Category Archives: Chef Questionnaire

Chef interviews with a nod to Marcel Proust.

i8tonite: with Phoenix’s “Best Chef” 2015 Peter Deruvo and Pollo Arrosto (Roasted Chicken)

Evo-ChefDeRuvo-01
Chef Peter Deruvo: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Phoenix-based Chef Peter Deruvo has been called “the crazy cook”, partly because he cheffed at a defunct restaurant called “Cuoco Pazzo”, meaning crazy cook. Names like that stick to a person. But his food isn’t crazy, it’s well-crafted, rustic Italian starting with housemade pasta and sauces. This year with the opening of Citrine, a Tempe, Arizona-based restaurant, Deruvo is at the top of his game. In 2015, he’s even been named as “Best Chef” by Phoenix New Times, an accolade that’s been attributed to three Valley of the Sun nationally recognized names Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco), Nobua Fukuda (Nobua at Teeter House) and Christopher Gross (Christopher Crush), all of whom have been recognized as a James Beard award-winning chef.

Interior of Citrine: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Interior of Citrine: Courtesy of Awe Collective

While living in San Francisco, he apprenticed with famed Bay Area Chez Panisse chef Paul Bertolli, San Francisco’s Mike Tusk, owner of the Michelin-starred Quince and Paul Canales at Oakland’s Oliveto where he refined his cooking, learning much about the restaurant world including a kitchen is not just about the chef but the hard-working support team surrounding him.

The City by the Bay afforded an introduction to award-winning olive oil producer Albert Katz, who sent him to Tuscany to learn everything he could about olives and olive oil. It was in Tuscany where Deruvo spent time tending the olive groves and farm at Montecastelli, a well-known Italian producer of gourmet wines, oils and vinegars. He also learned everything there was about the art of Italian cookery from neighboring trattorias, chefs and nonnas. All of this – including a stint working in Chicago — eventually lead him to Phoenix, with soaring tastes of his epicurean travels.

ChefPeterDeRuvo_CitrineOver the past three years, Deruvo has opened three restaurants including the much-lauded EVO, one in the past six months and had three kids with his wife, Christine. He’s not a crazy cook, just a busy chef with a family.

 

Chef’s Questionnaire

How long have you been cooking? I’ve always been cooking! From a young age to spending my twenties in Italy to now, I just can’t stop.

Lasagna: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Lasagna: Courtesy of Awe Collective

What is your favorite food to cook? Pasta is the game. It’s a staple in my life in both kitchens that I run and develop, at Citrine and EVO.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?    Lots of fruits, vegetables and cheeses. With three children, I’m a stickler for balanced meals!

What do you cook at home?  I like to visit fresh farmers markets with my family to get inspiration. Whether it’s Asian, Italian or what have you, it’s never the same and always guaranteed fun!

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? I love eaters who grow with the restaurant. As our dishes change, they try, adapt and change too, that’s my favorite.

Farmers Salad: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Farmers Salad: Courtesy of Awe Collective

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Eaters who are afraid to challenge their palate. I promise it’s worth it!

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Pyrex.

Beer, wine or cocktail?  Amaro.

Your favorite cookbook author?  Madeleine Kamman.

Your favorite kitchen tool? Olive oil.

Your favorite ingredient?   Also olive oil.

Your least favorite ingredient?  Hmmm… I’m stumped!

Charcuterie1
Charcuterie Board: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?  Develop new pasta with old techniques.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?  Asian, Italian, Polish, Spanish.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Pork.

Favorite vegetable?    Any and all types of greens.

Chef you most admire? The chefs who are still behind the stove, developing, mentoring and creating.

Food you like the most to eat?  Pho.

White Aspargi with Egg: Courtesy of Awe Collective
White Aspargi with Egg: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Food you dislike the most?    Liver. It brings back bad childhood memories!

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?  One but none of food, food should be on the plate in front of you!

Pollo Arrosto, Fall Pan
Pollo Arrosto, Fall Panzanella Salad

Momma’s Pollo Arrosto + fall panzanella salad + natural jus      Yield   Serves 3

Ingredients  

  • 2 lb whole roasted chicken
  •  ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 lemons quartered

Magic Rub for the Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of ground chili flake
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Combine all ingredients and set aside for the chicken rub down

Brine Solution for Chicken

  • 1 gallon of tepid water
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns crushed
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar

Procedure:  

Combine all dry ingredients and spices with tepid water and submerge the chicken in liquid keeping it in the solution for over 24 hours.

Remove, dry, and season with salt, pepper. Under the skin of the chicken tuck all the butter.

Combine all chili, garlic and herbs and rub chicken down generously.

Truss chicken and set aside for roasting in an oven at 350 for 55 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Fall Panzanella Salad ingredients:  

  • ¼ cup roasted butternut squash
  • 1/8 cup of roasted cauliflower
  • 1/8 cup of rinsed and cleaned kale
  • ¼ blanched and sauteed green beans, sauteed in garlic, lemon and olive oil
  • ¼ cup quartered tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of toasted croutons
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:   Combine all ingredients, toss lightly with olive oil and vinegar and season to taste; After the  chicken is fully cooked and rested, the salad will go underneath roasted chicken and garnish with quartered lemons.

Note: Chicken is also great served cold as a chicken salad.

