S PRI NG 2022, VOL. 18
Celebrating renewal, flavor and light.
THE ART OF At Justin Winery
TEATRO with Calgary’s David Leeder
WORKSHOP KITCHEN + BAR
Photo credit: Audrey Ma for Plank Seafood & Provisions, Austin Texas
by Bruce Luong CW Executive Vice President West Coast and Canada
ITH SPRING AND SUMMER on our doorstep, I am very happy to see a healthy appetite in regards to people wanting to dine out, especially on the West Coast. With so much enthusiasm blossoming in our industry, we’re feeling very bullish about the rest of the year.
Diversity is strongly apparent in every market of our collective team at The Chefs’ Warehouse.
CW is proud to be a pivotal collaborator serving our vast, colorful territories of the West Coast. Texas being one of our most exciting territories (as featured in this edition of CW Mag), supporting and servicing the great chefs of this tremendous region and seeing high levels of success has really validated our growth strategy. Diversity is strongly apparent in every market of our collective team at The Chefs’ Warehouse. Possessing different perspectives and principles is one of the greatest reasons this industry is so dynamic. It is gratifying to see a plethora of talented female chefs like Gina Miranelli (La Strega, Harlo, in Las Vegas) and Rachel Haggstrom and Saree Musick (Justin Winery, Paso Robles) dominate the culinary landscape these past years.
Speaking of our dynamic industry, attending the recent Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas last February and the subsequent CW West Coast Team reunion was deeply inspiring. Finally having in-person time with our incredible vendors and the CW team was truly invigorating. This spring and summer is all about renewal. Moving through and past the challenges of the pandemic, we are stronger than ever. We are more resilient and appreciative of each other and more clear and focused on what our customers need.
We have spent a lot of time building and strategizing. It is rewarding to witness the seeds of our efforts blossoming so readily. This sunny season I look forward to continue to come out of the pandemic and see people’s smiling faces. I look forward to watching my daughters, who have both jumped up to higher-level clubs, play soccer in the company of others supporting and cheering on the games (potentially without masks). Finally, a big shout out of appreciation to our customers and employees for their patience these past two years. Your loyalty is vital to our ability to run our business and key to us supporting the optimum success of your menus and venues. Brighter days are here at last.
NEW! at The Chefs’ Warehouse THERE’S GOOD NEWS for bean-loving chefs looking to elevate their soups, casseroles and cassoulets! The Chefs’ Warehouse is now carrying Rancho Gordo, the legendary Napa-based purveyor of dried heirloom beans. Known for selling harder-to-find bean varietals, Rancho Gordo, through their Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project, helps small Mexican farms to grow indigenous crops while also encouraging genetic diversity. These high-quality, heirloom products also encourage Mexican farmers to preserve local traditions, while bringing top chefs in the US a range of artisan, obscure and wonderful beans that would be almost impossible to try otherwise. The Rancho Gordo line starts its rollout in San Francisco, and looks to expand to PNW, L.A. and beyond soon.
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Our Rancho Gordo Top 5: Garbanzo Beans Midnight Black Beans Pinto Beans Yellow Eye Cranberry Beans Retail is packed 12/1lb cs; FS is 1/25lb
The Ultimate Artichoke Made by Chefs for Chefs.
MADE BY CHEFS, FOR CHEFS, The Ultimate Artichoke—confit artichoke heart flowers of subtly sweet Tudela White Artichokes are revolutionary for salads and the grill pan. The Ultimate Artichoke’s amazing brand ambassador Chef María José San Roman shares more with us here: What makes our artichokes extraordinary? We are culinary experts and work with Spain’s best chefs to create the perfect artichoke heart flower. These large artichokes not only eliminate the hard work of peeling and cooking, they are tender, yet do not fall apart. They can be grilled, fried, stuffed or used for any culinary creation.
Individually selected, hand-peeled, cooked and packed within 8 hours of harvest. To capture the fresh, authentic flavor of our artichokes, we grow them using cuttings from existing, healthy plants (not hybid plants that offer little flavor). We harvest each artichoke in the early morning, then carefully hand-peel them to ensure the final product will be tender and without any fibrous or tough-to-eat petals.
Slowly cooked in EVOO Once we choose the best artichokes, we slowly cook (confit) them in top quality extra virgin olive oil for 2 hours.
A naturally sweeter artichoke Spain’s distinguished Tudela White Artichoke is juicer and sweeter than other varieties. All of our artichokes are grown in deep valleys nestled in Spain’s mountainous Mediterranean coast where the days are long and sunny and the nights are cool. All of these components create the perfect artichoke.
All natural, top quality ingredients We keep it simple. Our Confit Artichoke Heart Flowers only contain two ingredients: artichokes and extra virgin olive oil. And we do it all, from planting, growing and harvesting each artichoke to cleaning, cooking and packing them individually.
Chef María José San Román Michelin-starred Spanish chef and owner of Grupo Gourmet Alicante, a collection of six restaurants and an artisan bakery workshop, Chef María brings us her refreshingly authentic culinary style and exceptionally high standards. With her culinary vision and guidance we continue to advance and create new and better products for our chefs and consumers.
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C U R TA I N S
Executive Chef David Leeder
TEATRO by Sean Jeremy Palmer
her. And then, in my generation, me, all my cousins, we all have an appreciation for food because of her,” he says. “But, it was the exposure. Making stuff with her from a young age was always very important in our family. And going to a fine dining restaurant as a kid and seeing all the bells and whistles, it was like going to the movies. I was really struck by it.” David’s foundation fueled his culinary drive and after attending NAIT, he set his sights on Europe.
Voted Calgary’s Best Restaurant 2019, Teatro is Calgary’s premier fine dining destination. Led by Executive Chef David Leeder, it boasts an award-winning wine cellar and offers exquisite elevated contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with meticulously sourced ingredients. EDUCATED AT NAIT Culinary in Edmonton Alberta, Executive Chef David Leeder’s culinary journey has been an amazing race across Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, and through a host of Europe’s most esteemed kitchens including 3 Michelin-star restaurant Martin Berasategui in the Basque town of Lasarte-Oria and Michelin-starred restaurant Frenchie in Paris. Returning home to his Canadian roots, David now leads the talented culinary team at Calgary’s premier restaurant Teatro. CW Magazine had the opportunity to talk with David about his culinary wanderlust and what fuels his inspirations.
