Chef David Gross

This Cleveland native left the Midwest for Denver and isn’t looking back.

Born in Olmstead Falls, Ohio, David began his hospitality career as a busser in the local mom and pop breakfast place in Olmstead Falls. He moved up to a Lonestar Steakhouse as a host, then dishwasher and finally prep cook and line cook which whetted his appetite for the high energy environment of the kitchen.

David graduated from Cuyahoga Community College with a Professional Culinarian Certificate that he describes as the best decision he ever made, “not only because of what I learned there, but the connections and networking that I did with the culinary instructors and fellow classmates.”

Natural career progression landed David at Table 45 in his first sous chef slot where he began to appreciate the creation of menu items, combinations of flavors and presentations that tell a story both in flavor and style. Much of the produce came from a farm down the road from the restaurant where David explored the growers end of the business.

He moved on from Table 45 to sous chef positions at L’Albatros and Urban Farmer Steakhouse in Cleveland before heading west to Colorado.

David works quietly and efficiently in his kitchen and expects others to do the same. After work you can find him hanging out at Euclid Hall where they have everything he wants to eat.

He lives in Lakewood, Colorado with his girlfriend and cat.

Chef Said What??:

“Italian food is rustic by nature, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful on a plate.”

David and his crew make everything from scratch from sauces to pasta, but did tell me “The only cans we use are tomatoes.”

I asked Chef what advice he would give to new culinary graduates:

“Make sure this is what you want to do. A chef often spends 9-12 hours a day in your feet.”

“Before you decide on a certain school check out community colleges and don’t spend $80k!!”

“Work while you are in school.”

“I have two sides of me as a chef. One half is an elegant side of cooking, and the other half is the bbq side!”

Other than a sharp knife chef’s favorite tools are: Spoon and a cake taster.

Best lesson David’s father ever taught him? “Never take a step backwards.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Herbs / spices he would choose for a year: Fresh Thyme, Fresh Tarragon, Smoked Paprika.

When grilling pork make a carolina style bbq sauce with a base of vinegar and mustard to compliment the meat.

When grilling beef make a mild sweet tomato base without vinegar to compliment the meat.

Contact Method:

http://www.panzano-denver.com

IG: davidgross4114

303.296.3525

FB: @panzanodenver

Email Panzano

 

 Personal Chef Sue Shattuck

Sue is a Personal Chef/ Culinary Instructor, certified through the American Association of Private Chefs, providing private dinners, catering, weekly meal delivery, meal planning services or private and group cooking classes in homes, businesses, vacation condo’s/beach houses, yachts, etc. Her client base expands throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida as well as parts of the Northeast and New England.
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Sue has been a Culinary Instructor for 11 years at at Distinctive Kitchens in Pensacola, Fl. and SoGourmet Pensacola (The Bodacious Olive) and various locations of Whole Foods Markets’ Northeast and New England regions.Sue also has extensive experience providing Craft Services for the Film and Concert Industry, serving as Caterer and Personal Chef on the films “GASP” (2011) and “Molly takes a Trip” (2012)Additionally, Sue owns Gourmet Mom’s, Inc. which carries her personal line of all natural, gluten free, low fat, low sodium, low carb and low sugar entree’ sauces which have sold in 48 Whole Foods Markets throughout the Northeast and New England.In 2016 Sue partnered with the Gulf Coast Health and Nutrition Network, providing Healthy Gourmet Cooking Classes, “Change Your Life” Culinary Immersion retreats, Corporate Wellness Retreats and Personal Chef Services, Meal Planning Services and delivery, addressing particular dietary needs/preferences without sacrificing delicious gourmet cuisine.

Chef Said What??:

People love to eat and I love to cook!!”

I can truly say that I am one of those who can say I love what I do.”

I asked Sue how she and her clients come up with the meals when she is hired for a personal chef gig, and one of the questions she asks her clients is “What would you never fix at home?”  this made so much sense to me since most people are afraid of spending money on a prime rib for fear of messing it up.

“Know when to say no.” “Don’t let the customer control your services.” Often times we let the need for the money or the business get in the way of making good decisions when it comes to pricing.

“I make a mean steak.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

3 herbs and spices Sue would choose for a year are Rosemary, Basil, and Garlic. The three legged stool most chefs rely on when it comes to flavoring food.

On the challenge question Sue’s desert is a Lemon Syllabub which has 4 ingredients.