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: Chef’s Questionnaire with Michelin-Starred Chef and Author Greg Malouf

Michelin-starred chef and cookbook author Greg Malouf has inspired a generation of cooks, transforming the global restaurant scene with his love for the flavors of the Middle East and North Africa.

Chef Greg Malouf

He was born in Melbourne, Australia of Lebanese parents. After serving his formal training in several of Australia’s finest restaurants, he went on to work in France, Italy, Austria, and Hong Kong. Drawing on his cultural heritage and European training, Greg has forged a unique style of cooking that combines Middle Eastern tradition with contemporary flair. Greg is in constant international demand for chef master classes, media interviews and guest-chef appearances in leading hotels of the world.

He is the co-author, with Lucy Malouf, his former wife, of the multi-award-winning cookbooks Malouf cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg MaloufArabesque, Moorish, Saha, Turquoise, Saraban – and his latest book Malouf – New Middle Eastern Food. In 2014, Greg and his co-author, released their new vegetarian Middle Eastern cookbook, New Feast.

Greg currently resides in Dubai and has opened his signature kitchen, Clé Dubai.

‘But it’s not just brave, it’s clever…. Dishes like hummus, moutabel, muhammara, fattoush and tabbouleh are recipes we eat constantly in the region, and those which many of us will gauge a restaurant’s capabilities by. They set a benchmark, and by giving us his versions, Malouf has painted his own standard.’ – Sarah Walton, The Hedonista

From the United Kingdom Michelin Guide: While  Malouf  has  rolled  out  such  touches  slowly  at  Petersham,  they   have  not  gone  without  notice.  The  editor  of  the  2013  Michelin  Guide   to  Great  Britain  &  Ireland,  Rebecca  Burr,  says  Michelin’s   reviewers  had  been  impressed  with  Malouf’s  originality.  ”The  star  was   retained  solely  on  the  food  and  it  was  an  easy  decision  to  make,”  Burr   says.  ”Greg  Malouf  has  stamped  his  own  mark  on  Petersham  Nurseries   and  we  are  delighted  to  highlight  his  original  cuisine  to  our  readers.” 

Artichoke to Za'atar Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg Malouf
How long have you been cooking? It frightens me to think this but I started cooking at the age of 17 (1978). 37 years!

What is your favorite food to cook? My favorite cuisine is Lebanese and I love to cook with all its exotic ingredients.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?Moorish Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg Malouf
Yogurt, olives, and eggs.

What do you cook at home?
I spend most of my time in my kitchen at work. However, when at home cooking, it’s usually for friends. Lentil tabbouleh, salmon kibbeh nayee and chicken in saj (mountain) bread are a staple for a dinner party.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? The willingness to leave a part of their mother’s food at home and understand what a restaurant experience offers.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Customers who aren’t open to any interpretation in a restaurant.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
Glassware = Pyrex
Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg MaloufBeer, wine, or cocktail?
Wine and champagne

Your favorite cookbook author?
Claudia Roden – her inspiration book called The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

Your favorite kitchen tool? Mortar and pestle. Smashing garlic with sea salt and blending it with spices and olive oil.

Your favorite ingredient?
Murray River Crystal sea salt.

Your least favorite ingredient?New Feast Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg Malouf
Brussels sprouts.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Kill and skin live eels.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Lebanese, Italian. and Cantonese.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?
Grass fed beef from Scotland, Bresse chicken from France and UK old breed pork ….. I don’t eat tofu!
Saha Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg MaloufFavorite vegetable?
Eggplant (aubergine).

Chef you most admire?
Raymond Capaldi. He is an unmarked bottle of poison. He’s such an explosive character and you never know what you’ll get from him and on his plates.

Food you like the most to eat?Arabesque Saraban: A Chef's Journey Through Persia cookbook - an interview with Chef and Author Greg Malouf
Late night Lebanese mezza

Food you dislike the most?
Capsicum. (Bell peppers.)

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
One tattoo – a scar that produced two heart transplants

 

 

 

Tagine recipe with pigeon/chicken, ginger, and dates

 

Recipe: Pigeon tagine with Dates and Ginger (Or Cornish Game Hens)

  • 4 squab pigeons, breasts and marylands removed (Or Cornish Game hens)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup of sherry
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron (1/2)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 cups dates, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 6 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare the pigeons or hens by cutting them into quarters.  If you don’t feel confident about doing this yourself, ask your butcher to prepare them for you.

Pigeon Tagine recipe from Greg Malouf

Briefly sauté the carcasses to add colour, then add the vegetables and sauté a few more minutes. Add sherry and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour on the water and bring to the boil. Skim off any surface fat, then lower heat and simmer for an hour, skimming off any fat from time to time.

Melt the butter and oil and fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat until softened. Add the pepper, saffron, cinnamon and ginger and stir well. Season pigeon pieces with salt and sauté in the spicy mixture for about 2 minutes, until well coated. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the chopped dates and stir in well. Cover again, and simmer for a further 20-30 minutes – check to see when pigeon pieces are nice and tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with plain buttered couscous or a simple rice pilaff.

