Tag Archives: executive chef



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/



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.


  • 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


  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/


Chef uniforms coats

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 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 and shop his look

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/


Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef Eric Kaszubinski

The Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival is almost here! We have loved getting to know some of the talented chefs who will be participating in this year’s event. We’d like to introduce you to Chef Eric Kaszubinski of Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.


1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

Food Network was not around till I was in high school.  However I would see chef’s including the late Julia Child and a program called Great Chefs on television which drove me to want to discover and learn more about food from around the world.  On a more personal level, my family has always been involved in the food business.  Some of my fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my family cooking up a traditional Polish meal.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine? (ie Thai, French, casual American, tex-mex)

Growing up, my family hosted exchange students from Japan and China.  I feel that my curiosity of their cuisine has played a role in some of the items I put on my menus today.  I would not say that I represent one style of food, instead I cook what I want and what my guests want; great food inspired by what is around us.

3. What is one of your favorite ingredients and why?

This is a tough question to narrow down just one ingredient as my favorite.  I have many items that I like to use and I also feel that this continues to change as I evolve my cuisine.  I would say that one of my favorite ingredients would be a sea scallop.  There are many ways to prepare this, whether it is raw or cooked.

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 10?

Pompano Beach Marriott  has been a longtime supporter of this event and as the Host Hotel… we wouldn’t miss it! It benefits a great Foundation, it’s here in our Pompano Beach community, it showcases the area’s culinary talents, and of course… it’s a blast!

5. What are you looking forward to the most at this years Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Connecting with all the people in the community that I live and work in, seeing all the Dolphin “Greats”, participating in the corn-hole tournament, and the opportunity to win fan-favorite this year.

6. Any recommendations for those planning to attend the Gridiron Grill-Off for the first time?

Come early, pace yourself and make sure you vote…for me!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

Facebook: Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival

Twitter: @GridironGriller

Chef Ana Birac’s Cucumber Roll Recipe

Another delicious recipe coming from our Croatian September Chef of the Month Ana Birac. She wows us again with her mouth-watering Cucumber Roll.



Cucumber – Crème fraîche – Horseradish Roll – Carrot Cream – Baked Marinated Red Beetroot – Apple Caramelized in Coconut Butter – Pistachio Powder


For 2 people:

0.1kg cucumber ~ 3.5 ounces

0.005kg Crème fraîche ~ 17 ounces

0.005kg fresh horseradish (grated) ~ 17 ounces

0.1kg carrot ~ 3.5 ounces

0.05kg whipped cream ~ 1.7 ounces

0.1kg red beetroot ~ 3.5 ounces

0.005kg honey ~ 17 ounces

0.005kg lime ~ 17 ounces

0.001kg thyme ~ 1 teaspoon

0.1kg Granny Smith apple ~ 3.5 ounces

0.005kg coconut butter ~ 17 ounces

0.002kg pistachio powder ~ a dash

Olive oil – as needed

Salt, pepper – as need


Peal the cucumber into big noodles. Put them on a board slice next to the slice and spice with salt and pepper. Then cover them with plastic foil and put in the fridge and marinate for 15 minutes.

Cut red beetroot brunoise (into cubes). Blanch it in water until it softens, and then grill it. Marinate it with honey, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

Cut Granny Smith apple brunoise (same size as beetroot into cubes). Dissolve coconut butter in a pan and bake the apple for a minute or two until it softens.

Peel the carrots and cook in vegetable stock until they are fully cooked. After, put them in thermomixer, add the whipped cream and ¾ of pistachio powder. Mix it all together until you get a smooth cream. Season it with salt and pepper and then put it in the fridge to cool down.

Once again use the thermomixer – mix crème fraîche, grated horseradish, salt and pepper. When you get a texture like spread, you’re done.

Take the cucumbers out of the fridge. Spread crème fraîche and horseradish cream over it and roll them up.

Put the product on the plate and finish with the rest of the pistachio powder sprinkled around the plate.

*Note because Chef Ana is from Croatia, she uses metric system measurements (along with the rest of the world). Once again, we have done our best to convert the measurements to the U.S. customary system. 


Chef Ana Birac’s Chickpea Butter Recipe

Our September Chef of the Month, Ana Birac sends us her Chickpea Butter recipe all the way from Croatia.



For 2 people:

0.25kg* chickpeas ~ 1 cup

1L cooking cream ~ 4 ¼ cups

0.5kg sour cream ~ 2 cups

salt, pepper – according to your taste


Cook chickpeas in cooking cream until it becomes soft and tender. Watch out, the temperature of cooking cream cannot pass 83 degrees Celsius or 180 degrees Fahrenheit! When the chickpeas are cooked, leave it aside to cool down. After one hour it will be ready for the next step. Take the thermomixer and put it inside. Mix it until you get smooth paste. Pass it through a sieve and leave it in clean bowl.

