Tag Archives: los angeles

Chef Barbara’s Zucchini Pancakes Recipe

zucchini pancakes

The inspirational Chef Barbara has shared her delicious, vegetarian-friendly zucchini pancakes recipe. Now you can enjoy a simple treat without any added guilt- all with ingredients that can easily be found in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium zucchinis
  • Grater
  • 1 TSP of salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup of flour
  • Canola oil

Directions

  1.  Grate the zucchini and squeeze to let out the water.
  2.  Add the salt, 2 eggs and mix.
  3.  Add the flour and mix.
  4.  Fry the zucchini mix in canola oil.

Connect with our April 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @barbara_pollastrini

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Chef Barbara’s Pollo Alla Cacciatora Recipe

chef barbara chicken

Our April Chef of the Month, Barabara Pollastrini, has shared her mother’s delicious chicken recipe: Pollo Alla Cacciatora. Chef Barbara’s dish rendition is created using basic items that you can find in your refrigerator and pantry. We’re sure it won’t disappoint. Find the recipe below!

Ingredients

  • Organic Chicken
  • 2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Rosemary Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar

Directions

  1. Sautee EVOO, rosemary and garlic for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken, then salt and pepper.
  3. Cook chicken for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and vinegar to the chicken.
  5. Cover and cook until the chicken is completely done. Add some water if needed.

Connect with our April 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @barbara_pollastrini

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Chef Barbara’s Santa Barbara Pasta Recipe

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If you’re looking for a different twist to a classic pasta dish, then Chef Barbara‘s Santa Barbara Pasta recipe is ideal for you. Not only is this dish tasty, but her use of colors & food styling instructions make it an eye pleaser. Get the recipe below.

Ingredients

  • 80 grams of Rustichella blue spirulina pasta
  • 2 grams of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of homemade butter with sea urchins
  • 1 pinch of minced garlic
  • Shrimp coral (obtained by squeezing the head)

For dish decoration:

  • 1 Santa Barbara Prawns
  • 1 Tablespoon of Beluga caviar
  • 1 Sea urchin
  • 1 violet

Directions

  1. Cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling salted water, drain al dente.
  2. Cut the top cap over the sea urchin curls and gently remove the internal eggs with a teaspoon, placing them in a bowl with ice.
  3. Prepare the homemade butter and blend the eggs previously obtained from the sea urchin, leaving a hedgehog tongue for the final decoration.
  4. In the meantime, in a frying pan, soften the urchin butter at room temperature, add the garlic and the prawn’s coral and mix everything together.
  5. Meanwhile fry the head off the prawn until it becomes crunchy.
  6. Brown the prawn tail on a pan for a few moments with a little salt and pepper
  7. Drain the spaghetti and pour into the pan, stir gently for a minute with the heat off, until the butter melts completely.
  8. Serve the pasta, place the shrimp and its head on the side of spaghetti, add the urchin’s eggs and caviar.
  9. Decorate with a flower

Connect with our April 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @barbara_pollastrini

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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

 

CHEF BEN’S YAKISOBA BOWL RECIPE

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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/

CHEF BEN’S OREO DONUTS RECIPE

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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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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/

NOVEMBER 2019 CHEF OF THE MONTH- BEN DIAZ

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/

 

Chef Adriana’s Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe

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A sweet, simple & healthy dessert goes a long way. Chef Adriana has shared with us her easy to make avocado chocolate mousse recipe! Not only is it healthy, but preparation is simple! Get the recipe below.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Avocados
  • 1/3 Cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/3 Cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 Cup of coconut milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into the blender until you get a smooth consistency.
  2. Taste & add more honey if bitter, and more cacao if you desire more chocolate.
  3. Serve with berries or nuts of your choice

Tip: You can even use blackened avocados for your mousse as long as they do not taste bad; is a great way to let them go to waste.

Connect with our October Chef of the Month

Instagram: @cookingwithadriana

Youtube: Cooking with Adriana

Chef Adriana’s Roman Artichokes Recipe

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Fresh artichokes are a delicious and often underrated food. Its preparation is simple and easy to make, making it a great healthy choice. Our October Chef of the Month, Adriana, has shared with us her Roman Artichokes Recipe. Find it below!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 4 Baby or 2 medium sized artichokes
  • 2 Tablespoons of white wine (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped mint
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a medium size salad bowl and set aside.
  2. Remove the outer layers of your artichokes until you start to see the leaves turn yellow.
  3. Discard the leaves and soak your artichokes in the lemon water.
  4. One by one, remove each artichoke from the water and cut the very top green part of it off, as it is not edible.
  5. Next, you want to skin the stem and cut off any green pieces left around the base of your artichoke (heart). At this point they should look more or less like a lollipop (see photo).
  6. You will then place your cleaned artichokes in a pot with enough water to cover them, along with the olive oil, the juice of the other lemon, the 2 peeled garlic cloves, the wine and chopped mint. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cover your pot with aluminum foil and cook the artichokes for at least 45 minutes. Check them by poking them in the heart with a fork so see if they are soft enough (they should be very soft).
  8. It might take up to 2 hours to cook depending on the size of the artichokes. Serve with a bit of the water you cooked them in. You can add a bit more olive oil and lemon when you serve them.

Tip: Try to find baby artichokes as they only take 45 minutes to cook and the choke is not spiky yet. The bigger artichokes have a spikier center that takes a very long time to cook (approx. 2 hours). You can see the video on how to peel an artichoke in my YouTube channel (Cooking with Adriana).

 

Connect with our October Chef of the Month

Instagram: @cookingwithadriana

Youtube: Cooking with Adriana

Chef Adriana’s Avocado Risotto Recipe

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Eating healthy (and delicious) just got so much easier! Our October Chef of the Month, Chef Adriana, has shared her famous Avocado Risotto recipe. This vegan & plant-based recipe is guaranteed to delight & is a great alternative for those who want to partake in cleaner eating or simply try something new! Find the recipe below:

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Cups of Arborio rice
  • 2 Cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 Cup of avocado puree (do it with a blender)
  •  1 Tablespoon of minced shallots
  • ½ Cup of coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • ½ Cup of vegan butter (Miyokos preferred)
  • 1/3 Cup of glass of white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium sized pot, place the minced shallot with two tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Sauté until golden and then add a cup of vegetable broth.
  3. While the broth is boiling, add the Arborio rice and white wine.
  4. Stir adding more broth so that the rice never dries up.
  5. Add the coconut milk, nutritional yeast, vegan butter and cilantro and keep on stirring until the rice is al dente and creamy enough (this should take 15-20 minutes), then add the avocado puree and chopped cilantro.
  6. Serve topped with some cilantro for decoration.

Connect with our October Chef of the Month

Instagram: @cookingwithadriana

Youtube: Cooking with Adriana

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