medium heat with 2 oz butter
  2. Add half a squeeze of lime juice (add salt to taste).

White Wine Sauce

  1. From the pan that the chicken was cooked in, add wine and reduce on medium heat until 50% reduction.
  2. Add 3 oz of butter and mix until incorporated (add half of the lime).

Connect with our January 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_upcoming.chef
Twitter: @Chef_Albertho
YouTube: Albertho Appolon
Young Chef Generation: @youngchefgeneration

Chef Albertho’s Cake of Heaven Recipe

It’s the new year and we’ve got just the treat for you: Chef Albertho’s Cake of Heaven Recipe! This sweet, creamy cake is made with fluffy pancakes, sweet cream and candied pecans to top it off. No wonder Chef Albertho calls this cake the ‘Cake of Heaven’ – your taste buds would agree!

Chef Albertho's Cake of Heaven Recipe

Serves: 5

Ingredients

Pancake Ingredients
Double for 5 people

  • 2 cups flour.
  • 3 tablespoons sugar.
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 3/4 cups milk or as needed.
  • 2 eggs. Beat white separate until fluffy
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil

Syrup Ingredients

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup blueberries
  • 2 jalapenos

Spicy Cream Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno

Candied Pecans Ingredients

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup  water

Directions

Pancake Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add banana, egg yolks, melted butter, sugar and salt ( mix well ).
  2. Add milk, and all dry ingredients ( mix well until fully incorporated).
  3. In a separate bowl or a electrical mixer, add the egg whites and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  4. Fold the egg white into the cake mixture.
  5. Cook pancakes on medium heat until golden on each side ( use a 3oz ladle ).

Syrup Directions

  1. Add all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiled, it’s done. Cut jalapenos in half.

Spicy Cream Directions

  1. Add sugar and cream in a mixer or a large bowl.
  2. Whip the cream until nice and firm .
  3. Add lime zest and jalapeno zest.

Candied Pecans Directions

  1. Add all ingredients in a small sauté pan
  2. On a medium heat, cook together until sugar is mixed well with the pecans.zest.

Connect with our January 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_upcoming.chef
Twitter: @Chef_Albertho
YouTube: Albertho Appolon
Young Chef Generation: @youngchefgeneration

January 2021 Chef of the Month- Albertho Appolon

We’re starting off the new year with our January 2021 Chef of the Month, Albertho Appolon! Born in Haiti, Chef Albertho is now based in Texas. His scratch-made cuisine is composed of French and Caribbean creations – his dishes often use fresh and in season ingredients to dazzle his customers.
In addition to being an excellent executive chef, he’s a food photographer, traveler and consultant. Chef Albertho is the founder of the Young Chef Generation, a program that aims to help young chefs who are often looked over for opportunities and visibility because of their age. His dream to be a role model for a young generation of chefs has already become a reality. Find the rest of his story below, stay tuned for his upcoming recipes & shop his look!

1. Where were you born? 
I was born in Haiti.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I’m currently an Executive Chef. I’m also traveling and cooking. 

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

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
That would be taste.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 
Be Committed to Self-Improvement 
● You must be willing to take constructive criticism, and be aware of your  weaknesses.
● To improve, you must first draw a map.
● Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
● Balance continued practice of what you’re already good at, with learning new  things.
● Keep moving. Keep trying new things. Switching to a new restaurant can open your eyes to a new world, new techniques, and new culture. No matter how much I thought I knew, it always surprised me how many different ways there could be to prepare the simplest dishes.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Build Your Brand
● Although most of your time is spent in the kitchen, you must build a visual  brand that invites people to see your own personal creativity.
● Social Media is a crucial component of connecting to your customers
● As a Chef, you are more than just your current job. You are a leader, an  influencer, and an entrepreneur; you must create your own platform to showcase your creations.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food means great taste and creativity.

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

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Anything in season.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 
Los Angeles.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 
I’ve made a lot of dishes in the past couple years, but if I must choose it will be the  Fluke Crudo that I made. The Fish is cured with salt and sugar, smoked. serve with orange citrus, sliced jalapeño, avocado puree, and crispy Quinoa. 

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
I usually cook anything in my fridge because I enjoy cooking a lot.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
My girlfriend…she’s a big fan of my delicious dishes.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
Growing up, I was always in the kitchen with my mom as she prepared food for our family  and friends. Being in the kitchen was a way to connect more deeply with my mom, and I began to find satisfaction in the act of feeding people.
After moving to America, I began  working at a Brazilian restaurant called Beer 360. My moment of inspiration happened when I moved up from dishwasher to food runner. Being a Food Runner was more exciting than being a dishwasher. I was the final person touching the plates before they reached the  customers. It gave me a special feeling to watch someone look at the food when it first  arrived and say thank you to me after taking the first bite. In this position, I was able to see all of their delighted facial expressions, and it made me feel good, even though I wasn’t the one cooking. It was there that I fell in love with the idea of feeding people. I remember spending  most of my time at work standing in the kitchen, because that was the place where the food  runners waited for the food to be finished so that it didn’t get cold on its way to the  customers.
From that point of view, I got to see the whole preparation process: the fire, the  cooking, the baking, the roasting, the sautéing, the frying, the sauce making, the joy the cooks had when they finished a dish, and how happy they were when I told them that the  customers really enjoyed the food. It sparked a desire in me to be the one preparing the food  for people to enjoy. Through this experience, I fell in love with food, and the way that the entire experience, from kitchen to table, could bring people joy.

Connect with our January 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_upcoming.chef
Twitter: @Chef_Albertho
YouTube: Albertho Appolon
Young Chef Generation: @youngchefgeneration

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