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Asked about the roots of his culinary passion, David responds that he found the kitchen easily. “It was institutional,” he says. “My mother’s family is Italian and has a strong cooking heritage. And my grandmother was a Red Seal chef.” The Red Seal is a Canadian accreditation for culinary experts demonstrating superior skill and knowledge, through passing a national exam. “My grandmother’s influence on us from a food perspective was huge,” he continues. “It created generations of us--my parents, aunts and uncles are all amazing cooks, because they learned from
“My dream was always to get to El Bulli, but sadly it closed, so I went to San Sebastian and took a position that was basically for room and board.” David’s Spain experience spring-boarded a culinary tour de force taking him through Michelin-starred restaurants and Europe’s culinary capitals. Of his European experiences, David mentions his three to four years in Copenhagen at Noma and 108 as perhaps the most informative. Asked how it changed him, he answers, “It’s funny, I think it’s still changes me to this day. It was very demanding. A little bit like the wild west. I expected it to be more like Spain, where things are controlled and organized, but, no, Copenhagen was like organized chaos. Wild, like punk rock. The services were fast. The energy level was always high. It just seemed like we were always just barely making it by the skin of our teeth. They had a philosophy of like, don’t ever get comfortable. We had to create our own style. It was the most interesting group of people I’ve ever worked with. And everyone put everything they have into it.“
The Chefs’ Warehouse is integral to what we do out here. It’s not always easy to find produce, or different quality ingredients. The hydro greens from CW make a big difference for us. Because being in Calgary, it’s not exactly California. We really struggled here getting access to quality, what’s best, and what’s best for the customer. The hydro greens are extremely high quality, which is why we are building our salad program around them. They’re living; they taste good; they don’t spoil as fast. There’s so many reasons, but it’s just such a better product.
It’s bit of a surprise for David, now back in Canada, and leading the culinary team at Calgary’s heralded Teatro. “I didn’t ever think I would end up here,” he says. But during a tour of its vaulted interiors he found inspiration. “I was like, ‘Wow.’ The potential of this room seems incredible. And you know, it had a deep history of really great chefs that have come through its doors. It’s a dynasty. And I wanted to be closer to home and family. I was like, well, this, you know, this could be it. The allure was there.”
putting a very classic dish on here, where people might think it’s out of style. But it’s like, no, I’m gonna make an absolutely perfect beef tartare, and it’s gonna blow your mind. It comes from those pretty strong foundations, the teachers and mentors that taught me to do things at that high level. It’s easy to look at a simple technique, like a Hollandaise sauce and say that it’s going to be good no matter who makes it, but then, they haven’t tried mine yet. You know what I mean? Like, just getting it, getting that balance, getting that structure to things.”
On what he brings to Teatro, David answers, “The way I cook is definitely grounded in the classic, technique that I learned in the Basque Country. I don’t know how much of the Danish stuff actually shows up. I’m sure it shows up a bit if I looked into it, but I seem to go back to what is a little more old school,” he says. “My approach with Teatro is just making sure people get delicious food, and things that they want to eat versus, trying to put my ego on the plate. I like when the flavors work together. I like when it makes sense. I don’t mind
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Anatomy of a Raspberry Tart The comment CW Magazine hears most frequently from all of you fantastic chefs out there is that superb cooking and pastry creation ‘is all about using the best ingredients.’
Matisse Gold Glitter Glaze Easy Leaf Gold Flakes
Boiron Lemon Puree
Matisse Raspberry Jam
Crescendo Tart Shell
Arguably no one knows more about pastry ingredients than CW’s very own Corporate Pastry Chef François Mellet. Celebrating these brighter and lighter months, Chef Mellet offers a CW Ingredient Anatomy of his fresh and elegantly layered Raspberry Tart.
About François Mellet Francois Mellet was born in Lyon, France, and holds a culinary degree in pastry and chocolate. He brings more than 30 years of experience to The Chefs’ Warehouse pastry category. Serving as Qzina’s Corporate Pastry Chef since 2010, he is responsible for organizing product demonstrations, evaluating new products, creating recipes and videos, and implementing a Chocolate Bean to Bar lab to teach the process of making chocolate. In 2012, Chef Francois earned a Guinness world record for building the world’s largest chocolate structure: a chocolate replica of an ancient Mayan temple to celebrate the roots of cocoa that weighed 18,239 pounds. In 2017, Mellet was named one of the ‘Top 10 Pastry Chefs in USA’ by Dessert Magazine.
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I N S I D E T H E G U I T TA R D C H O C O L AT E ST U D I O
with Guittard Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell
HE GUITTARD CHOCOLATE COMPANY’S Chocolate Studio is an immersive and experiential extension of their fine chocolates brand. Under the direction of Guittard Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell, the studio offers hands-on workshops with prominent chefs, chocolatiers and bakers for a unique opportunity for professionals to learn new skills, finesse techniques and expand on their chocolate knowledge. CW Magazine spoke with Chef Wressell to hear his take on the Chocolate Studio, his philosophy on the courses, and what they offer to working professionals.
Tell us the ideas behind the studio? Menus change, our industry constantly evolves, and our studio is a place to grow. It’s an intimate 1700 sq. ft.space we acquired in October of 2006, next to Culver City, and it’s well-positioned in the L.A. area. Since we acquired it, every surface has been touched. From breads to pastry to chocolate, we have all the top-of-the-line equipment needed.
Tell us about your upcoming courses. From Viennoiserie to Persian pastries, bonbons and beyond, this year’s studio lineup is an eclectic group of leaders recognized in our industry for their unique spins and creations. The instructors we choose are a reflection of what we see as important trends in the industry, that our customer base need to be aware of. At Guittard, we feel it’s our responsibility to create a space for people to learn.
