Aug 2017 – Chef C J Jacobson, Culinary Fight Club, Chef C J Jacobson Inspired Recipes

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Clash of Culinary Giants  

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The Food Sports Movement

It’s high energy and lots of passion.  Chefs and amateur cooks are facing off in international, national, and local competitions. It’s time to check out the local Culinary Fight Clubs fun activities and support the non-profit organization Fight2Feed. This month we talked to Chef C,J, Jacobson from Ema’s restaurant in Chicago and Top Chef Duels Winner of $100,000 to find out about those competitions you see on television.

Winning Opens the Door To Opportunities

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Chef C.J. Jackobson

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Chef C.J. Jacobson of “Top Chef Fame” and Executive Chef and Partner in Ēma’s Restaurant – Chicago – River North

Competitions give you a winner, but adding a great story produces a real champion, a hero to be admired. That was the person we wanted to interview.

You probably saw Chef C.J. Jacobson when he appeared on Bravo’s Top Chef television program. He was an ideal reality show contestant, very tall, funny, unassuming, and always willing to help out. Attending college on a volleyball scholarship and almost making the U.S. Volleyball Team prepared him for competitions.

Not one to give up in his life, he battled cancer and was determined to meet life’s challenges. He starred in two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef but was eliminated from the competition. But he didn’t give up.  He came back ready to try again, meeting another challenge in Top Chef Duels in 2014.  His philosophy was “It’s win or learn. There is no losing.” He won!

Chef C.J. Jacobson Interview

You can find Chef C.J. Jacobson now as the Executive Chef and Partner at Ēma, a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant in Chicago with a Mediterranean-style menu showcasing Chef C.J. Jacobson’s lighter California style of cooking with delicious small plates, kebabs, and exciting new vegetable dishes.

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Top Chef Recipes

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Roasted Squash Hummus
by Chef C.J. Jacobson

Chef C.J. Jacobson Hummus Recipe

About the Recipe:  Save some of that sweet, creamy squash to make this hummus, which is flavored with warm spices.  The roasted squash seeds are delightful mixed with some minced green parsley.  Serve with your favorite cracker assortment or flatbreads.

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Grandma’s Italian Homemade Doughnuts
by Chef Fabio Viviani

Fabio Viviani’s Grandma’s  Italian Homemade Donuts with  3 Dipping Sauces

About the Recipe: What is better than warm soft doughnuts?  These do not have a hole in the center and look just like a fluffy filled doughnut without a filling. They can be baked or fried. Chef Fabio fries his doughnuts and calls them “one sexy” doughnut.

Original Recipe by:  Chef FABIO VIVIANI’S Homemade Doughnuts

For More Information and his full recipe  See:

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/homemade-doughnuts-fabio-viviani
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S2ViQECMuU

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Culinary Fight Club – Chicago – Steak Cook-off

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A Culinary Food Fest is a sporting event, complete with food, drinks and great entertainment. It’s sponsored by Culinary Fight Club, a national organization, giving attendees a chance to watch as contestants select their ingredients from a pantry in 45 seconds. Having only 60 minutes and one portable stove, they try to create their special dish highlighting the contest theme.  Various battling themes might include: Chocolate, Pork, Taco, Pitmaster, Blended Burger, Steak, Seafood, or Sip & Bite. Judges as well as the audience get to taste, vote, and select the winning dish and fan favorite.

You need a ticket to attend, but the Culinary Fight Club exclusively gives back 20% of the proceeds to the non-profit organization Fight2Feed that helps feed those in need.

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Checking it Out – at Chicago’s  2017 Steak Challenge  

Culinary Fight Club Pantry Table – 45 seconds of Chaos with Contestants Gathering Fresh Ingredients for their Recipes.

Culinary Fight Club – Steak Cookoff – Grilling Competition In Progress – July 17th Chicago

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Chef Stephan Sandoval of Lena Bravo Restaurant  Cooking Steaks on Argentinian Type Open Fire

Chef Stephan Sandoval’s ………………Steak Dish as Presented to Judges………………………………

Chef Joelle Brown of Nola Nights Cooking her Surf and Turf Dish

Chef Joelle Brown’s Surf and Turf Dish as Presented to the Judges

Chef Geo Phelps of Chili Rocks Preparing his Steak Dish in Cooking Area

Chef Geo Phelps’ Steak Dish as Presented to the Judges

Chef Chris Mills of Master Chef Fame Cooking his Steak Dish…………..

