Tag Archives: chefs

Lime Posset? Yes, please! Chef Marcela’s recipe.

This flavorful, however, easy to make dessert, can be served individually and garnished with the fruits of your preference.

Join us in learning more about this cream-based cold dessert. A posset was originally a British drink made of hot curdled milk and then flavored with wine, ale or spice. The lemon posset recipe we have today is a modern take on a historic British classic.

For years, Chef Marcela has faithfully worn Chef Uniforms.com while growing in her Chef career. She is now the host of her very own cooking show, Ta Servido?! with Chef Marcela Ferrinha. Transmitted live on USBR TV, a television chain for Brazilians living abroad. It was with great honor we agreed to be the official sponsor for all Chef Gear worn in this television show. She has continuously represented our brand with pride and beauty, and now we are proud to introduce her to you all.

Ingredients

2 ¼ c heavy cream

1 c sugar

3 tbsp lime juice + zest

1 ½ tsp vanilla 

As easy as 1,2,3…

  1. Bring the cream and sugar to a boil for 3 min. 
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the juice and zest and let it cool for 10 min.
  3. Stir well again, put in the ramekins, but do not close them.
  4. Put in the fridge for 2 hours before serving. 

Connect with our November 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @marcelaferrinhachef
Click here to shop her look | Embroider your Chef gear here

Shop Chef Coats


Meet Chef Marcela Ferrinha, our November 2022 Chef of the Month.

For years, Chef Marcela has faithfully worn Chef Uniforms.com while growing in her Chef career. She is now the host of her very own cooking show, Ta Servido?! with Chef Marcela Ferrinha. Transmitted live on USBR TV, a television chain for Brazilians living abroad. It was with great honor we agreed to be the official sponsor for all Chef Gear worn in this television show. She has continuously represented our brand with pride and beauty, and now we are proud to introduce her to you all.

1. Where were you born? 

My name is Marcela Ferrinha, I was born in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil.

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

I am the Executive Pastry Chef for Miyasaki Sushi in Salt Lake City – UT, I’m a chef instructor for Salt Lake Community College, and for the Rockoly app where I teach online people all over the world, and big companies such as Facebook, Amazon, IBM, UPS, Instagram and many more.

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

I love the offset spatula. You can use it for pretty much anything, sweet or savory.

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

First, Smell, second, taste.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

We are food “doctors”, the more you study and try new things, the better you’ll become. Never stop learning. There is always something to learn, always! When you become the best where you work, move forward to a new gig, and find someone to teach you new techniques. Always be humble. There is no more room for cocky chefs.

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

How to crack an egg and cook it! LOL, I know how to crack the egg, but I don’t how to cook it, it always turns into an omelet. I suck at cooking eggs! But I don’t like eggs anyway, so I never really wanted to perfect it.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Food is my life. Everything I have such as a place to live, my car, bills paid, and awards I won, I owe to food.

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

Light materials, bright colors always! Make sure your uniform is comfortable. And you can definitely get them at ChefUniforms.com!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Sugar and flour, always!

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

In the United States, New York City, and Las Vegas. In Brazil, specifically in São Paulo.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

A few weeks ago, I made a Very Berry Tart filled with almond berry frangipane custard, Pistachio Lemon ice cream, and almond crunch. One of my team members said: this is probably the best dessert I put in my mouth! Win-win!

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

Sushi will always be my favorite food! I absolutely love it!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My boyfriend.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

As a woman in this industry for now 20 years, is hard to be in a kitchen with mostly men. To this date, there is a lot of sexism and crazy chefs yelling all the time. Men think because they are men, they are better, which is not the case. I know a lot of women chefs that rock in the kitchen and lead their teams beautifully! And I don’t get what is about the yelling. I feel like they are really insecure because they probably know some of the cooks are better than they are, so they want to earn respect through fear.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I moved to Florida, U.S. 15 years ago and I was literally starving. Not because I didn’t have money, but because I didn’t know how to cook anything. In Brazil, I always managed restaurants, because I have 2 degrees in hospitality, one in tourism and one in hospitality management, and a post-grad MBA in restaurant management. When I moved here, I was hired to do an internship in management, and on my days off, I asked the chef at the resort I was working, to let me help there and learn something.

