Chef Q&A

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Q: Smoothies, kombucha, craft ginger ales and root beers…non-alcoholic drinks are a growing menu segment. Which fruit and/or vegetable drinks do you suggest?

I offer functional beverages that are made with whole fruits and vegetables as well as herbs and spices. Some of my favorites include turmeric, honey, berries, kale, celery juice, and pureed beets for vibrant color.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Craveable Root Veggies

Q: Root vegetables like beets and carrots are healthy and delicious. How do you prepare them to make them more craveable and Instagram-worthy?

Roasting is the key to bringing out root vegetables’ inherent sweetness. Try glazing them with ingredients like brown sugar, honey, pomegranate molasses, or Hoisin sauce.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using RSS Urban Blend

Q: What is your favorite RSS salad blend? What recipes do you serve using this item?

I love the versatility of RSS Urban Blend. It contains baby red chard, wild arugula, and baby kale. This mixture can work as a flavorful salad, as a sautéed side dish, or be used in smoothies and other breakfast items.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Produce-Based Dishes for the New Year

Q: Clean eating customers are never more popular than the first of a new year. What produce-based dishes do you suggest for the New Year?

Although plant-based burgers are trending, I prefer dishes made with real fruits and vegetables. I like serving roasted eggplants stuffed with farro and wild mushrooms, slow-braised multi-carrots topped with Burrata cheese, and house-made ramen topped with chunks of winter squash, bok choy, green onions, and an umami-rich mushroom broth.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Produce Dishes for New Year's Eve Dinners

Q: What produce dishes do you highlight for special New Year’s Eve dinners?

With the emphasis on more plant foods being the norm now, my festive menus have a different spin. I create a reversal of Center of Plate—instead of a large portion of meat with a few vegetables on the side, I serve a large portion of vegetables with meat as an acccent. In Canada it’s deep winter, so root vegetables are a big focus. I love to roast big chunks of produce—like sweet potatoes, parsnips, and kohlrabi. Other favorites include turmeric-roasted carrot rounds with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, deep-fried avocado bombs, and whole roasted Morrocan-spiced cauliflower with blue cheese and buffalo crema. 

Chef: David Evans
Markon Member Chef

Amp Up Poultry Flavor for Holiday Meals

Q: Mild poultry is often the protein of choice for Christmas meals. How can you add flavor, texture, and color to these meats?

Seasonal meals of poultry are often served with stuffing. This classic side dish can be creative if made outside the bird (which ensures that vegetarians can share and lowers food safety risks) with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Explore fantastic flavor combinations by using a variety of bread types (croissants or brioche, cornbread, ancient grains, etc.) and produce such as kale, apples, asparagus, garlic, ginger, sweet onions, apricots, sage, avocados, tarragon, lemons, spinach, mushrooms, onions, and rosemary. 

Chef: David Evans
Markon Member Chef

Using Hard Squashes

Q: Hard squashes are packed with sweet flavor and hearty texture. How do you serve them?

I love to roast squash with Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Peeled Garlic and olive oil infused with MFC Thyme. Dice the squash into small cubes so that it roasts quickly. Garnish with sweet and crunchy elements, like dried cranberries, sultanas, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and pepitas. 

Chef: David Evans
Markon Member Chef

Modern Kosher Dishes

Q: Jewish foods are having a resurgence. Operators are combining nostalgia and adventure for a modern take on dishes like reubens, kugel, and matzo ball soup. What’s your favorite dish?

Back when I was an apprentice chef, we had a very large event for a Jewish school with 6,000 people. Using our hotel’s kosher kitchen, we created an entree of roasted chicken supremes with strawberry salsa that contained Ancho chile peppers, pineapple juice, cumin, cilantro, and olive oil. I thought strawberries and chicken no way, but yes, it was tasty. 

Chef: David Evans
Markon Member Chef

Non-Alcoholic Holiday Beverages

Q: Carbonated beverages are on-trend, especially at holiday time. What non-alcoholic drinks do you like to make so the designated drivers can enjoy some bubbles too

I like to put a bit of fun into the carbonated drinks we make for folks at this time of the year. For a refreshing soda, make a simple syrup with ginger and MFC Sage. Put mixture into a whipped cream dispenser along with mango puree; charge/carbonate with CO2 cartridge for homemade ginger-mango-sage soda. For the after-dinner coffee lovers, fill your whipped cream dispenser with a mixture of strawberry coulis (made with MFC Strawberries), espresso, and condensed milk—charge with a NO2 cartridge and voila! A nitro-strawberry-espresso.

