Sunday, October 7, 2007

More Competitors

Introducing Gavin Kaysen

Gavin looks so young to have accomplished so much. He was born in Thousand Oaks, California in 1979. Gavin says that his mom is the worst cook in the world. If he had his own cooking show it would be aimed at cooks like his mother. Gavin got his start in “cooking” at Subway. While Gavin was working at Subway, an Italian restaurant opened up next door. The owner of the restaurant would come in every Saturday and order a tuna sandwich. He would go outside and look at the sandwich and then throw it in the garbage. After a few times, Gavin asked why he threw it away. The owner replied that he was looking to see how Gavin put the sandwich together and offered Gavin a job at the restaurant because Gavin had a great work ethic. While working at the restaurant, Gavin learned to love food and learned to cook with emotion.

Gavin was graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 2001. He is a big supporter of their program. He entered an international competition and had the support of his previous instructors. They even connected him with a previous graduate in Paris, who allows him to use his kitchen at the Jean-George Vongerichten to prepare for the competition. Gavin was the International Silver Medalist, National Trophee de Cuisine et Patisserie.

After graduation, Gavin became the sous chef at Domaine Chandon in the Napa Valley. Under Chef Robert Curry, he learned what food could be. Gavin moved on to the Auberge de Lavaux in Lausanne, Switzerland to work under Chef Jacky Vuillet. Gavin not only learned to speak French there, but also learned classic French cuisine. From Switzerland to London to work at L’Escargot under Marco Pierre White. Finally it was home again to work under Patrick Ponsaty at El Bizcocho aat the Rancho Bernardo Inn. In 2004, Gavin became the chef de cuisine.

In 2004, Gavin received the ‘Best Chef’ Award from the San Diego Magazine. In 2006, he won the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest in Chicago. This year, Food & Wine Magazine named him ‘Best New Chef’.
Gavin is married to Linda, whom he met in Europe.

Greek Salad with Feta Mousse

Gavin Kaysen’s Greek salad has most of the usual ingredients, like tomatoes and olives—but, in an inspired twist, he turns the traditional feta cheese into a creamy, light feta mousse. Kaysen invented the dish to impress his coach when he was training for the prestigious international Bocuse d’Or cooking competition, and he says, "It blew him away."
6 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin softened in 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
Freshly ground white pepper
2 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced, quartered or halved
Fleur de sel and coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
16 pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1. In a small skillet, combine the feta and cream and simmer over moderate heat until the feta is slightly melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the softened gelatin and transfer to a blender. Puree until fairly smooth. Season with white pepper. Scrape the mixture into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
2. Bring the feta mousse back to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Whisk the mousse until loosened. Spread the mousse in the center of each plate. Top with the tomatoes, lightly seasoning each layer with fleur de sel and black pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil, garnish with the olives, red onion and oregano and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The feta mousse can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Recipe by Gavin Kaysen
This recipe originally appeared in July, 2007.
Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine

Maine Lobster on House Made Brioche, Haas Avocado, Tahitian Vanilla-Orange Vinaigrette, Micro Greens
By Chef Gavin Kaysen of El Bizcocho at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California
Serves 8-10 people
Court Boullion For Lobster
• 2 onions, chopped
• 4 carrots, chopped
• 1 fennel bulb, chopped
• 4 celery stalks, chopped
• 2 leeks, chopped
• 1 handfull cracked black pepper
• 1 sachet of herbs, 1/2 bulb parsley, 1/2 bulb thyme, 1/2 bulb tarragon
• 3 lemons, cut in half
Marinade for Lobster
• Olive oil
• Zest of three grapefruit
• Zest of three orange
• 1/2 bu thyme
• 10 garlic bulbs – peeled
Orange – Tahitian Vanilla Vinaigrette
• 4 cups orange juice
• 2 each peeled and diced ginger
• 1 each vanilla bean
• 4 each star anise
• 5 limes – juiced
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1 cup olive oil
• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil

The lobster:
Roughly chop all of the above and combine in a pot with water. Once the water is at a full boil, turn down and let simmer for 10 minutes. Now place the live lobster into the court bouillon and cook for exactly 6 MINUTES! Then take the lobster out and place on a sheet tray and cool in the fridge. Clean the lobster while they are still a little warm.
The marinade:
Before filling each sous-vide bag, fill it with a bit of olive oil, 1 or 2 of each zest, a touch of thyme and 1 bulb garlic. Then sous-vide that with the lobster in it, lined up perfectly. Label and date all bags.
The vinaigrette:
Begin by combining the first four ingredients and reducing that to 1 1/2 cups. Once that is reduced, strain the mixture and cool. Next, add the lime juice, Dijon mustard and the cooled orange juice mixture and mix. Now, slowly add the oil into that and use an emulsion blender to finish the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper, label and date.
Toast the Brioche slightly, then add the par cooked lobster tail to that. Now scoop on a touch of the avocado, drizzle the sauce around and add the micro greens on top.

