Tag Archives: grilling

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

 

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.

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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

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef Rey De La Osa

If you are a true Floridian, you have a huge appreciation for Publix! Chef Rey De La Osa is the Resident Chef for Publix Aprons in Plantation, FL. Check out his culinary journey and what he has to say about participating in Gridiron Grill-Off Wine, Food & Music Festival for his third year in a row!

I joined Publix in 1999 to work in customer service. While attending Johnson & Wales University, I worked at The Four Seasons Hotel in Miami. In 2008, I transferred to the Prepared Foods Department at Publix Greenwise Market in Boca Raton to pursue his culinary career. I began working at the Apron’s Cooking School in 2010 to share his culinary passion with others.  I am now the Resident Chef in our Plantation location. Together with the Apron’s staff, we want students to “learn to have fun in the kitchen!”

1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

I’d say my mom inspired me as she can put a great meal together with just about any ingredients she had laying around. I also watched a lot of Food Network when I was younger back when it was just starting.

2. What nationalities or trends inspire your cuisine?

Having my Latin background, it’s my biggest influence however I like different ethnic foods. I love creating recipes that fuse 2 or more ethnicities.

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

I love garlic!!!! Obviously it’s very versatile but I find a way to put some garlic in anything. No one can disagree with some roasted garlic spread on a nice piece of bread!

4. Why did you decide to participate in the Gridiron Grill-Off on November 11?

This would be my 3rd year, participating. Personally, I believe in the great causes it helps support. The event is very well organized for the chefs and guests.

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

Where to begin? I look forward to working with Mark Duper once again. I’m really excited that it’s now a multi-day event with the concert series. The BBQ pit master competition is going to be really cool for guests to check out and taste some great food. Lastly the corn hole competition is a must!!

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

Bring an appetite and plan on staying the entire day as there is lots to do. Make sure you download the Gridiron Grill off app and vote for your favorite! (It’ll be ours)

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Find Chef Rey at the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

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

Twitter: @GridironGriller

Follow Chef Rey on Instagram: @el_chef_rey

Gridiron Grill-Off 2018 Chef Spotlight: Chef David Hackett

Who’s ready for some football & grilling!? We are revving up for our 3rd year attending the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival on November 10, 2018 at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater – the ultimate celebrity culinary competition for charity. We would like to introduce one of the incredible chef’s dedicating his time and talent to support charity through the Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine & Music Festival, Chef David Hackett, the Director of Culinary & Executive Chef for the Biltmore Hotel.

Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago and a 1988 graduate of Chicago’s Washburne Culinary Institute, one of the best and oldest culinary schools in the country, located in the City of Colleges of Chicago Kennedy – King Campus. Chef Dave began his culinary journey at the very early age of 12, he has now been in the Hospitality Industry for over 40 years.

Chef Dave has been the Executive Chef of many prestigious properties and resorts such as the Westin Diplomat Hotel, Westin Charlotte, Mansion at Forsyth Park, Doral Golf Resort & Spa and the JW Marriott Dubai to name a few. Chef Hackett has competed and medaled in numerous ACF, Societe Culinaire Philanthropic, Geneva Association Culinary Art salons and NICA Ice carving competitions throughout his career both local and international; including the 1996 IKA Culinary Olympics and the 1998 Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres.
Chef Hackett is a professional member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as Conseiller Culinaire Provincial for the Southeast Region, American Culinary Federation Active Member and a Lifetime Ambassador of the WACS Emirates Culinary Guild.
He continues to give back to the community and chairs “Chefs Up Front – Flipany” and “Chefs out of the Kitchen” charitable events throughout the year.

Learn more about Chef Hackett!

1. Who inspired you to become a Chef?

I did not want to be a chef at the beginning, I wanted to be architect. But once I started working in a popular steakhouse / rib joint on the south side of Chicago and I got to see how creative a chef could be and how many different mediums of food products to work with I was hooked. Chef Paul Young and the owner of the restaurant Karoly told my father I was a natural in the kitchen and I should pursue a career in the industry.

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

Having worked and traveled throughout my career I have adopted a few to create my style of cooking (French is what your taught in school, Italian and Mexican is what I grew on and far east for its bold unique flavors and ingredients) Creating new foods is what I love most!

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

Sea salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – simple and clean to bring out the best in food.

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

It is very hard to say no to John Offerdahl! He is a fantastic individual! Anything I can do to help support him and his foundation I am in.
5. What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Gridiron Grill-Off Food, Wine and Music Festival?

Supporting John by making money for the foundation, having fun, networking and WINNING IT FOR THE 5th time with my longtime partner #25 Louis Oliver!! (2010 champ, 2011 champ, 2012 people’s choice champ and 2017 champ)

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

Come hungry, pace yourself, have fun and enjoy a great time and vote for Chef Dave – The Biltmore Hotel!!

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Find Chef Hackett at the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Connect with the Gridiron Grill-Off!

Get Your Tickets!

Instagram: @gridirongrilloff

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

Twitter: @GridironGriller

 

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