Chef: David Evans
Markon Member Chef

Asian Bowls

Q: Asian bowls are hot! From ramen, to pho, to rice bowls, produce-packed recipes are being seen on all types of menus. What’s in your favorite bowls?

I love a complex broth and crave perfectly chewy noodles,  so ramen is my go-to Asian bowl. The latest challenge has been to serve a vegetarian/vegan broth that is worthy of the best pork stocks out there. I start with an array of wild mushrooms to give the base plenty of umami—try roasting and mincing before starting for increased flavor. I stew Shiitakes, Porcinis, and white mushrooms with kombu (seaweed), onions, garlic, mirin, and soy sauce until it is a dark, rich color. Once it’s cooked down, I add my noodles (thick or thin, take your pick), and load the top with fried tofu, roasted Kabocha squash, baby bok choy, green onions, and a soft-boiled egg.

Chef: Vic Vegas
Chef Vic Vegas, Nicholas & Company

Winter Salads

Q: Winter salads are heartier and use different ingredients such as ancient grains, root vegetables, and nuts. What is your favorite seasonal salad?

I toss heartier lettuces like romaine, radicchio, or kale with wine and butter-roasted Shiitakes and toasted farro. The lettuce adds crunch, the mushrooms add umami, and the farro gives the salad a toasty, nutty flavor.

Chef: Vic Vegas
Chef Vic Vegas, Nicholas & Company

Using Late Fall Leafy Greens

Q: Late fall leafy greens can add color, nutrients, and bold flavor to a variety of menu items. Which do you use and how?

I’m a fan of root to stem cooking, that’s why I choose beet greens for the fall. I braise chopped tops, while roasting the root veg bottoms until tender. I serve the sliced red and gold beets on top of the greens topped with smoked labneh.

Chef: Vic Vegas
Chef Vic Vegas, Nicholas & Company

Holiday Vegetable Sides

Q: The holiday season is approaching…what are your favorite vegetable side dishes? How do you modernize the classics?

Root squashes are a classic side dish going back to the early days of the Americas. Rather than just roasting with butter and maple, I like to glaze with global flavors such as miso, gochujang, or xo sauce. If it’s a sophisticated meal, I turn squash puree into mini souffles spiced with burnt honey or black garlic.

Chef: Vic Vegas
Chef Vic Vegas, Nicholas & Company

Mushroom Madness!

Q: Mushrooms are the future. These fungi are cutting fat in burgers, adding umami to soups and sauce, and generally tasting delicious on pizzas and in pastas. What’s your favorite way to use mushrooms?

I am a mushroom lover. I eat them sauteed, grilled, boiled, sous vide, in pesto, as a tapenade…the ways of working with them are endless. They add flavor and texture to everything I cook. With so many different varieties, chefs can always have fun with this ingredient.

Chef Stephen Renaud, Gordon Food Service Canada

In-House Condiments

Q: Condiments matter more than ever. From chimichurri, to mole, to sriracha…these toppers are critical to flavor and texture. What are your favorite in-house condiments?

My all-time favorite condiment is chutney. It can be tomato-cilantro, spicy lemon, mango-chile pepper, or honeyed onion. No matter what flavors you choose, chutneys are always the perfect addition to a fantastic meal.

Chef Stephen Renaud, Gordon Food Service Canada

Nutritious Fast Food

Q: Nutritious fast food is gaining momentum. From smoothies, to salads, to healthy vending machines, what are your favorite on-the-go dishes?

My favorite on-the-go dish is mixed vegetables with hummus and fine herbs. This is a very trendy snack that's gaining more and more traction with consumers.

Chef Stephen Renaud, Gordon Food Service Canada

Innovative Potato Dishes

Q: Potatoes are a long-time staple. Aside from the classics like baked, mashed, gratin and French fries, how do you like to serve them?

One of my favorite ways to serve potatoes is in a grilled vegetable-potato salad. I sautee potatoes with fines herbs and olive oil, then toss with grilled vegetables to create a colorful, tasty salad.