Due to Covid, we’re keeping the crowd intimate – 9 people –to make sure everyone’s got space to be away from one another should they not feel comfortable. The experience is demo / hands-on. Everyone works with the chef on the course projects.
What is it that makes The Chocolate Studio unique? It’s an intimate, hospitality-driven experience. Our studio is an embodiment of the spirit of the brand. And the studio and courses are built from our industry connections, and in collaboration and partnership with leading industry suppliers, which is a testament to Guittard’s relationships. It’s been designed as a place for people to come and learn new techniques, finesse old ones and learn from some of the top talent in a down-to-earth environment.
MARCH 20 - 22
Chef François Brunet
Chef Sherry Yard
Chef Sahar Shomali
JUNE 5 - 6
JULY 13 - 14
AUG 14 - 16 & AUG 17 - 19
AMERICAN BAKING Chef Cheryl Day
OCT 2 - 4
Chef Della Gossett & Chef Roxana Jullapat
ANCIENT GRAIN PASTRIES
BON BONS & BOUCHERS Chef Kriss Harvey
Chef Craig Ponsford
Visit guittard.com/events or email Chef Donald Wressell, firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Spring 2022 | 7
Out of the Ordinary by Kelli Colaco photos by Audrey Ma
OCAL NATIVE MICHAEL BECKMAN, Executive Chef of Workshop Kitchen + Bar in Palm Springs (with sister venue to open in LA any moment now) is a poet and storyteller. This is vibrantly apparent in his jaw-dropping sculptural venues and fresh-enigmatic menus.
While studying English Literature at San Francisco State, Beckman wrote copious amounts of poetry and prose in his free time. While working as a dishwasher at the university to make ends meet, the chef asked Michael to fill in as a prep cook. And the rest, as they say, is history.
photo credit Michael Horta.
Not long after graduating from SFS Michael took the deep dive into proper culinary training and attended Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France. Work at Maison
Lameloise in Chagny, France, and The Ritz Carlton in Berlin followed. Chef Beckman credits his six years working and living in France, Switzerland, and Germany as the experience that carved much of who he is as a chef and human being. On the cusp of Beckman and his team opening a second Workshop Kitchen + Bar in LA, as a nod to Beckman’s penchant for prose and poetry, we decided to take a cue from him and offer something out of the ordinary. The following is Chef Beckman’s content from our Q&A broken down in the form of prose poetry.
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Braising Liquid a prose poem with Michael Beckman
At the Paul Bocuse Institute What I remember most a class with 30 different nationalities people from all over We learned from each other each other’s culture A communal kitchen Indians firing up curries Chefs Israeli and Lebanese No conflict between cultures food brought us and kept us together That was really powerful powerful for me. The markets in Lyon, amazing Tasting the saucisson… A city in touch with food. And its history. Six years is a nice long time to live somewhere After five, most folks don’t make it back. My last few years, I was in Berlin I started to miss the sun. Just too far north for me. I’m a California native But my love of travel distilling all the information
sources of creativity unified style composing a menu cooking over wood working with the farmer’s markets That’s what’s really me. Workshop Kitchen + Bar opened in Palm Springs 2013 2022, soon LA my role is all whole concept & development build-out, build in team Our two venues two ateliers echo one another Two ‘workshops’ both alike in dignity related, but not identical. like siblings fair-faced concrete fair-faced concrete sculptural dramatic from rectangular booths to towering cocoons progressive chef counter-middle of the action
menus reflecting one another house braised oxtail roasted creminis stuffed with chuck braising liquid braising liquid truffle mayonnaise, caramelized onions topped with five grams fresh truffles truffles truffles most popular dish octopus carpaccio log topped pickled cauliflower, roasted peppers then Espellete when do we open? million dollar question. for young guns, young cheffy ones without brick and mortar they can pop up at our workshop to build their future As far as The Chefs’ Warehouse been working with since late 2005 always there and on target I’m especially fond of their ‘farmers market.’
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All’s beautiful in Seattle’s TUTTA BELLA with CEO / Founder Joe Fugere
TUTTA BELLA, Seattle’s first Neapolitan pizzeria, was founded on an idea and a journey. Established 18 years ago by CEO/Founder Joe Fugere, TUTTA BELLA is also the city’s first to be awarded the VPN Verace Pizza Napoletana (“true Neapolitan pizza”).
by Sean Jeremy Palmer photos by Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
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Now with seven local neighborhood restaurants, Joe also has a retail line--a Costco bestseller-- which is expanding the brand’s reach and fueling the business with explosive growth. Amidst his busy schedule, Joe joined CW Magazine to speak about the genesis of his company and the trials and travails of entrepreneurship.
I know about TUTTA BELLA’s Naples history, but walk me through your path. I’d love to hear it in your words. The genesis of the company had more to do with me going through that time in my life where I wanted to do something meaningful. I was working for a big coffee company that has a mermaid in their logo. And, you know, it’s a great company. But I just felt – I don’t want to call them golden handcuffs, but, you have a good job, things are going well, and you start to evaluate your life. I was in my 40s. And I just felt like I wanted something more meaningful. So I decided to leave my job and start my own company, one where I could set the values, determine the direction of how our employees and vendors are treated, and how we engage with the community. I set off. I was reading a book, I might get the title wrong – somebody gave it to me, called ‘Zen and the Art of Making a Living’. And I took some time off and I did some soul searching. Then I came across a former boss. She was starting a professional coaching business and asked if I would be her first guinea pig client. We
went on this great journey together where she had me list all the things that I’m good at, the things that I would love to do and dream about. And you know, essentially she sent me off on a mission to see if all those things that I love and dream about could become a career for me. In the back of my head I thought the restaurant business is the last thing I want to be involved with because of the high turnover and burnout – I thought, I’ve been doing that all my life. And so I looked into nonprofit work, travel, architecture, design, other culinary opportunities and nonprofit work. And after doing that deep dive, I found out that I really wasn’t qualified to do all those things that I loved. So I came back to my coach, and she’s like, ‘Well, why don’t you just apply all the things that you love to the things that you’re good at, which is running restaurants and I thought, you know, she’s got something there – Now, I knew that if you’re going to be in the business, choose a category where you’re likely to succeed: The two most popular restaurant categories in the world? Pizza and burgers. Burgers didn’t resonate with me, but pizza did. And so I set down this path.
