Category Archives: Foodie Road Trips & Other Fun Things

Announcement: My cookbook is now available!

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What’s up foodies? I hope you all had a great summer. I am happy to announce that my new cookbook is now available for order! It is being published by Page Street Publishing and distributed by Macmillan. The book will take readers around the world with exciting recipes prepared using the sous vide method. Mastering The Art Of Sous Vide Cooking features delicious recipes such as Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Trip to St. Petersburg, Fl and a Huge Announcement

Lobster salad and Bisque at The Lobstah Trap in Tampa

Happy Independence Day! The summertime is here and I know you have not heard from me in a while, but for good reason. I have some amazing news! Read the rest of this entry

Skate Wings à la Grenobloise

I have loved to go fishing since childhood, and as I got older I have grown to love it even more. There was a time when my father and I would catch fish that we sometimes considered, “a garbage fish” and we would throw them back. The fish we threw back would consist of small sharks, Sea Robins, and the fish highlighted in this recipe, skate or stingray.

Read the rest of this entry

A Taste Of The Caribbean! Swordfish Ceviche Recipe

Swordfish Ceviche

Swordfish Ceviche

Hello everyone, I am back from my very first trip to the US Virgin Islands. There was plenty of fun in the sun, but as usual I was excited to try the food! We were staying on the island of  St. Thomas at Point Pleasant Resort and our villa was right on the ocean in Water Bay. Another cool thing, is that our unit featured a full kitchen which made me very happy. So I decided to do a combination of cooking Caribbean dishes and visiting local eateries. Read the rest of this entry

Getting Over The Hump & Sous Vide BBQ Camel Ribs…

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Some of the dishes from my pop up dinner.

What’s up foodies? First I would like to thank those of you who attended my first pop-up dinner at Clemenza’s Restaurant in Queens, NY.  The event was sold out, the guest were great, and the food was magnificent. I look forward to doing this more often at different locations. I will keep you all posted!

Now today’s recipe features an ingredient that is not very common here in the United States… Camel meat! Read the rest of this entry

Caribbean-Style Chicken Curry

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What inspired me to cook this dish? Last year I had the opportunity to attend the Jamaican Jerk Festival in NYC. I was invited by my a good friend of mine Chef Eddie G of “Coast To Coast Cuisine’. He was doing food demonstrations throughout the day with fellow celebrity chef, Chef Irie of “Food on Fiyah!”. With about 40,000-50,000 people expected to attend including the mayor of NYC, how could I turn that down? Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Road Trip Part II (The Northern California Edition)

My goal: Eat everything in California!

My goal: Eat everything in California!

What’s good everyone? I recently traveled back California to enjoy more of its beautiful scenery, the wine, and most of all, the FOOD! Plus I wanted to be able to brag that I drove the entire length of the State and visited every county, lol. My last visit here we covered 1230 miles from San Francisco to San Diego visiting different cities over a 2 week period (read about it HERE). This time we are heading to see what Northern California has to offer. Read the rest of this entry

A Foodie Road Trip (The Las Vegas/Grand Canyon Edition)

Having fun with shrimp at Madison Square Garden

Having fun with shrimp at Madison Square Garden

Hey everyone! I am back from a long hiatus and ready to start blogging regularly again. Some very positive things have happened in my life since last fall. Read the rest of this entry

Llama, Alpacas, and Elk…Oh My! An Evening at the Exotic Meat Market

 

If you read my last blog post, you would know that Emily and I just returned from a 2 week California road trip. It was a great trip that took us to many destinations in the Golden State. One of the more memorable stops along the trip was the Exotic Meat Market in Perris, CA. Those of you that know me personally, or follow this blog are also aware that I am an adventurous foodie and I am willing to sample different types of foods. I may not be as extreme as Andrew Zimmern, Read the rest of this entry

My Great West Coast Road Trip!

1-DSC05137 - Copy - CopyHello everyone, I’m back! I’m fresh off a two-week road trip down the coast of California. My girlfriend and I rented a convertible and drove from San Francisco to San Diego on highway 1, better known as “PCH” or the Pacific Coast Highway. It was my first time to California and we covered 1200+ miles and visited an astonishing 21 cities on our way down! (talk about a grand tour) Some places were on the beaten path and some were off. Read the rest of this entry

Take a Walk On The Wild Side II (“Leave It To Beaver” Edition)

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Beaver Meat

By now, you know I am a very adventurous cook & foodie who is willing to try all types of cuisines and ingredients. But I really love cooking and eating  wild game meats as explained in previous posts such as  Take a Walk On The Wild Side pt.1  It’s All In The Game. Read the rest of this entry

It’s All In The Game… Are Roo Ready?

