5 Stars Featured Chef of the Month....

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Chef Michael G. - The Superstars' "Culinary King"

Humble beginnings to an Impressive Career...

Chef Michael G., Executive Chef, developed his love of culinary arts as a young child during his time spent harvesting fresh ingredients from the land his family farmed and watching these ingredients be transformed into family feasts. From this early interest in the kitchen, Chef Michael has successfully expanded his culinary calling to encompass numerous awards and nominations as well as national television and radio media appearances.

Chef Michael’s culinary creations are inspired by French, Sicilian, American, and other various ethnic and world cultures. His Sicilian heritage allows him to add the flair and wide range of bold flavors found in Mediterranean cooking to other cuisines. “The style of my food reflects exquisite, sophisticated, contemporary, American cuisine with Mediterranean influences,” says Chef Michael. “I focus on locally-grown products, seasonal ingredients, impeccable presentation, and cutting-edge menu choices to create a truly memorable dining experience.” A key element of Chef Michael’s philosophy is that food should be as fresh and as local as possible. He has a carefully cultivated network of area growers/suppliers who enable him to practice what he believes is best for procuring and serving food.

His ability to effortlessly assemble an exceptional dining experience has allowed Chef Michael to excel in his career. Mere months after graduating from the JNA Institute of the Culinary Arts in Philadelphia, he was awarded the “Chef of the Year Award” from the American Culinary Foundation (ACF) in 2002. Soon after, Chef Michael became the Executive Chef for the Peacock Inn’s Le Plumet Royaleand the four-star restaurant was awarded the distinguished James Beard Award for the “Great Country Inn Chef’s Series” in 2003. In 2006, Chef Michael’s laudable Chef of the Year nomination from Chef Magazine was followed by national recognition of being appointed the Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Board. He was also named Winning Chef for the National Cattleman’s Beef Backer Award in February of 2008 in Reno, Nevada.

From these commendable beginnings, Chef Michael has become an inspiring and accomplished chef, making numerous appearances on both network and local television. After working as the lead Food Stylist for the Book and the Cook Fair in 2005, Chef Michael’s talents were recognized by Food Network’s Cat Cora. Since then, he has received cooking spots on “Iron Chef America,” appearing as one of Cat Cora’s competition Sous-chefs. Most recently, Chef Michael has appeared on Food Network’s Culinary Competitions, “Chopped” and “Ultimate Recipe Showdown.” He also competed on The Tyra Banks Show and won the title of “Top Pop Chef” which awarded him the opportunity to work with Patti LaBelle as her personal chef. Chef Michael also appeared in the documentary film “Pressure Cooker” which followed the trials and tribulations of a handful of culinary students as they work build their culinary careers in the Tri-state area.


Q&A's:

FSCS: What's the one ingredient you can't live without? 

Chef Michael: “I love love love olive oil, not only to cook with, but also for the health benefits.”


FSCS: Did you always want to be a chef, growing up?

Chef Michael: “Yes! I started at a young age of 9 in my family’s restaurants and all

the way into culinary school. Love it! And can't stop, it's my passion.”


FSCS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a chef friend or mentor? 

Chef Michael: “Runnnnnnnnn!!! Lol j/k. Don't forget family time. Your family and your partner should never be second to anything.”


FSCS: What do you consider to be your single greatest accomplishment in your career thus far?

Chef Michael: “I have a few…cooking on the food network, The James Beard Foundations winner of The Best Private Chef of Miami and The Best Chef of NYC by Wine and Country magazine.” 

Chef Michael's Recipe for Ricotta Gnocchi

Makes 32 to 48 servings (Scaled)  


Difficulty Level - Easy


INGREDIENTS:

  • Kosher salt
  • 64 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 12 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 large eggs
  • 10 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (or use rice flour for dusting)


DIRECTIONS:

  • Combine the ricotta cheese, Parmesan, olive oil, eggs and 1 teaspoon salt with a whisk in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the all-purpose flour in 3 parts, stirring with a rubber spatula.
  • Bring the dough together in a ball and cut off one-quarter of it
  • Dust the work surface with all-purpose flour to prevent sticking, and roll the cut-off piece of dough into a dowel shape about 5/8 inch in diameter. Cut the dowel into 5/8-inch pieces.
  • Dust some parchment paper with semolina flour and place the gnocchi on it to prevent sticking.
  • Repeat with the rest of the dough, quarter by quarter.
  • Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water for 2 minutes.
  • Serve tossed with a bit of the Pancetta Tomato Sauce. *Alternatively, you can freeze the uncooked gnocchi for up to 2 weeks.




Photo Credit - Todd McEvy

Meet some of our stars....

Chef Deb B.

Chef Deb... a master chef with limitless culinary magic.

From intimate dinner parties to exquisite banquets, Chef Deb has an extraordinary background in a vast array of cuisines. Her creativity has no limits when designing the perfect menu and her culinary expertise amazes everyone who has the opportunity to experience her fare. 

Chef Wayne C.

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With over 15 years of restaurant experience, Chef Wayne brings a professional touch to events that is unmatched. With a background in sourcing sustainable seafood and local ingredients his menus often reflect the seasons and highlight some of the best ingredients Long Island has to offer. If you're looking to book an intimate plated dinner service or host a fun summer time clam bake or bbq, he's the chef of choice. 

Chef Shani P.

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New York based Chef Shani has been pleasing the pallets of private clients since 2016. With her love of worldly cuisines, her keen attention to detail and her passion for creativity, Chef Shani's menus are uniquely impressive and something to admire.  It doesn't matter if you're a blushing soon-to-be-bride or a successful hedge fund owner, anyone fortunate enough to experience her talents are sure to satisfy their tastebuds. 

Chef Licia H.

Chef Licia H.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Licia began teaching food enthusiasts in a culinary school in Italy later to become an Executive Chef. She has competed on Food Network's Chopped, and various New York cooking competitions where she won first prize for her cornbread 3 years in a row. Eventually pursuing her love for baking and pastries, she now runs a well known bakery in the Hamptons. Intertwining her love for cooking and baking makes Chef Licia an all around master chef from hors d'oeuvres to dessert.

Chef Lawrence M.

World Traveling Chef Lawrence M.

Chef Lawrence's travels around the world have influenced and inspired him to cook a wide variety of ethnic foods with a clean healthy twist. If healthy eating is essential to your life-style then Chef Lawrence can surely please your pallet while making sure you stay on track with your dietary goals. He is a master with the healthiest of cuisine known to man... The Mediterranean diet.


"You can never out exercise a bad diet."