nobuyuki_matsuhisa.jpgAmong the many chefs and celebrity chefs that abound, Matsuhisa Nobuyuki is a celebrity among his peers. He is a true treasure – a fantastic chef and true artist.

Chef Matsuhisa began as a Shinjuku Sushi Chef in Japan. A customer invited him to open a restaurant in Peru and the chef took the risk. He later decided to give up Peru and move to Alaska were misfortune caused his restaurant to burn after a mere 50 days. Not one to give up easily, Chef Matsuhisa opened another restaurant. California was his chosen venue this time and the first Matsuhisa was born.

Currently, Chef Matsuhisa has 17 restaurants spread out across the world. They can be found in California, Colorado, London, Milan, New York, Tokyo, Las Vegas, Greece and Hong Kong. Each Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurant has wonderful food made from the heart and excellent service – factors that are a requirement for this chef.

Chef Matsuhisa is a very unassuming person. He doesn’t grandstand but he is considered by many the master of Nouveau Nipponese food. If you love Japanese food, you will definitely want to go to the nearest Nobu or Matsuhisa. Be sure to make your reservations as early as possible.

A celebrity chef is called a celebrity chef often because they cook and have great personality on camera. They are able to draw people to the kitchens. They give people confidence to try cooking for themselves. This is why though they are not true chefs, people like Rachael Ray have their spot in front of the camera.

TV has a hundred and one tricks to make cooking look really fast and easy. This includes making some of the dishes before the show starts or having the make up of the celebrity chefs constantly retouched so that they don’t look like they sweat while they cook – like the cooks truly do.

This is why the shows of Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray are so popular. Almost all the dishes that they feature on their shows really are prepared within the time allotted by the network. Add that the food really comes out delicious, as well as beautiful to look at, is it any wonder that their fan base keep growing?

Here’s an easy recipe from Chef Bobby Flay (Throwdown With Bobby Flay) that is really great. Try this Philly Cheese Steak for yourself:

Philly Cheese Steak.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound strip loin, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Soft hoagie rolls, split 3/4 open
  • Provolone Sauce, recipe follows
  • Sauteed Mushrooms, recipe follows
  • Caramelized Onions, recipe follows
  • Sauteed Peppers, recipe follows

Directions:

Place steak in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes; this makes it easier to slice the meat. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice very thinly.

Heat griddle or grill pan over high heat. Brush steak slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds per side.

Place several slices of the meat on the bottom half of the roll, spoon some of the cheese sauce over the meat, and top with the mushrooms, onions, and peppers.

Provolone Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
1 cup grated aged provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the provolone and Parmesan until combined; season with the salt and pepper.

Sauteed Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (cremini and shiitake), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons canola oil
3 large Spanish onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly until golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Sauteed Peppers:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
2 Cubano peppers, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in medium saute pan over high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Her name could be one of those tounge twisters (try saying it fast 10 times!), but if you’ve seen Gale Gand’s show “Sweet Dreams” on the Food Network, you’ll find that there’s nothing twisted about Gale – in fact, she comes across as a down-to-earth big sister you wish you had, who’ll bake you the most deliciously moist chocolate chip cookies when you’ve been dumped.

Although today she has won numerous accolades for being a fabulous pastry chef, Gale’s first claim to fame was a photograph taken for Life magazine when she was 6 years old, as she was making mud pies.

She’s the executive pastry chef at Tru, a fancy Chigago restaurant popular with connoisseurs, and holds the same position at Cenitare restaurants, LLC, and is polularly known as the lady who makes the best desserts in the city.

Aside from her tv show, Gale has been writing cookbooks since 1997, her sixth and latest one, entitled “Chocolate and Vanilla” is due out in bookstores later this year. Her awards are many and too long to mention, but needless to say, the unassuming Gale has won the praise and respect in the culinary world for her simple talent – creating the most dreamy desserts.
Next time you’re in Chicago, drop into her casual and scrumptuous pastry/coffee bar, simply called “Gale’s Coffee Bar”, and you may bump into Gale herself in another role she loves, this time as Mom with her son Gio and 2-year-old fraternal twin girls, Ella Nora and Ruby Grace. Those lucky kids are bound to be the hit at their future school bake sales.

Michel Nischan decided that he would create a new way of cooking- based on health and well-being, when his son Chris was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at age 5.

Chris’s illness made me realize that floating on foie gras and bathing in butter might not be in the best interest of my customers.

This was back in 1994, and since then, Nischan has revolutionized cooking, creating a cuisine where the dishes are not just good for you and taste fantastic, but more imporatntly, the ingredients used are purely organic products.

A farmer’s son, Nischan was raised on the land, which laid the foundations for his organic understanding about food:

I was raised to understand that the soul of a vegetable comes from the soil, and the rain is its life-blood…The food we grow and eat in the place we call home defines who we are and what we care about.” He says.

His career flourished through several successful restaurants in the Mid-west, until he shot to stardom when he introduced his new concepts of organic eating at the Heartbeat restuarant at the W Hotel in New York City in 1997.

Since then, Nischan has authored two groundbreakingcookbooks on the subject of organic eating – Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table (2005) and Taste Pure and Simple: Irresistible Recipes for Good Food and Good Health (2003), which went on the New York Times Bestseller lists as well as win James Beard Foundation awards.

His clear vision, talent and know-how on organic eating has caught the attention of people everywhere, and Nischan has been a busy man indeed, making numerous television appearances, writing for newspapers and magazines, serving as board member for Harvard Medical School‘s Center for Health and The Global Environment, is one of the key organizers of the New American Farmers Initiative (NAFI), and he takes part in helping major food companies work on their issues on sustainable food systems. He also served as host chef for a dinner for the Dalai Lama.

More recently, Nischan has opened a retaurant with another organic food advocate, Paul Newman, “The Dressing Room – A Homegrown Restaurant” in Westport, Connecticut.

If there ever was a celebrity chef to remember for the 21st century, it would be Michel Nischan.