On my very first day, I cut all my 10 fingers, on my second day I burnt the palm of my hand with an extremely hot plate. My chef asked me if I was going to survive by the end of the season. And then I fell in love with cooking. In 2011, I decided to go to culinary school, I was already living in Utah, and went to study at Salt Lake Community College. Now I am a chef instructor there. It is pretty cool!

Connect with our November 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @marcelaferrinhachef
Click here to shop her look | Embroider your Chef gear here

Shop Chef Coats


Now Serving: Ancho Seabass on Purple Potatoes by Chef Sebs

It is with joy and excitement we share with you the recipes of our very own, Chef Sebastian Cerna. Based out of Houston, in the state of Texas, Chef Sebs takes the daily with a few grains of salt! Bringing incredible dishes to life as a sous chef at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake City, inside Houston. His work philosophy is based on giving the role his very best, wise use of time inside the kitchen and attention to detail, no matter what step of the cooking process you are in.

After he catches your eye with his exclusive apparel from Chef Uniforms, it’s almost irresistible to want to know one of his recipes from the warm south of the Lone Star State. You try this out and we’ll go to Texas!

Chef Sebs wears the LIGHTWEIGHT Men’s 2-Pocket Short Sleeve w/ Mesh Side Panels Chef Coat for staying fresh and cool during long days in the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 baby zucchini, cut in the middle 
  • 1 baby carrot, cut in the middle 
  • 8oz Seabass 
  • 1-2oz Osmo Sea Salt 
  • 1 cup ancho chile stock 
  • 2oz corn starch 
  • 2oz water 
  • 3 large purple potatoes 
  • 1tsp cumin 
  • ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • Osmo sea salt to taste 
  • Grinded black pepper to taste 
  • 1/8 cup butter, cubed 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 4oz olive oil 

Concoction

1. Cut purple potatoes and boil in water. 

2. Cut zucchini and carrot in the middle. 

3. Place the ancho stock on the stove on high to make sauce. 

4. Bring to a boil. 

5. Add the cornstarch mixture till thickened. 

6. Add the osmo sea salt, pepper, and cumin to the sauce. 

7. Mash purple potatoes with the butter and heavy cream, salt, and pepper. 

8. Place olive oil in pan, wait until very hot and sear both sides of the seabass seasoned with sea salt and pepper, bake for 6-7 mins at 350. 

9. While baking take the carrot and zucchini and sauté in a pan with garlic and oil. 

10. Pull the the fish out and plate. 

11. Place the purple potato smeared on the bottom of the plate, place the seabass in the middle, stand the zucchini and carrots up at both sides, add the sauce on top of the fish, and finish with microgreens and finishing salt. 

Connect with our October 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_chef_sebs
Click here to shop his Chef Coat & Pants

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Introducing: Chef Sebs! Our October 2022 Chef of The Month

It is with joy and excitement we share with you the breathtaking story of our very own, Chef Sebastian Cerna. Based out of Houston, in the state of Texas, Chef Sebs takes the daily with a few grains of salt! Bringing incredible dishes to life as a sous chef at the Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake City, inside Houston. His work philosophy is based on giving the role his very best, wise use of time inside the kitchen and attention to detail, no matter what step of the cooking process you are in.

After he catches your eye with his exclusive apparel from Chef Uniforms, it’s almost irresistible to want to know more about this young but courageous Chef who’s in the pursuit of greatness in the warm south of the Lone Star State. You can all join us in reading his interview, and as the saying goes…we’ll go to Texas!

Chef Sebs wears the LIGHTWEIGHT Men’s 2-Pocket Short Sleeve w/ Mesh Side Panels Chef Coat for staying fresh and cool during long days in the kitchen.

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Corpus Christi, TX

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

I am based in Houston, and I am a sous chef at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake, Houston.

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

My Miyabi knife! Nothing gets done in the kitchen without a knife and a quality knife is priceless.