Introducing Morou Ouattara

Most people would be all too willing to have Morou cook for them. But when Mom is in town from the Ivory Coast, Mom cooks. He says that mom force feeds him. It is as if there is no food in America. Morou moved to the U.S. in 1988 to study computer science. He moved in with his older brother and they both worked nights in local restaurants. They both gave up computers for cooking. Morou began as a dishwasher at Ristorante I Ricchi. When one of the cooks quit, he got his chance. Morou cooks with what he calls American cuisine with international influences. He was greatly influenced by his mother’s cooking.

Morou comes from Bondoukou, a town of about 30,000, in the savannah in northeastern Ivory Coast near the border with Ghana. Although the family has a refrigerator and propane gas stove, Mrs Ouattara cooks outside over an open fire.
Morou is the executive chef and owner of Farrah Olivia. He previously was the chef at Signatures in Washington D.C. He would like to open a fine dining American restaurant with African flair.

QuickMeals Recipe for Caramelized Maine Lobster with Vanilla Tapioca Risotto from
Chef Morou Ouattara of Signatures - Washington, D.C.
Adapted by
Yield: 4 Servings

Vanilla Tapioca Risotto:
2 cups tapioca
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons finely diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise, or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock, warm
¼ cup corn kernels
2 Tablespoons mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Caramelized Lobster:
4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 small lobsters, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

For Tapioca Risotto:
Rinse tapioca under cold running water for 5 minutes. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Sauté onion for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tapioca and vanilla. Cook for 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine. Cook until almost dry. Add chicken stock and cook until tapioca is tender, about 5 minutes. Add corn, mascarpone cheese, butter, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For Caramelized Lobster:
Preheat oven to 400º F. Heat oil in a very large sauté pan over moderately high heat. Season cut side of lobster with parsley, salt and pepper. Place lobster in pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer sauté pan directly to oven. (Alternately, sauté lobster in batches. Set sautéed lobster halves, cut-side down, in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.) Roast lobsters for an additional 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from oven and serve with Vanilla Tapioca Risotto.

Wine Pairing:
The richness of this dish will be complemented, but not overpowered, by the full-bodied and balanced Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2002.
Recipe courtesy of Star Chef

Skillet-Seared Scallops with Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette
• Prep: 10 min.
• Cook: 10 min.
• Ready In 20 min.
• Serves 4
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provided by Morou Ouattara
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
• 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
• 1 pound Maine diver scallops, or large sea scallops, about 20 pieces

Cooking Instructions

Make Chestnut Stuffing through Step 6.
Place carrot, onion and ginger in food processor and puree for three minutes. While machine is running, add rice vinegar and sugar and, in a slow, steady stream, add 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Transfer the vinaigrette mixture to a separate container. In a small bowl, blend the sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the sesame-soy mixture to the carrot-ginger vinaigrette to taste. Season mixture with freshly ground pepper and additional salt to taste. Set aside while you prepare the scallops.
In a skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Meanwhile, pull off and discard tough, crescent-shaped muscle from each scallop. Sprinkle scallops with pepper and salt. Add scallops to skillet. Cook scallops for 4-5 minutes or just until they turn opaque throughout. Do not turn scallops over. Transfer the scallops to warm plates and drizzle with the carrot-ginger vinaigrette.

Round Out the Meal:
With sweet potato and fennel puree (recipe follows).
Sweet Potato-Fennel Puree:
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cubed Half of a small fennel bulb, chopped, about 4 ounces 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature Salt and white pepper to taste
Place sweet potato and fennel in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Drain vegetables well, transfer to a food processor and puree. Blend in butter. Season mixture with salt and white pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Healthy Hint:
Omit or reduce quantity of butter in sweet potato-fennel puree.
Recipe courtesy of AOL Food

Introducing Aaron Sanchez

Aaron is the son of celebrated Mexican cooking authority, Zarela Martinez. He is regarded as one of the country’s leading contemporary Latin chefs. In February, 2001 he teamed up with Eamon Furlong to open Paladar. This is a Pan-Latin style restaurant on the Lower East Side. ’Time Out New York’ presented their 2001 Award for Best New Lower East Side Restaurant to Paladar and their 2002 Best Latin American Restaurant. In 2004, Aaron also opened up Centrico which features Mexican cuisine.

