Whoever said that a government job always need be boring?
Justin Timineri, Florida's state chef, the only state chef in the entire United States is proof otherwise. As Chef Timineri himself said, “I have
the best job in all of state government.”
His job as state chef after all does not entail cooking in a grimy hot kitchen in preparation for the massive influx of hungry employees during lunch hour, but instead is tasked to travel around Florida showing locals how to incorporate fresh produce and seafood into their regular meals. More importantly, he does with a realistic budget in mind. In
fact, he specifically creates healthy menus with people who are on food stamps in mind; and if that doesn't mean affordable meals, I don't what is.
Aside from getting the locals to eat a bit more healthily, his other important role as state chef is
to promote Florida's produce and seafood, not just to locals, but all over the world. In fact, he's going to Brussels, Belgium in April to attend the European Seafood Expo to try to get more attention focused on the Florida grouper. And with Florida's second biggest industry being Agriculture, we can be pretty sure he'll be promoting more vegetables and fruits outside Florida soon.
And if you're wondering how much a state chef makes? Chef Timineri is paid $43,000 for doing what he does. Of course, he also probably saves on food, nibbling on his creations. While the pay is not at all that glamorous, you can bet his job is rewarding.
Photo via Babble
Anthony Bourdain, the infamous traveling chef now on almost every lifestyle channel in existence- had quite a story to tell in one of his first bestselling books: “Kitchen Confidential“. Finally, after many trial and tribulations, he had found his sous-chef extraordinaire, Steven Tempel, for the Supper Club in New York, where Bourdain had just been made head chef. To say that Steven was eccentric was, according to Bourdain, putting it mildly…
Nevertheless, Bourdain reveals in the very frank and no nonsense book (as in how it really goes down in the restaurant business), Steven was somewhat of a genius. It turns out that Bourdain had recruited Steven from Casa Nostra Restaurant, in Northern California, where he had been working in the kitchen with “idiot savant” and “baking genius” Adam Real-Last-Name-Unknown!!
Kitchen Confidential is an excellent read and here at Celebrity Chefs we highly recommend it. As it turns out, the owner of Casa Nostra Restaurant (which was known for serving the best italian cuisine in town)- Joey Velardi, has recently opened up a branch in Manila, Philippines- where it is receiving rave reviews from the locals and in fact Bourdain recently visited for his show “No Reservations“.
Let’s hope Bourdain doesn’t steal the chef again
A lot of cooks would agree that the use of wine in some meals have added a certain spice in making them sought after. Such can be attributed towards the contributions of Chef John Ash, an internationally recognized chef, educator and author. His continued work and application of wine towards cuisine and his evident mastery for winery has been his obvious trademark that has brought him towards world wide prominence.
John is known to hold various classes and teaches culinary schools and institutions with regards to the tricks of the proper use of wine for culinary meals. Majority of his known reliability has been attributed towards the wine industry and such has been something that has continued to push him up towards fame and fortune.
He has published two books, namely American Game Cooking in 1991 and From the Earth to the Table: John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine in 1996. The latter book was awarded the Julia Child Award for Best Cookbook in 1996 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Ina is just so cuddly and earthy, yet at the same time with a nose for timeless style, that I thought it would be a good idea to post some of her favourite things, as inspiration.
“Some of the other books I use most are Nantucket Open House Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase, The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook by Anna Pump, Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, and Cucina Simpatica by George Germon and Johanne Killeen.”
“Barney’s in New York City carried my stemware for years, but unfortunately, they’ve now discontinued it. But, thanks to one of our readers, we’ve found another source. The name of the glassware is Cristallerie La Rochere, the Amite pattern and the website to order it from is lafermedelamer.com. My glasses are the white and the red wine stemware. They also carry the large water glass and champagne glasses to match.”
Favorite pots and pans?
“I love All Clad pots. I would recommend you start with small and medium saucepans and 8-inch and 12-inch saut� pans. I don’t even bother with non-stick because if you soak the pans after you use them, they will clean beautifully. I know they’re expensive pots, but you can collect them one at a time. They’ll last a lifetime and you’ll enjoy using them. For Dutch ovens, I prefer Le Creuset. These are all available at Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Crate & Barrel stores nationally. “
Favorite ice cream maker?
“I use a Krups ice cream maker which I bought at Williams-Sonoma many years ago.”
Favorite places to stay in East Hampton?
“My favorite places are the Baker House 631-324-4081 and the Pink House 631-324-3400 in East Hampton, which are both lovely bed and breakfast inns, and the Bridgehampton Inn 631-537-3660 in Bridgehampton. There are no big hotels but these are lovely places to stay.”
Favorite restaurants in East Hampton?
“Three of the restaurants I like most in East Hampton are Nick & Toni’s, The pub at 1770 house, and the Palm Restaurant.”
I have to admit that Giada is not my favorite celebrity chef but this recipe of hers makes my mouth water so badly it is not even funny. Truth is, you cannot really go wrong with salmon and lemon, but the presentation of this dish is something I find really enticing. Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Food Network.