Homemade whipped cream

½ cup fine sugar

⅛ cup lemon juice

¼ cup white wine

The instructions are in the interview

Contact Method:

Follow Sue on Facebook

Follow Sue on Instagram

Email – chefsueshattuck@gmail.com

Phone – 850-572-6706

 

Chef Joe Magnanelli of CUCINA urbana in San Diego, CA

Chef Said What??:

Chef Joe did not attend culinary school and began his career throwing pizzas at the age of 16 last a local Little Caesars Pizza. Although most chefs do attend culinary school (which is not cheap) chef Joe has shown that you can be successful as an executive chef without it although as he explains the learning curve can be steep.The most important lesson his father taught him was hard work. With three brothers to provide for at times his father had to work a part time as well as a full time job to keep the boys fed and in cleats for football and baseball.

One of chefs lifelong dreams was to dine at the French Laundry and he was not disappointed as he describes an amazing 18 course meal complete with wine pairings.

If you like and cook risotto chef Joe shares his recipe from the restaurant and includes copious amounts of butter and cheese. As a bonus he provides a list of additional ingredients you can include to make your risotto just for you.

Chef Said What??

“To re-create a dish from the French Laundry would be blasphemous to even try.”

“As a cook and a chef you want people to smile at your creation and enjoy the experience.”

“The guest is the ultimate critic.”

“A dish that involves cooking with your soul is risotto. When its done correctly it is one of the most rewarding experiences.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Urban Kitchen Group Under the command of Chef Joe.

adhoc Restaurant Inspired Chef Joe to cook simple ingredients with great flavors.

French Laundry  Chef Joes lifetime dream to dine here.

Risotto Recipe I copied this from the food network site to give you a base to start with.

Purchase Carnaroli Rice This the rice Chef Joe uses in the restaurants.

Chef Contact Info:

Contact the Urban Kitchen Group

Follow Chef Joe on Instagram

Chef Bryan Calvert of JAMES Restaurant Brooklyn, NY

I came across Chef Bryan’s cookbook while searching on Amazon for new chefs to interview, and when I read the first paragraph of the introduction I immediately sent an email to invite chef on the show. The paragraph is this: “With the right approach, anyone can turn an average meal into an inspired one. That’s what this book offers: a straightforward way of cooking that makes your food more flavorful and your time at the market and in the kitchen more rewarding.”

This my friends is why Anatomy of a Chef Podcast was created! My goal is to provide tips and secrets of the professional cook for the home cook to implement in their own kitchens.

Chef Bryan is often asked how to prepare an ingredient, say scallops for instance. Chef says it’s almost impossible to sear scallops perfectly on a home cook top with out smoking out the kitchen and setting off the fire alarms! The reason, most home cook tops don’t have enough BTU’s to get the pan hot enough. In fact the professional equipment is more than three times hotter than the home version, so if you find yourself not re-creating that amazing dish you had out last week it isn’t you, it’s your equipment.

Chef and I also talked about farmers markets and growing techniques such as hydroponic and roof top gardens and how farmers markets are providing amazing fruits and vegetables many of which you can taste before you buy them. Chef had a great point saying you can’t make bad food taste good, so you must start with good ingredients to get great results!

Chef’s most important tool he cannot live without other than a sharp knife? A dough scraper or sometimes called a bench scraper. I have started using ours more often and my knives have stayed sharper longer because of it.

Chef Said What??

“When I started creating recipes for the cookbook I rented a home in upstate NewYork and cooked on a 10 year old electric stove with no prep cooks or dishwashers, using ingredients I found in the local grocery store.”

“Cooking takes discipline”

“Recipes are guidelines.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Chef Bryan’s Cookbook Brooklyn-Rustic

JAMES Restaurant

Chef Contact Info:

Email Chef Bryan

Chef  McHugh of CURED Restaurant San Antonio

Chef Steve McHugh’s new restaurant, Cured, makes use of the purest regional ingredients, paired with organic methods and is built on a foundation of lovingly hand-crafted cured foods, from charcuterie to pickles. The restaurant’s renovated historical building, built in 1904 as Pearl’s Administration Building which included the president’s office, embodies the perfect blend of a contemporary and historical atmosphere.

The name CURED doesn’t just represent what they do to the meats it also is a badge of success for Steve as he is a cancer survivor as well.

