Tag Archives: interview with a chef

February 2021 Chef Of The Month – Amy Brace

We’re excited to welcome our February 2021 Chef of the Month into the mix – meet Pastry Chef Amy Brace! She’s the proud owner of Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe, a divine pastry shoppe in Hopkins, Minnesota that serves made-from-scratch custom cakes, gourmet cupcakes, macarons and more! Pastry Chef Amy has been baking her entire life and after working in the medical field for 10 years, she decided to follow her passion. She first began her baking journey out of her home in 2014 with 5 weddings. By 2015, she grew to 36 weddings, and in 2016, her dream came to fruition when she opened her first brick & mortar. Chef Amy is a lover of breakfast food, a proud small business owner and a dedicated, creative individual. Read more about her story below, check out her shoppe & shop her look!

1. Where were you born? 

Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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

I am the owner of Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe in Hopkins, Minnesota.

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

My favorite tool would have to be a piping bag! You can do so many different things with what you put in it such as frosting or macaron batter and changing out tips to create beautiful artwork that comes out of the bag.

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

I would have to say hearing is my sharpest sense. So no secrets around me, ha!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 

For aspiring chefs, I would remind you to never stop learning. There are things to learn from every mistake, every person, and every situation you are put in. Learn not only about what you are passionate about, but what those around you are passionate about too.

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

Every chef should know how to make a beautiful silky buttercream. As a pastry chef, your cakes can live and die by the buttercream you make them with.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food to me is always made from scratch. Every aspect of the dish has been thought out and planned to be together to accent the other parts of the dish. Once they are put together in that perfect bite, you are transported to true beauty in food form.

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

When selecting my chef outfit, it needs to be comfortable, breathable, stretchable, and the arms aren’t too long that they have to be rolled up to not get caught in a mixer.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

My favorite ingredient to work with would have to be butter. It can be added to so many different desserts, and completely transform them. From using it in ganache to using it in Swiss meringue buttercream, either one wouldn’t be the same without butter.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

We haven’t been to too many cities outside our own, so I would have to say Hopkins! We have everything we need from everyday staples, to authentic tacos and amazing pub food.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

The best dish I have ever made I would say was a turtle bonfire cake. It was a chocolate cake filled with salted caramel, chocolate ganache and pecans frosted in toasted homemade marshmallow frosting. It’s like a cozy summer night all wrapped up in a cake!

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

Breakfast! I would eat breakfast all day every day if I could. I started making our bread for home fresh anytime we need a new loaf, and my favorite has been French toast made with Japanese milk bread topped with bourbon maple syrup and bacon.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I would love to bake for Kristen Bell, because I think she would love the desserts we make at the Shoppe, and would think our little bakery in Hopkins is adorable not only for adults, but for families with kiddos.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I have been baking all my life with my mom, and had been working in the medical field for 10 years. After watching Cupcake Wars and bringing my experiments into work, it turns out I was ready for a change. I started out of my home in 2014 with 5 weddings, and quickly grew to 36 weddings in 2015, and opened my first brick & mortar in June 2016. We have grown a crazy amount as a company in the last 4.5 years, and say cheers to many more!

Connect with our February 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @amyscupcakeshoppe
Facebook: @amyscupcakeshoppe
Twitter: @AmysCupcakeShop
Website: https://www.amyscupcakeshoppe.com/
Pinterest: @amyscupcakeshop

January 2021 Chef of the Month- Albertho Appolon

We’re starting off the new year with our January 2021 Chef of the Month, Albertho Appolon! Born in Haiti, Chef Albertho is now based in Texas. His scratch-made cuisine is composed of French and Caribbean creations – his dishes often use fresh and in season ingredients to dazzle his customers.
In addition to being an excellent executive chef, he’s a food photographer, traveler and consultant. Chef Albertho is the founder of the Young Chef Generation, a program that aims to help young chefs who are often looked over for opportunities and visibility because of their age. His dream to be a role model for a young generation of chefs has already become a reality. Find the rest of his story below, stay tuned for his upcoming recipes & shop his look!