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

My taste, I can taste every component in a dish.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

Work with a sense of urgency when working in a kitchen whether it’s prep, banquet, or on the line. Over time you will be surprised by the amount of work you can knock out in an hour.

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

You’re nothing without your team and a good team in the kitchen can achieve great things.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food means cooking food that’s true to you being able to express oneself with food and the ability to create and put that on the plate is such a beautiful thing.

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

Lots of pockets on the pants! Lightweight material/ mesh due to working in Texas it gets incredibly hot inside and out of the kitchen.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Mahi is my favorite thing to work with so many awesome dishes can be made with this fish!

Chef’s Pants choice is the CHEF 360 Bon Apetit Men’s 7-Pocket Utility STRETCH Chef Jogger – it doesn’t get any more comfortable in style than that!

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Houston is by far my favorite city to dine out in such great diversity in the food choices and a lot of amazing high-end restaurants. “blessthabelly” on Instagram has been how I’ve been finding all the good spots where to eat at!

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

I have made a lot of different cool dishes but one of my favorite things to plate is risotto and redfish very basic but get more complex with every component you add.

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

We eat a lot of beef tips and rice at home, as well as eating out.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My family because we don’t see each other much but they mean the most to me.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

The long hours, the inconsistent work schedule, and the time you miss at home.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
I didn’t pick this career; this career chose me when I was just a little guy. I stepped foot into my mom’s aunt’s kitchen in Maine, and I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else. The kitchen is home to me. It is where I want to be.

Connect with our October 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_chef_sebs
Click here to shop his Chef Coat & Pants

Shop Chef Coats


Meet Chef Yeikel! Our September 2022 Chef of The Month.

We are delighted to introduce our September 2022 Chef of the Month, Chef Yeikel Santos. Along the TV show hosts, he brings delicious and practical recipes to your screen through the show, El News Cafe, on national television in channels WLTV Univision 23 and UniMas in the United States. The News Café is a magazine broadcast from South Florida in which authentic conversations reign around topics of interest, as well as advice from experts in various areas to provide viewers with valuable content that allows them to start the morning on the right foot and greater knowledge.

Chef Yeikel is wearing the Basic Fit Men’s 2-Pocket Short Sleeve Snap Front Chef Coat for maximum comfort and style.

1. Where were you born? 

La Havana, Cuba.

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

 I am the Chef of The News Café program in the Univision 23 Miami network, content creator and author of 5 cookbooks. I am a personal chef for private events and I live in the city of Miami since 8 years ago.

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

The knife.

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

My sense of smell.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

That it is a career of many efforts, passion, dedication, and above all study. We must be committed to doing it well and improve ourselves day after day by sharing and learning from others.

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

Save, leverage all the ingredients to the maximum, and try not to waste anything.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Taste, color, presentation, temperature, and seasoning is the key to having a good meal.

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

Make it elegant, comfortable and simple.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Healthy, fresh, seasonal foods that are organic without preservatives.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Paris, France.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

I would say that for all the dishes I prepare I try my best for them to taste good and that the person who tastes them enjoys them.

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

Healthy meals, made by me using fresh ingredients.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

Friends and family.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

Lack of order among the employees, lack of organization in a work team, or poor communication between the teams. To achieve great results you have to work as a team.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
My passion and love for cooking. I love to spend time cooking and especially transmit my knowledge to others, so I have written 5 cookbooks and I share every week on television my passion to cook.

Connect with our September 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefyeikel
Click here for his cookbook

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Chef Chris LaVecchia, our August 2022 Chef of the Month

Join us in getting to know more intimately this incredibly versatile Chef by reading her interview below:

1. Where were you born? 

I was born & raised in Queens, New York. I was brought up in Woodhaven & Howard beach, then moved to Long Island with my family after I graduated from high school.

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

I am based out of Long Island, NY. I travel every week to various homes, and specialize in private, in-home dinner parties & cocktail parties for special occasions & milestone events. Most of my work is done in all areas of long island, the 5 boroughs, & the tri-state area (NY, NJ & CT).

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

It’s hard to pick just one because chefs love their box of tools & gadgets, but if I had to narrow it down to just one, I would say, recently my air pump for creating delicious foams. Foams have been around for decades, but every once in a while, we bring back old techniques that may be new to our clients.

