Tag Archives: gnocchi


Potato & Zucchini Lasagna.jpg

Lasagna is one of the tastiest dishes out there. Potatoes and Zucchini make the world go ’round. Together, they create a recipe for satisfaction! Chef Ale has shared her delicious Potato & Zucchini Lasagna recipe, and once you try it, you’ll crave it every single day! Get the recipe below:


  • 1 package (12 oz) fresh lasagna sheets
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup water, warm
  • 2 cups whole milk, warm
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated


1. Preheat oven at 350 F degrees.

2. Wash, dry and cut the zucchini into thin rounds. Peel, wash, dry and cut  the potatoes into thin rounds.

3. In a large skillet, brown the garlic with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Remove the garlic and add zucchini and potatoes. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add 1 cup of warm water, salt and pepper to taste and cook at medium heat until tender.

4. In the meantime, prepare the béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat. Remove the butter from heat then add the flour and stir until smooth. Slowly pour in the warm milk, whisking continuously. Return the mixture over medium heat, add nutmeg and cook until just thick. Set aside.

5. Boil the lasagna sheets on a large skillet of salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then remove and lay on a kitchen towel to dry.

6. To assemble the Lasagna, grease the bottom of a rectangular baking dish with a knob of butter, then spread over a couple of tablespoons of béchamel sauce. Place the first layer of lasagna sheets then some zucchini and potatoes, spread over some béchamel sauce and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano.

7. Repeat (lasagna sheets, béchamel sauce, zucchini and potatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano) for 3 more times or until all the ingredients are gone. (I usually prepare my lasagna with no more than 4 layers).

8. Cook for 35 minutes.

9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

July 2019 Chef of the Month- Ale Gambini


We are proud and ecstatic to introduce our July Chef of the Month- Ale Gambini, also known as a Queen in the Kitchen! Chef Ale is not only a cookbook author and a cooking instructor, but she’s also a LA-based food writer AND an Italian food ambassador! Chef Ale also frequently travels the United  States and Italy as Keynote speaker for food-related events, a Queen in the Kitchen indeed! Read below to learn more about Chef Ale (prepare to be fascinated) and shop her look!


1. Where were you born?

100% Italian, born and raised in beautiful Milan (Italy).

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

I’m a LA-based food writer, Italian food ambassador, cooking instructor and chef in online food programs. I also travel the U.S and Italy as a keynote speaker for food related events.

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

I’m a huge fan of the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, such a great help but as I always say to my students, your hands are your best tools in the kitchen.

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

The smell! Everything about my cooking starts from the smell. I want my dishes to be a bouquet of flavors through the nostrils first and then to the palate.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Passion and hard work are the key ingredients to succeed in the food industry.

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

I don’t have a tip, but a suggestion: always use the BEST quality ingredients.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Family, health and love. I grew up in a typical Italian family watching my Nonna prepare food for the whole family every single day. Cooking is one of the greatest acts of love. For us Italians, it is much more than fuel for the body, is sacred.

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

The fabric is the most important thing, I love lightweight coats made with natural fibers. The colors hot pink and black are A Queen in The Kitchen colors.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Flour. I love to bake especially bread and baked goods.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Bologna in Emilia Romagna region (Italy), the capital of the Italian food: fresh egg pasta, lasagne, ragù, gnocco fritto, Prosciutto di Parma, Mortadella and so much more.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

People say that my Lasagne alla Bolognese is to die for.

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

I try to eat as good as possible every day, but if I have to choose something not Italian, I would say ceviche de pulpo.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My daughter, when she cleans her plate I’m the happiest person on this planet. Mangia, mangia is my motto!

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

The love for the good food.