1. Where were you born? 
I was born in Haiti.

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I’m currently an Executive Chef. I’m also traveling and cooking. 

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

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
That would be taste.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs? 
Be Committed to Self-Improvement 
● You must be willing to take constructive criticism, and be aware of your  weaknesses.
● To improve, you must first draw a map.
● Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
● Balance continued practice of what you’re already good at, with learning new  things.
● Keep moving. Keep trying new things. Switching to a new restaurant can open your eyes to a new world, new techniques, and new culture. No matter how much I thought I knew, it always surprised me how many different ways there could be to prepare the simplest dishes.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Build Your Brand
● Although most of your time is spent in the kitchen, you must build a visual  brand that invites people to see your own personal creativity.
● Social Media is a crucial component of connecting to your customers
● As a Chef, you are more than just your current job. You are a leader, an  influencer, and an entrepreneur; you must create your own platform to showcase your creations.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food means great taste and creativity.

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

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
Anything in season.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 
Los Angeles.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 
I’ve made a lot of dishes in the past couple years, but if I must choose it will be the  Fluke Crudo that I made. The Fish is cured with salt and sugar, smoked. serve with orange citrus, sliced jalapeño, avocado puree, and crispy Quinoa. 

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
I usually cook anything in my fridge because I enjoy cooking a lot.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
My girlfriend…she’s a big fan of my delicious dishes.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
Growing up, I was always in the kitchen with my mom as she prepared food for our family  and friends. Being in the kitchen was a way to connect more deeply with my mom, and I began to find satisfaction in the act of feeding people.
After moving to America, I began  working at a Brazilian restaurant called Beer 360. My moment of inspiration happened when I moved up from dishwasher to food runner. Being a Food Runner was more exciting than being a dishwasher. I was the final person touching the plates before they reached the  customers. It gave me a special feeling to watch someone look at the food when it first  arrived and say thank you to me after taking the first bite. In this position, I was able to see all of their delighted facial expressions, and it made me feel good, even though I wasn’t the one cooking. It was there that I fell in love with the idea of feeding people. I remember spending  most of my time at work standing in the kitchen, because that was the place where the food  runners waited for the food to be finished so that it didn’t get cold on its way to the  customers.
From that point of view, I got to see the whole preparation process: the fire, the  cooking, the baking, the roasting, the sautéing, the frying, the sauce making, the joy the cooks had when they finished a dish, and how happy they were when I told them that the  customers really enjoyed the food. It sparked a desire in me to be the one preparing the food  for people to enjoy. Through this experience, I fell in love with food, and the way that the entire experience, from kitchen to table, could bring people joy.

Connect with our January 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @the_upcoming.chef
Twitter: @Chef_Albertho
YouTube: Albertho Appolon
Young Chef Generation: @youngchefgeneration

November 2020 Chef of the Month- Robert Stewart

Chef Stew was born in Baltimore and now resides in Las Vegas. He's  a father, a gourmet chef/caterer, TV personality, celebrity chef and president of the Transition Kitchen Foundation

We’re happy to announce our excellent November Chef of the Month, Chef Robert Stew, also known as Chef Stew! A true chef at heart, Chef Stew was born in Baltimore and now resides in Las Vegas. He’s a father, a gourmet chef/caterer, TV personality, celebrity chef and president of the Transition Kitchen Foundation, a culinary arts program dedicated to teaching life skills through culinary arts in Baltimore. He’s appeared on ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’, ‘Supermarket Stakeout’ and was the winner of Cutthroat Kitchen Season 8. Stay tuned for some great recipes & shop his coat!

1. Where were you born? 

Baltimore, Maryland

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

Las Vegas, Nevada. Stew’s Stix is my restaurant concept that currently is being introduced to the market via catering in SF, LA and Las Vegas. However, I’m also President of Transition Kitchen Foundation a Culinary Arts Training based out of Baltimore, Maryland. I’ve begun to help other chefs get TV shows and it’s been rewarding for me because I get asked for help all the time and now, I have a way to do just that!