Aaron has also appeared on Food Network as the co-host of ‘Melting Pot”, which features contemporary interpretations of classic Latino cuisine. He has also consulted with Proctor and Gamble, Target and Ortega.

Aaron was born in El Paso, Texas in 1976. In 1984, the family moved to New York and Zarela opened the ‘Café Marimba’. Aaron started helping out in the restaurant when he was eleven. By sixteen, he earned a place in a Master class with Chef Paul Prudhomme. When Aaron graduated from high school, he started to work for Chef Prudhomme in New Orleans.

In 1993, Aaron studied Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales. In 1994, he returned to New York to work with Nuevo-Latino chef, Douglas Rodriquez at Patria. While working there, he met Alex Garcia, who was the other co-host on ‘Melting Pot’. In 1996, Aaron and Alex left Patria to open Erizo Latino.

Aaron wanted to explore the San Francisco area restaurants. He worked with Chef Reed Hearon at Rose Pistola. After a year, he moved back to New York as executive chef at L-Ray, a Gulf Rim and Caribbean bistro. Later, he moved to Isla, a restaurant inspired by pre-revolutionary Cuba, as executive chef.
He has written a cookbook by the name of ‘La Comida del Barrio’.

Chef Aarón's Ceviche 'Chino Latino'
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 pound sashimi quality yellowfin tuna
½ teaspoon aji amarillo*
½ teaspoon rocoto pepper puree*
In a large mixing bowl combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce and lime juice. Add cilantro.

Slice the tuna into thin, 1 inch long pieces.

Place the tuna on a serving platter and spoon soy sauce mixture over each slice. Dot each piece with each of purees, aji amarillo and rocoto pepper.
Serves 4
Pescado en Salsa de Coco
Fish in Coconut Sauce
4 red snapper fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)
Juice of 2 limes
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 serrano chile, minced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
½ cup dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 cup shrimp stock (recipe follows)
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup coarsely chopped mint
½ cup toasted shredded coconut

Rinse the snapper and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and half of the garlic together; rub it on both sides of the fish and let it sit for 15 minutes.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the onion, celery, serrano and remaining garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes, to break down the tomatoes and evaporate the liquid. Pour the stock and coconut milk, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 15 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a nonstick skillet over a medium-high flame. Scrape the garlic from the snapper so it won't burn and season both sides with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. When the oil begins to smoke, lay the fillets in the pan. Gently press the fish with a spatula to brown, about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the fish to the coconut-broth mixture, browned side up. Toss in the mint, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes to finish cooking the fish all the way through.

Serve the snapper with a ladleful of sauce and garnish with the toasted coconut.
Serves 4

Sopa de Chayote
Chayote Soup
Serves 4 To 6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
½ fennel bulb, cored and sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seed
3 chayotes, halved, rinsed, and chopped
1 quart canned vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Coat a stockpot with the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, fennel, and fennel seed. Cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the chayotes, stirring to incorporate. Pour in the broth and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered until the chayote is tender.
Remove from the heat. Working in batches, puree the soup and cilantro together in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed soup to the pot off the heat. Stir the cream into the hot soup to lighten it and season with salt and pepper to taste.

A member of the gourd family and a relative of zucchini; the watery and mild-tasting flesh is comparable to a cucumber. It looks similar to a large light green pear, but the skin is puckered on the bottom and has grooves running down the sides. Chayote was originally cultivated as a dietary staple in Costa Rica and all over Central America by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, but now it has transcended Latin cuisine; It is used in Cajun dishes (such as stuffed with shrimp Creole) and is grown in Louisiana, where it is called mirliton; in French cuisine, they call it christophine; in the Caribbean, it's cho cho.
To prepare chayotes, remove the waxy skin with a vegetable peeler under running water. Halve the chayote lengthwise, scoop out the soft pit with a spoon, and cut into chunks. Wash your hands to remove the sticky film.