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

I would have to say smell.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

Practice, practice, practice. What may seem impossible at first, will soon become effortless with enough practice.

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

Make it nice. People always eat with their eyes first. Yeah, it may taste great in the end, but if it doesn’t look pretty, then it is just another dish, cooked by another chef. Make it nice.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is everything. So many times, I go out to eat, or order from somewhere, and say to myself: this has no flavor. Or has no soul. Good food to me not only looks amazing but tastes amazing. I’m not just talking about seasoned food. Anyone can season food, but to have multiple levels of flavor. Now that’s what food means to me. Cooks cook to feed people. But a chef nourishes people and leaves them wanting more.

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

Classy / elegant / comfortable. For an executive coat, I love something that looks classy, but is also comfortable, and can still function in the kitchen without baggy sleeves. For a regular dinner, I like something that looks professional but is very comfortable.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

The egg. It is so simple, yet so versatile in the kitchen, and there are so many things you can do with not just the egg as a whole, but with it separated you can do so much with it as well with either just the yolks or just the whites. It can be used to make pasta, which is always on my menus. Or it can be used in so many ways to either make a pie, creme brulee, meringue & so much more. Something so simple, and often overlooked, has so many functions in the kitchen and can be used in so many ways. Or simply to just…make an omelet.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

New York City for sure, but I also want to start traveling to other major cities in the U.S. to dine at Michelin restaurants. I am going to Alinea in Chicago (arguably the best restaurant in the world) in September, so I am really looking forward to that experience.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

There are so many. Sometimes I experiment with a dish until it is perfected. Then it becomes a signature dish and finds its way onto every seasonal menu as a selection.

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

Anything that takes 20 minutes or less (laughs out loud).

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would love to cook for a famous chef. Not only just to meet them, but more so to get their constructive criticism and/or advice.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

Balancing work & personal life. Chefs have such a crazy schedule, that it is often hard to balance work life & personal life with family & friends.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
This is such a long story for another day, but the short version is that I never actually thought of being or wanted to be a chef. One day it just happened. I took a different path and followed my passionate, creative side. They say things happen for a reason, and I haven’t looked back yet. I have been a professional chef now for almost 2 decades. Things always happen for a reason, and what’s meant to be…will be.

Connect with our August 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefchrislavecchia
Website: www.chefchrislavecchia.com
TikTok: ChefChrisLaVecchia

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June is here and so is our Chef of the Month, Claudia Diawara!

Join us in getting to know more intimately this incredibly versatile Chef by reading her interview below:

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and I got adopted by a Swiss family, so I grew up in Switzerland.

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

I’m a private chef in Miami, Florida but I travel all over the world with my clients or for my clients. I’m based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is the Pacojet. I love making all kinds of ice creams, spices, dishes, spreads, you name it. I call this machine the Ferrari of tools. I just love it. Probably also because it’s made in Switzerland.

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

My taste for sure.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

My advice for aspiring chefs: Stay true to yourself and know what you can and can’t do.

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

Every chef should know the basics because every recipe is based on that.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Food means everything to me – raw, cooked to eat, or just to cook.

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

To me, the most important features of a chef uniform are pockets. Also, that it’s not too hot, and that it has shape. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a garbage bag.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

My favorite ingredient to work with is duck.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

My favorite city to dine in is Los Angeles.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

The best dish I have ever made is probably an African Fish Stew that I made up with ingredients I had on hand. I could never come close to that one time. It was so good.

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

I love to eat Chinese hot pots all day every day lol.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

Gordon Ramsey.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

We often get downgraded for “just” being a chef, when really, we bring people together. Everyone needs to eat.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
My passion for food and the way it brings people together.