“ What drew us to The Chefs’ Warehouse? The name kind of says it all. We spoke the same language, allowing this wonderful dialogue about shared passion for food and for all things culinary. Let’s take lady fingers. We have a tiramisu that won Best Dessert in Seattle. The recipe is sacred. And lady fingers are not an Italian product. They’re French. They made their way during the French occupation of Italy and that’s how they entered the Italian cuisine. We’re uncompromising in our product and with what’s on our menu, and were insistent on getting a very specific French lady finder, searching all of Italy, through all the knockoffs...and with the forensic help of CW, we were able to source it, and it’s one example of many.
People ask, ‘what inspired you to open a restaurant?’ I’m thinking – it’s my Italian grandmother who used to give me crap: ‘Why are you going to Domino’s when you really need to tap the pizza of my homeland?’. But there was no place to get that in Seattle, so I tell people that I was inspired by my grandmother and Google.
to call it a family of neighborhood restaurants. And you now have seven. Talk about your personal growth through all of this. Looking back now for the last 18 years, have you been surprised at who you’ve become?
What followed was a journey to Naples, Italy to learn the true art of Neapolitan pizza, studying the craft and being blessed enough to be able to learn from several master pizzaolos, before eventually returning back home to Seattle to open the first Tutta Bella.
You know, personal growth, professional growth – I feel they’re woven together, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. But on the professional side, you can’t blame anybody if you’re the guy at the top, you’ve got to take full accountability. So I learned how to embrace that, that role of leader, accountable leader, servant leader.
And I never planned on opening more than one; I was pretty content. Sometimes when you’re most content is when opportunity presents itself. A friend in a master’s program was doing a project and invited me into this project to do some strategic planning: we put out 1,000 surveys and got 950 of them back!
I know it’s an overused term, but I really had constituents. And I had to worry about pleasing my employees, because I wanted to keep them. You find good people you want to keep and so you learn how to flip the pyramid a little bit and serve the people that are helping you build your company. You realize you can’t do it alone.
The number one survey question was not about our menu, not about service, not about all the typical things you’d expect, it was: What would you like most to see? And the answer overwhelmingly, was a second location. So that started me on this journey of building…we like
Barack Obama actually asked me, when I met with him and had 30-minutes with the President to talk about my business. And he is the leader of the free world and his question was: What keeps you up at night? And I had to think about that, and well, it’s changed.
When I opened the business, I was really worried about personal things like how am I going to pay my home mortgage? How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to pay the telephone bill and the power bill – But as the business started to take off, and when we were successful, it shifted into it, ‘Crap’, or whatever the word is – like, now I have to worry about having employees. I started with eight. It grew to 20 within no time at all. Today, we have almost 400. It’s really changed a lot. And if I screw up in a business decision, I’m going to impact these people’s lives. It was no longer paying the rent that kept me up at night. It was like, ‘How do I keep these guys gainfully employed and continue to provide opportunity for them so they can provide for theirs?’ It’s really an interesting shift. So there’s growth there – personally and professionally. And I got really involved in the community. I think I owe it to my mother. She’s one of the most kind and generous people I know.
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In 2015 Saree was hired as Sous Pastry Chef at Balboa Beach Resort in Newport Beach and was promoted to Pastry Chef in 2018. Chef Rachel Haggstrom, who grew up on a sprawling citrus orchard in Temecula, CA, received a Bachelors degree from UCSanta Barbara, and a Masters Degree in Hospitality and Tourism from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden, prior to attending culinary school, also at C.C.A. After climbing the culinary ladder at several prestigious venues (St. Regis, The Ritz, and French Laundry), Rachel was
hired as Executive Chef at Balboa Bay Resort in 2015.
From the beginning of their work together at Balboa Bay Resort it was clear that Rachel and Saree possessed a unique brand of chef-pastry chef synergy. Fortunately, when Rachel was offered the Executive Chef position at The Restaurant at Justin, Justin Winery, in Paso Robles, CA, she was eventually able to bring Saree aboard as Pastry Chef.
Three years on, the dynamic duo is creating the kind of culinary buzz that makes a venue a food destination. The Restaurant at Justin is topping lists as one of the ‘must experience’ stops in the rolling hills and vineyards of Paso Robles with Haggstrom’s exquisite menu keenly created to pair with Justin wines, and Musick’s ingenious chocolate program (Justin Chocolate Truffles) also inspired to pair with what’s on offer from the vineyards.
There’s a lot of tough love because that’s how I am but that’s also how I was raised in the kitchen.
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at Justin Winery
In Saree’s junior year in high school, when local colleges started to recruit, she realized the traditional trajectory of attending a college close by and eventually settling down in your hometown, was uninspiring. Saree decided to follow her cooking and baking bliss and hopped a plane for the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
The Art of Pairing
ASTRY CHEF SAREE MUSICK, a self-described Midwest transplant from Kansas, started baking as a kid. Instead of playing pretend with an Easy-Bake Oven, she started making delicious specialty cakes at age 10. As a teen, Saree’s friends would look forward to her famous cheesecakes, assorted cakes, and even Teddy Graham cakes (with a poolside or beach theme,) the recipe for which, she discovered in Home and Garden Magazine. By high school, her one-of-a-kind cakes became ‘kind of a happening.’ “What will Saree create this time?”
by Kelli Colaco
A conversation with Justin Winery Executive Chef Rachel Haggstrom and Executive Pastry Chef Saree Musick: Why do you work so well together? RH: I’m a serious perfectionist and so is Saree. Saree is incredibly talented, but also intelligent. She pushes herself and is very helpful in all aspects of culinary, not just pastry. SM: I’ve really grown a lot working with Rachel and not just in my field but in savory aspects as well. She’s really challenged me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and be a little bit more creative. Rachel, what is your main objective with your menus for The Restaurant at Justin? RH: My goal is to create food that resonates with people and leaves a lasting memory that they feel connected to from either nostalgia or from their experience. Impressively, you are both currently studying for your Sommelier certificates. Please share the motivation for going the big extra mile in terms of your wine knowledge. SM: I didn’t have a lot of wine knowledge or background before I came to Justin Winery. So for me, it’s been really fun to learn something new to put in my repertoire.