You’ll need the following:
• 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
• 8 lemon slices (about 2 lemons)
• 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
• 1/2 cup Marsala wine (or white wine)
• 4 teaspoons capers
• 4 pieces of aluminum foil
This is how to make it:
Brush top and bottom of salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place each piece of seasoned salmon on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the each piece of salmon with 2 lemon slices, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of wine, and 1 teaspoon of capers. Wrap up salmon tightly in the foil packets.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Place the foil packets on the hot grill and cook for 10 minutes for a 1-inch thick piece of salmon. Serve in the foil packets.
It is pretty simple and easy to make, isn’t it? I don’t think that you even have to wait for an excuse to make this!
Beef and ale. Stew. Reading those words just makes my mouth water. How can you go wrong? And with a recipe from Jamie Oliver, you can be sure that a great meal awaits you. Here is his recipe for this dish:
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
500g diced stewing beef
500ml ale, Guinness or stout
2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it’s so simple and gives consistently good results. The meat should be cut into approximately 2cm cubes. Packs from most supermarkets are normally about that size. In stew recipes you’re often told to brown off the meat first. But I’ve done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I’ve removed this usual stage from the recipe.
If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 • Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks • Peel and roughly chop the onions • Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop • Put a casserole pan on a medium heat • Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes • Add your meat and flour • Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes • Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper • Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours • Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking • When done, your meat should be tender and delicious • Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper • You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it
I can almost SMELL it!
Don’t be blinded by the glamor of being a celebrity chef — as this article points out, it’s a highly overrated career.
I have nice large peice of fresh, firm white fish, as well as some squid from the market this morning. So, I thought the time was right for Floyd’s fish soup.
Here’s the recipe:
An Italian Fish Soup
2 kilos firm fleshed fish (filleted, strips), assorted seafood such as squid, prawns, mussles etc.
1 small onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 kilos tomatoes, skinned, chopped
3-4 anchovy fillets, chopped
handful chopped parsley, basil
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1.4 litres hot water / fish stock
1. In a large saucepan, saute the celery, carrots and onion in olive oil until soft.
2. Add tomatoes and anchovies until tomatoes have melted. Keep stirring, add herbs and garlic.
3. Add hot water or stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add squid if using, simmer 20 mins. Add rest of fish/seafood, simmer another 20 mins.
5. Ladle into hot bowls, serve.
Photo via La Fuji Mama
Chef Jody Adams personifies the ease of being a great chef through the use of available resources found in your kitchen today. Being a good cook is a given with practice, but with more practice and a touch of imagination at that, good chefs are sure to arise. This has been one of the beliefs that have catapulted Chef Jody towards mastering the art of cooking.
Cooking in the eyes of Chef Jody would simply be like following instincts rather than the usual traditional cooking practices that people see on television or from reading the available cookbooks in stores today. It all boils down to following a cooking style which would carve out your name in the genre of food that a person would want to cook up.
This is the secret that Jody Adams shares as her ultimate success in cooking. With a wide array of recipes that includes starter meals, seasonal prepared meals and Italian tradition meals such as pasta until deserts, Chef Jody has a long list of recipes all based on her instincts and what she can do around the kitchen. People can do this as well if they know how to go around the kitchen of their homes as well.
If you were enticed by that delicious looking and sound roasted chicken with herbs in the last post, then you will not be able to resist this cake, which is the perfect dessert to complement your main course. Again, this is from Art Smith’s kitchen.
Makes 12 servings
• 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
• 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 8 egg yolks
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter , cut into 8 pieces
• Grated zest of 2 lemons
• Pinch of salt
• 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups sugar
• 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter , softened
• 4 eggs , at room temperature, separated
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup well-stirred, canned unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 2 egg whites , at room temperature
• 2 teaspoons corn syrup
• 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 bag (17 ounces) shredded sweetened coconut (2 2/3 cups)
In a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, combine lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Add cornstarch, and whisk to dissolve. Add sugar, egg yolks, butter, lemon zest and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and whisk 1 minute. Strain through a coarse sieve into a medium bowl. Let cool to room temperature, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface, and refrigerate until very cold. (Filling may be prepared up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.)
Position a rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter and flour three 9-inch round cake pans; tap out excess flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, then vanilla. On low speed, add flour in three 1-cup additions, alternating with two 1/2-cup additions of coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour, and beat until smooth, scraping bowl often with a rubber spatula. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites (with clean beaters) on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Whisk 1/4 of the whites into batter, and then fold in remainder. Spread evenly in pans.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Be sure pans don’t touch each other and that they clear sides of oven by 2 inches.
Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert onto racks and unmold, removing parchment paper. Turn right sides up and cool completely.
In the bottom of a double boiler, simmer water. In the top of a double boiler, combine sugar, egg whites, corn syrup, cream of tartar and 1/3 cup water. Place over simmering water. Beat on high speed with a handheld electric mixer until icing forms soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in vanilla. Continue beating 5 minutes, or just until stiff peaks form.
Place one layer upside down on a serving plate. Spread with half of lemon filling. Place another layer on top, right side up. Spread with remaining half of lemon filling. Add the final layer right side up. Spread icing over top and then sides of cake. Press handfuls of coconut all over icing. (Cake tastes best the day it is made.)
This recipe and the previous one are actually part of Oprah’s Christmas menu, which can be found on her web site. I wish I had Art Smith to whip up these goodies himself!