The End. Go Eat. 

i8tonite: Chef’s Questionnaire with Peruvian Brothers Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone and Ceviche

(Editor’s Note: We decided to re-run last week’s story as we had some technical glitches…besides, the Lanzone Brothers are attractive enough to see every week. )

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheAs Washington, DC food entrepreneurs, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone are certainly no strangers to hard work. Mario is a full time bartender at Napoleon Bistro & Lounge and spends his summers captaining yachts in the Mediterranean. Giuseppe competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics for the United States rowing team and currently coaches rowing at Georgetown University. He applies the same Olympic intensity and drive towards he and his brother’s Washington, DC food truck, Peruvian Brothers. In fact, the duo spent two full months hunting down the perfect bread that most accurately inspired their Peruvian taste buds – now a custom Peruvian Brothers recipe on the menu at The French Bread factory in Sterling, Virginia.

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheThe brothers were born and raised off the coast of Lima, Peru, in a close-knit community of La Punta, where family and the ocean reigned. The flavors that dominated their childhood are the tastes they crave the most, inspiring the Lanzone brothers to team up to represent the tastiest part of their Peruvian heritage.

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheThe history behind the Peruvian Comida Criolla cuisine is as appealing and complex as the unique combinations of flavor. With roots in Andean-Spanish-Afro-Peruvian and Asian influences, Comida Criolla boasts powerful flavors that are sorely missing from the streets of D.C. Recipes passed down in the Lanzone family, as well as Mario’s own original spins on traditional Peruvian favorites, give their menu an authentic taste with a unique twist.

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheTo sample their authentic Peruvian fare, follow the Peruvian Brothers truck via @PeruBrothers on Twitter and Facebook, and find them online at http://peruvianbrothers.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Chefs Questionnaire

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheGiuseppe Lanzone = GL

Mario Lanzone = ML

 

 

 

How long have you been cooking?
GL: Since I can remember
ML: For the past 15 years

What is your favorite food to cook?
GL: Breakfast
ML: Peruvian food

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
ML: Eggs, milk, avocados
ML: Milk, eggs, vegetables, ice cream

What do you cook at home?
GL: Omelettes with whatever meat and cheese I can get my hands on
ML: Meat stews, stir fries and ceviche in the summer

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
GL: When they are cordial
ML: When a costumer assumes they know what they want because they’ve been to our food truck many times

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
GL: When you say hello, and they answer by saying nothing or by saying that they are just looking at the menu
ML: Some of them are just never happy

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
GL: Pyrex, it’s cleaner
ML: Pyrex

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
GL: Dark beer or a good whiskey
ML: Cocktail

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheYour favorite cookbook author?
GL: Any book with good ideas is my favorite book
ML: Ceviche by Martin Morales

 

Your favorite kitchen tool?
GL: Meat slicer
ML: My really sharp knife

Your favorite ingredient?
GL: Rocoto pepper
ML: Yellow Peruvian Pepper

Your least favorite ingredient?
GL: None, really
ML: Cumin by itself

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
GL: Clean the floors
ML: Wash dishes

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
GL: Peruvian, of course!
ML: Peruvian

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for cevicheBeef, chicken, pork or tofu?
GL: Beef
ML: Pork

Favorite vegetable?
GL: Beets
ML: Onions

Chef you most admire?
ML: Gaston Acurio
GL: My brother

Food you like the most to eat?
ML: Peruvian and Thai
GL: Italian and Peruvian

Food you dislike the most?
ML: Indian
GL: none

How many tattoos?
ML: One on my arm. I got it about 10 years ago. It has faded away.
GL: none

Recipe: Ceviche

An interview with Washington, DC-based food truck entrepreneurs the Peruvian Brothers, Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, including their delicious recipe for ceviche

8 lb fresh fish fillets (tilapia works well)
Fresh lime juice
Cilantro
Garlic
Salt
Aji limo pepper
Red onion
Baked sweet potatoes
Corn

 

Cut the fish in small cubes and put them in a large bowl with a couple of ice cubes to keep the fish cold. Then add minced aji limo pepper, salt, pepper, garlic, cilantro, thinly julienned onion, and one cup of freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix for a couple minutes and add a squirt of evaporated milk. Plate on a butter lettuce leaf and accompany with corn kernels and thickly sliced baked sweet potatoes.

 

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: Chef’s Questionnaire with World Chocolate Judge and Four Seasons Guangzhou Pastry Chef, Audrey Yee

This is a guest post from Dr. Jessie Voigts, creator of WanderingEducators.com

Four Seasons GuangzhouAudrey Yee was inspired to join the culinary profession by seeing her parents cook and helping them at their restaurant – the Mandarin, the first Chinese restaurant in Milwaukee. Now a Four Seasons Pastry Chef in China, she originally wanted the savory kitchen – but fate had other plans. Her first job was in a small restaurant in Philadelphia, where the owner suggested pastry first – because all chefs should know pastry! The culinary world is a better place for it.

She graduated from Cordon Bleu in London, and has worked at FourAudrey Yee Seasons Philadelphia, Four Seasons Santa Barbara, Four Seasons San Francisco, Four Seasons Singapore, and now Four Seasons Guangzhou.

This fall, she was a judge for the World Chocolate Masters, held in Paris. Follow her on instagram to see more of her spectacular desserts:  Audrey Yee on Instagram.

Chefs Questionnaire

How long have you been cooking?  Eighteen years.