Connect with our June 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef_claudiad
Business: @greenlabkitchen

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Meet Chef Simona Lauren, our May 2022 Chef of the Month

As we walk ourselves into warmer weather, it is with a lot of excitement that we introduce or May 2022 Chef of The Month, Chef Simona Lauren. Her presence in the kitchen and our tables can easily be described as a ray of sunshine. While obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Lithuania in Economy Sciences, her true love for food was always going along with her. Her set of skills which features fine dining cuisine, wine, and food pairing, kitchen design, menu development, budgeting, and other hospitality standards has been highly influenced by her  Austrian, German, Italian, French, Scandinavian chefs training. Over the years she has had the opportunity to help open nine different restaurants  in Lithuania, Norway and the United States, including one of her own.

Providing her clients with a delicious and nutritious meal that meets each of their requirements is a priority for her. Chef Simona Lauren has been certified as a Nutrition Coach at the National Academy of Sports Medicine in the United States.

Join us in getting to know more intimately this incredibly versatile Chef by reading her interview below:

1. Where were you born? 

Lithuania

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

Phoenix, Arizona. Private Chef Simona Lauren.

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

My Kitchen Aid appliances and my Santoku knife.

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

I would say all of them. My most preferred ones are taste and vision.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

Never give up, follow your dreams and do what is right. Never forget to treat everyone around as you would like to be treated.

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

An organized and clean space will help to make your work not only easier but also greater. The way you and your workspace look will affect your dish too.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Memories. A great dish should bring you memories and become a topic of conversation.

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

Comfort.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Chocolate and fish.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

London.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

There’s a lot of them so it’s really hard to say, but from the dessert side, I would say the Chocolate Morel Truffle Sphere in Bavarian Mousse cloud.

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

Good homemade mama’s food. Lithuanian Stuffed Cabbage is my favorite, or Asian Ramen Soup.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My grandfather.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

A bad and disrespectful restaurant environment, where long hours of dedication can literally kill you.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
My grandmother when I was 4 years old. We were making ravioli. I told her I wanted to have my own restaurant.

Connect with our May 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefsimonalauren
Website: www.chefsimonalauren.com
Facebook: Simona Lauren

Shop Chef Coats


Chef Chris’ Dulce De Leche Pavlova Recipe

Dulce De Leche Pavlova

We’re here for all of the meringue…good thing our January 2022 Chef of the Month, Chef Chris shared his delicious Dulce de leche Pavlova recipe! Crispy on the outside, soft and light on the inside – this dessert is a dream come true. Check it out below!

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites, fresh and at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup dulce de leche or condensed milk or both
  • Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries to use as toppings
  • Mint leaves, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff, about 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar, about 1 spoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Gently fold in vanilla extract, vinegar, and cornstarch.
  3. With a spatula, gently add the mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly making sure all sides are even.
  4. Bake for 90 minutes. Turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven for an hour.
  5. In a small bowl, beat heavy cream. Add powder sugar, beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, dulce de leche, and or condensed milk, and top with desired fruit and mint. Serve immediately.

Additional note from Chef Chris:

“So, I’ve made a few of these, and here are some of my tips to make the perfect Pavlova”…

  • Clean your mixer, spatula, and everything with white vinegar to make sure everything is extra clean.
  • Make sure to use fresh egg whites, and they must be at room temperature.
  • DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN, this will ruin it all.
  • Make sure you turn off the oven after an hour and a half of it cooking and allowing it to cool for an entire hour…. again, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN.

Connect with our January 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefchrisvaldes
Website: https://www.chefchrisvaldes.com/
YouTube: Chef Chris Valdes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chefchrisvaldes
Twitter: @chefchrisvaldes
Order His Cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578886456

January 2022 Chef of the Month – Chef Chris Valdes

We’re kicking off 2022 with our January Chef of the Month, the talented Miami native, Chris Valdes! Chef Chris is a Celebrity Chef, cookbook author, and the owner of Chris Valdes Catering, a full production events company! You may have seen Chef Chris on his YouTube channel, on the cover of several magazines or even on the Food Network and Hallmark Channel. His passion for food began at a very young age. Growing up in a family restaurant allowed Chef Chris to experience his love of food first-hand. He dreamed of motivating people around the world to cook and have fun in the kitchen. Today, he’s made his culinary dreams come true. We can’t wait to share his story with you and some of his Latin-inspired dishes!