Put the sour cream in the blender and whip it until it becomes a mixture very similar to ordinary butter. Add chickpeas, salt and pepper to your taste. Mix it until you get a mixture just like butter – nice and tender.

Put it in the fridge and leave over night to cool down.

You can use it as a spread on the bread, to spice the dishes or to cook on it.


Bon appétit!

*Note because Chef Ana is from Croatia, she uses metric system measurements (along with the rest of the world). We have done our best to convert the measurements to the U.S. customary system. 


Chef Dakota Soifer’s Harissa Recipe

Our Chef of the Month Dakota Soifer has shared another great recipe with us! You can use his Harissa as a great grilling marinade, add it to yogurt or aioli for a great dipping sauce, or even use it on its own as a vibrant condiment.



2 C Seeded & roughly chopped fresh fresno chilies

6 Cloves garlic

2t Tomato paste

1/2 C Pequillo peppers

1T Cumin

1T Coriander

1T Black cumin

2t Hot smoked paprika

1t Salt

2T Olive oil


Toast the spices until fragrant and grind finely.  Put the chilies, garlic, salt and half the spices into a food processor. Let the processor run for a few minutes stopping it every now and then to scrape the sides down. You are trying to achieve a very smooth, almost liquid-y consistency. This will probably take longer than expected, be patient.  A well pureed base will ensure a successful Harissa.  Once pureed, add in the tomato paste & peppers along with the rest of spices.  Stir in the olive oil by hand, you don’t want an emulsion.  This will keep for a few weeks in the fridge, just pour a very thin layer of oil on the top to protect from oxidization, between uses.


Chef Dakota Soifer’s Oyster Mushrooms with Sherry Recipe

oyster mushrooms image

Oyster mushrooms with Sherry.

At the cafe we love sherries and were always looking for a way to get people to drink more of it.  This dish, while great on its own, is a great showcase of how fun pairing sherry with food is.  We encourage you to check it out.


½ lb oyster mushrooms

2T Olive oil

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1T (heaping) picked fresh thyme leaves


Black pepper

1/4c mushroom or vegetable stock

1T butter

1T fine sherry

Great EVOO


Trim the woody root off the oyster mushrooms, saving them for mushroom stock.

In a thick bottomed pan with enough space to accommodate all of the mushrooms in a single layer, heat the 2T of olive oil over a high heat.  It is really important that the mushrooms aren’t overcrowded when they cook or the will steam rather than sear, muting the flavors & mushing the texture.

When the oil is simmering and almost smoking, dump the mushrooms in.  Don’t stir them right away let them sit & cook nicely for a moment.  Just stir once in a while. Think of it more as searing little steaks than stirring vegetables up in a pan.  Using this technique will help you take advantage of the mushroom’s unique texture and give the dish more character.

After 3 to 4 minutes and the mushrooms are browning nicely, stir in the butter, garlic and Thyme.  Once the garlic turns golden and the Thyme has become very aromatic, stir in the stock and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.  After the stock reduces and become a thick flavorful sauce, add in a nice splash of the sherry, careful not to flame it, return to the heat for a few more seconds and you’re done!

Serve over soft polenta, or on grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with some great extra virgin olive oil.


Chef Dakota Soifer’s Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons – Just what your pantry needs!


Chef Dakota Soifer has shared with us some of his favorite recipes.  See what special ingredient he always has on hand at his restaurant, Cafe Aion!

We love preserved lemons at Cafe Aion.  It is one of the most important ingredients that help make our identity.  The only tricky thing about them is that they take a long time (4-60 days) to properly cure. We usually make a 20lb batches every couple weeks!  For (most) home use a small amount will go a long way and if you get into the habit of making a batch every month or so, you won’t run the risk of being out.

You’ll need:

4 lemons

3/4c sugar

1 1/2c salt

1T coriander seeds

1 cinnamon stick

3 chili de arbol

1 Qt Ball jar


Mix all the salt, sugar and spices together.  Cut the lemons almost into quarters, top to bottom, so that the four pieces are just connected at the tip.  Stuff each lemon with a big pinch of the salt mix and then put into the clean jar. After jamming all the lemons into the container pour any extra salt & seasonings in as well.  Then, with your hand or a wooden spoon press the lemons to begin releasing some of their juice.  Screw the top on and keep in a cool dark place for 2 months, turning the jar over every week or so.  Eventually the salt will pull out more and more of the lemon’s natural juices turning the packed salt into an intense brine, softening the lemons’ skins & introducing some of the spice’s flavors.  After 2 months, or as long as you can wait, take a lemon out, rinse it under cold water & discard the pulp.  Pull one of the quarters off and lay it skin side down.  With a sharp paring knife slice away as much of the white pith as you can.  The yellow peel is the good stuff, use it as bigger pieces in braises and roasts or chop it finely and sprinkle into grain-salads or atop a paella!