Chef Stephen Renaud, Gordon Food Service Canada

Revamped Mexican Food

Q: Mexican food is one of the top cuisines in the U.S. and Canada. What are some newer flavors that chefs can incorporate into their dishes?

Tajin is a salty-sour-fiery seasoning that most people of Mexican descent know well. Mainstream chefs have started using it in fruit salads, cocktails, popsicles, and dips like guacamole.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using Beets on Fall Menus

Q: Beets work year-round. How do you incorporate them into fall menus?

Roasted beet salads are always a big seller, especially when paired with leafy greens, crunchy nuts, and a soft cheese. In the fall I like to roast baby beets in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then chop them up. Serve this side dish with crumbled blue cheese and candied pecans.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

On-Trend Room Service Menus

Q: Hello avo toast and coconut water! Hotel room service and mini bars have been transformed. What do you suggest offering on these menus to stay on-trend?

Hotel room service menus are re-inventing themselves to stay current. Many are setting up “Grab & Go” kiosks in the lobby to encourage guests to pick up/take with them either to their rooms or on the way out the door. Most are cold options, but there are some items that can be quickly heated to order, like roasted Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze or cauliflower with curried yogurt. Cold dips such as hummus or baba ghanoush are great with sliced vegetables. 

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using Apples in the Fall

Q: Apples are a sign of the seasonal shift. What is your favorite savory preparation?

I really enjoy cooking with apples. They add a natural sweetness and a certain tartness depending on the variety. They pair well with potatoes and give stuffings a festive feel. I like to dice apples and onions and toss with sweet potatoes or Yukon Golds. Mix with salt, pepper, herbs, and olive oil, then roast until the potatoes are tender yet crispy. Great with chicken, turkey, or pork. I also love to put apples in salads or slaws. Mix with arugula, shredded cabbage, and celery leaves. Toss in a citrus vinaigrette—this salad cuts through the richness of heavy dishes.

Chef Patrick Mitchell, Ben E. Keith Foods

Butternut Squash For the Win!

Q: What is your favorite fall vegetable and how do you like to use it?

Butternut squash is my favorite fall vegetable. I like to simmer it in a pureed soup with sliced Markon First Crop Apples and smoked Cheddar cheese. Another great idea is to roast halved Butternuts with local honey drizzled on top….simplicity is delicious. 

Markon Member Produce Specialist

Eatertainment Menus

Q: Eatertainment has brought a whole new segment into foodservice. Now you can enjoy dinner and a movie in the same spot, as well as great stadium food, gourmet bowling alleys, and racetracks. What produce-focused dishes do suggest for operations such as these?

I think there is a food segment that Eatertainment is missing out on—the healthy, vegan, plant-based segment. With small plates being the "in" thing, these establishments could easily add bowls to the menu such as rice and vegetables, Thai quinoa salad, and Asian salmon and spinach bowls. These dishes are so versatile and any seasonal vegetables work great. Chefs should be taking advantage of the trend, profit, and unlimited possibilities. 

Markon Member Produce Specialist

Vegan BBQ

Q: Vegan BBQ is a growing segment. Aside from classic sides like collard greens and coleslaw, what do you suggest serving for your plant-based customers?

Jackfruit and cauliflower are two ingredients that work well as meat replacements in tacos and barbecue applications. Mushrooms are another ingredient with enough toothsome texture to mimic meats like pulled pork or tender chicken.

Markon Member Produce Specialist

Delivery Dishes

Q: Delivery is transforming foodservice as we know it. UberEats, Postmates, Door Dash…more than ever, customers want to enjoy their favorite restaurant dishes at home. What dishes transport best and why?

The best foods for transporting are typically salads (leafy greens, healthy grains, or marinated vegetables), and braised or grilled vegetables (especially Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, and radicchio). The main reason salads travel best is because they typically stay cold and are not altered with dressings yet. Braised or grilled produce will also travel well because the preparation method permits longer holding times.

Chef

Modern Burger Makeovers

Q: The traditional burger has been given many modern makeovers. Today’s chefs must offer more than just a beef patty to meet customer expectations. How do you incorporate fresh produce in your burger menu?

When enhancing my beef patty, I love using roasted beets and mushrooms. Not only does it maintain moisture, but it provides layers of flavor and give the dish a wow factor. 

