Tag Archives: cooks

Chef Stephanie’s Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

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Cheesecake is undoubtedly one of the yummiest desserts out there, but picture this: a strawberry cheesecake with an Oreo crust! Chef Stephanie’s Strawberry Cheesecake recipe is guaranteed to satisfy. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients (Serves 16) 

  • 2 cups – Oreo cookies with cream center removed; finely ground (2 sleeves)
  • 1/4 cup – butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons – sugar
  • 4 each 8-oz.-  packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups – sugar
  • 3 tablespoons-  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon – salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons – pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup – sour cream
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 3 tablespoon- water
  • 2 tablespoons- sugar
  • 1 teaspoon-  cornstarch
  • Red food coloring, (optional)
  • 1 pint fresh small strawberries, washed and hulled

Directions

1. Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325º F. Put a tea kettle or large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into 9” spring form pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream. Pour the batter into the spring form pan on top of crust.

4. Place the spring from pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. (If your cheesecake pan is not leak proof, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water).

5. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 70 to 80 minutes.

6. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or overnight. (Overnight is the best).

7. Purée frozen strawberries in a small food processor or with an immersion blender. Press blended strawberries through a fine mesh strainer in to a small saucepan. Add water.

8. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Stir into the puree in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened and clear. Add food coloring, if desired. Cool to room temperature.

To serve: Top each piece of cheesecake with broken Oreo cookies and drizzle strawberry sauce over the top!

 

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_

 

June 2019 Chef of the Month- Stephanie Hamilton

We are so ready for the month of June (can someone say summer?) and with it, we are happy to introduce our June Chef of the Month- Stephanie Hamilton! Chef Stephanie is a creative chef in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not running her own catering company, she is putting on events and constantly looking for different ways to create delicious new recipes. Read below to learn more about Chef Stephanie’s story!

 

1. Where were you born?

The Great Pacific Northwest is my home. I was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer-fresh seafood with local farmers all just right in my backyard and really an amazing place to live.

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

I am super active in many aspects of the culinary industry, I also have my own catering company ” The Creative Menu”. I pretty much will take on any event that comes my way, since it’s just me. At times, I get those large events that will challenge me, but at the end of the day it is so rewarding. I also love to put on “Pop Up” events, taking smaller groups of guests and creating a fine dining experience in the comfort of a home or small venue. It’s such a fun and creative way to challenge myself by taking a menu and being able to transport the guest somewhere new and exciting with the story you have behind each dish as you go through the night.

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

It’s really hard to pick a favorite kitchen tool, of course I love my Chef’s Knife. Thinking of something even more simple is the actual dish you plate on. The color, shape of the plate or board can change the whole dynamic of a dish. I want a dish that would be brought to life and contribute to the story.

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

My sharpest sense would be my sight, I am able to visualize and create a dish and keep great attention to detail, while not over complicating a dish, keeping it simple and letting ingredients shine. To me food should be vibrant, balanced and just simply put, make you happy.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Have a mentor that you respect and look up to and learn as much as you can from that Chef. Being able to work side-by-side with a Chef and having a hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Never stop learning and always challenge yourself and finally, do not be afraid to fail, that is the only way to truly learn and grow to be better.

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

What was taught to me was to never waste anything! Learn your ingredients and know how to utilize every component.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is simplicity and elegance, not over complicating a dish where flavors get lost.

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

When selecting an outfit, I look for material that is comfortable, washes well and holds its color. I like being able to customize my coat.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Favorite ingredients would have to be “Beef & Spices from Spiceology” (tenderloin, trip-tip, brisket, short ribs, etc.) Cooking up a beautiful filet seasoned perfectly with the balanced flavors of Spiceology will hands raise your dish to that next level.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Seattle, Washington is such a great city to dine in. Big variety of cultures with some of the best little mom and pop places to eat. The best part is being down by the waterfront and taking a stroll through Pike Place Market.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

One that is my favorite to make and turns out perfect every time is the Tri – tip coated in a dry rub from Spiceology. It’s cooked on the smoker at 225 degrees for about 90 mins then kick the grill up to high and reverse sear. Top it off with a fresh Chimichurri sauce and serve it up with your favorite side.