Chef Steve cures all of his meats and buys the entire animal whether it’s a pig or lamb, he uses every single part of the animal, and he describes how he uses some of the parts we typically don’t see in the butcher case at our local supermarket, and how cost effective it is for the farmer and the restaurant to use the entire animal.

Chefs most important tool he can’t live without besides a sharp knife? : Wooden Spoon, a wooden spoon won’t scrape the impurities off the bottom of a stock pot.

Chef Said What??

“Dinner service is a game – doors open and it’s GO TIME.” Steve is from a large family of boys and competition was a way of life and he sees each service as a game to perform your best at all times.

“In culinary school it’s an even playing field.” You can be a high school graduate and be in a class with seasoned executive chefs, and everyone is learning how to cut an onion the same way.

“Economy will not work if you don’t support your local purveyors.” Every week a farmers market is set up in the square outside Chef’s restaurant, and he takes full advantage of the local fruits and vegetables available.

(Hiring an employee) “I interview people everyday and I’m surprised at the little effort people put into an interview.” Self explanatory.

Eat, Cook Explore:

Anson Mills is proud to provide America’s finest chefs with fresh native stone-ground organic ingredients milled from new crop heirloom grains, legumes, and oil seeds.

Epizote Herb Use in rice and tacos

Canela – Mexican Cinnamon or true cinnamon

Salt from the Agave Worm

Chef Contact Info:

Instagram

Cured Restaurant

Pastry Chef Amanda Rockman, Austin, TX

Executive pastry chef Amanda Rockman is a 2015 James Beard-award semi-finalist and pastry chef for both Central Standard, a New York-style bar and grill, and Café No Sé, a California-influenced Americana restaurant, at the South Congress Hotel in Austin Texas.

Chef Rockman was a contestant on Season 2 of Top Chef Just Deserts.

2011 Jean Banquet Rising Pastry Chef Award.

Pastry Chef’s amaze me in so many ways, if you have ever baked ANYTHING and failed you know what I mean! To me pastry is such a science with little room for error that when it is done successfully time after time I am in awe!

Take Laminated Pastry as an example. Do you have any idea how much time and effort goes into making a croissant? Lamented Pastry can be so difficult that Chef thinks about 70% of the pastry chefs lack the knowledge or skill!

From start to finish a croissant takes four days to create, and everything from temperature and humidity of the butter and dough plays an important part and if not correct, can ruin the final product. Plus when you add additional ingredients such as chocolate (the great stuff not the candy bar you picked up at the local liquor store!) or fruit the complexity is multiplied, so next time you see a croissant and wonder why it is $4 to $5 a piece, you know why.  

I was curious about a horrible dinner service Chef Rockman experienced  and I talked about  Find 3 to 5 moments from the audio and summarize the main points from each.

Chef Said What??

“Pastry chefs are Gods in France!” 

“You have to be willing to fail.” Probably one of my favorite quotes!

“Do it in the dark if you have to.” During an evening service the power went out in the kitchen and chef was left to using a lamp to make the deserts.

“Be consistent everyday.” This is should be your mantra!!

When I travel I like to visit the local grocery stores and walk the aisles to see the various spices and products.” This is a great way to incorporate new ingredients into your cooking.

Eat, Cook, Explore:

South Congress Hotel

Spice Blender

Chef’s favorite tool

Chef Contact Info:

Amanda’s Blog  

Chef Jackie Ellis of Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver, BC

Jackie Ellis is not only a talented pastry chef but a travel writer as well. Jackie had a interesting path to her bakery Beaucoup Bakery, which started with a career in design. Jackie studied design and eventually opened her own firm for 12 years, but the urge to bake was always a small voice in her head. After leaving her firm she lived in France to study baking from the best in the business. After returning home Jackie opened Beaucoup Bakery December, 2012 and never looked back.

What is the secret to the success of something so simple as a chocolate chip cookie? Letting the dough sit and let the ingredients merry together! Jackie found out that if you let the dough sit in the fridge for two days before baking your cookies will come out perfect. Of course you should buy the best butter and chocolate you can find!

In Eastern Canada the citizens use plowed plots next to the roadside as their personal garden areas. The heat generated from the road and traffic keep the soil soft enough for planting root vegetables during the winter. The entire system relies on the honor system and each person knows who has planted what so theft is hardly an issue.  

Chef Said What??

“Love to cook, love to feed people, love to see people satisfied.” What better reason to get up every morning.