Chef

Pairing Produce with BBQ

Q: It’s BBQ season—what exciting produce side dishes do you pair with the sticky ribs, Nashville hot chicken, and pulled pork that are trending on menus?

I’ve been seeing more grilled and chilled fruits and melons to counter the rich flavors of spicy bbq sauces.

Chef

Summer Veggies

Q: What is your favorite summer vegetable? How do you use it?

I love to cook with Ready-Set-Serveb Brussels Sprouts—either whole or halves. I grill, roast, or pan-fry them, then toss with minced RSS Peeled Garlic and creamy, tangy goat cheese.

Chef: Gary Hill
Gulf Coast Division Chef/Produce Specialist, Ben E. Keith

Markon Essentials Vegetables

Q: Markon Essentials brand focuses on flavor, not appearance. What preparations do you target with this line of vegetables?

The Markon Essentials line of vegetables is perfect for when appearance isn’t a high priority, for example when slicing or chopping into soups or sauces. I love the ugly produce movement—preventing food waste—and these items are a part of that.

Chef: Gary Hill
Gulf Coast Division Chef/Produce Specialist, Ben E. Keith

Produce and Seafood Pairings

Q: With many people eating less meat, seafood has exploded as a category. What produce items do you use to highlight fish and/or shellfish entrees?

I love a medley of Japanese eggplant, baby carrots, zucchini, and squash. The combination of bitter, sweet, and earthy flavors brings contrast to seafood options. The bright colors also add dimension to plate presentation.

Chef: Gary Hill
Gulf Coast Division Chef/Produce Specialist, Ben E. Keith

Pantone 2019 Living Coral-Colored Foods

Q: Living Coral is the Pantone color of 2019; what foods do you serve that are in this shade?

Ingredients such as cantaloupe, mamey sapotes, salmon, peaches, grapefruit, and papayas are naturally vibrant and packed with flavor. 

Chef Chris Cukjati, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using Healthy Fats

Q: Healthy fats are delicious and part of many trending diet plans. What ingredients do you suggest?

Fat is no longer the villain, as long they are the right fats. I like to incorporate plenty of olive oil, avocados, and salmon in my recipes. Nuts and eggs are also good sources to add in smaller amounts.

Chef Chris Cukjati, Ben E. Keith Foods

Reducing Single-Use Plastics

Q: Plastic is the latest villain of sustainability. How can operators use less plastic in their kitchens?

The goal for foodservice operators should be to reduce single use plastics, especially straws and cutlery as well as switch to lower impact packaging made with sustainable materials. Markon is taking the first step by leading the produce industry in plastic reduction. It will be an evolution, but first up is replacing the clamshells for MFC Strawberries with new, recyclable cardboard cartons. 

Chef Chris Cukjati, Ben E. Keith Foods

Fresh Berries for the Win!

Q: Fresh berries add color, texture, and sweetness—how do you use them?

I macerate fresh berries with a fortified wine such as port or madeira, palm sugar, vanilla, and RSS Lemon Juice to bring out their flavor and force the juice from the berries into the maceration. Allow to set for a few hours, strain, take 3/4 of liquid into a hot saucepan with a little sherry vinegar and cook to a gastrique state. With the remaining macerated juice, add some heavy cream and egg yolks then temper over a water bath to make a sabayon. Build parfaits with layers of berries and sabayon with drizzled gastrique throughout the glass. Chill before service. Garnish with halved MFC Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Chef Chris Cukjati, Ben E. Keith Foods

Father's Day Dishes

Q: What veg-centric dishes do you offer to counter traditionally meat-focused Father’s Day menus?

In place of a traditional meat-based burger, I suggest offering marinated MFC Portabella Mushrooms with savory vinegar, high quality olive oil, fresh herbs (such as MFC Basil or MFC Tarragon), lots of ground black pepper, and kosher salt. I roast them in the oven or grill on a charcoal fire. Remove the gills with a spoon to create a type of cup to hold the above ingredients and cook until mushroom centers are tender. Top with aged Provolone cheese and melt under the broiler or on the grill. Slather with pureed peppadew peppers, mayonnaise, and RSS Lemon Juice, then pile high with grilled RSS Sliced Onions, RSS Better Burger Lettuce, and sliced MFC Tomatoes all on toasted brioche buns. 