@audreyyee • Instagram photos and videos - Google Chrome 1132015 71539 PMWhat is your favorite food to cook?  Apple pie.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Lemons, yogurt, eggs, salad, tofu, apples, and fruit.

What do you cook at home? Eggs, cereal.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? The look on their faces when they are eating their desserts.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Rude, condescending, and impatient.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Rubbermaid.

Beer, wine, or cocktail? Gin and tonic. @audreyyee • Instagram photos and videos - Google Chrome 1132015 71410 PM

Your favorite cookbook author?  The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg and Grand Livre de Cuisine Dessert and Pastries by Alain Ducasse.

Your favorite kitchen tool? Spatula and piping tips.

Your favorite ingredient? Apples and vanilla.

Your least favorite ingredient? Durian. (Editor’s note: A very strong smelling fruit found in Asia. For people who love food, it’s a must to try.)

@audreyyee • Instagram photos and videos - Google Chrome 1132015 71702 PMLeast favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Cutting onions.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? American.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Chicken and tofu.

Favorite vegetable? Broccoli and salad.

Chef you most admire? Eddie Hales, my first pastry Chef.

Food you like the most to eat? All kinds of Chinese food, yogurt, salads, fruit, and French fries.

Food you dislike the most? Kohlrabi.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? No tattoos.

Recipe: How to Make Blueberry Muffinsblueberry muffins

  • 180 gr of butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 180 gr warm milk
  • 490 gr flour
  • 10 gr baking powder
  • 5 gr salt
  • 300 gr blueberries

Crumble

  • 50 gr brown sugar
  • 50 gr. Butter
  • 50gr. Flour
  • Combine butter and sugar
  • Then add flour

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs slowly until incorporated. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients. Mix warm milk in slowly. Fold in blueberries, by hand. Pre heat oven to 180c/360f. Scoop or prepare muffins into 12 molds. Top with crumble topping. Bake 20 minutes or when a toothpick comes out clean with no crumbly residue.

The End. Go Eat.

 

 

 

i8tonite: The Guild House’s Sous Chef Patrick Hofer, Columbus, Ohio and Sous Vide Venison

This is a guest post from Dr. Jessie Voigts of WanderingEducators.com

20150928_175729_001
Table Setting. The Guild House. Photo by Jessie Voigts

Columbus, Ohio is a surprisingly happening culinary town. While there are plenty of hot dog joints and student hangouts around The Ohio State University, Columbus is home to a NHL team, a burgeoning art scene, and several Fortune 500 companies. It’s no surprise that there are many fine dining options, my favorite of which is The Guild House. Located next to Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph, The Guild House is a farm to table restaurant that is part of the Cameron Mitchell restaurant group.

20150928_194714
The Guild House bar. Photo by Jessie Voigts

Located in the artsy Short North district, The Guild House is an upscale-casual restaurant that is beautifully decorated in cream leather, wood, and plenty of glass and mirrors. The food, creative American cuisine, is locally sourced when possible, and features seasonal ingredients.

A childhood spent cooking and baking with his grandmother led The Guild House Sous Chef Patrick Hofer to a life in the kitchen. He had originally planned on attending business school after high school, but having always enjoyed food and cooking, his dad suggested culinary school. Research on the best school possible led to Hofer’s attending the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating from the CIA, he opened Red Oak Pub in Newark, Ohio as a kitchen manager. Other positions included line cook and supervisor at The Pearl, and sous chef at Molly Woo’s, before Hofer transferred to the Guild House as a sous chef.

patrick
Courtesy of Patrick Hofer.

Chef’s Questionnaire:
How long have you been cooking? I have been cooking since I was 15, so approximately 10 years.

What is your favorite food to cook? I really enjoy anything – I can’t say that I have one favorite

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Butter, Eggs, Bacon, Milk (I am a breakfast food kind of guy)

What do you cook at home? Mostly Breakfast, due to the hours of a restaurant. I really don’t cook much at home.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? Someone 20150928_185344that is willing to try anything and is trusting that we will take great care of them.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Someone that is unadventurous.

 

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Rubbermaid.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?  Beer.

Your favorite cookbook author? I wouldn’t say I have a favorite author, but the book that is most helpful is The Flavor Bible.

Your favorite kitchen tool? Robot Coupe.

Your favorite ingredient? Mushrooms

Your least favorite ingredient?  I would probably have to say beets

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Inventory.

Chef you most admire? Paul Bocuse for everything that he has done for the culinary world.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? All of them! Some I have never done, but they are all great and fun to learn.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Beef.

Favorite vegetable? Mushrooms.

Food you like the most to eat? Anything sweet

Food you dislike the most? Beets.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? I have one right now, and it has nothing to do with food.
Recipe of Sous Vide venison Leg Filet with Garlic Poached Lobster Mushrooms, Quick Sautéed Greens, Mushroom Reduction, Wild Mountain Blue Berries, and Carrot Bark. (Special Tool: Clearly, a sous vide.  Gift-giving season is upon us.) 

venison patrick hofer guild house

VENISON: Portioned to 6oz and sous vide at 50.2c for 2 hours with garlic, thyme, and butter.

LOBSTER MUSHROOMS: Clean all of the dirt off them and cut them to bite size pieces, keeping the shape of the mushroom intact. Sous vide these at 82c for one hour with a compound oil.