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

My favorite Kitchen tool is the whole kitchen… Tt narrow down to one thing is hard. Good pots and pans play a factor. A sharp

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

Sight would be the answer. Being as though people eat with their eyes, I’m constantly using my eyes to make sure my work pleases their eyes.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Be a sponge, absorb as much as you can, be willing to speak up and say I don’t know how to do certain things, I’ve watched so many Chefs try to prove they are skilled but fail on simple tasks. The best chefs aren’t afraid to get help, pointers and advice.  The worst chefs know how to do everything. Lastly, I always mention staffing agencies this is a great way to pop in and out of operations. This allows to earn while you learn.

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

Effective communication skills… let’s stop throwing the titles out so easily. A Chef must have lots of qualities and experience to back the claim… a real Chef runs the operation and IS a leader – great leaders know how to make the operation run effectively and smoothly.

7. What does good food mean to you?

When I can think about it days after. Or the idea of eating it already, it makes me feel amazing inside. I like to consider good food like a party in my mouth

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

Comfortability is key… I like to look nice, but I like being able to move accordingly.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Fresh herbs, fresh fish, fresh, fresh and again, fresh… sorry my answers aren’t simplistic. To create a dish, I’m using multiple things. If I need to choose a favorite, it would be steak or crabmeat.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

New Orleans.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

All of them…but, I would say a Blondie because I made 10k with this dessert.

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

Great question… lately with so many Chefs coming on set to film, I’ve been eating their food. But, if I’m not actually cooking for someone and it’s my day off… Uber Eats isn’t a bad idea. I still enjoy Panda Express, Chipotle, pizza, wings… all the stuff that I could make but too lazy to do.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

Bobby Flay, Jay Z, Janelle Monáe, or Halsey.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I didn’t. A Chef decided to become me. I grew up cooking as a kid as a means of survival, my mother worked nights and she did cook, but my big mouth complaining turned me into a child home cook. I then went to get trained and eventually I took an inventory of my life and realized that the natural qualities I possess and skills I acquired all wrapped into one thing made me a great Chef.

15. How to find Chef Stew?

Please visit Www.ChefStew.com

@Chef_Stew on Instagram

Robert Stewart on Facebook

Chef Stew on Linkedin

October 2020 Chef of the Month – Chef Eddie G.

We’re excited to re-introduce the talented Chef Edward Gallagher III A.K.A, Chef Eddie G., as our October 2020 Chef of the Month! An alumnus of Johnson & Wales University of Culinary Arts, Chef Eddie G. is also a celebrity chef, restaurant consultant, TV Personality and the star of his own TV show, Chef Eddie G. Locavore. This Chef is originally from New York and he likes to say that he’s now based in “whatever hotel [he’s] in that night”, and reflects on his love of traveling the world to share his love cooking for people. We’re honored to have him in our ChefUniforms family! Stay tuned for some delicious recipes & shop his look!

1. Where were you born?

Manhattan, New York.

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

I do restaurant consulting, I film a TV show called Chef Eddie G. Locavore, and I’m based in whatever hotel I’m in that night. But seriously, I am fortunate to travel the world and share my love of food and cooking for people.

3. What made you decide to become a chef?

Originally, I had friends who were a lot older than me, like 5 or 6 years older, and they all worked in the restaurant business. They wanted me to work with them, and I got a job in an Italian restaurant in New York when I was 13 years old. I started in the restaurant washing dishes and worked my way up over the next few summers. Over time, the Chef said I should get into the culinary world and I thought, “that’s interesting.”

I went to Johnson & Wales University and graduated from their Culinary Arts Program, and I’ve been in the restaurant business my whole life.

That first job was just a summer job… and here we are 41 summers later.

4. What have been some of your favorite events that you’ve cooked at?

Personally, I love cooking at Super Bowl events. I’ve been doing that 10 or 12 years now, and I just love the activity around the Super Bowl.