You have to taste something at it’s best in order to re-create it.” Nuff said…

Most significant meal: While in France Jackie was not in a good place emotionally or financially, but knew she had to do something special for herself. Jackie popped into a little cafe and ordered a whole summer Truffle with a froigras mousse, wrapped in a puff pastry in a summer corn sauce. Jackie had never allowed herself such an monetary indulgence…and it was amazing!!

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Beaucoup Bakery

The Paris Tours

Chef Contact Info:  

Jackie Ellis

Nutritionist Kelly Nentwich of Thrive4Mom

Kelly Nentwich is a Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Health Coach. She is the founder and owner of Thrive4Mom. But her most important job is mom to three amazing humans!

After successfully changing her own health and her family’s health (read her story here) she is on a mission to educate and inspire other women to take back their own health too.

Kelly’s education and real world experience, over the last twelve years, has equipped her with extensive knowledge in nutrition, holistic wellness and preventative health. Drawing on these skills and knowledge, she works with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.

When she’s not passionately creating change in her community you can find her enjoying yoga, hiking, running, biking and cooking. She enjoys these activities with her amazing husband and three teenagers.

Gluten free is printed on almost every item in the grocery store aisle and even on products I wouldn’t even think gluten was a by-product, but Kelly explains that food manufacturers have been using gluten as a filler for years. This wide spread use could be a factor in the gluten intolerance in people today.

 

Eat, Cook Explore:

Thrive4Mom Blog   

Wellness Retreats

Meal Prep

Chef Contact Info:

Thrive4Mom 

 

Personal Chef Nadia Ahmed

Chef Said What??:

“Due to a thyroid condition I decided to switch to a vegan diet and try to heal myself, and it worked without medication.”

“I don’t force my lifestyle on anybody” On being a vegan chef. Nadia lives a vegan lifestyle for her health and how it makes her feel. You can choose what food to eat and she will cook it however you wish.

People assume that if you eliminate animal protein from your diet you are depriving your body of certain nutrients, but Nadia had the opposite effect. She actually increased the iron levels and her protein levels remained the same.

When you learn to cook at home on your own appliances, you feel empowered!”

Cooking tip for sautéing root vegetables like beets or butternut squash. “Cut up the veggies into bite size pieces. Bring a pot of water to boil and gently add the veggies. Let the veggies boil for 2-3 minutes. Dice an onion, and garlic. Heat a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of a good olive oil then add the onion. Once the onion is translucent add the garlic. Stir for about 1 minute then add the veggies and toss everything so it mixes together. You can serve this with pasta, rice, quinoa, or by itself.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Nadia used a nut milk bag for straining almonds to make her own almond milk using her Vitamix Mixer

Nadia mentioned polenta bites as an appetizer in the challenge question. I was surfing the net and there are vegan and non-vegan recipes in abundance to choose from. I suggest you just use your imagination and top these little guys with whatever you like. Polenta is simple to make and you could WOW you next company potluck with something other than a plastic container of cookies! Better yet make them vegan and don’t tell anyone!

If you had to choose three herbs or spices for a year what would they be?

  1. “Basil” Nadia adds this to almost everything including her homemade hotsauce!
  2. “Fennel/Fennel Seed” “Use the seeds in your polenta bites for a unique flavor.”
  3. “Cumin” Nadia adds this to soups and stews for a little heat and depth of flavor.

“What has become more important or less important in the last 5 years? “How I value my time.” Time with her kids and family is a precious commodity.

I asked Nadia what qualities she seeks when hiring a new staff member. “I am looking for someone with a willingness to learn, and able to accept constructive criticism.”

Contact Method:

Facebook: Green Roots Kitchen

Instagram: Green Roots Kitchen

Pinterest: Green Roots Kitchen

 

Marjorie Meek-Bradley Executive Chef and Owner of Smoked and Stacked in Washington, DC

Marjorie’s California roots are apparent in her craft, as she brings fresh creativity to locally sourced, seasonal food. As a result of her leadership, Ripple was awarded by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington for Best Upscale Casual Restaurant and Best Wine Restaurant in 2014. Wine Spectator named Ripple a Top 100 Wine Restaurant for 2013 and again in 2014.