Grilling Abalone at Sik Gaek Restaurant

Grilling Abalone at Sik Gaek Restaurant

If you have been following this blog, you know that I love preparing different types cultural cuisine and experimenting with game meats. I have prepared more than a few dishes consisting of game that were made available to me from my good friends at Fossil Farms. Read the rest of this entry

A Taste Of Sweden…. Baked Salma Salmon w/ Creamy Dill and Parmesan Sauce Recipe

Cuttin' Chris & Eatin' Ehrlund

Cuttin’ Chris & Eatin’ Ehrlund on the set of Neighborhood Chefs

I hope everyone had a great time bringing in the New Year. I will kick off 2013 with a great tasting and easy to prepare salmon dish. It actually ended up being a Swedish/Italian fusion of flavors. But before I give you the recipe, let me tell you about some of the fun things I did last month and what inspired me to cook this dish.  Read the rest of this entry

French-Style Antelope Chop /w Herbed Merlot Sauce

Now to put the spotlight one of my favorite meats, antelope! Many of you have never tried it, but trust me, I think it’s time you should. Antelope is indigenous to Africa, and parts of Europe & Asia. North American antelope are referred to as “Pronghorn”. I do not hunt so I purchase most of my game meat from www.Fossilfarms.com. The animals are farm raised and fed naturally with no hormones. The meat is very lean and high in protein, and most of all it’s tasty. This was my first try at antelope chops and I loved it!  They may resemble deer but they are actually members of the same animal family as goat.  The meat is mild tasting with a similar taste to venison, finely grained, and get this, one-third the calories of beef!

Antelope that are hunted in the wild are said to have “gamey” or “sagey” taste.  As I explained in previous posts, the “gamey” flavor comes from the fact that the animals in the wild eat a very varied diet of weeds, acorns, wood bark, etc. This flavors the meat distinctively. Sagebrush makes up a large part of the antelopes diet, which may explain the “sagey” flavor. Since we are used to eating meat that is grain fed, which has a much milder flavor, game meat tastes strange to us now. We don’t need to worry about that here since this meat is farm raised. I cooked this the same way I would prepare a lamb chop, pan seared it and popped it in a 450 degree oven for a few minutes. I then pair it with roasted asparagus & potatoes (cooked in a bit of duck fat), and added my herbed merlot sauce to seal the deal. All I can say is wow! It was very tasty and a big hit in my household. So I highly recommend you try antelope — you wont regret it. Bon Appetit!

French-Style Antelope Chop /w Herbed Merlot Sauce

Cooking With The Neighborhood Chefs

Me and the crew on the set

We all know that cooking shows on television are very popular amongst groups of all ages. You have Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, Iron Chef, Master Chef, Chopped, Kitchen Nightmares and the list goes on and on. You also have a slew of good chefs such as Gordon Ramsey, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, Barefoot Contessa, and Justice Stewart 🙂 just to name a few. Let’s face it, we all love food. We are the only species on earth that prepare and serve food in an ton of different ways. I love watching most of the cooking shows on TV, and I enjoy learning cooking tips from the pros. I always would watch the competition shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and scream at my television at bad cooks, wondering how they got there. Then I get a buzz from a Neighborhood Chef producer, Lakesha Wright, who just happened to have seen one of my dishes on a mutual friend’s social network page. Her first question was, “would you like to cook on our new cooking show?”  What!? Me, cook on camera? No way, I won’t dare embarrass myself for all to see, not to mention my stage fright! I felt the need to do a little more investigating before I decided whether to do it or not. Who are the Neighborhood Chefs?

The show was created by the husband and wife team, Samuel & Nicole Small. The parent company, DBC Productions, which not only brings you Neighborhood Chefs, it also brings you Jazz Sessions, Fashion World Magazine, Funny Farm comedy series and more, which are all shown on IBchannel.tv. IBChannel provides a forum for filmmakers and producers who are looking for additional outlets for their content. On September 13th 2011, an old idea — the cooking show — came to life, but with a twist. Neighborhood Chefs premiered. The show highlights the average person who can really get busy in the kitchen, that hidden gem of a cook who may live right next door to you, and you had no idea. The show is a platform for not just the amateur chef, but also eateries and professional chefs as well. So after some encouraging advice from my girlfriend, I decided to give this thing a try.

My first On camera dish!