I love cooking at food and wine festivals, and I’ve done Las Vegas, Atlantic City, South Beach, Saint Lucia, Jamaica and others.

In addition, I really enjoy doing culinary demos with large crowds — love the atmosphere — and I love the small and boutique events, too.

Super Bowl LIII

5. What television shows/cooking competitions have you appeared on?

Television Shows

Cooking Competitions

  • Maria Bartiromo competition on CNBC
  • Disney Food and Wine Festival
Chef Eddie G. Locavore Episode 4

6. You recently launched a new show called Chef Eddie G. Locavore on Amazon Prime. Tell us about that. What was the idea behind it?

It incorporates traveling, getting to see new places, meeting great people, learning about the culture and the different foods you don’t normally see.

I love that — seeing foods I’ve never experienced before and getting to cook with them.

And then every episode ends with an event, whether it’s a farmer’s dinner for four people or the Super Bowl last year in Atlanta for 250,000 people.

Cover photo for Chef Eddie G. Locavore

7. What has been your favorite experience during shooting?

Bringing my parents to the Tuscany Food and Wine Festival and the Florence Cheese Festival. All of us being together in Italy for the first time, learning about the cuisine, seeing the country… that was a definite highlight. 

8. What have you been doing during the recent pandemic?

As part of the restaurant consulting that I do, I’ve been helping restaurants formulate a game plan, figure out the social distancing aspect of it, the food safety part of it, all of those elements.

On a related note, I’ve been consulting with Gosman’s restaurant in Montauk, NY, for the past five years with the long-range focus on lowering food costs and labor costs and increasing revenue. And we’ve done that, successfully, even in this pandemic.

I’m so thankful for this, and it’s also a hard reality that a lot of my friends are losing their restaurants right now. It’s a very hard time in the restaurant industry.

Cooking for First Responders & National Guard

9. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Don’t do it! Go become a doctor or dentist or something like that.

Ok, truthfully, I love this industry.

It’s not for everybody. You have to be willing to work when everybody else is off, and be off when everyone is working. You work holidays and weekends.

But if you’re passionate about it, like I have been, there’s no greater industry to be in. To be able to nourish people, to help people —  there’s nothing more rewarding than that.

While the industry can be very thankless externally, internally it’s a very thankful industry.

During the pandemic, I’ve seen a lot more people being very thankful. More so in the beginning, but for the most part people have been grateful for our service.

Paso Robles Sip & Taste Festival

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

I would say my chef knife with the 10-12 inch blade. But I love an emulsion blender.

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

What a great question that is!

I believe it’s the art of pan searing. This is the technique that most people get the most jammed up on. I can always tell the abilities of a Chef or someone with culinary skills by how well they pan sear something, whether it’s tuna, scallops, steak. If you can put a good pan sear on a piece of meat or protein, I can usually tell whether someone knows what they’re doing or not. I think it’s the biggest technique to perfect.

And going in another direction, I’m big with sauces. To me, being able to make a good sauce shows how good a Chef or cook is. For example, I can tell by how well they can create the five Mother Sauces: béchamel, espagnole, hollandaise, tomato, and veloute.

Pan Seared Atlantic Halibut

12. What does good food mean to you?

I’ll answer that by sharing a story. Not too long ago, my team London and Tracey were in Montauk, and we had some other friends join us. We sat around the grill, enjoyed some wine, talked, and took our time grilling lobster and cooking off clams in cream sauce and sharing it all.

To me, good food is the whole package. It’s the atmosphere, it’s the people around the table, it’s the love. It’s all that.

Good food is obviously fresh and local, but when it’s combined with the people you’re surrounded by and sharing it with, that’s what makes good food — and a great meal.

As part of our nonprofit Chefs for Vets, we also do a lot of serving of people less fortunate. It’s all about the people who are gathered around the table and sharing time.