Meek-Bradley has served a variety of cuisines in many top-rated restaurants and her impressive pedigree includes having worked for renowned chef, Thomas Keller, at Per Se in NYC and Bouchon in Yountville, CA. She served as chef de cuisine under Top Chef finalist, Mike Isabella at Washington, D.C.’s Graffiato, as sous chef for internationally renowned chef, Jose Andres at his acclaimed DC restaurant, Zaytinya, and worked for James Beard award-winning chef, Marcus Samuelsson Washington Square in Philadelphia.In 2014 and 2015 Marjorie was nationally recognized as a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Foundation Rising Star.

In addition to her work in the kitchen, Marjorie continues to put DC on the map as an ever-evolving culinary destination and is a current contestant on Bravo’s 13th season of the Emmy award-winning culinary show, “Top Chef.”

 

 

Jonathan Freyberg of Bellamys in Escondido

 

Bellamy’s Restaurant offers California Modern cuisine with French influences. This hidden gem in Escondido is quickly progressing to the top, creating a farm to table dining experience and serving the most robust flavors of every season. Bellamy’s prides itself on quality food accompanied with impeccable service. Bellamy’s is upscale dining in a relaxed family atmosphere, where every guest will experience flavorful dishes, a pleasant environment and service second to none.

 

Chef Jonathan Freyberg attended the New England Culinary Institute and began working in the kitchen at the age of 14. His love for cuisine is evident in every dish he makes. Chef Jonathan has worked along side Chef Patrick Ponsaty for over 8 years. Ponsaty sent Freyberg to France to learn “boulangerie,” from a fifth generation baker. He has brought these techniques to Bellamy’s and has created a unique authenticity. Chef Jonathan has worked with Chef Patrick at Bernard’O in San Diego, as well as Mistral at Lowes in Coronado where they received many awards. Together they make a harmonious team combining the flavors of both California Modern and French cuisine. Freyberg believes in perfection and finest highlighting each ingredient to its full potential.

 

Bellamy’s Restaurant

Bellamy’s Reservations

Contact Chef Jonathan

 

Bellamy’s Restaurant

417 W Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

760.747.5000

 

Greg Dorsey

 

Chef Said What??:

What has become more important or less important in the last five years? “An activity or interest outside the kitchen to keep me well rounded”

Best lesson his mother ever taught him? “Growing up in a single parent home and raised for a short time by my grandmother the lesson I learned was work hard – if you want to do it it takes time.”  From someone who spent 16 years in the business before becoming an executive chef.

Most iconic restaurant he’s ever worked in? Delmonico SteakHouse in Chicago. Frank Sinatra had his own table outfitted with a privacy curtain, and personal phone to conduct “business” while he was in town.

“Natural light is your best friend.” Greg’s good friend is a photographer and this was her number one tip for taking food photos.

 

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Three herbs and Spices he would choose for a year: Sage, Cilantro, Chives

Favorite tool other than a sharp knife? Towel

Reap Food Group

.

Chef Contact Info:

Email: chefgregdorsey@gmail.com

FB: Greg Dorsey

Gray’s Tied House

 Chef Darlene DeMesa

Since 2006, Chef Darlene of Make My Dinners Culinary Services, LLC has serviced the Woodstock area . With her great customer service and food planning, she will take the headache out of what to cook for dinner every night.

Providing wonderful service, freshly made cuisine, and delicious cakes and desserts for your dinner party, birthday or just a night at home. You tell us what you want and she will make it happen for you and your guests!!

Personal Chef Darlene will help you bring family back to the dinner table while saving you time and money.  Chef Darlene is also a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and graduate of the Culinary Business Academy.

Chef Said What??:

Three thing you wish you knew before becoming a personal chef?

“Try to do your own thing.”

“Experiment with menus and create your own.”

“ Live life to the fullest!” Darlene lost her father when she was a young teenager, and battles with Lupus so this has become her mantra.

“Keep away from unkind people!” Who needs the stress, life’s too short!

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Favorite kitchen tool other than a sharp knife? Kitchen shears she purchased from QVC, and a wooden spoon/spatula combo.

Modern Meal for Meal Planning

Kitchen Shears

Contact Method:

http://www.makemydinners.com/

 

 Chef Jeff Gilroy

Cheffrey 911 Catering is owned and operated by Chef Jeff Gilroy, a chef of 17+ years who has worked in over 40 establishments all over Canada. His experience in fine dining makes him a go-to for occasions that need to be extra special. Whether it’s food truck favourites or haute cuisine, Cheffrey 911 has the skills and experience for the job.