Compound oil: 1cup blended oil, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 2 sprigs of thyme, 2 sprigs of rosemary. Heat this and let the herbs steep into the oil for 30 minutes.

Sauteed Greens: Combine Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, and leeks into a quick sautee with oil and salt.

Mushroom Reduction: Make a very nice mushroom stock and reduce it down to a thick syrup (takes a lot of stock to achieve this), then emulsify butter into the reduction until smooth and creamy.

The End. Go Eat.

Photos: Venison, Patrick courtesy Guild House. All other photos courtesy Jessie Voigts

 

i8tonite: New England’s Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Executive Chef Greg Jordan

Approximately 45 minutes outside of Boston in an area called the South Shore, a 200-year-old historical gray stone building has been re-established as The Quarry.  Its façade holds superlative dining owned and operated by Executive Chef Greg Jordan and his partners Julie and Ron LeDuc.  The destination restaurant was lovingly created in mid-2014 for the townspeople of Hingham, Massachusetts.

Housemade Sausage with Grain Mustard. i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Housemade Sausage with Grain Mustard

Jordan cheffed at some Boston’s fine dining arenas such as Adrian’s, The Butcher Shop, and Gordon Hamersley at Hamersley Bistro. He was gaining gastronomic accolades at Boston’s famed North Shore seafood hall, Mare Oyster Bar, as the Executive Chef when this break to own his place came upon him. Ideally, he always wanted to settle back to Boston’s South Shore from where he hailed and like any chef, craft his food.  And, so he is. Currently, The Quarry’s kitchen is serving New England fare consisting of locally raised meats and fresh, sustainable seafood caught in Massachusetts.  A specialty of the house and Chef Jordan’s are housemade sausages and cured meats like the prosciutto, soppressata, and mortadella.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso BuccoToday, Jordan’s skilled culinary craftsmanship comes through in his dishes that let New England’s ingredients and character shine. He observes that guests in both city and suburb want the same thing– quality. The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts alumnus says, “The Quarry’s wooded location is both a natural and inspiring setting for my ‘rustic meets refined’ cooking. We focus on the quality of natural flavors.”

An interesting aspect to The Quarry – named after a nearby quarry pond — is Beverage Director David Danforth’s forthcoming Master Cicerone certification. Much like a Master Sommelier is an expert in  i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Buccowine, a Master Cicerone will be an expert in beers. Once Danforth completes the training, he will be only one of 10 people in North America that has this distinction. His expertise will create unique and unusual pairings with Chef Jordan’s food featuring internationally handpicked and cellared ales. It will turn a small colonial fishing town into an epicurean destination.

Chef’s Questionnaire with Greg Jordan: 

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso BuccoHow long have you been cooking? Nine years.

What is your favorite food to cook? Fish.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? I have butter, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and cheese.

What do you cook at home? Mostly eggs, unless I have guests.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? I appreciate customers who have a sense of adventure and have a willingness to try something new.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Seared Sea Scallops

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? I take allergies very seriously. I don’t like when customers misrepresent their allergies. For example, I am happy to accommodate someone who has a gluten allergy with an entrée change, but then do not order a donut for dessert.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? I prefer Pyrex.

Beer, wine or cocktail? A beer.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

Your favorite cookbook author? Mario Batali.

Your favorite kitchen tool? A left-handed fish spatula.

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

Your favorite ingredient? Aria Olive Oil.

Your least favorite ingredient? Cilantro.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Sugar work.  It is too sticky for me.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? I enjoy Italian.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Beef

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco
Brussel Sprouts.

Favorite vegetable? Brussels sprouts.

Chef you most admire? Chef Michael P. Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA. He has accomplished a lot in the last five years and its exciting and inspiring.

Food you like the most to eat? A good soul satisfying dish of pasta: fresh, cooked in salted water and not oversauced. Sauce is a condiment.

Food you dislike the most? I do not like raw tomatoes in a sandwich.  I cannot explain it, but I just do not like them added in.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? None, just scars.

 

Recipe: Cider Braised Pork Osso Buco with Sweet Potatoes

 i8tonite: New England's Chef Greg Jordan, The Quarry in Hingham and Cider Braised Pork Osso Bucco

You will need:

  • 2 Pork Shanks,
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, cubed.
  • Ginger, Bay Leaves
  • Apple Cider and chicken stock.

Salt and pepper two pork shanks, and dust in flour, and brown in a Dutch oven.  Remove from the pot and set aside. Sauté a diced onion and 2 cubed sweet potatoes for a minute.  Add a tablespoon of fresh chopped ginger and 2 bay leaves, return the pork to the pot, and cover the shanks 1/2 way up in equal parts apple cider and chicken stock.  Braise on the stove or in the oven till fork tender, about 1.5 hours.  Reduce the braising liquid and add some butter to make a rich flavorful sauce.

The End. Go Eat. 

 

i8tonite with Chef Mel Mecinas: Executive Chef, Four Seasons Scottsdale and Chicken Posole, Oaxacan-style

Chef MelFour Seasons Executive Chef Mel (full name Meliton) Mecina’s story is the stuff of American dreams. Currently, overseeing the five kitchens of the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and its culinary staff, Mecinas is a self-taught chef. He unwittingly followed in the footsteps of many well-known kitchen individuals who never attended a formal cooking school; internationally known chefs such as LA’s Suzanne Goin (Lucques, AOC), Tom Colicchio (Craft, judge on “Top Chef”), and British cooking phenomenon Jamie Oliver and the late Charlie Trotter.