Connect with our July Chef of the Month: 

Instagram: @alegambinidt

Facebook: @aqueeninthekitchen 

Twitter: @alegambinidt

Website: https://aqueeninthekitchen.com/

November 2014 Chef of the Month – Lisa Nakamura

Chefuniforms.com Chef of the Month - Chef Lisa Nakamura featured on blog.chefuniforms.comLisa K. Nakamura is a writer, chef and owner of Allium Restaurant on Orcas Island, Washington. She hails originally from Hilo, Hawaii, where she spent many a rainy afternoon reading and re-reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Her love of languages and stories was nurtured by Dr. Seuss, Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume and strict elementary school teachers. A natural parrot and mime, Lisa has enjoyed living overseas and all over the United States, listening and learning new tongues, tales and traditions.

Bucky the Dollar Bill is Lisa’s first attempt at writing a book, and at self-publishing. This book tells the story of how a single dollar bill changes the lives of many people in a small town when he is spent, reflecting Lisa’s support of a strong local economy. Trivia information about Lisa: she has her degree in botany from Arizona State University; she was a flight attendant for almost nine years; she is an avid knitter of straight things like scarves, as she has not mastered the art of knitting something round like a hat.

Congratulations Chef Lisa Nakamura on being our Chef of the Month for November! It was our pleasure getting to know you! Our white chef coat looks great on you!

1. What is the name of your company and where are you based?

Gnocchi Bar, Seattle, WA.

2. What is your birthplace?

Seoul, South Korea

3. What made you decide to become a chef?

When I was a flight attendant, I used to do a lot of gourmet cooking on my time off and I used to watch a lot of cooking shows like Julia Child’s and other Chefs. With the practice, I got better at it and really enjoyed it.

4. What do you enjoy doing outside of being a chef?

I like being outdoors – skiing, hiking and biking with my husband. I like to spend time with my family and I also like to read a lot and write and blog – which is very therapeutic for me.

5. What is your favorite social media platform?

I am torn between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is like a conversation that you share in depth about what you find interesting and Twitter is immediate news.

6. What is your Must Have Kitchen Tool?

A great pair of Knives – you can do anything with them. I like the brand, Global because they are easy to sharpen and maintain.

Chef Lisa Nakamura Must Have Kitchen Tool - Global Kitchen Knives

7. What is your specialty dish?

Gnocchi like polenta, sweet potato and potato. I do what matches the season and add my flair to it.

8. What’s the strangest thing you ever ate?

Slugs and live Octopus.

Chef Lisa Nakamura’s Pickled Beets and Bleu Cheese on Crostini Recipe

Chef Lisa Nakamura Pickled Beets and Bleu Cheese on Crostini Recipe found on blog.chefuniforms.com

Serves about 12

1 bunch medium size beets

4 ounces fresh arugula

1 lb of bleu cheese (bleu d’auvergne, Roquefort, Maytag or Gorgonzola)

¼ olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 baguette


For pickling brine:

1 cup red wine vinegar

¾ cup white sugar

1 T kosher salt 1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

3-4 all spice berries

1 piece star anise

Bring all of the pickling brine ingredients to a boil in a stainless steel pot. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and let it cool.

Peel the beets, and then cut into fine julienne. When the brine is cool, add the beets to the brine. Refrigerate for at least one day.

For the crostini, take the baguette and slice on the diagonal into very thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until crispy. The crostini at the outer edges of the baking sheet will be done first. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. These can be made the day before, and stored in an air-tight container.

To serve, place on each crostini slice a good amount of bleu cheese. Top with an arugula leaf (you can de-stem for a neater appearance). Add a few slivers of the pickled beets and serve.

9. Who would you most like to cook for?

American rapper, Macklemore. He is an American rapper from Seattle. I admire the fact that he launched himself into the stratosphere through hard work and determination and he has such an awesome story.

10. Do you enjoy dining out on your free time? What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I do. I like Chinese or Indian and every now and then, sushi.

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

Fabric is huge. I like a good weight cotton, 100%. Not polyester because it makes me too hot. I like long sleeves and love the grommets under the arms and pockets are also huge for me.

~Her experience and advice~

12. How long have you been a chef and where did you study?

I have been cooking for 18 years and studied at a small French culinary school in Maryland, called LAcademie de Cuisine.