Jeff grew up on the prairies of central Canada and began working in his grandfather’s manufacturing plant at the age of ten. He worked in and around kitchens for a few years not really having a direction until one night, during a bar fight and a head-lock put on Jeff led to his real job in a professional kitchen. He spent 6 months learning from six of the best chefs in Canada who taught him all aspects of a restaurant.

After working in 44 restaurants in 9 cities and eventually working under a tyrannical boss did he decide to go out on his own and out 100% behind his efforts.

Chef Said What??:

Three thing you wish you knew before becoming a personal chef?

“I wish I knew what the weather was going to be like.” The last 4 months have been a business kill for Jeff due to the weather and road conditions. Outdoor food events usually slow down during the winter months, but this year has been unusually cold.

“I wish I would had saved more money before starting my business.” Self explanatory.

“I wish I was more organized”. Being a one man show Jeff was putting paperwork in all over the place. His wife finally made him start keeping the paperwork in one location. Note to all…You will save time and money for you and your accountant if you develop this system from the beginning.

“Stop smoking!”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Favorite kitchen tool other than a sharp knife? Tongs. Uses these for pulling hot items out of the oven and a hundred other uses.

Three herbs or spices he would use for the entire year, if he had to! Fresh Thyme, Basil, and Harissa.

Contact Method:

Phone: 778-981-0911

Facebook

Instagram

Executive Chef Bob Vaningan

Chef Bob Vaningan, born and raised in the deep south of Birmingham, Alabama Husband of 32 years and father to 6 amazing adult children
Author of “Cooking in the Deep South with chef Bob”
Creator of Chefbob.com, inc. one of Birmingham, Alabama’s Top Caterers
Knighted by Prince Dolgoruky d` Anjou to the Order of Saint Catherine
Culinary director of Olive Baptist church
Culinary director of Olive Catering in Pensacola, Florida http://www.olivecatering.org
Board of directors Christian Chefs International
Board of advisors Christian Culinary Academy
President Christian Chefs Pensacola
Guest Culinary Instructor at Christian Culinary Academy Cannon Beach, Oregon
Guest Culinary Instructor at Istanbul Culinary Institute, Istanbul, Turkey
Advocate Compassion International
Advocate Mercy Chefs http://mercychefs.com

Chef Said What??:
I asked Bob how FIT2EAT came about: “I went to the Dr because of the constant pain in my knees and back and difficulty breathing. He told me to stand with my back against the wall. He then lifted my belly and asked how that felt. I said it felt pretty good, he let my stomach back down and said, you’re fat!!” Bob weighed 396 pounds!

Bob’s favorite tools other than a sharp knife? Offset spatula, bowl scraper, microplane

The three herbs and spices Bob would choose for a year? Basil, Thyme, Bay Leaves, Allspice Berries for making a rue, smoked paprika.

Bob’s advice for a new culinary graduate? Keep studying you have only scratched the surface!

Eat, Cook, Explore:
fit2eat Program

Contact Method:
Chef Bob’s website
Facebook
Instagram
Olive Catering
Christian Chefs Organization
Olive Baptist Church

 Whitney Miller

Inspired by the hospitality of her 97-year-old great grandmother and creativity of her mother, Whitney Miller’s passion for the art of cooking began at an early age. At twenty-two, she won the reality cooking show “Masterchef,” gaining the title of Fox’s 1st U. S. Masterchef. Soon afterward, Whitney obtained her degree, with an emphasis in nutrition, from The University of Southern Mississippi.

Whitney has been featured across the globe in Southern cuisine cooking promotions in Tianjin and Shenzhen, China at The St. Regis hotels. She has shared her Southern table in Malaysia and South Africa as well. She has conducted cooking demonstrations alongside celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Curtis Stone, and Buddy Valastro.

Whitney’s professional career includes developing blog posts and recipes for companies and magazines such as Big Green Egg, Tervis, Penobscot McCrum Potato Company, SousVide Supreme, Southern Living, Clean Eating, Self, and Flavors. She has appeared on Good Morning America and the FABLife show with Chrissy Teigen. She hosts satellite media tours for food and cookware companies.

Chef Said What??:

On being the first contestants to appear on Masterchef. “ If we knew what we were walking into, it would have been a little more intimidating. The only real intimidation in the beginning was just Gordon Ramsay.”

“I’ve always had confidence in my food.”

“I encourage moms to have their kid in the kitchen with them.” Now that Whitney is a mom she has a new appreciation for what her mom did with her in the kitchen as a young girl.