Chef Chris Cukjati, Ben E. Keith Foods

Craveable Hybrid Dishes

Q: Hybrid dishes, think cronuts, ramen burgers, and sushirittos—are craveable and extremely instagrammable. What hybrid dishes have you seen?

Here are a few hybrid dishes that I have seen recently

  • Sushi tacos are trending; I fill seaweed shells with sticky rice, tempura vegetables, sliced RSS Avocado Halves, pickled ginger, and red onions.
  • The squashleekotao a.k.a a Vegducken combines MFC Zucchini Squash, leeks, and sweet potatoes rolled into a vegetarian masterpiece.
  • A phoritto is a house-made tortilla filled with pho beef, rice noodles, MFC Basil, bean sprouts, chile peppers, and MFC Limes. Don’t forget the dipping sauce!
Chef Michael Viloria, Gordon Food Service Canada

Creative Alcohol-Free Beverages

Q: Alcohol-free beverages made strong in-roads on menus last year and show signs of even more popularity this year. What are your most creative beverage ideas?

Here are my versions of some zero-proof classics

  • Blackberry Mint Tea is a mixture of blackberry shrub, honey lemon tea, and MFC Mint.
  • The Caesar Verde combines roasted tomatillos, clam nectar, coriander, lime salt, pepperoncini, green olives, and MFC Celery.
  • The Rose Water Soda contains edible rose ice cubes, rose water syrup, and ginger beer.
Chef Michael Viloria, Gordon Food Service Canada

Mother's Day Produce Dishes

Q: Mother’s Day is a huge foodservice opportunity—what produce dishes do you suggest for this holiday menu?

Mother’s Day for me means brunch. Here are a few suggestions that I think Mom would like

  • Serve a lobster mushroom benny with poached eggs, buttermilk fingerling potato cakes, burnt butter hollandaise, and parsley salad.
  • Create a summer squash noodle bowl with marinated heirloom tomatoes, fresh MFC Basil, garlic confit, white balsamic, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Drizzle grilled cabbage wedges with rainbow carrot and ginger dressing, mint yogurt, and garam masala bread crumbs.
  • Offer a fingerling potato salad made with candied onions and sweet & sour mustard sauce.
Chef Michael Viloria, Gordon Food Service Canada

Healthy Carbs

Q: Carbs are back. What healthy carbs do you suggest and how do you like to prepare them?

The variety of textures and flavors in ancient grains makes them interesting to eat and versatile for every meal period. Cook grains like kamut in the low & slow heat method, then mix in caramelized MFC Apples, strained yogurt, salt & pepper, toasted pecans, and rosemary-infused honey. Prepare an ancient grain salad with red quinoa, charred MFC Zucchini Squash, pickled raisins, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, coriander, and harissa vinaigrette. Put a spin on risotto by using bulgur wheat with sugar snap peas, preserved lemon butter, wilted sweet pea tendrils, and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Chef Michael Viloria, Gordon Food Service Canada

Incorporating Ugly Produce to Reduce Waste

Q: The Ugly Produce movement has momentum. What do you suggest to maximize kitchen scraps or use of less-than-perfect fruits and vegetables?

Markon has a line of products specifically for this use: Markon Essentials (ESS). For items like bell peppers, cauliflower, cucumbers, and citrus that are often chopped, juiced, and pureed, appearance isn’t first priority. I also like pickling the odds and ends or extras, like beets, beans, and carrots. And stems that are normally trashed can be used in dips like hummus or added to soups and stocks.

Chef: Jack Bretzke
Member Chef, Ben E. Keith

Using Za'atar

Q: Za’atar is a popular Middle Eastern spice. How do you use it?

This spice mix consists of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Add the dry mix to house-made bread dough, vegetable sautes, hummus and other dips or use as a poultry and seafood rub. Combine with olive oil and serve with pita!

Chef: Jack Bretzke
Member Chef, Ben E. Keith

Satisfying the Gluten-Free Crowd

Q: Gluten-free foods continue to rank among popular food trends. What veg-forward dishes do you suggest for operators that want to meet the needs of these customers?