Latoya Shauntey Snell's Parmesan chicken n pears in wine sauce with salad with grapes

The morning of the show I was my usual self, frantically running around doing everything at the last minute: some food prep, supermarket run, barbershop, etc. That’s just my style, lol.  Upon arriving to the set, I was welcomed by the friendly staff which put me at ease immediately. The chefs highlighted there that day were Chef Jim Takacs (Waterfront Alehouse) with his delicious shrimp, avocado & mango salad, Chef Yvette Woodward and her savory vegetarian fried rice with tofu, and Chef Arianne Benford who demonstrated her polenta with yogurt-batter fried chicken and homemade cinnamon & clove applesauce. Chef Joseph Coco made a gorgeous eggplant Parmesan, and then went on to make eggplant rolatini and eggplant heroes (yes, eggplant three ways). Chef Marie Borusso made beef tenderloin in puff pastry with gorgonzola cheese & caramelized onions. Chef Roshon Martin’s (Uptown145 catering) tropical sea bass with spinach, rice & shrimp was a great dish, and, last but not least, Chef Latoya Shauntay Snell (The Cake Monologues) impressed everyone on set with her Parmesan-crusted chicken breast with pears in wine sauce.

My dish of choice was peppered chicken with mangoes, rum and cashews which is posted here. Things were running behind schedule so I was to go on later than expected. It wasn’t a problem since Chef Roshon kept me in stitches with his one-liners and facial expressions. Not to mention I had the opportunity to watch the other chefs in action and taste the great dishes which is always a pleasure. So while I was setting up and laying out my ingredients with 5 minutes before my segment, I realized something wasn’t right. Hmmmm, OH NO! I had forgotten my scallions at home! Since this was a major ingredient for my dish, and there were none on the set, it was back to the market I went. So after dashing about 8 blocks round trip (I went the wrong direction at first), I had my scallions. I began my segment a little nervous after the adrenaline rush of the “scallion crisis”  and it was visible. But after the first break, I settled down to do what I love doing, which is cook good food. I put the finishing touches on my dish and everyone who tasted it gave it rave reviews. The dish was described by one of the tasters as “a blend of flavors that came as a tasty, tender surprise” and “salty, sweet, spicy, savory, and all delicious!’  So overall I had a great time taping the show and I want to thank Neighborhood Chefs for giving me the opportunity to showcase my skills. I hope to be back. So get yourself over to www.ibchannel.tv and check out Neighborhood Chefs and see what’s cooking! I will keep my fans in the loop about an air date for my segment.  Special thanks to Sam & Nicole Small, Lakesha Wright, Glenis Morris, David Rivera, Ariana Matherson, Darcel Morgan, Rodney Fuller, and last but not least Mr. Wendell :)) I had a wonderful time with you guys!   **UPDATE Feb. 2012** I am now part of the DBC family as executive producer for Neighborhood Chefs webTV show. 🙂

  **Watch Episode #3 Of Neighborhood Chefs Here**

Justice with his finished product

Justice, Ariana,Nicole,David

Everyone lined up to taste my mango chicken

The Waterfront Alehouse, Brooklyn

Chef Justice With Executive Chef Jim Takacs

Nestled on Atlantic Ave. in cozy Cobble Hill is a small gem. The Waterfront Alehouse is a gastropub that has 2 locations, one in Brooklyn and the other in Manhattan. I’ve never been to the Manhattan location but I must say the Brooklyn location is pretty darn good! The executive chef Jim Takacs is a very creative cook and his food is delicious. As described by Zagat’s Restaurant Guide, “This is what a neighborhood saloon should be.”  It boasts a healthy rotation of local, imported, and craft beer. Chef Takacs creates an assortment of  smart dishes such as Mako shark bites with wasabi ginger slaw & hot chili sauce, and his grilled basil-garlic shrimp over gigante beans and tapenade salad. He also dares to cook wild game such as wild boar and venison. The real treat is his bread pudding. I must say, I’ve never been a fan of bread pudding, but one taste of Jim’s version and

I was hooked! The flavor and texture is a cross between flan and creme brulee. I brought some home to try and De-Construct it myself (I think im getting close lol) but can’t duplicate it yet. If you are looking for good atmosphere and good food I highly recommend dropping by for a beer and some of Chef Takacs’s creations.

http://www.waterfrontalehouse.com/

155 Atlantic Avenue
(Between Henry & Clinton)

 

Update: My good friend Jim Takacs passed away on June 22 2018. I just want to express my deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. Rest in peace brother.

 

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