Blog: Chefs

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The Eat Local Challenge has become one of my favorite celebrations each year. While many of our usual holidays come with prescribed dishes, such as turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving, brisket and matzoh ball soup for Passover, and cookies topped with red and green sprinkles for Christmas, the Eat Local Challenge menu is always different — year to year, chef to chef, and region by region. The challenge is to create an whole menu where every ingredient (except for salt) comes from within 150 miles. While this is no easy task, I also find the challenge to be encouraging. Whether a chef or an eater, it encourages everyone to explore unusual flavors – found on our local farm and range lands and in our forests, lakes, and oceans, to learn about new producers, and tap into our inner creative spirit.

By Kristen Rasmussen, MS, RD For this month’s well being challenge, we encourage you to provide your body with more nutrients and fiber and decrease your carbon footprint by enjoying more plant- based proteins. Demonstrate your commitment to increasing vegetable proteins in your diet by posting photos or comments about your plant-based protein meals and experiences on our Facebook page wall. This white bean hummus recipe s a great way to get started.  White Bean Hummus with Oregano 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed* 3-4 tablespoons tahini 1-2 tablespoons olive oil Juice from 1/2 lemon 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt 3 sprigs fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano *In Bon Appétit kitchens, menu items containing beans are made with cooked dry beans. You can substitute cooked dry beans for canned beans in your home as well. They may take longer to prepare, but have fresher […]

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Teams of highly trained, ultra-competitive Bon Appétit chefs have been making their way around the Eastern Seaboard competing in elite contests modeled after Chopped!, the hit Food Network television show. Chefs compete to create culinary masterpieces from a box of mystery ingredients in a short amount of time. Each ingredient in the box must be incorporated into the dish for that round, and given the often random combinations of items, that’s often no easy task! The “steaks” are so high, only the brave need apply.

Although available year round, fresh asparagus during the peak season is an unmatched delight so this spring, Chef Kiley Davis of Kaneko Commons and I set out to find the best local asparagus for our kitchens here at Willamette University in Salem, OR. We found it during a visit to Kenagy Family Farms, located just 45 minutes south in Albany, OR.

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Not all kids want to be firefighters or astronauts when they grow up. Some want to be chefs — or so a group of students at Grout Elementary School in southeast Portland, OR, told Bon Appétit Executive Chef Mark Harris when he spent Career Day with them.

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On Sunday, July 10, join the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) and dozens of Bay Area chefs and food luminaries, including Bon Appétit’s Oracle – Redwood Shores Executive Chef, Robbie Lewis, for cooking demonstrations and seasonal tastes at the first Summer Celebration. The event will be held in the beautiful,  historic San Francisco Ferry Building from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with more than 60 local chefs, businesses, and sustainable farmers providing tasty treats and drinks for guests to enjoy to raise money for CUESA. Bay Area locals might only know CUESA as the hosts of the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. In truth, CUESA provides much more as part of its educational mission, including free cooking demonstrations, low-cost kitchen skill-building classes, the new Schoolyard to Market program, and scholarships that help sustainable farmers become leaders in their […]

Executive Chef David Anderson demonstrates how to separate the ham and loin in his hog butchery demo Bon Appétit Executive Chef David Anderson from the Stanford Graduate School of Business believes that an animal’s life is worth more than two pork tenderloins. After the recent Northern California Chefs’ Exchange focusing on butchery at Cisco – San Jose, in San Jose, CA, he had this to say about how we use animals in our cooking:  

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At the Second Annual North vs. South Champion Chef Competition hosted by Bon Appétit at Washington University in St. Louis last month, competitors from opposite sides of campus came out in honor of Bon Appétit’s Low Carbon Diet Day and competed in an Iron Chef-style competition with a focus on low carbon cooking. (Read more about what that entails here). Composed of BAMCO chefs and student sous chefs, each team had exactly 30 minutes to cook the most delicious, low carbon meal for a panel of expert judges, which included area chefs from Winslow’s Home and Eclipse Restaurant, as well as Ligaya Figueras of Sauce, St. Louis’ premier culinary magazine.

In this new Bravo Beat series for the Bon Appétit blog, we’ll spotlight some of our star staff, starting with Hamidou Cisse, Bon Appétit sous chef at Lesley College in Cambridge, MA. Born in Dakar, Senegal, the soft-spoken, genial Hamidou came to the United States in 1992 from Germany.