Tag Archives: WASHINGTON D.C

August 2021 Chef of the Month – James Couch (Chef Jaycee)

We’re happy to introduce our August Chef of the Month, James Couch (Chef Jaycee)! Chef Jaycee is currently a Sous Chef for Compass Group in Tysons, Virginia, and the owner and executive chef of Chef Jaycee LLC, serving the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Ever since he was a child, he was interested in cooking and found himself checking out cookbooks in the library instead of standard children’s books! He then went on to culinary school at JNA Institution of Culinary Arts in Philadelphia, PA and after graduation, he pursued a degree in Management at James Madison University. Chef Jaycee is a strong-willed, passionate chef. He has a keen eye for developing creative plates and encourages others to always keep an open mind and never stop learning. He’s cooked for various clients including Ambassadors to the United States and CNN news anchors. As a private Chef, he’s catered private meals to NFL players, CEOs and White House officials! We’re so impressed by Chef Jaycee’s story and can’t wait to share his delicious recipes.

1. Where were you born? 

I was born on the Fort Lewis Army Base in Seattle, Washington. My dad was in the Army and we moved to several places throughout my life.

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

I am a Sous Chef for Compass Group in Tysons, Virginia. I am also the owner and executive chef of Chef Jaycee LLC serving the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area.

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

My favorite kitchen tool is a Vitamix because I love making beautiful vibrant sauces and smooth purees, and a Vitamix helps get the job done perfectly.

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

I would say sight is my sharpest sense. I have a keen eye for developing creative plates and can quickly notice if anything is out of place on the plate itself or in pictures. Because of my sharp sense of sight, I’m able to react to things quickly – people are often so surprised at how fast I react to catch something that is falling!

5. What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?

Work ethic and attitude means everything in the kitchen. Also, I would advise to never think you know everything and don’t have anything to learn. Even if you have your way of doing something, always be open to the point of view of others.

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

Every chef should know mise en place. Mise en place is a French term meaning to have all your ingredients in order. Not having your ingredients in order can easily throw off your entire meal.

7. What does good food mean to you?

Good food means the food tastes just as great as it looks. Good food gives you a feeling of excitement and has you walking away from the table looking forward to the next time you can taste the dish. It can take you back to when you were a kid, or even as deep as feeling it in your soul.

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

To me, the jacket is the most important piece of my chef outfit. The jacket itself has to fit just right – not too baggy, long enough, and has spaces for my thermometer, pens, etc. When I think I look good, I feel good about myself and give off a positive energy.

9. Favorite ingredient to work with? 

I love to work with anything acidic like lemon, limes, vinegar, and wine. Acid can be used in so many different ways to elevate a dish, from tenderizing meats to adding clean, fresh, bold flavors to your sauces.

10. Favorite city to dine out in? 

New Orleans, Louisiana has been my favorite city to dine out in. I love seafood and Creole food and love that they pack all their food with great flavor and seasonings.

11. Best dish you have ever made? 

My best dish is Grilled Porcini Crusted Beef Tenderloin and Butter Poached Lobster Tail with Truffle Potato Puree, Roasted Asparagus, Port Jus, and Microgreens. Surf and turf is one of my favorite dishes to make and this dish specifically always brings out the best reactions from my clients, which is one of the reasons I love to cook.

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

Top Ramen and Sandwiches! After being around food all week, I want the most simple and quick meals.

13. Person you would most like to cook for? 

President Obama and his family. I look up to him because he has showed me that anything is possible with hard work. In my eyes, it would be an honor to cook for him.

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

Chefs need to be strong both physically and mentally in order to deal with the pressure from your job. Difficulties of a chef include staff calling out, food budgets, long hours, and keeping your composure when everything could be going wrong. As a chef, you often have to accept criticism on your food because no chef could ever appease to everyone’s palette.

15. What made you decide to become a chef?

I have always been interested in food. In elementary school, while other kids were checking out Magic School Bus and Goosebumps books, I would check out cookbooks from Julia Child and Emeril Lagasse. I was raised by a single mother, who worked 16 hour shifts at night and sometimes left my brother, sister, and I to cook for ourselves. I would go in the kitchen and try to make recipes with Top Ramen. When I left for culinary school, I found out my grandfather was also Chef, though he passed away before I could meet him. Knowing this solidified that the culinary world was for me.

Connect with our August 2021 Chef of the Month
Instagram: @chefjayceee
Website: https://www.chefjaycee.com/
Facebook: @infoChefJaycee 

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Chef Brazil’s Crab Fritters Recipe

Ever wake up feeling a bit…crabby? Luckily, Chef Brazil’s Crab Fritter Recipe is the crabby solution to a crabby situation (pun intended). Light, delicious and simple to make, you can find his recipe below!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz crab meat
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 1 tsp old bay or Cajun seasoning
  • tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together except crab meat.
  2. Fold in crab meat and set in fridge for an hour.
  3. Scoop into 1 to 2 oz size balls.
  4. Set in fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Fry each crab ball in pre-heated 350 degree oil and add in mixed ingredients.
  6. Drain on towel and serve.

Connect with our August 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @spyceco

Website: http://spyceco.com/

Chef Brazil’s Honey Glazed Salmon Recipe

A tender piece of salmon with a sweet honey glaze – that’s cooking done right! Chef Brazil’s Honey Glazed Salmon recipe is melt-in-your-mouth good, takes just a few minutes of prep, is easy to make and it’s healthy! Kudos to our August Chef of the Month for sharing this with us.

Ingredients

  • 6 salmon filets (5 to 6 oz portions, skin off)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/2 Cup olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lime, plus juice from lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic

Directions

1. Preheat broiler on High.
2. Season each salmon filet with salt and pepper.
3. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients until incorporated. Spoon or brush each salmon filet with sauce mix. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
4. Place into oven on sheet tray lined with foil or parchment paper and Broil until completely cooked through and caramelized on top of filet. It’ll take about 8-12 Minutes, depending on desired level. Ovens may vary.

Connect with our August 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @spyceco

Website: http://spyceco.com/

Chef Brazil’s Grilled Lamb Chops With Mint Gremolata Recipe

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A staple, delicious dish, grilled lamb chops are a fantastic way to showcase your culinary talents (while satisfying your taste-buds). Our August Chef of the Month, Brazil Murphy, has shared his delectable Grilled Lamb Chops recipe. Top off this fantastic dish with his Mint Gremolata drizzle. 

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • (12) 2 to 3 oz portioned rib lamb chops (the number depends on size of the chops and size of your appetite).
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil , plus extra for cooking the lamb
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Make the gremolata by blending the mint, parsley, garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender until the texture of coarse pesto, scraping down the sides as needed.
  2. To cook Lamb Chops: pre heat grill to a medium temperature.
  3. Season Lamb Chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes per side for a medium rare temperature.
  4. Let Lamb sit off grill for 5 minutes. Serve with a dollop of gremolata on top of each piece.

Connect with our August 2020 Chef of the Month

Instagram: @spyceco

Website: http://spyceco.com/

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/

 

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