3030 Ocean's La Tasha McCutchen Makes it to Week Two on Hell's Kitchen

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Photo Courtesy Brustman Carrino
While you may think you know everything there is to know about being a chef from watching reality T.V., cooking competition shows are nothing like working in a real kitchen.

Sure, tempers flare whether the cameras are there or not. But in a real-life situation, you'd be hard-pressed to find a chefs teaming up with their competitors or digging through sandcastles to find geoduck clams.

3030 Ocean kitchen supervisor La Tasha McCutcheon can add those skills (or tasks) to her resume. The Hell's Kitchen contestant made it through week one and will be returning to the show to compete next week again.

We got a chance to speak to the amicable chef about week one, Gordon Ramsay, and the Hollywood treatment.

See Also: 3030 Ocean's La Tasha McCutchen Competing on Hell's Kitchen (Video)


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Louie Bossi Aims to Redefine Italian Cuisine in South Florida

Categories: Chef Chat

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Big Time Restaurant Group
Louie Bossi's Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria partners Lisbet Summa and Louie Bossi.
South Florida chef Louie Bossi will tell you that everything he makes is from scratch. His first memory of cooking: dabbling in the family's kitchen at the gas stove, heating corn kernels over an open flame.

That do-it-yourself mentality is what has helped propel the Big Time Restaurant executive chef into his own establishment, where handmade, homemade, and traditional are the key ingredients. And that's exactly what you can expect from his Italian restaurant, the eponymous Louie Bossi's Ristorante, Bar & Pizzeria set to open later this year in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

See Also: Big Time Restaurant Group Opening Chef Louie Bossi's in Fort Lauderdale

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Blue Willy's Barbecue's Will Banks: "Barbecue in My World Is a Noun"

Categories: Chef Chat

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CandaceWest.com
Will Banks is pictured on the right.
With Memorial Day coming up this weekend, chances are you're looking to barbecue something.

Sure, you could always just throw some burgers and hot dogs on a grill. But that's not really barbecuing (it's grilling), and you've done it a million times before.

Try something new.

For anyone looking to jump into the pit of smoked meats, we have some tips for you. For part two of our two-part Q&A, we chatted with Blue Willy's Barbecue Market's Will Banks about tips and tricks for smoking.

See Also: Blue Willy's Barbecue's Will Banks: "I Had a Life in the Corporate World I Couldn't Take Anymore"

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Blue Willy's Barbecue's Will Banks: "I Had a Life in the Corporate World I Couldn't Take Anymore"

Categories: Chef Chat

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candacewest.com
In South Florida, a few things indicate summer has officially come: torrential daily downpours (almost check), sweat within minutes of walking out the door (also check), and Memorial Day (check).

Though it shouldn't make a difference down here -- our mild weather suits outdoor cooking year-round -- when summer hits, barbecue season starts heating up.

When it comes to slowly smoked meats, few South Floridians know more than Will Banks of Blue Willy's Barbecue.

As part one of our two-part Q&A, we spoke to the Texas native about growing up in a barbecue family and taking the jump from the corporate world to smoking.

See Also: Food Trucks Open Brick-and-Mortar Restaurants: B.C. Tacos, Green Bar & Kitchen, and Blue Willy's

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Max's Harvest Releases New Summer Menu: Eric Baker on Pig Wings and More (Photos)

Categories: Chef Chat

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Photos Courtesy the Buzz Agency
Just in case you haven't noticed the recent spike in temperature, summer is here (maybe not according to the calendar, but it sure feels like it).

It's time to close those windows, pull out your board shorts and bathing suits, and crank up the A/C; we're in it for the long haul now -- there's nothing that can be done at this point.

On the bright side, plenty of local spots are lightening up their menus for the summer season.

Max's Harvest recently introduced a new selection of summertime dishes and cocktails to help with the heat. We spoke to chef Eric Baker about the changes.