Talavera. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons.
Talavera. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons.

In 1987, an 18-year-old Mecinas followed his father from Oaxacaand worked in the prep area of a Los Angeles chain restaurant, washing dishes.  Graduating to kitchen prep (i.e. chopping lettuce) after several years, Mecinas applied for a kitchen position at famed chef’s Joachim Spilchal’s Patina prior to opening. It was paying out another fifty cents more per hour than his current employment.

After being hired, Mecinas quickly realized his personal desire to beTomato Salad a chef, not just another worker chopping mise-en-place. And so, he pursued the calling with vigor under the tutelage of Splichal, known as one of North America’s great French culinary technicians.  Mecinas apprenticed and soaked up food information. He was so eager to learn the craft of cookery that Mecinas often came to work two to three hours ahead of schedule, getting his station in order. Once he finished, he would watch and learn from other chefs in Splichal’s kitchen as well.

Proof. Photo courtesy of Four Seasons.

It was truly an auspicious start and for almost a decade Patina taught him well. Other opportunities began to arise for Mecinas which included the Four Seasons. He started working with the luxury hotelier in Los Angeles and eventually headed to Santa Barbara.  It was at the latter where Mecinas cooked one of the courses for the late Julia Child on her 90th birthday, a very special career moment.

TalaveraOver the past nine years, Mecinas has become the culinary spokesperson for Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale at Troon North. It’s difficult for even the most accomplished chefs to highlight one gastronomic character of their restaurant. With finesse, Mecinas manages to discuss several epicurean personalities from an al fresco poolside dining stage, a casual American fare complete with pretzel knots to a signature steakhouse that brings in the area’s residents. His cooking and affable personality are highlighted in food stories from the Arizona Republic,  Phoenix New Times and Phoenix Magazine. Lastly, in August, he returned from a whirlwind media tour cooking in New York City and at the famed James Beard House. Mecinas kitchen skills are not only a showcase for the resort but also for Phoenix’s food scene.  As Mecinas star gains momentum, so will Arizona on our nation’s stage about great food.

Chef’s Questionnaire: 

PRINT -- USE Proof! (183 of 305)How long have you been cooking? 28 Years.

What is your favorite food to cook? Gnocchi, you can add almost any herb or spice to it – I love that it is a blank canvas.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? OJ, haricot vert, pickles, Greek yogurt, tortillas, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic — all the items needed to spice up a dish.

Image result for greek yogurt

What do you cook at home? Everything! I am not a chef who only cooks at work. I love to cook everything even when I am home with my family. I’m in the kitchen, and my wife does all the things around the house —  I am so thankful for that type of teamwork. I wouldn’t be successful without her.

For breakfast, I’ll make chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, enfrijoladas or French toast, but I’ll admit that when I’m tired, the family eats cereal!

I’ve made lunch for my son since first grade, so I still love to do that. It has sentimental value to me.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? I love when guests come in the door excited to try something new and have an open mind to their dining experience. When guests order our 6-course “Taste of Talavera,” and say, “I’ll let the chef decide what I eat tonight” – that is what I love.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Customers are all unique and have different needs and expectations, which I always strive to exceed. It is disappointing when guests feel like we did not try to give them the best dining experience. A lot of hard work and passion goes into each dish and sometimes guests don’t see that. But it does provide good motivation – we just try harder next time!

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?  Pyrex

Beer, wine or cocktail?  Most of the time, I drink wine. Every now and again, I drink a Negroni.

Your favorite cookbook author? Michel Bras from Laguiole, France.

 

Your favorite kitchen tool?  A sharp knife and my heart (you have to cook with your heart).

Your favorite ingredient? Salt (if the food has no salt there is often no flavor) – it is a delicate balance.

Your least favorite ingredient? Turmeric.

 Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Sit in my office doing office work. I want to be on my feet in the kitchen with my team.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Besides Mexican, I love Spanish, French, Italian and anything with Asian flavor.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?  All of it!

Favorite vegetable?  Avocado.

Chef you most admire?  Charlie Trotter.

Food you like the most to eat?  Salami, cheese, olives – I prefer salty and savory over sweet.

Food you dislike the most?  Brain (Mostly used in tacos, luckily very few places use it!)

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? None, which is rare among chefs these days! I would like to get one in the future, but I’ll have to personally design it.

Mel Mecina’s Chicken Pozole, Oaxacan Style Yield: 8 servings

 Ingredients:

  • 4  Large diced chicken breast
  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 1 quart of water
  • ½ medium white onion
  • 3 each of dried gualillo chiles
  • 5 each of chile de arbol,  toasted
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups hominy
  • 2 cups green cabbage, finely julienne
  • 2 cups thinly slice radish
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 cup minced red onions
  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • Salt and Pepper

 Broth. Put the tomatoes, seeded guajillo and chile de arbol into sauce pot with some water to cover. Cook over medium heat until soft. Transfer to a blender. Add the onions and garlic. Puree to a textured sauce.