RH: Luckily, I was exposed to a lot of different kinds of wine, verbiage, and how to taste wine during the many wine dinners we created at Balboa Bay Resort. Coming to Justin and continuing to develop our wine knowledge is very important to Saree and I. We’re pairing our food specifically to highlight Justin’s wine. One of the hindrances, particularly for Saree as Pastry Chef, is finding desserts that she wants to do with ingredients that are in season but that also go with the few wines that she has to work with. How did the idea for the Justin Chocolate Truffles program unfold? SM: The way people talk about chocolates is very similar to the way people talk about wine. Like when we talk about Valrhona, which we buy from The Chefs’ Warehouse and use for our chocolate program, there is comparable verbiage. It’s been a really fun challenge to expand pairing and create bonbons and desserts that pair well specifically to a more vast selection of wines. This type of pairing is something that isn’t done a lot. Some wineries may sell chocolate, but it doesn’t necessarily pair with their wines. The chocolate program has been really good for the winery and it’s been really fun for a lot of people to experience not just tasting wine but also tasting the chocolate and how
they’re paired together. Why Valrhona? SM: Valrhona has a very wide spectrum of what you can do with as far as flavor profiles. Valrhona is also an easy chocolate to work with as far as the flow and the viscosity of it. Please share some valuable aspects of a woman-led kitchen. SM: I’ve worked with mostly men in my career. Working with Rachel has been easier in the sense that our brains think the same way when it comes to R&D and creating and executing. Working with another woman chef has been a little bit more cohesive than working with some of my other male chefs. RH: I don’t know if it’s age or being a mother and the way that I look at staff in terms of training or development or changing things. There’s a lot of tough love because that’s how I am but that’s also how I was raised in the kitchen. I feel like I have to over-communicate and teach every single detail and then follow up. I don’t think I talk down to people but I think, ‘How would I teach my child this?’ A stereotype is most women think like that. Whereas if you find a male chef who thinks like that you’re lucky. Our cooks appreciate that. And I think we appreciate that about each other.
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Great Things Grow in the Dark Great things grow in the dark, like fresh truffles, and the timely idea of CW Ingredient Specialists extraordinaire John Magazino, and Andrea Parkins’ to create and host a chef ingredient-driven podcast, coming to light during the bleak early weeks of the global pandemic. Ingredient Insiders: Where Chefs Talk. Inside the minds of the world’s top chefs and the ingredients that inspire them in the kitchen With 15 episodes already captivating culinary pros and enthusiastic foodies alike, The Ingredient Insiders, hosted by Magazino (CW Director of Business Development) and Parkins (CW Director of Digital Merchandising) is fast becoming the most informative, fun, and food-forward podcast folks can sink their senses into. Andrea Parkins, a self-proclaimed ‘pizzabagel’ (Italian Mother, Jewish Father) worked as recipe developer and food stylist at Woman’s World Magazine and Food Network prior to joining CW. Andrea shared how her and John’s ‘Covid Baby’ came to life:
Tess McNamara, Head of Salumi & Formaggi (Eataly) ‘When you go on ingredient tours in foreign countries, you’re stuck together on planes, trains, buses, and dozens of dining experiences, 24/7. During these trips, John and I
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discovered a natural friendship and banter.’ ‘When COVID broke out in 2019 and we were all stuck in our homes, John and I would spend hours on the phone trying to wrap our heads around what was going to become of the industry, let alone our jobs! Then one day on a group business call someone said, “You and John should do a podcast together.” I called John immediately after the group call and said ‘Do you want to do this?’ And he said ‘Yes!’ Luckily John had a friend whose daughterin-law, Haley Draznin of Hay Now Media had been a producer for CNN for ten years and had loads of experience producing podcasts. John Magazino, (whose last name means ‘warehouse’) carved his own career in culinary spawned by his early obsession with fresh truffles. Known in the industry as the Truffledawg, John is famous amongst high profile chefs for being the very first specialist to sell fresh truffles directly to chefs out of his backpack and then his own ‘truffle truck.’ ‘Fundamentally, we’re passionate about food. It preoccupies most of our waking hours, it’s just who we are.’ John shared. ‘As a result of our extensive work with chefs and purveyors, we’ve made great relationships with many celebrities and big names in the food industry. We also have the opportunity to go and see a lot of these purveyors firsthand. Telling the stories of these incredible purveyors and chefs in this dynamic, conversational way on Ingredient Insiders, is something we are very lucky to be able to do. The podcast also really serves the CW brand. Specialty ingredients are at the heart of everything we do. Magazino commented on the early days of recording the podcast. ’I’m not joking when I say when we first put on those headphones it was really awkward! Andrea added, ‘We were both so nervous. But we really support each other. If I’m having a rough day he’ll say, ‘Come on Andrea, you got this.’ Or if he’s off on a day, I’ll say, ‘Hey John, just look at me and talk to me. Besides being very entertaining, the Ingredient Insiders podcast is also
tremendously informative for culinary professionals, not to mention die-hard foodies and home chefs. With pandemic woes at an all-time low and promise on the horizon, the current objective for Ingredient Insiders is to continue to produce intriguing episodes and grow their audience base via word of mouth (and publications like CW Magazine!) Next time you’re in your car or taking a walk, or strolling the farmers market, get plugged into an episode of Ingredient Insiders. Discover how delicious John, Andrea, and their amazing guests (like iconic Ruth Reichl) are firsthand. We promise you won’t be able to stop at one.
