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June is here and so is our Chef of the Month, Claudia Diawara!

Join us in getting to know more intimately this incredibly versatile Chef by reading her interview below:

1. Where were you born? 

I was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and I got adopted by a Swiss family, so I grew up in Switzerland.

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

I’m a private chef in Miami, Florida but I travel all over the world with my clients or for my clients. I’m based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is the Pacojet. I love making all kinds of ice creams, spices, dishes, spreads, you name it. I call this machine the Ferrari of tools. I just love it. Probably also because it’s made in Switzerland.

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

My taste for sure.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

My advice for aspiring chefs: Stay true to yourself and know what you can and can’t do.

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

Every chef should know the basics because every recipe is based on that.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Food means everything to me – raw, cooked to eat, or just to cook.

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

To me, the most important features of a chef uniform are pockets. Also, that it’s not too hot, and that it has shape. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing a garbage bag.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

My favorite ingredient to work with is duck.

10. Favorite City to dine out in? 

My favorite city to dine in is Los Angeles.

11. Best Dish you have ever made? 

The best dish I have ever made is probably an African Fish Stew that I made up with ingredients I had on hand. I could never come close to that one time. It was so good.

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

I love to eat Chinese hot pots all day every day lol.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

Gordon Ramsey.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?

We often get downgraded for “just” being a chef, when really, we bring people together. Everyone needs to eat.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
My passion for food and the way it brings people together.

Connect with our June 2022 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chef_claudiad
Business: @greenlabkitchen

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Chef Pablo’s Hibiscus Crème Caramelle, Lavender Crème Anglaise & Puffed Rice Recipe

Creamy, fragrant and delicious – Chef Pablo’s Hisbiscus Crème Caramelle, Lavender Crème Anglaise & Puffed Rice Recipe is a literal dream come true! Add this November Chef of the Month’s recipe to your cooking repertoire.

Recipe Components

Crème caramelle                           1 ea

Lavender dust                               1 tbsp

Lavender crème anglais               2 silver spoons

Hibiscus puffed rice                     2 tbsp

Crème Caramelle Ingredients

Water                                  300 grs

Cream                                 620 grs

Salt                                     0.6 grs

Recipe Components

Egg                                     150 grs

Hibiscus                              60

Agar                                    5.94

Sugar                                  120 grs

  1. Combine water, cream, hibiscus and agar and take to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 2 more minutes. Strain with a chinois.
  2. Cool down just enough to make sure the liquid will not cook the eggs.
  3. Mix eggs, salt and sugar without adding any air.
  4. Mix both preparations and pass through a chinois.
  5. Fill in the crème caramelle molds with 90 grs of the hibiscus batter.
  6. Cook at 300 for 40 minutes on a bain-marie.
  7. Remove the molds from the water and let it sit in a cooler for 24 hours.

Lavender Crème Ingredients

Egg yolk                              15 ea.

Milk                                     1500 grs.

Sugar                                   225 grs.

Lavender                            9 grs.

Lavender Crème Directions

  1. Mix the egg yolks with half of the sugar on a metal bowl.
  2. Take the milk to a boil with the lavender and the other half of the sugar.
  3. Slowly pour half of the hot milk over the yolks while whisking.
  4. Combine both preparations and cook until 185 F.
  5. Strain with a chinois on a bowl over an ice bath.

Sweet Hibiscus Powder

Hibiscus

Powder sugar

On the spice grinder blend the hibiscus until powder. Add the powder sugar, mix and sift.

Keep on an airtight container.

Hibiscus Puffed Rice

Jasmine rice

Sweet hibiscus powder

  1. Cook the rice in water for a few minutes until the rice is overcooked.
  2. Spread the rice on a parchment paper and dehydrate it in the dehydrator at F.
  3. Break down the dehydrated rice on the robotcoup.
  4. Deep fry at F until the rice puffs. Season with the sweet hibiscus powder

Lavender Powder

Dehydrate lavender at 110 F for 10 hrs. Blend and dehydrate at 110 F for 5 more hours.

Sift and keep in an airtight container.

Connect with our November 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefpablolamon
Website: https://www.pablolamon.com/
Virtual Classes: https://www.pablolamon.com/virtual-cooking-classes

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November 2021 Chef of the Month – Pablo Lamon

We’re eager to kick off this month with our talented November 2021 Chef of the Month, Pablo Lamon. Chef Pablo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and began his culinary career at the Mausi Sebess culinary institute. Success is not unknown to this chef – he’s worked at the award-winning Palacio Duhai – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette, and has even competed on Top Chef! Today, he lives in Miami Beach and is the Executive Chef at the Conrad Hotel Miami. Chef Pablo encompasses passion and dedication. He loves every single thing about cooking and has never looked back. All his accomplishments further prove the notion.