Chef Federica Continanza’s kitchen with Chef Guy Mitchel

13. What sort of features do you look for in your chef outfit?

First of all, I love working with the team at ChefUniforms. They’re so easy to work with and they understand this industry.

Their entire collection of chef apparel — from jackets to pants to aprons — are all top of the line.

They’re great quality, have deep pockets, and the price points are extremely competitive. And they’re great looking.

The biggest thing in our business is safety, and ChefUniforms creates stylish protective gear.

As a Chef, you’re working around hot grease and flames. You don’t want grease soaking through and burning your arms or legs. Their chef coats and pants are safety-first. If grease comes off anywhere and on to these pants, it doesn’t burn you. And same thing with the chef coat. If I get a grease splatter from a pan on the stove, it’s going to hit the jacket and not burn my arm.

Their chef apparel is also comfortable while being stylish. I like the chef’s pants with the stripes. It’s like wearing sweat pants all the time — so nice when you’re spending long hours in a hot restaurant kitchen.

14. Favorite ingredient to work with?

This changes all the time! It changes based on where I am.

I love garlic. I love Sriracha. Those are the two I think of immediately.

In Montauk, horseradish is a good one. Ginger is another ingredient I like cooking with.

I also really enjoy cooking with local flavors. For example, if I’m cooking in the islands, I like a little heat — peppers, poblanos, or habaneros. If I’m in California, I go more citrusy, with lemons, oranges. In Costa Rica, it’s citrus and avocados.

Pinot Noir Braised Short Ribs, Horseradish Puree

15. Favorite city to dine out in?

I can be a homer and say New York, right?

Barcelona is also a great food town. Tuscany was out of this world, and Florence, too.

One of the best restaurants I ever went to was on the island of St. Kitts and Nevis with a view of the volcano. That was probably one of the best.

But I can appreciate a plate from the vendor on the beach selling ceviche and grilled fish out of a shopping cart just as much as a 5-star meal.

16. What is your favorite dish to make?

I get asked that a lot. I love tapas, small plates, picking and tasting different flavors. And I like people picking and tasting the different things I’m cooking.

But generically, I love doing plays on Surf & Turf — some kind of seafood and meat combination.

Maybe that’s because I’ve lived in both areas.

I was doing a cooking demonstration a few years ago at a food and wine festival and someone asked what was my favorite food to cook. I said Surf & Turf — like filet mignon and lobster tail, or a rib eye with some shrimp or scallops. I’ll never forget this young girl watching the demo raised her hand and asked, “Was that because you lived in Colorado and South Carolina?” I’d never thought about it, but maybe that is why.

Cooking in Guadalajara (Locavore Episode 1)

17. What food could you eat every day and never grow tired of?

Sushi!

But another that I could eat often is pizza. I try to keep carbs down in my normal diet and also not eat too many fried foods, but I do love pizza.

And one more — Cheerios and peanut butter. I eat this almost every day!

Contacts and Channels:

Website:

http://chefeddieg.tv/

Facebook:

@ChefEddieG/

@chefeddieglocavoretvshow/

@locavoremedia/

Instagram

@chefeddieg/

@locavoremedia/

September 2020 Chef of the Month- Roshara Sanders

We’re starting the month of September with our fantastic September 2020 Chef of the Month, Roshara ‘Ro’ Sanders! Chef Ro was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and now resides in New York City. This successful Chef is a proud United States Army Veteran, was featured in ‘Forbes Under 30’, served as a celebrity ambassador for Habitat for Humanity International and is a champion of Food Network’s Chopped! We can’t wait to share Chef Ro’s story and delicious recipes. Stay tuned & shop her look!

1. Where were you born? 
Bridgeport, CT.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
 I work at Oceana in New York City.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
Like every chef, my knife means the most to me. In order to create amazing dishes, there is so much prep and execution that goes into creating the perfect dish. My knife is the work horse of every dish that I prepare and my most prized positions

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
SMELL. Without smell you would have no ability to taste. The sense of smell will tell you when you are creating a masterpiece in my opinion. It tells you what goes well together and what does not mix well. It also is the first step in getting your taste buds excited. Have you ever noticed that when you smell something good you get hungry right away? The power of smell is amazing!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Have fun first and foremost. The industry is extremely difficult. There will be many obstacles, but please try and have fun. Learn from everyone and soak up as much knowledge as possible. This is what make legendary chefs different from the average chef because Knowledge is Power!