13. What education or experience would you recommend for aspiring chefs?

Before you spend money on schools, go get a job in a kitchen first and if you like it, then go to school.

14. What would you recommend as far as on-the-job training?

Get into the best restaurant when you can even if it means washing dishes or picking lettuce, because when you are there, you should be learning and be aware of everything. When the opportunity presents itself, you can step into those shoes. The first couple of jobs you take will show you the path you will follow in your culinary career.

15. What is your greatest challenge in getting the ingredients you need?

When I was on Orcas Island, I really felt it. In Seattle, it is very seasonal but I do actually like to cook in the season. You have to be creative in what you serve as you don’t have the ingredients that you would normally use.

16. Do you try to experience your competitors’ food? Do you ever get ideas from them?

Oh yes. A lot of times…We live in a very competitive world and it is great to see what other people do.

17. Do you think it is important to visit the markets rather than just have standard orders?

Oh yes. First of all, if you do not go to the farmer’s markets once a month, you will not know what’s in season and what is good quality. You have to be aware. It reminds you of what you can do and also generate ideas.

18. How do you test a new recipe without putting it on the permanent menu?

If I am pretty sure it’s going to work, I will run it as a special. I also cook for my family and based on their feedback, put it on the menu.

19. What is your advice for planning a menu for a new restaurant?

You should be asking these questions…

  • Who is going to be cooking?
  • How much storage space will your restaurant have?
  • What kind of dining will you do – fine or casual?
  • How big is your kitchen?
  • How big is your dining area versus your kitchen space?
  • What is your restaurant location? Some dishes will fly and some will fall flat based on location.
  • What will be the age of your clients – teenagers, seniors, working class etc?

Once you open the restaurant, you might change these things again even if you have it all planned as you discover more.

20. How do chefs use technology in their day to day operations?

  • I read the NY times Dining Section and many other sites which other chefs do as well.
  • Social media forums
  • The Internet – you can get so much info.
  • Square, Open Table applications
  • Payment processing systems so restaurants offer less waiting times for their client’s payments
  • Google – google places to eat or find out information about ingredients via our smart phones
  • Texting – this makes it so easy to communicate with your staff
  • Many advances in Kitchen Appliances – makes things so much easier for us to cook

21. What phone apps do Chefs use in their day to day?

Chef’s Feed – http://chefsfeed.com/


~2014 and The Future~

22. What dining trends do you see taking place for 2014?

  • Restaurants are becoming more specialized and very individualized like ramen restaurants or gelato places
  • Casual dining – people are eating out more often 2 – 3 times a week
  • Adventurous – people are being more adventurous like trying out ramen restaurants for example
  • Food Sensitivities – restaurants are adapting their menus more to include these types of customers

23. How has the revolution to eat healthy influenced you as a Chef?

I am a butter and cream kind of girl. It is hard not to have that in my dishes. I am learning that less is more and how to do that and still have people indulge. I think about do I serve dishes made with wholewheat or bleached flour or organic versus conventional? I would love to go organic all the time but will people pay the price? As a consumer, I do not go organic all the time but as much as possible. Also thinking of questions like how do we use the waste from our kitchens wisely can help us be more “green.”

24. What do you think of “Green Kitchens?” Is it realistic to outfit your kitchens to be environmentally friendly?

Restaurants that are old buildings – it is harder for them to convert to “green” and be outfitted that way. They cannot adapt so easily to recycling or monitoring chemicals or how much compost they can use.

With a new restaurant, you can set it up from scratch by using solar panels, auto heaters and the costs will eventually pay these off. You can push it as far as you want too with a new restaurant and hopefully we can all get to that point.

25. How does Social Media play a role for Chefs today?

It flattens the pyramid. It makes me more approachable and I can connect directly with my consumers or guests. I am not just a person in a white chef coat. You can tell a lot about chef’s personalities via social media. A lot of the time chefs receive praise and criticisms but to share great things and have a dialogue and get feedback is even greater. It gives us an idea what is important to them. When we work during the social hours, it is great to know what is going on about them and connect as we only see them once or twice during the year.

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