Chef's Blog

March 17, 2017

California Dreaming (Sponsored content from Plate Magazine)

from Chef Gregg Nelson

California is a chef’s paradise. Just about any ingredient can be sourced locally. Imagine fresh fish purchased off a boat, year-round Farmer’s markets, the finest meats and finely crafted cheeses. A profusion of cultures, ingredients and flavors from around the world make a cuisine mosaic that at times is hard to define but easy to enjoy.

“California is so many things,” says Gregg Nelson, Corporate Executive Chef with Minor’s who moved to the Bay area from the East Coast 25 years ago. “We have so many different cultural influences here. I try to fuse that into the dishes I create.” Chefs find the food and flavor combinations abundant in California. Hispanic and Asian cultures dominate the mix with a population that is 38% Hispanic and 13% Asian. From Thai street food to Cal-Italian cuisine, Persian food and taco shops, you’ll find culinary inspiration everywhere.

Chef Nelson’s Fresh Ahi Tuna in Clam Miso Broth with Ramen Noodles pays tribute to the Asian influences in California cuisine. The noodles are topped with scallop thin slices of ahi tuna and jalapeno. “The key to Ramen is to ladle in a little chicken or pork fat that has been rendered down into the broth,” he says. Included in the broth is Minor’s Ready to Flavor clam base and a white Miso paste.

“Everywhere I go in California, restaurants are short on staff. Chefs are looking for simple solutions that will save time. They want a great ingredient that will give them ease of use. Our Ready to Flavor products help chefs save a few steps without sacrificing flavor,” Chef Nelson says. For example, instead of sourcing Poblano peppers that require sweating, peeling and cleaning, a chef can combine a few tablespoons of Minor’s® Poblano Fire Roasted Flavor Concentrate with mayonnaise and sour cream to create a Poblano Crema – perfect for fish tacos.

Chef Nelson loves the versatility and creative freedom the Ready to Flavor products offer chefs. Bases and flavor concentrates can be easily added to vinaigrettes, mayonnaise, sour cream, butter, and mustards to create flavor-filled dressings, sandwich spreads, sauces, soups and more.

“It’s up to the chef. They can decide how much flavor they want to add,” says Chef Nelson. The consistency of Minor’s products is an attribute chefs appreciate. “The consistency is why chefs say, ‘we can trust your products’ — they are reliable, safe to use and versatile.”

Ready to Flavor products are tested Ready-to-Eat. According to the USDA, this means the food is in a form that is edible without any additional preparation to achieve food safety. “You don’t need to bring protein bases or flavor concentrates up to temp before serving,” adds Chef Nelson. In cold applications such as Spicy Cold Kimchi Noodles, Minor’s Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate and Shrimp Base are blended with other ingredients in a processor, then tossed with noodles – no heating required. Dreaming of more California cuisine favorites? Check out the recipes from plateonline.com and Minor’s Cold Applications

by Joanne Costin, Plate Magazine
Copyright Plate Magazine, April 2017
Reprinted by permission

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