 Chicken. Heat the oil in a large sauce pot. Add the chicken and sear for a few minutes. Add the tomato-chile puree and the remaining water. Bring to a boil. Add the hominy. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serving. Pozole is a traditional Mexican dish that will be a showcase on any festive occasion. The recipe and ingredients differ according to Mexican regions and states. The garnish might be the same as traditional condiments served on the side: julienned cabbage, radishes, cilantro, onions, and lime.

The End. Go Eat.

 

i8tonite’s Chef Questionnaire: Monica Glass, A Food & Wine’s Best Pastry Chef

Monica Glass via Eater Philly

It seems as if Monica Glass was always destined to become one of the best pastry chefs in the country given her oeuvre with some of the preeminent Northeast kitchens and chefs. After starting one career as a public relations executive, she transitioned into a more creative profession to become an award-winning pastry chef. Her first job was at the Gotham Bar & Grill, which has long been one of Manhattan’s top restaurants. She started off in an apprenticeship under Deborah Racicot and ultimately wound up working beside her.

10 Arts Lounge, Ritz Carlton. Courtesy of Ritz Carlton.

Her next station was under Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis at Manhattan’s world-renowned and Michelin-starred Le Bernardin. Owned and operated by famed Chef Eric Ripert, Glass worked at perfecting her craft under these masters. Ripert seized the aspiring Glass to work directly with him at the opening of his restaurant 10 Arts at Philadelphia’s Ritz Carlton —   that’s icing on the cake for someone who deals in confectionaries.

Clio
Photo Courtesy of Clio.

Glass took on new challenges in the fall of 2012 — professionally and personally — by moving to Boston to take on the role of Pastry Chef     at the award-winning Clio Restaurant. The flagship restaurant of Ken Oringer and his famed use of avant-garde ingredients, tools and instruments, gave Glass the opportunity and ability to grow her knowledge of the pastry arts. At Clio, Glass created desserts that told a story and that served as a seamless finishes started by Clio’s savory meals. In 2013, she was awarded, by Food & Wine Magazine editors as one of five Best New Pastry Chefs for her delicious endeavors.

Glass is now back in the City of Brotherly Love working as the Corporate Pastry Chef at Starr Catering. However, it’s a testament to her ongoing pursuit of culinary challenges and Glass’s own personal battle with a gluten allergy to create a broader menu of gluten-free morsels. Indeed,  it seems that catering to others with celiac disease, the youthful pastry queen can experiment with an indulgent assortment of non-wheat sweets. We don’t care just as long as she never stops creating edible indulgences.

Chef’s Questionnaire with Monica Glass: 

Photo by Monica Glass
Photo by Monica Glass

How long have you been cooking? 10 years professionally, a lifetime for fun.

What is your favorite food to cook? Ice cream.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Eggs, ketchup, cheese, yogurt or kefir, flax seeds, a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups

What do you cook at home? Not much for just myself — eggs, smoothies, cereal. But I love to entertain and have people over for a nice dinner and wine! However, the oven at my new apartment doesn’t even fit a half sheet pan!

Photo by Monica Glass.
Photo by Monica Glass.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? Glee! Giddiness over good food… excitement!

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Rude, short-patience, assuming, condescending.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Pyrex.

Beer, wine or cocktail? Rye whiskey, rocks

Your favorite cookbook author? Hmmm….it’s too hard to pick one: Notes from a Kitchen (Jeff Scott.) Alain Ducasse’s Grand Livre de Cuisine Desserts and PastriesThe Secrets of Baking, Sherry Yard. The Flavor Bible, Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg. Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from La Brea Bakery

Your favorite kitchen tool? My hands. Baby offset.

Your favorite ingredient? Hmmmm…. so many! Probably cardamom, kaffir lime, finger limes.

Your least favorite ingredient? Blood.

Photo by Monica Glass.
Photo by Monica Glass.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? Anything to do with fabricating meat; hence I’m in pastry.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Comfort American, nouvelle, Spanish, French.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Depends on what cut!

Favorite vegetable? Brussels sprouts. They have to be super crispy though.

Chef you most admire? Michael Laiskonis.

Food you like the most to eat? Ice cream, peanut butter, French fries, Doritos, Reese’s. Not all together though…that would be gross.

Food you dislike the most? I love foie when it’s seared properly but I can’t really do it creamy and cold, like foie torchon or even liver mousses.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? Two tattoos. One is a whisk with the worlds “vis ta vie” wrapped around it. For my mother.

Apples by George Polychrones

Favorite Apple Crisp Recipe by Monica Glass.

You’ll want to make the  streusel topping first. I put gloves on and mix together 75g dark brown sugar, 75g white sugar, 150g flour, a pinch salt/cinnamon/cardamom. Add in 150g melted butter and mix to thoroughly coat.

Next, peel 3 each Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Slice each side into two pieces, moving around the pit and seeds. Dice each slice into small cubes. Toss the diced apples with about a half cup of sugar (more or less to your liking and the fruit’s natural sweetness), about two tablespoons of cornstarch, another pinch salt/cinnamon/cardamom and the juice of one lemon. Pile into a buttered ramekin and top with streusel. Preheat oven to 325 and bake until bubbly and browned, about 30-40 minutes. Devour with some ice cream!

The End. Go Eat. 