1. Where were you born?
I was born on May 11, 1991, in a place that I call paradise and home: Miami, Florida. Growing up in Miami in the ’90s was truly a gift. Miami is such a magical place. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to many places around the world, and I always say the same thing: there is no place like home. You have to live here to understand its madness and why it’s so special. Our culture, the hot food scene, our beaches, and even our craziness make this place beyond special. You can walk the streets and see something new every day.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I am Chef and Owner of Chris Valdes Catering, a full production events company in Miami, FL. This past July the company turned 11 years old. Yup, I opened it when I was 19 years young.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
My favorite kitchen tool is my chef’s knife. It’s the one tool that comes into contact with almost everything and anything that you prepare. It’s the one tool I will always need and rely on.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
One of my sharpest senses is my sight. I can tell if something is overcooked, undercooked, or even spoiled just by looking at it. It’s something that developed with experience and time, and it is truly a gift.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Follow your dreams. If a career in culinary arts is what you desire, go for it. In the meantime, I recommend a part-time job at a local restaurant because we all love food but being part of the creation process is a different token. If you see you like it, and your mind wanders around the possibilities of creating a dish, then pursue it and don’t look back.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
The one culinary tip that every chef should know is that love is the most important ingredient in any dish and it’s also the one ingredient that is missing in many dishes.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food is nurturing to the soul. Good food is love.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
When selecting a chef outfit the one feature that is most important to me is durability because I don’t have time to be buying chef coats all the time. I like a good product, that will last and be worth what I paid for.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Garlic, who doesn’t love it? Goes good on everything!

10. Favorite city to dine out in?
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities to dine out. Every dish has a story, a tradition, and a method to it. It’s filled with layers of flavor, love, and comfort. As soon as I get to New Orleans the first thing on my mind is a shrimp, chicken, and smokey Andouille sausage gumbo.

11. Best dish you have ever made? 
One of the best dishes I’ve ever made was my stuffed pork shoulder. Juicy moist citrus and garlic marinated pork stuffed with rice, ground beef, and sweet plantain mixture, and as the pork cooks, all its drippings fall on that rice mixture and after a few hours, you have that crispy pork skin.

12. What do you like to eat most often on your days off? 
On my days off my cravings could run wild but I can usually settle for a crisp, juicy fried chicken or a seared steak cooked to perfection. And I always have to end it on a sweet note like a lite brownie or a warm toffee nut cake with cold ice cream.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
Chef Emeril Lagasse, the chef on TV, my culinary superhero (after my mom, of course), and he’s probably one of the reasons that I am part of the food world today. I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to motivate people from around the world to cook and have fun in the kitchen. I wanted to inspire kids to follow their dreams. He is the one person I would love to cook for and with.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?
One of the difficulties I encounter the most as a chef is asking myself after each and every dish, does that taste good? Was that my best? Will they like it? Will they understand and appreciate my vision and process for this creation? It’s something that always crosses my mind, not because of self-doubt but because as a chef I am always striving for perfection. It’s haunting!

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

Growing up in a family restaurant has had a huge impact on me. I’ve even asked my father if I was conceived there during the busy lunch hour, as I love food and am always in a hurry.

Walking inside the restaurant kitchen every day after school was truly a thrill for me. I would just close my eyes, and, with the smells lingering through the air, I would envision what creation Mom was cooking up. Anytime I would walk into that kitchen I had questions for my mom—questions that she always took the time to carefully answer. What are you cooking today? Why does it smell like that? What are you adding to that pot? What is today’s special? And the most important question of all… may I taste?

Sometimes I would just sit down on the kitchen counter and quietly observe everything from the cooking in the kitchen, to how my father ran the restaurant –  it was like a hobby for me. These observations taught me more than I could imagine, and they would one day prove to be very handy. This along with watching Emeril for the first time on TV led me to follow my dreams of becoming a Chef.

Connect with our January 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefchrisvaldes
Website: https://www.chefchrisvaldes.com/
YouTube: Chef Chris Valdes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chefchrisvaldes
Twitter: @chefchrisvaldes
Order His Cookbook: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0578886456

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