1. Where were you born?
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Most beautiful City in the World!

2. Where do you work and where are you based? 
I am the Executive Chef at the Conrad Hotel Miami, and I live in Miami Beach.

3. What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
Well, I really like using tweezers, they allow you to be very precise when plating.

4. What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
I would say smell.

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Make learning your number one priority, not the money, not the city you want to live in. Find a Chef that you want to work for, and apply to work at his/her Restaurant, no matter where the Restaurant is located or how much they pay you.

6. What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
How to properly make an omelette. It is embarrassing when I see Chefs that have great experience and don’t know how to do make an omelette.

7. What does good food mean to you?
A good dish, for me, must be nutritious, delicious, meaningful and beautiful. In that order.

8. What features are important to you when selecting your chef outfit?
Well, it has to be fresh, to breathe well and to look good!

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 
I guess it would have to be some cut of beef that you can braise, like Ossobuco. I love long cooking methods!

10. Favorite city to dine out in?
New Orleans for sure!

11. Best dish you have ever made? 
I am pretty proud of my Beet Hummus, people love it!

12. What do you like to eat most often on your days off? 
Well, I usually try to have a balanced diet, so I try to go for veggies and maybe fish or chicken breast. I also eat a lot of sushi!

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 
Definitely Daniel Humm, I would love his feedback.

14. What are some of the difficulties you’d say that chefs most often encounter?
I guess a big one is living a balanced life, especially at the beginning of your career. There is a lot unnecessary stress, crazy long hours, and bad nutrition. Luckily, now that is changing and there is more consciousness about having a healthy lifestyle in the kitchen.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?
It is weird because even though my Mom is a great cook, I did not have that “growing up cooking with your mother” type of childhood. I did start experimenting at around 15-16 years old, just because I was bored during lunch and I would play with the different ingredients…and then eat them! So that was definitely fun. When the time came to decide what I wanted to do after college, for some reason, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to become a Chef. And from the first time that I stepped into my Culinary School, I just loved every single thing about cooking and that love has never left me!

Connect with our November 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefpablolamon
Website: https://www.pablolamon.com/
Virtual Classes: https://www.pablolamon.com/virtual-cooking-classes

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Chef Ethan’s Smoked Chicken Wings Recipe

Chicken wings are a delicious go-to meal that is ideal for lunch or dinner. Chef Ethan‘s Smoke Chicken Wing recipe is a different approach for a well-loved classic. The addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper give it that extra kick that will definitely have people talking! Get the recipe below.

Instructions

  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dark chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon light chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon ground mustard

Directions

  1. Mix spice mixture onto wings and allow to sit at minimum 2 hours, but overnight is STRONGLY SUGGESTED.
  2. Smoke at 225 degrees F for 2.5 hours using peach wood-chips.
  3. Optional accompaniments: Ranch, Blue Cheese dressing, BBQ sauce

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

Chef Ethan’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Poke Recipe

IMG_7571.jpg

Chef Ethan‘s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Poke is a fresh & light dish with a tangy taste that is ideal for lunch or dinner. If you love fresh Asian flavors with a tropical twist, this is the recipe for you!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Lbs Fresh Tuna (small dice)
  • .25 Lbs Pineapple (small dice)
  • 2 Green onions (small dice)
  • 4 Cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons ginger (minced)
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1.5 Tablespoons chili garlic paste
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Mirin

Directions

  1.  Combine all the ingredients together.
  2.  Let ingredients sit at least 1-2 hours.

Optional accompaniments: fried wontons, seaweed salad, sticky rice, avocado and nori.

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

Chef Ethan’s Soy Chili Roasted Potatoes

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Add a kick to any meal with Chef Ethan‘s Soy Chili Roasted Potatoes recipe. The Chili Soy sauce adds a bold flavor, while still being quick and easy to make. Find the recipe below!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Lbs. fingerling potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili garlic paste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 Teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Directions

  1. Add vegetable oil, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, butter, black pepper, vinegar and salt to create the Chili Soy Butter.
  2. Roast potatoes at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
  3. Toss potatoes in Chili Soy Butter & Serve.
  4. Optional: accompany dish with spicy mayo and green onions

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

December 2019 Chef of the Month- Ethan Cohen

 

chefethan

2019 has been an amazing year with amazing chefs & we are so excited to feature our December Chef of the Month, Ethan Cohen! Chef Ethan was born in New Jersey and now has started a delicious Sandwich Pop-up called “Gordito’s Gourmet sandwiches” alongside his girlfriend, Ileana. Chef Ethan has great plans for his Pop-up and we’re excited to see it grow! . Chef Ethan’s passion for good food & drive to create stories with his craft,  has led to his success. His story is inspirational- read it below and shop his look!