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

I love to eat Tacos! Steak, Shrimp, Brisket.  If you’re making it, I’m eating it. Plus, put a fresh bowl of salsa and chips down, and I’m one happy camper.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would be honored to cook for Chef Thomas Keller.  He is so talented and the chance to cook for and listen to his feedback would be incredible. Being able to learn about his experiences in the kitchen and how he got to where he is would be a great learning experience for me.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I did not realize in the beginning, but my journey started when I was just a kid. I am very grateful of how it began. I grew up on a little farm, between our farm and my grandparent’s farm we had about 15 acres. We raised our own meat, poultry, beef, lamb, rabbit and had a very large vegetable garden. I was taught the importance of working hard for what you have and never wasting anything.

Growing up I always loved to cook but not sure I really thought I was going to have such a passion for cooking, but then, it really kind of hit me all at once, (That fire & passion that burns inside of you) I took that desire to learn and started teaching myself everything I possibly could learn. Cooking for others makes me so happy, seeing the joy your guest has sitting around a table enjoying their meal and making new memories with their family… that right there is the best thing in the world!

Connect with our June Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chef_stephanie_

 

March 2019 Chef of the Month- Chef John Wilson

 

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We’re happy to introduce our March Chef of the Month- Chef John Wilson! Chef John, also known as “The Soup King” is a Chef at Sophie’s Cork and Ale in North Carolina. He is a believer in going the extra mile for his customers and strongly believes that one must “be passionate or go home.” He first fell in love with the kitchen back in high school, and it his positive attitude , perseverance and passion that has led him to his successful chef career! Read below to learn more about Chef John’s Story!

 

 

 

 

1. Where were you born?

Frederick, MD

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

Sophie’s Cork and Ale, Lexington, NC

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

An immersion blender because it can be used for so many different things and dishes.

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

Vision. I like to believe I see everything around me.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Be passionate or go home.

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

Customer service and by that, I mean always going the extra mile for the customer and making the answer “no” impossible for the guests.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Bringing joy and smiles to faces with “good food”.

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

I mostly look for style, pockets, and heavy or light weight coats or shirts depending on the time of year.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I could not survive without honey

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Winston Salem, NC

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

In my opinion, it was the time I made bacon fat confit rabbit with cornmeal dusted okra, and parmesan polenta cakes.

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

Go to Mom’s house for dinner, good ‘ol southern food, hamburger steaks, friend chicken, mashed potatoes, greens beans etc.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

The first chef that ever gave me a chance in the kitchen when I was 17 years old, Sean Devine, I haven’t seen him since I was about 19, and I feel I’ve come such a long way and I know he would enjoy and be proud to eat one of my dishes.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

The kitchen culture and lifestyle, I feel in love with it as a young dishwasher still in high school.

Connect with our March Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @chefjohnwilson

 

FEBRUARY 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- CHEF KRISTAL

We’re excited to introduce our February Chef of the Month- Chef Kristal Kirkland! Chef Kristal is a personal chef in the New York and New Jersey area with a passion for paprika, good food and determination! Chef Kristal followed her dreams and became a successful chef- and she advocates all aspiring chefs to do the same. We are thrilled to share her delicious AND healthy recipes, and we know that she will inspire current and future chefs to keep on dreaming. Read below to learn about Kristal’s story!                                               

 

 

1. Where were you born?

I was born in Long Island, NY, but raised in Queens, NY!

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

I am a Personal Chef so I don’t have a set location for work, but my clients live in New York and New Jersey and I cook out of their homes

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

My favorite tool in the kitchen would have to be a channel. I love using it to create fruit platters! It makes an ordinary fruit platter look extraordinary. I use the channel by carving out pieces of oranges, lemons or watermelon and turn it into a cool design!