Winter Fancy Food LAS VEGAS 2022
IN FEBRUARY, CW united at The Winter Fancy Food Show in Las Vegas. Being the first major food show in two years, the energy at the three day epic show and CW team reunion was celebratory. The show had a great turn-out and boasted a myriad of new and exciting plant-based ingredients and health-forward options. To toast the celebration, CW hosted a lush cocktail party at Carver Steak at Resort World. The party fare was next level and included bespoke cocktails, exquisite passed canapés, an Allen Brothers Prime Rib carving station, an epic seafood bar with fresh King Crab, oysters, and shrimp, and a to-die-for dessert table starring Valrhona.
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Texas Progressive ROM THE PRISTINE, responsibly sourced menu at Plank Seafood & Provisions in Austin, the dizzyingly beautiful pastry creations of Common Bond in Houston, the garden lush and deluxe fresh offerings of Paradiso in Dallas, to the tre authentic, provincial French temptations of Mon Chou Chou in San Antonio, the Lone Star state has an amazing chef for every palette. Discover the all-star chefs igniting the highest level of cuisine in this dynamic Texas Progressive.
by Kelli Colaco
Austin / Plank Seafood & Provisions Corporate Chef Tony Gentile Tony Gentile, the Corporate Chef for prolific Flagship Restaurant Group, was born and raised in Houston TX and uniquely balances his chef hat with his business brain. Recently included on the 2021 Chef Power List in Restaurant Hospitality magazine, Chef Gentile talks us through his multidimensional culinary journey and shares his passion for one of his favorite venues with Flagship, Plank Seafood & Provisions in Austin, TX. Superpower My wife will tell you that I’m extremely obsessive-compulsive. And I’ve also had the luxury of growing through this business, not just from the food side, but through all the technology that we put into place. Though I do anchor the food program, there are all kinds of things inside of our business that I’ve got to focus on over the years that have just made me so well-rounded. Responsible Seafood Passion We’re really serious about seafood. Talking with The Chefs’ Warehouse over a period of time, I can see that there are some parallels there. But for us, we have a really strong responsible sourcing metric that we use. We partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium a few years ago, which is at the forefront of responsible fish sourcing or seafood sourcing. I hate to use the word sustainability because it’s so loaded, and everybody’s definition of it’s a little bit different.
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Plank’s menu is all 100% responsibly sourced. Follow the Quality Shrimp: The CW Connection We got introduced to CW by proxy, because of a shrimp that I followed for a very long time. (See chefs’ picks below for details.) It’s the best shrimp out there. We greatly look forward to working with CW more as time goes on, especially once we can get our heads out of the water with the eight projects we’re currently working on. Pyramid of Success Our ongoing success is founded in the core group of guys that started this. We really lean on each other. If there was turmoil inside of these relationships, which you see a lot in this industry, we would be nowhere. Humble Future Plans We’ve got 40 projects and four new concepts that we’re currently developing between 2022 and 2023. We spent 20 years getting to where we’re at, and we just feel like we’re hitting our stride. Chef Tony Gentile’s Top CW Picks: Oishii EZ Peal Shrimp 13/15 FAO 34 Octopus 6/8 Valrhona Manjari 64% Valrhona Opalys 33%
Dallas / Paradiso Executive Chef Nick Hurry
Executive Chef Nick Hurry of Paradiso, a southern European-inspired restaurant situated in an idyllic shaded garden in Bishop Garden in Dallas, wants everyone to feel welcomed and comfortable at his table. Despite heading up gorgeous Paradiso (and recently opened Casablanca) in the trendy Bishop Art District, Texas-born Hurry’s objective is to follow in his grandmother’s footsteps and have a special dish for everybody. CW Mag caught up with modest, straight-shooting young Chef Hurry to get his take on his slice of Paradiso. Chef Super Power Intense anxiety? (haha) Besides that, what makes me valuable is the ability to take a challenging situation and look at it from all aspects and find the best solutions. I guess this is part of any chef’s job but I think it’s kept me valuable in situations where other people might lose their head, and take a quicker route. Early Food Memory That Resonated I remember going to my grandmother’s house when
I was like four or five around Christmas time. She used to make life-size giant gingerbread cutouts of us. She’d measure us on paper and then make a gingerbread. Then we would decorate it. Pretty cool. Aside from that, we always got together and had big dinners. Everyone would have their own special meal. I believe this is one reason that I always go for approachability in my menu. I like to cook for a broad audience and offer things that aren’t too polarizing. Bishop Arts. Come One Come All. One of the things that a lot of people comment on is that the demographic here is huge. There’s no one type of person that you get. It’s a ton of people with different interests and different ideas. All hanging out together. What the world doesn’t know about Texas It’s a lot more diverse than people think it is. It’s easy to think we’re just centered on chilies and peppers and onions. You have to include the roots of Mexico City and Central and South America, for example. We get a ton of stuff from these parts of the world. Chef’s CW Top Picks: Di Stefano 4oz Burrata Fra’Mani Mortadella Fra’Mani Ham
Teo Reserve Italian Tomatoes Furmano Cannellini Beans
Houston / Common Bond Brasserie & Bakery Executive Chef Mark Freischmidt
Three months into his position as Executive Pastry Chef of the popular high-end Houston franchise, Wisconsin-born Mark Freischmidt, is fresh from the tropical shores of Waikiki where he headed up a to die for, artistic pastry menu and full-scale retail shop for five-star Halekulani Hotel. Starting in culinary at age fifteen, Chef Mark is accustomed to a broad spectrum of responsibilities. Heading up the pastry team and creating menus for Common Bond’s seven venues peppered around Houston, CW Mag was delighted to steal a few minutes with hyper-artistic Freischmidt. Chef Super Power I’m a very ‘global chef’ in regard to my flavor profiles and talent for creating pastry. But I am also talented at building a team. If I can create something, but my team can’t recreate it, there’s a big problem. At my last position at Halekulani, where I was for eleven years, I had two pastry chefs working with me who were in their late 60s. They went from doing typical French pastry to molecular gastronomy. You have to be able to help transform your staff and help them find their individual strengths.