 

i8tonite in New Brunswick, Canada: Executive Chef Jesse MacDonald, 1809

This is a guest post from Dr. Jessie Voigts of WanderingEducators.com

20150814_092224Tucked away on the mighty Miramichi River in Miramichi, New Brunswick is a long, yellow hotel with a big heart. The Rodd Miramichi River Hotel shows, like all Rodd hotels, the essence of friendliness and luxury. And the restaurant, 1809, at Rodd Miramichi is exquisite. We dined there this summer, at first on the riverside deck and then inside by the fireplace, as mosquitoes chased us in after dark.

Of course, the menu featured plenty of fish, including freshly caught Atlantic salmon (which New Brunswick, one of Canada’s Maritime Provinces, is known for) prepared 5 ways. There’s also lobster, classically prepared chicken, fresh pastas, and sandwiches and burgers. The seafood chowder was the best I’ve ever had – even with daily seafood chowder eating in Ireland – and my stuffed haddock filet was divine.

Chef Jesse MacDonald, 1809 Restaurant. Photo by Jessie Voight
Chef Jesse MacDonald, 1809 Restaurant. Courtesy by Jesse MacDonald

Executive Chef Jesse MacDonald hails from nearby Prince Edward Island, a 4th generation fishing family that led to him captaining a lobster boat. Jesse is young for an executive chef – he graduated from The Culinary Institute of Canada in 2010 – and it shows in his rapport with the staff and the delicious output of the high-volume kitchen. Known as the youngest Executive Chef in New Brunswick, his vision for sharing and eating locally sourced seafood and other fine ingredients sets him apart from the crowd. I had a chance to talk with him and share his vision (Watch an interview with Chef Jesse MacDonald) , which made me all the more impressed.

20150813_210707How long have you been cooking? 10 years.

What is your favorite food to cook? Anything seafood.

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Not much sometimes– life of a chef, water/Gatorade/milk.

What do you cook at home? Depends on the day.

20150813_215613What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? Willingness to experiment.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Preconceived opinions.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Pyrex.

Beer, wine, or cocktail? Beer to drink, wine to cook.

Your favorite cookbook author? Tough one, I love to read, I’ve been enjoying a lot of Michael Ruhlman’s books lately, currently in the middle of “Salumi“. I intend to read “Ratio: The Simple Codes behind the Craft of everyday Cooking” by the same author once I am finished. Michel Bras and Anthony Bourdain are toward the top of my list as well.

New Brunswick, Canada. Courtesy of Tourism New Brunswick

Your favorite kitchen tool? 10 ” Shun Classic Chefs Knife. I have a set of Richmond Plating Spoons my Grandmother got me for Christmas a few year back I am quite partial to.

Your favorite ingredient? Anything pork.

Your least favorite ingredient? Kale.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen? I started out in the dish-pit (washing dishes), so I really believe no job is too big or too small for anyone in a kitchen.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Italian or French.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Hard to beat a good steak but, pork, not even a question.

Favorite vegetable? Cucumber.

Chef you most admire? Chef Dave Mottershall of Loka in Toronto, Ontario & Chef Warren Barr of Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, British Columbia. I had the privilege to work for both of these Chefs in the past and they had a huge influence on me in my young career. Both of them have the desire and passion to allow you to see food differently. It was a huge eye opening experience for me. If you don’t know who these two are yet, give it time, you will.

Food you like the most to eat? That’s too tough. Although, I’ll always be satisfied with some fresh bread, cured meat, and something  “pickley“.

Food you dislike the most? Lobster.

How many tattoos?  Two. None of food yet, but there will be in the future.

Blackened Atlantic Salmon with Mango Pineapple Chutney

Blackened Salmon with Mango Pineapple Chutney. Photo by Jessie Voight
Blackened Salmon with Mango Pineapple Chutney. Courtesy of Chef Jesse MacDonald.

 Blackening Spice:

  • 4 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Dry Thyme

1) Mix all above ingredients well, set aside in bowl.

2) Roll filets of Salmon in Blackening Spice Mixture. Ensure to get all sides/edges of the fish. Discard remaining spice.

3) Once salmon is seasoned, sear in a  pan with olive oil on medium-high heat. Your fish is ready to place in the pan once the oil is almost smoking.

4) Sear the salmon show side down. (The show side is the top piece of the fillet, the bottom piece of the filet will be a slightly different colour pink as that’s where the skin was present at one time). Once a nice caramelization has formed, flip it and sear the bottom for about 2 minutes.

Miramachi River. New Brunswick. Courtesy of Tourism New Brunswick

5) Finish in oven for 4-9 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon filet, or until the fish just begins to flake.

6) Remove from oven and let rest for 1 minute. Top salmon with a hearty tablespoon of Pineapple-Mango Chutney.

7) Serve with choice of Starch and your favourite mix of Local New Brunswick Vegetables!

Pineapple-Mango Chutney:

  • Mango, fresh     10 oz
  • Pineapple, fresh   1 whole
  • Curry Powder    1.5 oz
  • White Wine Vinegar       4 oz
  • Red Pepper, diced           8 oz
  • Red Onion, brunoise      3 oz

1) Combine all ingredients.

2) Simmer on medium-low heat for 35-60 minutes. Stirring well every 2-5 minutes.

3) There should be no residual moisture when the chutney is completed, it should be “au sec” a French cooking term which means “almost dry.” 

The End. Go Eat.