Chef Chris Mills Steak Dish as Presented to the Judges

 

Chef Stephan Sandoval’s Steak Dish at Judging Station

Taster Sized Sample of Chef Stephan’s Winning Dish as Presented to Attendees

Chef Stephan Sandoval Being Awarded the Top Prize and Golden Ticket to World Food Championships in Alabama

It seems that everyone who attends a Culinary Fight Club event is a winner by tasting some of the best food and having lots of fun doing it. Maybe it’s because this was in one of the Best Food Cities – Chicago, but you felt just like family.

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Enjoy Some Chef Special Recipes

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Avocado and Sweet Pea Spread with Vegetable Crudités

Veggie Plate

About the Recipe:  Freshness explodes off the plate with this Green Pea Spread and all those fresh country vegetables.  It is so easy to make and is a perfect party appetizer.

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Pan-Roasted Romanesco

Pan Roasted Romanesco

About the Recipe:  Sliced steaks of Romanesco are seared and roasted with a caramelized flavor.  Serve them with some plain yogurt or Stracciatella cheese, sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and a touch of ground pepper.  It’s like a touch of Italy on your table.

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Grilled Kale & Veggie Kebabs

Grilled Kale & Veggie Kebabs

About the Recipe:  Using assorted vegetables on skewers make delightful additions to any picnic meal.  The kale leaves crisp up on the ends adding a smoky blended flavor.  A light glaze of oil and lemon add a bright note and tanginess to the charred vegetables.

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Forest Roasted Pears with Brown Butternut Squash

Forest Roasted Pears with Brown Butternut Squash

About the Recipe:   Get ready for fall with these juicy spiced pears, sweet cranberries, crunchy nuts, and golden squash.  The crisp lettuce or kale will add a touch of smoky flavor.  What a tasty autumn blend!

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Candy Cane Beets and Berries

Candy Cane Beets and Berries

About the Recipe:  Fresh country beets are red, golden, and even striped like candy canes. The smaller beets cook quicker and are easy to use for this attractive salad.  Serve them on a bed of torn tender beet leaves and arugula; add some juicy berries, crunchy nuts, and drizzle with creamy goat cheese.  It’s country delicious!

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Coconut-Braised Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

Coconut-Braised Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes

About the Recipe:  The winning flavor of this dish marries the chicken to flavorful ingredients, coconut, Mexican chorizo, cilantro, and lime. Braising in a cast-iron pan, the taste invites you to an outstanding lightly spiced South American dining experience.

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The Kellogg Company honored US Culinary Team

Kellogg’s NYC sponsored a special event celebrating the techniques and creativity with some our Golden U.S. Champion chefs. They prepared a one-of-a-kind fine dining experience, featuring a six course tasting menu of recipes transforming cereal into elegant dishes.  How about some Chilled Carrot-Ginger Soup, Truffle Custard, Salad of Hawaiian Hearts of Peach Palm, Poached Lobster Macaroni & Cheese, Beef Duo Agrodoice, and Draft Latte Golden Chef “Doughnuts” They were all made with cereal. What creative chefs!

Special K Kellogg Flag

Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud created bowls of cereal designed to support Team USA chefs who were traveling to France to compete in the Bocuse d’Or, an Olympic type culinary event. This was a competition where some of America’s finest chefs prepared to battle the world for the top culinary prize. We thought you would love Keller’s noble and balanced breakfast dish.

Reach for the Gold – U.S. Chefs win the Olympics of Cooking

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Chocolate Bouchons

Chocolate Bouchons

About the Recipe:  Since they resemble a cork, stopper, or top, they are called bouchon in French.  Rich and decadent with melting chips of chocolate, these brownie bits are addictive.  Just dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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Just for Fun

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Hand-Pulled Stracciatella

Hand-Pulled Stracciatella

About the Recipe:  It really isn’t hard to make once you find the mozzarella curd.  You simply boil the water and soften the cheese, Then enjoy the fun of stretching little pieces of curd into thin spaghetti strands or make them as thick as you like.  After soaking them in heavy cream, you will have a delicious cheese that is just like the inside of a burrata cheese ball. Oh, so creamy and delicious!

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