See Also: Eric Baker Named Executive Chef of Max's Harvest

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Hot and Soul's Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy Q&A, Part Two: "My Favorite Place to Eat Is on My Couch"

Categories: Chef Chat

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Sara Ventiera
This week one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite craft beer and casual food concepts is turning 1.

Hot and Soul has made it through its first year in business.

To celebrate, we chatted with chef/owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy about their favorite food and favorite place to eat (hint: it's close to home).

This is the second of our two-part Chef Q&A with them.

See Also: Hot and Soul's Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy Q&A, Part One: "I'm Kind of a Mad Scientist in the Kitchen"

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Hot and Soul's Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy Q&A, Part One: "I'm Kind of a Mad Scientist in the Kitchen"

Categories: Chef Chat

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Sara Ventiera
Getting over the humps and hurdles of your first year in the restaurant industry is not a feat that should be taken lightly.

Between construction and permitting, getting your name out there, growing a customer base, and ironing out all the details in dishes and service, it's a big freaking deal -- and a ton of work.

This week, one of Fort Lauderdale's favorite craft beer and casual food concepts is turning 1.

Hot and Soul has made it through its first year in business.

To celebrate, we chatted with chef/owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy about their favorite food and being a "Mad Scientist in the Kitchen."

Check out part one of our two-part Q&A interview with them.

See Also: Dada's Bruce Feingold: "I'm Into Anything That Is Cooked With Passion"


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Dada's Bruce Feingold: "I'm Into Anything That Is Cooked With Passion"

Categories: Chef Chat

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Courtesy photo
Like painters, writers, poets, musicians, and just about any field of creatives, chefs cultivate their own style of cuisine.

Grant Achatz, one of the leaders of the American molecular gastronomy movement, is known for his elaborate, multicourse tasting dinners intended to make the diner feel like he or she is engaged in participatory theater.

Gordon Ramsay is known for his passionate screaming fits and simple yet impeccable fare -- and a pastry chef's attention to detail.

Likewise one of our hometown favorites is recognized for his love of fat and creative takes on Americana classics, Dada Restaurant & Lounge's Bruce Feingold.

We chatted with Feingold about his love of, well, animal grease, new menu items (bacon is included), and his favorite places to eat when he's not in the kitchen himself.

See Also: Sushi Song's Wijai "Song" Ketsuwan: "I Do It the Way I Like It and Hope People Like the Same"

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Sushi Song's Wijai "Song" Ketsuwan: "I Do It the Way I Like It and Hope People Like the Same"

Categories: Chef Chat

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Photo courtesy of Sushi Song website
We're impressed by anyone who has the guts to open a restaurant of his own -- in case you didn't know, the business is tough as hell.

We're even more impressed when said restaurateur is young.

When one is 35 with three locations under one's belt, we're ready to give a round of applause.

Recently, Wijai "Song" Ketsuwan opened the third location of his namesake Sushi Song restaurant in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

We spoke to the young chef and restaurateur about his style of sushi, late nights, and more.

See Also: Sushi Song Opens in Downtown Fort Lauderdale; Lunch Service Starts Today


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Chef Shannon Weiberg of Bash American Bistro on the Early Craft Beer Scene, Southern-Influence, and More

Categories: Chef Chat

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Lisa Wray
Broward's western suburbs aren't known for having a booming restaurant scene.

There are some great ethic restaurants, but the majority of the eateries west of I-95 are national chains serving the same old boring reincarnation of chicken wings and spinach/artichoke dip.

Bash American Bistro is one of the few spots worth the trip out west.

With a laid-back vibe, extensive and rare craft beer selection, and creative American eats, the restaurant draws crowds willing to trek from all over the tri-county area.

We spoke to executive chef/owner about the early craft beer scene, southern-influence, and more.

See Also: Bryan Ramos, New Executive Chef of The Office, "I Had my So-Called Dream Job, but I Realized it Wasn't What I Wanted in Life"

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