1. Where were you born?

I was born in Haworth, New Jersey.

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

I have since started my own pop-up call Gordito’s Gourmet Sandwiches. The pop-up is running through Central Florida right now, and will be a food truck by the end of spring 2020!

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

Something I use on a daily basis that I can’t wait to have in my home, is a vacuum sealer.  It is great not just for food storage and preservation, but by compressing air into the bag it imparts flavor faster than any traditional flavoring process.

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

I truly believe my best sense is my sense of touch. We as chefs and cooks, use our hands every day to create a gift no matter if it’s a simple salad, a huge sandwich or a delicate main course.

5. What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?

My advice for the next generation is simple… gain as much knowledge as possible and never think you are bigger than any task.  You are young and still have much to learn, as am I, only being 24. I find myself always offering help because the more you can understand, the more your time and talent is worth.

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

If one thing should be perfected is restraint… We love dishes with so many different components, but sometimes less is more.  I find the same amount of beauty in a perfectly crafted burger as I do an over-the-top dish with 15 components.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food should evoke emotion.  Good or bad, when I eat food, I want to feel something whether it’s a childhood memory, or a tough loss.  It should be able to drown out distractions that are going on around you.

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

When picking out my outfit I look for two main things, comfort and style.  We are on out feet for extremely long periods of time in extreme heat and cold at multiple times in a day, but we also deal a lot with guests and outside company reps on a daily basis and although we work tough, we have to look good as well.

9. What is your favorite ingredient to work with?

My favorite ingredient right now isn’t an ingredient, but more a technique.  I started to experiment with dry aging at home.  It is a simple technique that has a unique flavor changing effect that is better than your average cut of meat.

10. Favorite food city to dine out in?

Either Miami or New York City.  These are two cities I know very well, and both have large and diverse food cultures that span not only the cities, but the multitude of countries that make up the food as well.

11. Best dish you have ever made?

My smoked Korean BBQ shorts ribs hands down.  It has been a recipe I have been working on my whole career. I am constantly tweaking it a bit, and it’s always a crowd pleaser.

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

There isn’t any one specific food that I crave on my days off (when I have one), but I am always on the lookout for new places to checkout. Not only as a customer, but as a chef to try and understand a new cuisine for my repertoire as well.

13. Person you would most like to cook for?

I shouldn’t say there’s someone I personally want to cook for, but there are some many other talented chefs I would love to collaborate with if given the opportunity.  Chef Chad Minton (Founder of Truecooks), Action Bronson, Chef Michael White, just to name a few…

14. What made you decide to become a chef?

I always had a love for food ever since I was young, but I also knew I wasn’t going to be happy doing some paper pusher job. I was also the child to hard working single mother, so there were times to where I had to make dinner and the more I did it, the better I became, and it kind of became a no-brainer after that.

Shop Chef Ethan’s Look

Connect with our December Chef of the Month

Instagram: @ethanz_eatz

Gordito’s Sandwiches: @gorditossandwiches

Chef Jouvens’ Poisson Gros Sel Recipe

POISSONGrosSEL.jpg

Poisson Gros Sel, also known as Coarse Salt Fish, is a tasty seafood dish from Haiti. It is typically prepared with sea salt and fresh ingredients. Chef Jouvens’ recipe is not only easy to make, but it includes plantains and a spicy purple cabbage slaw to go with it! Find his recipe below:

Fish Ingredients

  • 8 oz Yellowtail Snapper filet
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp piment piqué minced (scotch bonnet pepper)
  • 2 tbsp red onion julienne
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 4 oz semi-ripped plantain diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ oz red bell pepper julienne
  • ¼ oz yellow bell pepper julienne
  • ¼ oz green bell pepper julienne

Hot Slaw Ingredients

  • 1 oz purple cabbage
  • ½ oz green cabbage
  • ½ oz red bell pepper julienne
  • ½ oz yellow bell pepper julienne
  • ½ oz green bell pepper julienne
  • ½ oz carrot julienne
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp piment piqué (scotch bonnet pepper)
  • The juice of one lemon

Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 Banana Leaf (4’’X4’’)
  • 4 oz salt rock
  • 1 oz pickling spice

Hot Slaw Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix cabbages, bell peppers vinegar, piment piqué, carrot, lemon juice, salt and olive oil together.
  2. Set aside and allow slaw mix to rest in order for flavors to incorporate.