What Attracted You To Common Bond And The Lone Star State? I was attracted to the company’s solid commitment to the product. Common Bond is really striving for excellence. I can see there’s room to be creative and many programs that could be implemented that would be very beneficial to bring to the Houston scene. And the customers here are really great people. Your chocolate and pastry creations are so beautiful, like works of art. Is ever it difficult to see them consumed? That’s the fun part about it. It is artwork, but it’s fleeting. It exists in that moment. First, you have the visual, which is very important, then the flavors and textures; all that medium eventually goes away but it becomes a memory. It played its role and now it’s time for it to go. Chef Freischmidt’s CW Ingredient Gotta Haves: Sunny Gem Extra Fine Almond Flour Isigny AOP Butter Sheets Republica Del Cacao Dominican Republic 62% Republica Del Cacao Ecuador 56%
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Texas Progressive continued
San Antonio / Brasserie Mon Chou Chou Executive Chef Laurent Rea Laurent Rea, Executive Chef of Brasserie Mon Chou Chou, (translation: ‘My Darling’) was born and raised in Strasbourg, France where he fell in love with cooking while staging at a local French restaurant as a teen. Rea cut his culinary teeth via world-class venues like The Lygon Arms Hotel in the gorgeous Cotswolds of England; Ca’Savio in Venice; and with culinary giants Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé at Chef de France in Orlando, Florida, to name a few. Just prior to opening Mon Chou Chou, Rea worked as Executive Chef at L’Etoile in San Antonio. As fate would have it, Laurent met and became fast friends with fellow Frenchmen Jérôme Sérot from Lyon, and later Philippe Place from Chartres, who had all moved to San Antonio in the early 2000s. Mon Chou Chou was a dream turned reality for three Frenchmen who organically bonded over their shared love of food. Much coveted for French comfort food, Mon Chou Chou sits like a Parisien jewel in the crown in the beautiful historic Pearl, a San Antonio neighborhood by the river with a rich history spanning back to 1881— in the city the three Frenchmen love to call home. CW Magazine was very pleased Chef Rea carved out some time to share his unique perspective and story. Chef Super Power I keep my humility. I keep learning every day. Power Saucier Sauces are my real strength. For me sauces are the soul of cooking. I always tell the cooks,
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‘You can have a great protein but if you mess up the sauce, the dish will be ruined. But you can have an o.k. protein but if the sauce is perfect it will still be a great dish.’ The spirit of Bocuse, the style of Vergé Paul Bocuse influenced me greatly while at Chef de France in Orlando, Florida because of his huge presence and energy, and of course, his tremendous food. However, I connected more with Vergé because he helped me reconnect to provincial southern French cooking, which is my favorite. Vergé really made this way of cooking popular with his celebrated 3-Michelin star, Moulin de Mougins in France, situated in a 16th-century mill (moulin) in the inland French Riviera town of Mougins. Grand-mere’s Kitchen I’ve been influenced a lot by my grandmother in my style of cooking which is very simple and provincial because she would always have something cooking in her house. She was forever braising meats and making great sauces. This environment helped me to develop my palate at a very young age. There’s something about San Antonio San Antonio is not as pretentious as other big food cities and it has a real provincial culture here which I really like. Chef Laurent Rea’s CW Picks: Australian Rack of Lamb Bayonne Ham D’Affinois Double Cream Brie Emmi Roth Raclette
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Ready. Set. ACTION!! The New CW Chef Video Series Spotlight On: Executive Chef/Owner Gina Marinelli of Las Vegas La Strega and Harlo Steakhouse Offering fantastic voyeur-flavor between CW and some of brightest culinarians in the industry, The CW Chef Video Series, produced by The Chefs’ Warehouse, shines a light on what’s hot and happening now, with tightly edited video bites featuring chefs in their killer venues, bespoke kitchens, and CW ingredient recommendations.
In its most recent installment, The CW Video Series was thrilled to zone in on Executive Chef/Owner Gina Marinelli of Las Vegas diamond venues La Strega and Harlo Steakhouse. Harlo Steakhouse, the location of the CW video shoot, is Marinelli’s latest culinary touchdown and officially opened this past November in stunning downtown Summerlin. CW Magazine was thrilled to join in on the action and share what we found.
“As a woman in this industry, you definitely have more to prove.”
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Chef Marinelli (Winner of Eater’s Chef of the Year 2019) with an emerging television presence (The Globe, 2021, Discovery Channel) and ever-climbing chef/restaurateur trajectory, dove into the deep-end of culinary as a dishwasher after graduating from college and briefly working in sales. During a road trip that began in Orlando, Florida in search of a prime culinary city to plant roots, Marinelli dined at Michael Mina’s restaurant in Las Vegas and was suddenly hooked. ‘‘Right there. It was just over. I didn’t care where I was living. I didn’t care how much it would cost. I didn’t care about anything. I just wanted to work there. Fortunately, the restaurant pulled me in right away and I’ve been in Las Vegas ever since.”
After working at D.O.C.G Enoteca at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and almost abandoning her Las Vegas culinary career to to live in Italy, Marinelli was offered the partnership for La Strega. ‘That was my moment. I had been on the strip for a long time and knew I had to take that shot. You only get these shots once.’ Gina shared. Marinelli, who credits her father Rodney Marinelli, NFL defensive line coach for the Las Vegas Raiders for her unbeatable work ethic, is inherently modest, and very much about supporting and promoting the success of others. ‘I am very happy to teach and nurture anyone who shows up and wants to learn. That’s what it’s all about,’ Gina shared. When asked specifically about women in culinary, Marinelli offered, ‘As a woman in this industry, you definitely have more to prove. They are waiting for you to quit. I’m very proud to see all the young women coming up as executive chefs and pastry chefs and getting the accolades they deserve. I know how hard it is. The industry is hard, period. Even if you take gender out of the equation, it’s just a difficult lifestyle to live. It’s brutal and you’re under heat. But it feels good to have all these young women thank me for being a shoulder for them. I just tell them “Don’t cry in the kitchen. Don’t let them see you cry. They don’t get that you are just angry and frustrated. They misinterpret crying for weakness and you don’t want that.’’