“I don’t use low fat anything. It’s better to me to have the full flavor of something than not having it at all.”

The most important lesson her father taught her. “When I dropped my chicken on the floor with seven minutes left to go in the finale, I heard my dad’s voice telling me don’t give up.”

Whenever Whitney makes biscuits, memories of her great grandmother wash all over her bringing her back to her childhood spending time in the kitchen with her great grandmother and mother.

My food memories are from when I was a kid spending Sunday’s at my grandparents house with my cousins playing football in the front yard, and sitting down to a table of homemade lasagna, stuffed grape leaves, kibbeh, sausages and much more!

Whitney and I are both huge tennis fans and we compare the playing styles of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer which anyone else who is a fan will immediately recognize.

Eat, Cook, Explore:

3 Herbs or Spices Whitney would choose for a year are Garlic Powder, Cilantro, Rosemary.

Whitney’s most important tool in the kitchen other than a sharp knife: Cast Iron Skillet.

When cooking a Ribeye Whitney and her husband Ryan will start the steak on the grill seasoned with coarse salt and pepper. Place a cast iron skillet on the grill until hot and place the steak in the skillet to sear it with a pat of butter and a sprig of Rosemary. Turn the steak and repeat.

California Olive Ranch

Contact Method:

Whitney’s website

Follow on Facebook

Follow on Instagram

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Pinterest

 

 Executive Chef and owner Katie Button

Chef Katie Button was born in the South, raised in the North, and educated in Europe. Now, she has returned to her roots as chef and owner of two unique restaurant concepts in Asheville, North Carolina: Cúrate Tapas Bar and Nightbell.

Chef Button pursued science degrees in college and earned her master’s in biomedical engineering in Paris, France. She then changed course and devoted her pursuits to the culinary field, working for José Andrés at his restaurants in the United States and then for Ferran Adrià at the world-renowned elBulli in Spain.

After meeting her husband Félix Meana, Chef Button moved to Asheville and created Heirloom Hospitality Group with Meana and her parents in 2011. Together, they opened Cúrate in 2011. The Spanish tapas restaurant received instant attention and accolades, from mentions in The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to local awards and press.

Nightbell, the second venue for Button and Heirloom Hospitality Group, opened in 2014. Nightbell is a contemporary American small plate restaurant with a craft cocktail bar and lounge. Button’s menu is a blend of comfort food and innovative twists on the classics, and her serious commitment to local farmers and sustainable products is evident.

Chef Button was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Rising Star Chef award from 2012-2014 and was a finalist in 2014, and also received a nomination for Best Chef Southeast in 2015. Chef Button was one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2015 and hosted an international television series, The Best Chefs in the World.

The young chef also won the Robb Report Culinary Master Competition over Eric Ripert, Masa Takayama, Charlie Palmer, and Michael Mina, and in January 2013 she earned a StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award and the Golden Whisk from Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Button remains dedicated to causes beyond solely culinary pursuits. Her dedication to an eco-friendly approach to restaurant ownership was recently lauded by Grist.org, and both her restaurants, Cúrate and Nightbell, are living wage certified and work with local companies and organizations to recycle, compost, and reduce food waste and environmental impact. Chef Button cooked at this year’s Human Rights Campaign fundraiser in Washington, D.C., a Chef Action Network summit in Asheville, and works locally with Chefs at Welcome Table and Green Opportunities’ Kitchen Ready Program. She has also attended the James Beard Foundation Boot Camp for Policy and Change, an educational program with Chefs Action Network for select chefs from across the country.

Chef Button published her first cookbook in October 2016. The book, Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen, celebrates the broad appeal of Spanish cooking and shows readers how to recreate and adapt classic dishes in the home kitchen using seasonal local ingredients.

Chef Said What??:

“We are the sum of our experience on what we create.”

Using nitrogen and other various science tools in the kitchen. “We use nitrogen in a way that would be hard for you to know that it’s being used.”

Chefs comment on how working at El Bulli in Spain influenced her career. “El Bulli taught me that I could learn anything. I go to see how the machine operated – which has played a key role in organizing our own kitchens.”

“I graduated Cornell with a biomedical / chemical engineering degree, and I had no idea what I wanted to do.”

While on a habitat for humanity trip to South Africa Chef Button noticed that all of the kids in the village were happy, and yet had no material belongings. It dawned on her how profoundly unhappy she was for the past two years, and used cooking as a way for her to get through school.