And Last but not least is Michael Symon

Everyone is Cleveland adores Michael Symon. He is the chef and owner of two restaurants, Lola and Lolita, which he opened with his future wife, Liz Shanahan. Michael started his career at 16. After high school, he was graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Michael was named one of the Ten Best Chefs in America by Food & Wine in 1998. He appeared as an Iron Chef contestant in 1995 and hosted food Network’s ‘Melting Pot’. He has also appeared on ‘Sara’s Secret’ with Sara Moulton, ‘Ready, Set, Cook’ and ‘Food Nation’ with Bobby Flay. He has also been featured in ‘Gourmet’, “Bon Appetit”, ‘Saveur’, ‘Food Arts’, ‘Esquire’ and ‘O: The Oprah Winfrey Magazine’.

Lolita is a Mediterranean-themed restaurant which offers plates and boards of house-cured meats and artisanal cheeses.
Michael has received many awards, including ‘Restaurant Hospitality’ magazine’s National Rising Star in 1997, ‘Northern Ohio Live’ magazine named Michael and his restaurants as ‘Best Restaurant and Chef in Northeast Ohio’ in 1998. Cleveland magazine named Lola as its ‘Best New Restaurant’ in 2007 and naming Michael was ‘Best Local Chef’. He was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for ‘Best Chef Great Lakes in 2006’.

CHEESY BLT by Chef Michael Symon

Category: Sandwich
Number of Servings: 12

3 cups roasted garlic, pureed
24 slices sourdough bread
48 slices Wisconsin Jalapeño Jack cheese
48 slices vine ripened tomatoes
48 fresh basil leaves
48 slices bacon, cooked crisp

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Spread roasted garlic puree on sourdough bread and top each slice with 2 slices of Jalapeno Jack cheese. Place on baking sheet.

Bake until cheese is melted and bread is toasted, about 5 minutes.

Remove from oven. Layer 12 slices with equal parts of remaining ingredients as follows: 2 slices of tomato, 2 basil leaves, 4 slices bacon, 2 additional basil leaves, 2 remaining tomato slices, remaining 12 slices of cheese-topped bread.

Cut on diagonal and serve.

Category: Appetizer
Number of Servings: 6-8

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup ice water, approximately
3/4 to 1 cup dried beans, for baking weights

2 large tomatoes, preferably heirloom
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
3 eggs
4 garlic cloves, roasted and pureed**
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Asiago cheese, grated
20 basil leaves, for garnish

*Or substitute 9 or 10" prepared, unbaked pie crust.
**To roast and purée garlic: Choose plump cloves. Scatter, unpeeled, in baking pan. Salt and drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 375ºF for 25 minutes. Peel cloves and mash, adding a little olive oil if too dry.

Cooking Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix flour, butter, egg yolk and salt with pastry blender until the mixture forms crumbs. Add water, a tablespoon at a time. Incorporate quickly, just until dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Roll the dough in circle 1/8" thick. (If you are using a 9" purchased crust, you may have to roll it a bit thinner than packaged.) Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan, crimping the crust around the top. Place foil over the bottom crust. Spread beans over foil to prevent dough from rising. (Alternatively, generously prick the crust, bottom and sides, with a fork.)

Bake about 10 minutes. Remove beans and foil. Set crust aside on cooling rack.

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Peel and seed tomatoes. Cut vertically into eighths. Pat with paper towel to dry.

Mix together cream, eggs, roasted garlic purée and Asiago cheese. Pour mixture into pie pan. Top with tomato pieces. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm in center and lightly colored. Bake 5 to 10 minutes longer if necessary. Let sit on rack 20 minutes.

Garnish the tart with basil leaves and serve.


Category: Dessert
Number of Servings: 12

1 1/2 cups whole milk Wisconsin Ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 each vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 whole eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 pints strawberries, trimmed and quartered

Cooking Directions:
Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth. Set over a bowl. Place Ricotta in sieve and refrigerate two hours.

Preheat oven to 350°

Remove Ricotta from refrigerator and discard liquid. Whip the Ricotta. Set aside.

Bring milk, sugar, vanilla beans and cornstarch to a boil. Simmer mixture, stirring, until cornstarch has dissolved and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla beans and discard.

Whisk in egg yolks.

Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. In another bowl, whip cream until stiff. Fold the eggs whites, cream and Ricotta into the milk mixture.

Final Preparation:
Divide the strawberries among 12 small, shallow gratin baking dishes.

Pour 1/12 of custard mixture into each dish. Bake 15-20 minutes. Place under broiler until the gratins begin to brown. Remove and serve immediately.

Watch tonight for the first episode of ‘Next Iron Chef’

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