August 2016 Chef of the Month Dakota Soifer


Congratulations Chef Dakota Soifer for being our Chef of the Month for August! See what he has been cooking up at his restaurant Cafe Aion, in Colorado.

Where were you born:

I was born in South China, Maine.

Where do you work and where are you based?

I am the chef and owner of Café Aion in Boulder, Colorado

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

My Paella pan is my favorite tool. It is made out of pounded carbon steel and the shape and thickness of the pan are great. I have one that is 12 inches and some that are 3 feet for when I cook for big farmer’s markets and large parties. I can get 40 or so servings out of each pan! I have a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant, so we make a lot of Paella.

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

I think touch would be my sharpest sense.  Growing up, I was always playing in the dirt in the garden helping my dad who was a carpenter.  We did a lot of hands on and hands in things. I love to be hands on in all aspects- feeling the fresh produce we get in and even in rebuilding the restaurant. I have a degree in architecture, so when we remodeled the restaurant I was able to build the bar, design the community tables and the kitchen.

What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t rush to open your own restaurant or jump from position to position. In this day and age, people move around quite often and try to get a sous chef or executive chef position as quickly as they can and there is really something to be learned while spending years at the same restaurant throughout the seasons.  Try to enjoy the process or you will burn out quickly if you don’t go slow.

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

Everyone chef should know how to bake bread. It is something that’s kind of become lost and it adds a complexity and another layer of wonderfulness to a restaurant. The difference of a fresh quality is a special thing. It is really nice when you can see people slowing down and baking bread well.

What does good food mean to you?

Good food is thoughtful. It has a human touch.  It’s not an assembly line.  It is interesting how many of the very best or highly regarded restaurants become scientific and industrial in prep and production now. Everything has become too perfect. As a business owner, I understand how important it is for consistency and controlling your product, but in a way its gets away from the real joy of cooking.  I also think good food is created on a wood fired grilled.  The real fire introduces a part of nature that can’t be tamed or totally perfected at home. There should be a difference in eating at home and eating out at a restaurant.

What trends do you see emerging in the near future?

I see fast casual currently trending.  It is really interesting from a business point of view.  You see people taking the farm to table and sourcing things carefully and then applying that on a larger scale. It is somewhat sad to see restaurants becoming more standardized. You can now have wine on draft from a keg.  Everything has become fast and easy.  There is no patience in cooking anymore.

What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets)

Definitely comfort and breathability.  I need to be able to move around and not feel like I’m wearing a cardboard box. You wear a chef coat because it’s a sign of your profession.  They’re white, which in our industry is ridiculous, but if you can work and keep it white, you’re skilled.  You can take pride in knowing that you look good to your guests and clean to keep your professional mentality.

What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?

Jeans and a white t-shirt with my Dansko clogs.

Favorite ingredient to work with?

I really love bread.  It is so cool what you can do with a loaf of bread.  It is obvious that you can create sandwiches, but you can also tear it up and roast it to create crunchy croutons. You can do anything with these! You can use them to absorb sauces, add to a soup to create a luxurious consistency, create breadcrumbs to add texture to seafood pastas. It is so versatile and simple.  It lives on after its fresh state to being stale and has many different uses throughout its lifespan.

Favorite City to dine out in?

It may be clichéd, but San Francisco has a special place in my heart.  I moved out there after I graduated college to pursue my cooking career.  I moved around to get myself into the best places to work on my career, had no responsibilities, and was in my early 20s.  I had extra cash to go and try all these different places and explore the culture of San Francisco.

Best Dish you have ever made?

Paella.  It is a special dish for the restaurant, but one time a few friends of mine and I had an idea to have a mid-day picnic party.  We went into a field and made a fire. We had wine and cooked a paella and homemade sausage. It was great!

Place you eat most often on your days off?

Probably a dumpling shop that I go to with my daughter.  She is 8 and loves dumplings equally as much as I do. I have my partner in crime and we take down a large spread of them.  Dumplings are not something I cook or do often at home.  They are of a different cuisine and use other flavors than what I am around at work. My daughter and I have either pan fried pork or Chinese soup dumplings.

Person you would most like to cook for?

My grandmother was always very supportive, but she never got a chance to come to my restaurant. It would be cool to have had her to come to the restaurant.

What made you decide to become a chef?

I was in college for architecture, but I got a job cooking to make some money.   It was really fun! I was 20 or 21 and working late was always a party scene.  It was really cool and fun, and I was doing well.  Eventually I got a promotion and was taken under the wing by guys in the industry that I thought were cool and doing good stuff.  I didn’t get into it as my end goal.  I just followed a path and different opportunities opened up.

What is new on your DVR?

Bob’s Burgers is pretty funny.  I am not much of a drama person.  I want to giggle and relax when I’m watching tv. It’s a funny show and has to do with food.

Look out for some mouth-watering recipes from Chef Soifer this month!

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