It’s important to provide a balanced menu for all customers. Ensuring grain-free dishes packed with plenty of fresh vegetable options will cut back on gluten-oriented ingredients. RSS Cauli Creations is an ideal substitute when making fried rice, pizza crusts, and risotto.

Chef: Jack Bretzke
Member Chef, Ben E. Keith

Inspiring Kids' Menus

Q: What suggestions do you give operator customers for healthy, fun kids’ menu items?

It’s important to increase offerings of fresh vegetables, both as chilled veggie sticks and/or grilled (more flavor) as alternatives to fried options.

Chef: Jack Bretzke
Member Chef, Ben E. Keith

Cabbage the New Cauliflower?

Q: Is cabbage the new cauliflower? What are modern chefs using it for?

To fill the gluten-free niche, I like to wrap enchiladas with cabbage leaves instead of tortillas. The same works for lasagna—substitute large, overlapping leaves for the noodles. Another healthy idea is to bake smaller pieces and use for chips.

CEC Executive Chef, Ben E. Keith Foods

RSS Sweet Baby Broccoli

Q: Sweet baby broccoli is a hot ingredient. How do you serve it?

RSS Sweet Baby Broccoli can be used in the same ways one would prepare asparagus or broccoli. I like to roast it to bring out its inherent sweetness while creating smoky, charred bits. Sauteing with garlic and chopped hazelnuts is also easy and makes a delicious side for poultry and meats.

CEC Executive Chef, Ben E. Keith Foods

Using Texture in Recipes

Q: Texture, especially crunch, is something diners seek. What are your favorite crunchy, produce-centric recipes?

Texture is so important—it can make or break a dish. I especially like when the same vegetable is used to create different textures. For instance, cauliflower can be smoked and left crunchy, pureed with some honey and apples for a sauce, and riced for a couscous texture all on one dish. Charring vegetables is another easy way to bring in added texture. You can char a carrot for smoky flavors, puree it for sweet notes, and use the tops to make a pesto. Produce as the star is going to continue to be the trend, so we must get the most out of every vegetable we are buying. Try dehydrating, roasting, making use of the peels, frying, etc. By getting more from less you create new and unusual/different combinations and textures that will elevate your dishes.

CEC Executive Chef, Ben E. Keith Foods

Mocktails

Q: Alcohol-free beverages continue to gain popularity on menus. What are your most creative beverage ideas?

With warmer weather ahead of us, it’s time to start thinking about lighter drinks and spring time produce. Cucumber water with some fresh mint in it is a light beginning to a meal, but what about adding in some peach or raspberry and making a fantastic mojito mocktail? Use a little simple syrup, a splash of RSS Lime Juice, and top with sparkling water. The most important thing to keep in mind with mocktails is to make sure that you are using the best produce at the best time of year. Don't be afraid to add in some savory ingredients; beets or red bell pepper juice can give a punch to drinks, without being a “bloody Mary” rip off.

CEC Executive Chef, Ben E. Keith Foods

Cost-Effective Soups

Q: Soups are cost-effective menu items that often reduce in-house food waste. Which soups do you see as on-trend this season?

I think that the ever-changing consumer palate is looking for something familiar, but with bold touches. I believe that matzo ball soup will be coming back with modern additions. This is a hearty memory-inducing dish with a flavor profile that generates a love for simplicity done well. Chicken and dumplings is another one of my favorite comfort recipes that could be adapted—say with vegan ingredients or Mexican flavorings.

Chef: Kelli Welby

Vegan Snacks

Q: Vegan snacks are a growing category. What do you suggest serving on bar and/or appetizer menus?

Vegans are a growing part of the foodie community. Eggplant adovada street tacos are by far my favorite vegan dish. It consists of eggplant braised in red chile sauce, then placed in a jicama shell with pickled onions, avocado puree, and topped with micro cilantro. It can satisfy anyone’s palate, vegan, vegetarian, or carnivore. 

Chef: Kelli Welby

Using Ramps

Q: Ramps continue to gain popularity for their bold flavor and limited season. What’s your favorite ramp recipe?
Ramps are an amazing spring produce item that have a unique flavor as well as a dedicated following. I am a big fan of utilizing as much of a product as possible, especially when the season is short and availability is limited. A chimichurri or a pesto that utilizes the entire product (as well as showcasing its beautiful flavor) is the way to go. 
Chef: Kelli Welby