Fish Directions

  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat,  add white wine, butter, bell peppers, red onion, lemon juice, piment piqué, diced plantains, salt, pepper and bring to a simmer. Then add fish.
  2. Cook fish and plantains in the sauce for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Place banana leaf in the center of a plate, add the diced plantains from the fish sauce and place fish on top of plantains.
  4. Spoon a generous amount of sauce on top of fish.

Garnish Directions

  1. Add hot slaw on top of fish; mix salt rock and pickling spice and add to the realm of the plate.

 

Connect with our August Chef of the Month!

Instagram: @chefjouvens

Facebook: @ChefJouvensJean

Website: http://chefjouvens.com/

Foundation: https://chefjouvensfoundation.org/

Chef Jouvens’ Grilled Octopus with Crispy Capers Recipe

Octopus.jpg

Our August Chef of the Month has whipped up yet another delicious recipe for us to try. His Grilled Octopus with Crispy Capers recipe is guaranteed to be a hit! Chef Jouvens also shares his homemade marinade that goes great with the tender octopus. Get the recipe below:

Ingredients

  • 4-6lb fresh octopus
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ cup salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Pickling Spice
  • 4 fresh lemons, juiced
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup green pea tendrils
  • 1 tbsp fried capers (recipe below)
  • Octopus marinade (recipe below)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp all spice
  • 2 tbsp ground garlic
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp Aji Amarillo Powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp Chinese Five Spice

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Fried Capers Ingredients

  • 10 capers
  • 1 cup olive oil

Directions 

  1.  Make a court bouillon by putting water, salt, sugar, pickling spice and lemon juice in a pot and setting it to boil.
  2.  Dip octopus tentacles and body in the boiling court bouillon 3 times, waiting 5 seconds between before submerging the entire thing.
  3.  Allow the octopus to cook for 45 minutes.
  4.  Meanwhile, prepare the marinade and the fried capers.
  5.  Once octopus has cooked, remove from the liquid and cool at room temperature.
  6.  Once cooled, slice tentacles in long thing strips and submerge them in the marinade.
  7.  Set aside in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Note: the rest of the octopus is edible and can be used in other cooking applications such as for a soup or even a fresh salad.
  8. Remove tentacles from the marinade and place them on a hot grill just long enough to get a nice char on each side. Note: be careful not to put too many tentacles on the grill at one time, as too much oil from the marinade could cause an oil fire on your grill.

Fried Capers Directions

  1.  Drain and pay dry with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a small, heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat.
  2.  Add capers to oil and fry until they are crisp and appear to no longer be frying.
  3.  Remove the capers from oil using a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  4.  Leave capers out at room temperature until ready to use in final plating.

Plating Instructions

Serve the charred octopus over a bed of green pea tendrils. Finish with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, crispy capers, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Connect with our August Chef of the Month!

Instagram: @chefjouvens

Facebook: @ChefJouvensJean

Website: http://chefjouvens.com/

Foundation: https://chefjouvensfoundation.org/

Chef Jouvens’ Conch Fritters Recipe

Conch Fritters are a seafood must-have! Luckily, our August Chef of the Month, Chef Jouvens has shared his delicious Conch Fritter recipe, and as an added bonus, his recipe for Epis seasoning! Get the recipe below!

conch fritters.JPG

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp complete seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt & pepper

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mojo Criollo
  • 2 tbsp Epis
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups of diced conch (small diced)
  • 1 tbsp diced red onions
  • 1 tbsp diced mixed bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp chopped scallion

Epis Ingredients

Epis is a seasoning blend used in the majority of Haitian food for marinating and flavoring

  • 1 oz parsley (roughly chopped)
  • 1 oz scallion (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp garlic (peeled & roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper (roughly chopped with seeds)

Directions for Epis

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

Directions for Conch Fritters

1. Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, and allow to rest in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

2. In a 350 degree deep fryer, use an ice cream scoop or spoon and place conch fritter batter mix in the fryer and fry until it’s a golden brown.

3. Remove from fryer and season with complete seasoning and serve hot!

Connect with our August Chef of the Month!

Instagram: @chefjouvens

Facebook: @ChefJouvensJean

Website: http://chefjouvens.com/

Foundation: https://chefjouvensfoundation.org/

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