October 2016 Chef Of The Month Anthony Hunt
We are excited to announce our Chef of the Month for October is: Anthony Hunt! See what Anthony is all about below and look out for his awesome recipes to come throughout the month! [continue for interview]
Where were you born?
I was born in Laurel, Delaware.
Where do you work and where are you based?
I currently work at Yolo Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, as a corporate pastry chef and works for the restaurant people (group).
What is your favorite kitchen tool in creating your masterpieces/dishes?
The Sous-Vide cooking immersion cooker. It slowly cooks to keep the flavor locked inside. It doesn’t have an effect on the texture and keeps the food moist.
What is your sharpest sense out of all the 5 senses?
Taste. Some of your senses intertwine with each other. But I always try to taste as much as I can. I hated mango and cilantro because my taste buds did not understand it. After tasting it over and over I could finally understand the beauty in the flavors. I look for something different than what I pick up the first time.
What advice would you offer for aspiring chefs?
Do something else. Be a teacher or be a chef only if this is something that is in your heart. It is not a fly by night career, you have to really love it. Sometimes you may not figure that out right away. It takes time maybe 10 years after you start your career, then you’ll find out whether you aren’t into it or you’ll really love it. I was following my brother in the industry and I didn’t think I had it. I watched him fall out and I found that I really had a knack for it. Make sure you love cooking, pastries, and people – everything that is in the industry.
What is one culinary tip every chef should know and perfect?
How to make an egg. The simple foundation in culinary is worth that if you can’t make an egg, he/she probably can’t boil a hot dog or make a steak. Knowing how to make a good scrambled egg is paying attention to the coagulation and the residual heat otherwise it will kill your egg every time.
What does good food mean to you?
Something you experience and taste. You can give the most expensive wagyu or whatever but I can taste the person’s passion in their food.
What trends do you see emerging in the near future?
Super-foods are taking over. Quinoa evolving kale and kale pesto alongside hearty greens and spinach. Healthier trends will evolve into the restaurant side and the heavy sauces will disappear, it’s happening already.
What features are important to you when selecting a Chef Coat? (particular fabric, style, sleeve length, pockets).
For me a few things make good qualities in a chef coat. Egyptian cotton is a fabric I have grown to love over the years because its lighter. Having mobility is important you want to be able to stretch and make sure it’s not pulling on you. I shouldn’t have to put pounds of starch on it, I also like breathing holes. Dressing as a chef now is at its coolest point ever. We are not the traditional tall hat guys anymore; the style is a lot looser now.
What is your go-to chef outfit? Do you prefer coats, tees, pants, shorts, aprons, hats, etc?
A custom chef coat that looks like every day clothes. How cool and breathable the jacket is. A pair of jeans and clogs. Then top it off with a cool apron and baseball cap and an old school Buff fishing bandanna, I have a mop head.
Favorite ingredient to work with?
I get excited about fish. Especially fish that is caught by me. I love the freshness of fish – it cannot touch water, must be on ice and cooked the same day. Saltwater fish only. My favorite fish is flounder.
Favorite City to dine out in?
I am going to have to say Miami. I really like The Federal Restaurant, my friend is the owner.
Best Dish you have ever made?
I think it is a mojo pork belly with a cilantro key lime pie filling custard. Crispy curry lentils succotash grits cheesy grits and corn chutes (micro corn chute).
Place you eat most often on your days off?
Probably at the S3 restaurant. I really like the fresh sushi options and they have one of the best macaroni and cheese in the world.
Who is the person you would like to cook for the most?
My mom. I haven’t cooked for my mom yet. I have been cooking for a long time, over 20 years. I have also been away from my mom for 20 years. Every time I go home my brother cooks so I haven’t had the chance to cook for my mother.
What made you decide to become a chef?
I kind of needed to pay for fishing. Fishing was the priority I never knew I would be in the chef industry this long. It took 10 years to learn that I loved it. I started to realize how many contrasts and textures flavors there are. The creativity and the artsy flow of cooking was the main force and reason, outside of wanting to compete and beat my brother. The creative process is what I really love. I am at a point in my chef career where I don’t pull from other chefs anymore I pull from my own palate.
What is new on your DVR?
My episode of my food network chopped. Episode 26 season 5 desserts.