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
I would say the 5 mother sauces and as many derivatives as possible. Sauce usually goes with 90% of all dishes and creates a refined texture for most dishes. Once you master the art of sauce, this opens up a new creative world for chefs to experiment in.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food is food that leaves the guest with an unforgettable experience! It will become a food memory and will be a part of the diner’s life! Good food will have you wanting to go home and share this meal with the people you love!

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?  My chef uniform must be something most people never seen before! I love to wear unique colors and patterns on my jacket and explore unique colors and designs on my aprons as well. I love to bring personality through my chef apparel!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
I don’t really have a favorite ingredient because as a chef, I love to create new things every time I create a dish. I love to explore new herbs and spices all the time. I love to try to feature new vegetables, fruits, and different types of proteins. The culinary world is too big to just settle on one thing! If I had to choose one, it would be cumin!!!!

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 
NYC is an epicenter of food and cuisines. There are endless places with world renowned status in New York City and the boroughs as well. New York in my opinion, is truly a melting pot of the best food in the world!

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 
At the James Beard House, I created a Jerk Short Rib that was braised for about 5 hours served with pea and parsnip puree. It had rainbow carrots that had an agrodolce taste to it, making the spicy jerk mellow out with the sweetness from the carrots and puree. It was also a beauty to look at! Topped off with crispy parsnip skins to add crunchy texture, it was the best dish on the menu that night!

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off? 
I love to make my own pasta dough and pizza dough. I love to kneed pasta dough as I find it therapeutic and I love to study breads and the reaction of yeast. Both pasta and pizza is like a blank canvas where you can add anything you want to them.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
My all-time favorite chef is José Andrés!!! I would love to cook and talk with him and show my love and appreciation for his craft through my food!

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
After I got out of the United States Army, I wanted to find healing! I believe food saved my life. It allowed me to belong to a culture that is in some ways very similar to the military. I also love the hospitality industry; its main focus is to serve others and create an experience that will warm the mind, heart, and soul!

Connect with our September 2020 Chef of the Month

August 2020 Chef of the Month- Brazil Murphy

95386826_882076652217864_1571532304300891763_n (1)We’re excited to welcome the month of August and our August 2020 Chef of the Month, Brazil Murphy! Chef Brazil was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and is now a private chef with his own company, SpyceCo, LLC. His start to becoming a culinary expert started out as an accident – originally wanting to purse fashion design, Chef Brazil changed his major to Culinary Arts and never looked back. He’s an impressive chef who loves to incorporate sauces to his dishes. Stay tuned for some awesome recipes from Chef Brazil and shop his look!

1. Where were you born?

Washington, D.C.

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

I’m a Private Chef in the D.C. area. I work for my own company, SpyceCo, LLC.

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

My new favorite kitchen tool is my Smoke gun. I love infusing smoke flavor in fruits, veggies and meats.

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

My sharpest since is my sight. I can see if something is correct or incorrect with a dish before I taste it.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Practice, read and educate yourself as much as possible. The food trends change each year.

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

The basic sauces. Once you learn the basics. You can master any sauce.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food is food that is locally sourced and cooked using the freshest ingredients. You can taste the difference.

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

Comfort is most important. I have to feel like I can wear it everyday. I also love zippers and hidden pockets.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?

Mushrooms. They are so versatile – earthy and meaty. It can be used in a plant based dish to give a meat-like texture and can also stand up to every high temperature cooking technique.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Washington D.C.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

Miso glazed Mahi Mahi with Sriracha potatoes.