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Other than a sharp knife what kitchen tool can you not live with?

Ganji Can Openerno moving parts and easy to clean.

Cryovac Machinefor sealing food and sauces for refrigerator and or freezer storage.

Commercial Vitamix BlenderNuff said..

The 3 Herbs and Spices Chef would choose for a year:

Fennel Seed, Cilantro, Lemon Peel

CURATE Cookbook by Chef Button

Connect with Katie:

 Executive Chef Chris Starkus

As Executive Chef of Urban Farmer in Denver, Chris Starkus curates a locally focused, sustainably sourced steakhouse menu influenced by the bounty of Colorado. Chris highlights his seasonally-driven menu with nose-to-tail cuts of naturally-raised meat, executed with finely honed French techniques.

Overseeing the whole animal butchery in-house, charcuterie program.

He also enjoys tending to the restaurant’s rooftop apiary and state-of-the-art Urban Cultivators featuring homegrown mushrooms, microgreens, and sprouted grains. Inspired by America’s European ancestry,

Chris unites ingredients grown on-site with those harvested from closely regarded purveyors to offer rustic brunch, lunch, and dinner preparations with bold, straightforward flavors.

That love for cuisine developed during his upbringing in Santa Clarita, CA, thanks to the influence of his great grandmother, Mini, and grandmother, Mary. The matriarchs’ from-scratch family meals—a tradition of their Italian heritage

After completing his culinary studies in 2001, Chris found work at Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois, and a year later, he made his way onto the opening team of Puck’s Postrio Las Vegas, first as tournant and later as assistant pastry chef, a yearlong apprenticeship position. His experience and dedication to the brand made him an obvious choice for the opening Executive Chef at Urban Farmer’s fourth location in Denver. Since joining the Sage Restaurant Group team, Chris has competed on Food Network’s Chopped, and has even studied beekeeping at Oregon State University, contributing to his work on the restaurant’s rooftop apiary.

Chef Said What??:

Chris performs the butchery in the restaurant and states “We will bring in a cow a month and a pig each week.”

Bees won’t come out of the hive unless it is above 55 degrees. In winter they will need at least 70 pounds of honey to survive the season.”

Chris’ favorite tool other than a sharp knife: Japanese Mandoline.

Best lesson his father taught him – Value of a dollar, respect it and manage it.

Advice for a new culinary graduate – “Show up for work.” Chris has moved up in his career just by showing up when someone else didn’t.

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Chris’ signature dish – charred Octopus

Oxford Hotel

Bee Local

Japanese Mandoline

Ebeiskiver Recipe

Contact Method:

FB – @chrisstarkus

Urban Farmer Restaurants

Instagram

 Chef Christopher Morales

Chef Chris grew up in West Hills, California, and moved to Cocoa Beach because his father supported NASA. Chris became an executive chef at Bistro Twentynine at the age of 20 in Palm Springs, California, then opened another restaurant, Bistro 39, which was the sister restaurant in Oceanside, California.

Chris has an amazing wife who supports him 100 percent in life, which could include some lonely nights and holidays due to the vicious hours and days that we work. Chris has two beautiful stepdaughters, Maggie and Miranda. Maggie pretty much eats anything that’s not spicy, and Miranda is a vegetarian

Like a lot of us, Chris started out at McDonald’s at 16, and eventually worked in the Cocoa Beach Resort as a dishwasher and worked his way up to fry, grill and then sous chef at the age of 18. Chris has been part owner and executive chef at Amici’s Beachside Bistro, Kiwi Tennis Club, Silvestro’s and Trend Kitchen.

Chef Said What??:

“Bite my tongue” “Bite my tongue” “Bite my tongue”  The things you do while being a sever and dealing with the guests.

Being a chef. “What people don’t see is what I fell in love with. How to break down a chicken 8 ways, and how to make your stocks.”

“I brine my Thanksgiving turkey for 4 days.”

Chris’s favorite tool other than a sharp knife: Dishwasher, front and back of house.

What is the best lesson your father ever taught you? “Try everything once!” “Don’t take anything for granted.”

Eat, Cook, Explore:

Three herbs and spices Chris would choose for a year. Thyme, Lemongrass, Juniper Berries, Gin flavor

PolyScience Smoking Gun

sous vide cooking explained

Contact Method:

Facebook –  chris morales

Instagram – @chefs_z

Eau Gallie Yacht Club