After the immense success of La Strega, Marinelli shared the challenges of getting Harlo (developed with local restaurateur and partner Jeffrey Fine) up and running while keeping La Strega firing on all cylinders. ‘I’m in overdrive right now. Honestly, I could not do it if it wasn’t for Chef Pablo who has been my right-hand man at La Strega for the past three years. I owe so much to his talent and commitment.’ Harlo Steakhouse & Bar, a classically elegant steakhouse with an art-deco-tinged ambiance, has a distinctly different menu program from that of La Strega’s. ‘We’ve put a lot of our efforts into having a truly amazing steak list, Marinelli shared. ‘One of my favorites is Flannery Beef which we get from The Chefs’ Warehouse.’ What Flannery does for dry aging is just exceptional. The marbling is beautiful, with a perfectly subtle funk. Our caviar service here is also very special,’ Gina added. With Italian cuisine leading Marinelli’s chef-wheelhouse, Harlo’s pasta program is top-tier, created to perfectly pair with ones’ steak of choice. ‘You could come back here twice a week and still have culinary ingredient discoveries,’ Gina offered.
The Chef Video Series, created by CW creative team, Adrianna Pappas, Delilah Pappas, and Andrew Steelman, is currently viewable via social media with a full library available soon on The Chefs’ Warehouse’s brand new website. Launch date is slated for Spring 2022.
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Dive Into Cal-Mex with Real California Milk Cal-Mex, the reimagining of traditional Mexican cooking featuring fresh California ingredients, is gaining traction beyond the Golden State and there’s no better source than California dairy. The leading dairy producer in the nation also produces more Hispanic-style cheese and dairy than any other state, lending authenticity and flavor to traditional and fresh takes on the Mexican dishes Americans crave.
LOOK FOR THE SEAL. California Milk Advisory Board
CALIFORNIA DAIRY? The Real California Milk seal represents the sustainably sourced milk from over 1100 California dairy farm families used to make the dairy products that consumers love, and chefs and operators love to use. California is number one in dairy – offering quality products from milk, ice cream and butter to a variety of fresh, soft, hard, and Hispanic-style cheeses. Connect with the California Milk Advisory Board at: realcaliforniamilk.com/foodservice and @realcamilkfoodservice 22 | ChefsWarehouse.com
California Chile Rellenos with Elote and Queso Fresco By Chef Justin Fields, Bonefish Grill/BBI International, for the California Milk Advisory Board
Servings: 4 Among the delicious plethora of cheeses under CMAB’s rainbow of local cheeses, we are proud to offer Queso Fresco and Crema from Cacique authentic Mexican Cheeses celebrated here in this mui sabrosa application for Chile Rellenos. ¡Disfrutar!
Ingredients Blistered Peppers 4 ea Poblano peppers As needed Flour Queso Fresco Elote 1 (10-oz) wheel Real California Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled 4 ea Ears of corn, husked and cut from the cob 3 Tbsp Tajin spice (Mexican chile-lime salt) ¼ cup Mayonnaise ¼ cup Real California sour cream 1 Tbsp Chopped cilantro Batter 6 2 Tbsp 1 tsp
Eggs, whites and yolks separated Flour Kosher salt
Salsa Roja 1 lb ½ ea 1 ea 1 clove 1 Tbsp ½ 1 Tbsp ¼ tsp To taste
Tomatoes, chopped Small white onion, rough chopped Jalapeño pepper, rough chopped Garlic, rough chopped Chopped cilantro Lime, juiced Olive oil Ground cumin Salt
Crema 7 ½ oz ½ cup ½ ½ tsp
Real California Mexican Crema (half a 15-oz bottle) Rough chopped cilantro Lime, juiced Kosher salt
For Service As needed Vegetable oil
Directions 1. For the Blistered Peppers: Turn a broiler on low. Place the poblano peppers on a sheet pan. Set the pan 2 inches away from the broiler and blister the pepper skins until they begin to darken, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Do not allow peppers to get black. Immediately place peppers into a zippered plastic bag and allow to steam at room temperature for 10 minutes. 2. Remove peppers from bag and remove and discard skins. Cut a slit in each pepper from stem end ¾ of the way down peppers. Remove seeds from peppers and discard. Put peppers to the side for stuffing. 3. For the Queso Fresco Elote: In a stainless steel bowl, combine all the ingredients. Mix with a rubber
spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate if making ahead. 4. For the Batter: Using a mixer with the whip attachment, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the flour and salt. Slowly fold egg yolks into stiff whites. Hold chilled. 5. For the Salsa Roja: Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Heat the oil in a sauce pot over medium heat. Place the tomato puree in the pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Add the cumin and salt to taste. Simmer the salsa for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a container and cool over an ice bath. 6. For the Crema: Place all the
ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated, approximately 1 minute. Transfer to squeeze bottle(s) and hold refrigerated.
Fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and fry another 2 to 3 minutes. The peppers should be golden brown once done. Place peppers on a paper-lined plate to drain.
7. To stuff peppers: Carefully stuff each pepper with ¼ of the elote mixture. Dust the outside of the stuffed peppers with flour, ensuring the seam is overlapped and pressed together. Place peppers on a paper-lined tray with the seams down and refrigerate for 15 minutes to 24 hours.
9. For each serving: Place 1/3 cup of salsa in the center of a plate. Lay a chile relleno in the center of the sauce. Drizzle Crema over the chile in a zig zag pattern. Serve immediately.
8. To fry peppers: Heat 1 in of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Carefully coat the floured stuffed peppers with the batter on all sides. Place the battered peppers in the oil, seam-side down.
Chef Notes: An open flame may be used to blister peppers in place of a broiler; do not burn the peppers. Use a delicate hand when cleaning roasted peppers. Do not poke holes through the soft flesh.
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