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

Sushi and Tacos.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

Chef Jeff Henderson. I always admired his story and I purchased a few of his books.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I actually wanted to be a fashion designer. Culinary Arts happened by accident. I changed my major from fashion to culinary arts on the first day of college.

 

Connect with our August 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @spyceco

Website: http://spyceco.com/

 

July 2020 Chef of the Month – Jameel Chambers

94187353_912544842511938_3456538743924792535_n (1)We welcome the sizzling month of July with our impressive July Chef of the Month, Jameel Chambers! Born & residing in Cleveland, Ohio, the talented Chef Jameel comes from a family of cooks. It was only expected that he too, would continue in the talented profession. He owns the Atrium Cafe – a Cleveland-based restaurants. Chef Jameel also does catering & private events. Get ready to hype up your July, there’s a lot of awesome recipes that will be coming your way. Plus, check out his look

 

1. Where were you born?

Cleveland, Ohio.

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

I’m self-employed. I have two restaurants: The Sauce Boiling Seafood Express, as well as the Atrium Cafe. Both are Cleveland based.

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

I would have to say my knife and tongs.

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

My sense of touch.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

To any young chefs coming up, I would tell them to keep cooking and ask as many questions as possible!

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

Knife skills are very important.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food is just a feeling you get in your spirit.

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

The colors are the most important when looking for my chef coat.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I love working with either steak cuts, or cuts of meat that are good for braising.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?

Louisville, Kentucky.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?

This is a very good question, I would have to say my short ribs recipe.

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

Any pasta dish.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

Lebron James.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

My background honestly, I came from a family of really good cooks and I followed in their footsteps.

 

Connect with our July 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chefmeels

YouTube: ChefMeelsCooksTv

Restaurants: @atriumcafe_

 

June 2020 Chef of the Month – Anthony Smith

83124168_143985300394312_7640340911424039420_nWe’re welcoming the month of June with our fantastic Chef of the Month, Anthony Smith. Originally from Chicago, Chef Anthony now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he works at Chef’s Kitchen– a full-service catering & restaurant company. Chef Anthony first began his career as a dishwasher, and has worked his way up to where he is today. He’s an innovative, creative chef, who has keen love for Rosemary and plating. Learn more about this impressive chef below and shop his look!

 

 

1. Where were you born?
Chicago, Illinois

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
Chefs Kitchen in Charlotte, North Carolina

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
I love plates! Starting with a nice plate sets you up for success.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Smell, taste and sight are about even.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Just stay at it! Learn and respect the craft.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?                                       Knife skills are important.

7. What does good food mean to you?
Everything! But it’s so hard to find it.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?                           The bases are important, and pockets!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?                                                                                          Rosemary.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?
Chicago and Charlotte

11. Best Dish you have ever made?
That’s a hard one, it’s difficult to just choose one!

12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?
Can’t go wrong with snacks and Redbull.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
Gordon Ramsey

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
Having kids pushed me into it. I was a dishwasher when I had my first two kids, and I had to step up quick.

 

Connect with our June 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @chef.anthony.smith

Website: https://chefskitchencatering.com/

May 2020 Chef of the Month- Karen Padilla

3We’re happy to introduce our May Chef of the Month, Karen Padilla! Chef Karen was born in lovely Puerto Rico and now resides in New York as a cake artist and luxury cake designer. Her craft was inspired by her mother, who first began a small side business making cakes that then developed into a prestigious company. Chef Karen’s impressive cakes are a result of talent, passion and a love of the arts. Read more about our creative chef below and shop her look!

 

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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

I currently work in Maritime Parc, Jersey City.

I’m based in Staten Island, New York.

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

I Love using the Hobart Mixer, but my favorite tools to create my masterpieces are my hands.

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

My sense of taste which allows me to make sure my cakes not only look amazing, but taste amazing as well.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

My best advice is to be organized, clean and to be very creative and enjoy what they do! My husband always tells me the phrase “I think therefore I am”, It reminds me to always think positive, because your mindset gives you the ability to always do more.

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

Always use the best ingredients and do it with lots of love.

