Guys in Aprons
What some of our favorite local chefs like to make in their home kitchens.
- CategoryEat & Drink
- Written byBonnie Graves
I love my husband, but somehow he never learned to cook. As in, the man makes a mean bowl of cold cereal and is pretty adept at Annie’s boxed mac ’n’ cheese, but the kitchen skills stop right there.
Once upon a time, being a “cook” meant peeling potatoes in the Army. Nowadays the term is “chef,” and it means you might well be a TV star.
For this issue, we asked three top professional chefs what they cook at home. Each spends thousands of hours cooking for others, so what they whip up on their own time has to be fast and delicious. From the single guy looking to cook something for a date … to the dinner party entrée that impresses with minimum effort … to the healthy dessert any busy dad can whip up for the kids, these three recipes are all winners.
The Single Guy
Chef Michael Fiorelli
Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach
Grilled Sugarlip Peach Salad
Because could there be any sexier produce at the farmers market? These seasonal peaches are bursting with flavor. If you can BBQ, you can whip up this sure-to-impress salad for your date in about 10 minutes. And that farmers market is a great place for single guys of all professional backgrounds. And—by the way—so much more fun than Tinder, right?
- 2 whole sugarlip peaches
- 12 slices of duck salami (or any salami)
- 1 bunch of dandelion greens, washed, stems removed and rough-chopped
- 8 thinly sliced pieces of Toma (or sharp aged cheese)
- ¼ cup rough-chopped almonds (preferably Marcona)
- 1 tablespoon Saba or aged balsamic vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Halve peaches and remove the pits; then quarter and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill peaches for 1 minute on both sides until they start to get nice grill marks. Remove and set aside.
Preheat a pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add almonds, peaches and dandelion greens to pan and toss until greens are just warm and wilted. Transfer peaches to a plate, top with greens, almonds, salami and cheese. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and Saba.
Dinner with Friends
Chef Jason Neroni
The Rose Café & Restaurant, Venice Beach and B-Side Pizzeria, NYC
Roasted Chicken with Honey-Lavender Glaze
Because that takeout rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods just isn’t that good. Making a delicious roast chicken is a skill anyone can master, and it’s easier than you think. Chef Jason’s version features a yummy honey-lavender glaze, and it tastes fantastic with a salad dressed with his homemade Green Goddess dressing. Pair with a dry Provençal rosé and a nice baguette—and invite those neighbors over. Easy and impressive.
- 1 whole chicken, 2-3 pounds
- 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flower
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 400º. Steep lavender in 1 cup boiling water for 4 minutes; strain and fold into honey. Warm honey-lavender mixture in saucepan, or 30 seconds in microwave, before use.
Rub chicken with butter and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting rack set in a baking pan. Place in the center of the oven and roast 40-45 minutes at 350º, rotating chicken three times during the cooking process. When the chicken is cooked, it should be golden brown all around. Rest the chicken for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with honey-lavender glaze.
Green Goddess Dressing Makes 1 pint
- 1/2 cup nasturtium petals
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 2 avocados
- 2 anchovies, preferably white
- 1 cup olive oil
- salad greens
Combine all ingredients except greens in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Wash and dry salad greens. Drizzle with salad dressing.
Healthy Dad Dessert
Chef Nick Roberts
Playa Provisions & the Tripel, Playa del Rey and Hudson House, Redondo Beach
Coconut Chia Seed Pudding with Fresh Fruit
Even being married to a fellow chef (wife Brooke Williamson) doesn’t mean you get out of kitchen duty. This busy dad/restaurateur whips up a pudding so tasty your kids won’t realize it’s actually healthy. Skip the ice cream and make a batch of this with fresh berries on the side. Your kids will love it, and your wife will love you for it.
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup mango/kiwi
- 2 tablespoons honey
In a small bowl or half-pint Mason glass jar, add coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, vanilla and salt. Mix until very well combined. Place in the refrigerator and allow to rest for at least 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries tossed in honey.