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

My sharpest sense is my sense of touch! Without using a thermometer, I can tell if steak or chicken is cooked by simply touching it.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

My advice to aspiring chefs would be to learn as much as you can and to keep practicing! After a while cooking will become so natural to you. Learn what flavors work well together and never stop believing in yourself (as cliché as it sounds)! When I first started cooking, I didn’t really see my full potential and always looked at other chefs and felt as if I would never be as good as them. But here I am, living out my dream and I’m so much better than I could have ever imagined! That’s why I say never stop believing in yourself…you never know what you are capable, and you might even surprise yourself.

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

Taste, taste, taste! You must always taste your food while cooking it and before sending it out to the customer/client!

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me means that it is seasoned well, has fresh ingredients and is cooked to perfection. Overcooked food can really ruin a meal for me.

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

I look for quality material when picking out a chef outfit because I want my chef outfits to last. I would rather spend the money on a good quality chef jacket than to buy a cheap jacket and have to constantly replace it throughout the year because of tears or the stains that won’t come out.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient to work with would have to be paprika/smoked paprika. I put that stuff in almost everything!

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

New York City, of course! It’s home for me but you can find almost every cuisine here!

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

My baked macaroni and cheese because my clients always wonder what’s in it. The spices and cream cheese that I put in it really kicks the macaroni up a notch.

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

I’m actually a pretty boring eater on my days off. I feel like I cook all of these gourmet meals for clients, but I never cook anything gourmet for myself. On my days off I tend to eat baked chicken, roasted sweet potatoes and roasted broccoli. If I’m not being healthy I will get something to eat from the Spanish spot by my house. I order baked chicken, rice and beans with a side of fried plantains!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would like to cook for Barack Obama. I admire him as a person because I like the way he carries himself, how he speaks, how he treats others and his sense of humor. I think he has a lot of wisdom and I would love to learn from him

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I decided to become a chef simply because I enjoyed cooking and I realized I was happy whenever I was in the kitchen. However, when I attended culinary school I realized that there is a difference between cooking for your family and cooking for large groups of people. Culinary school was hard for me at first, but I stuck it out because the love for cooking was still there and it was always my dream to be a chef!

Connect with our February Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @ksoulsservices

Facebook: @KsoulsServices

Website: https://www.ksoulsservices.com/

JANUARY 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- CHEF KARMA

It’s the new year & we’re so happy to introduce our January Chef of the Month, Chef Karma! Chef Karma is a private chef and event planner in South Florida! She is also one of the few female hibachi chefs in the United States. Highly innovative and creative, Chef Karma enjoys fusion-style cooking and loves to stand out in bright colors! We can’t wait to share her story and yummy recipes. Read below to learn more about Chef Karma!                                                                   

 

1. Where were you born?

St. Thomas United States Virgin Islands

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

I work as a private chef and event planner in South Florida.

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

I am a hibachi chef. This is the best way to describe how I create my masterpiece. I am one of the only female hibachi chefs in the US. I love to be innovative and creative, so I would call my style of cooking, fusion.

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

My sharpest sense out of the five senses would be taste. I have a very sensitive palette, so I can almost pinpoint every ingredient in a dish.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

The advice I would give you an aspiring chef is to make sure that cooking is what you love, not like, so that it does not feel like work.

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

Mise en plac…. This means everything in its place, preparation is imperative to a good service.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Euphoria. People eat with their eyes first, there nose second, and lastly their mouth.

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

I love bright colors, so my chef uniform always has to stand out.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

I love the Mediterranean spice Tahini, it amplifies any taste in any type of food.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Miami, of course.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Honey barbecue pulled pork on top of corn bread topped with homemade Cole Slaw

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

I love sushi, all types of sushi!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

I would love to cook for our last president, Barack Obama

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I believe that food brings people together, so I chose Culinary arts to make sure that I am a part of every single person’s laugh and every single person’s tear and making it memorable.

 

Connect with our January Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @prettychefsinternational

Facebook: @prettychefsllc

 

 

 

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