7. What does good food mean to you?

A good food is the one that nourishes my soul.

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

To be stylish and comfortable.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

Love to work with fondant!

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

Definitely San Juan, the best food ever.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

My decadent and signature Vanilla Cake infused with Brandy.

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

A good filet mignon with steamed vegetables, a good wine, followed by a tasty Crème brûlée.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

My clients and of course, my dear husband.

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

My mother’s determination to overcome obstacles. She raised 4 kids while working as a teacher, and decided to run a small side business making cakes. This side business eventually became a prestigious company where its unique taste and skills set itself apart. This led me to study arts such as painting, sculpting and even graphic arts.

Thanks to her, I was able to learn from her experience and combined it with my love for traveling around the world, appreciate different cultures and sceneries. Also, my love for art and creativity helped me to become the cake artist I am today.

Connect with our May 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @sweetville_cake_shoppe

Facebook: Sweetville Cake Shoppe

 

APRIL 2020 CHEF OF THE MONTH- BARBARA POLLASTRINI

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Born in the beautiful city of Rome, and now residing in sunny Los Angeles, we’re proud to introduce our April 2020 Chef of the Month- Barbara Pollastrini! Chef Barbara is an impressive, creative chef with an incredible talent for food styling. She even worked as a food stylist for movies! She attributes her love of cooking back to her mom, who would create unforgettable meals with the simple things she had in her fridge. Now, due to COVID-19, she is giving back and serving food to hospitals, caregivers, law enforcement and first responders along with Domingo Deli in Encino. We’re so honored to feature Chef Barbara. See her story below and shop her look!

 

1. Where were you born?
I come from the Mediterranean world; where eating is the highlight of the day, looked forward to and enjoyed as if it were a sacred ritual.
Italy is my home. I was born and raised in Rome, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

2. Where do you work and where are you based?
I worked as a personal chef for many years and as a food stylist for movies. I am also the only Italian ambassador of The Taste USA and I am an Executive Chef. Currently during this COVID-19 crisis, I am giving back and serving our heroes: children hospitals, general hospitals, law enforcement and first responders with Domingo Deli in Encino. I love this initiative.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
A sharp knife can help you accomplish a number of tasks quicker and more efficiently than any machine. I also use my hands a lot (with gloves, of course).

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
As a chef, it would have to be the sense of taste. However, learning to trust all your senses in the kitchen takes time and practice, but definitely smell is my sharpest sense. You can distinguish over 1 trillion unique scents. Most of the eating experience is actually experienced by your sense of smell.  Any flavors you perceive beyond the basic flavors (Salty, Savory, Spicy, Sour and Sweet) are perceived nasally.

The sense of Sight, for me as a chef and food stylist, is super important : your sense of sight is not as broad as your sense of smell, but can still distinguish several million shades of colors. Ugly food turns people off fast!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Work ethic and attitude is everything. Never stop learning, from anybody and or anything.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
Consistency is the key for a successful career

7. What does good food mean to you?
Good food means love, passion and dedication.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
Style and comfort. Short sleeves is a must.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with?
I can’t live without Sicilian Sea Salt Sea, sun and wind are the only ingredients used to obtain this unrefined sea salt.

10. Favorite City to dine out in?
Naples.

11. Best Dish you have ever made?
Recently, I created Pasta with Santa Barbara Spot prawns, uni and caviar. Its different flavors and texture make it delicious.
12. What you like to eat most often on your days off?
I love trying new restaurants, there are so many talented chefs in Los Angeles!
If I am home, I enjoy pizza and take-out food (Chinese food is one of my favorites ever)!

13. Person you would most like to cook for?
Keanu Reeves. I am sure he will appreciate my cooking skills

14. What made you decide to become a chef?
My mother, she was my inspiration. I would say I started my love of cooking just by watching her create unforgettable meals with only what was available in her refrigerator.

Connect with our April 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @barbara_pollastrini

Facebook: Barbara Pollastrini

 

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