Monthly Archives: July 2010

Gourmet Olive Oils and Vinegars – The Tasteful Olive

The Tasteful Olive

The Tasteful Olive

Gourmet Olive Oils and Vinegars

So, by now, you may have heard me mention The Tasteful Olive and you may have noticed that I have been cooking with a lot of fancy balsamic vinegars and olive oils.  Well, that is because I met some tremendous foodies here in Overland Park, KS who run The Tasteful Olive, a gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar store.

Basically, the tasteful olive features rows upon rows of containers, each holding a different flavored oil (mostly olive, but some truffle) or 12-18 year old balsamic vinegar with flavors ranging from lemon to black currant to fig to chocolate to vanilla.  Oh, and did I mention, samples are completely free!

The thing to do is give yourself an hour to just go in and try each one separately.  Then go back and mix and match (my personal favorite is still the Persian lime olive oil with the lemon balsamic, but you come up with your favorite.)  Then buy them and cook with them.  You’ll find recipes on their site and this one!

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Unsurprisingly, they are big advocates of consuming olive oil at The Tasteful Olive.  Jeanne and her husband both espouse it’s health benefits on a regular basis.  You can read more about it on Jeanne’s blog.

Baking with Olive Oil

They also want everyone to try baking with olive oil instead of butter because its healthier (and if you use a flavored olive oil, it’s tastier, too.)  As such, they hand out helpful charts to anyone considering baking with olive oil that tell you how much olive you need to replace an amount of butter.  I have typed the chart in below.

They recommend you use a lighter olive oil (*cough* Hojiblanca from Australia *cough*) but use what you have.  Do be careful, though.  I have found that olive oil cakes can dry faster than cakes that use butter.

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon 3/4 Teaspoon
1 Tablespoon 2 1/4 Teaspoon
1/4 Cup 3 Tablespoons
1/3 Cup 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons
2/3 Cup 1/2 Cup
3/4 Cup 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 Cup 3/4 Cup

By my calculation that means I need 2 1/4 cups of olive oil to make Ina Garten’s pound cake.  God bless that woman!

What Are You Waiting For?

You know where to get good olive oil and balsamic (at least in KC, but look for The Tasteful Olive online), now get to cooking!

Picture taken from

Oh, and as I’ve noted before, The Tasteful Olive has given me free and discounted bottles of both their gourmet olive oils and gourmet balsamic vinegars so that I could create recipes.


Filed under Kansas City Cuisine, reviews, techniques

Blanc Burgers and Bottles (and Cooking Tips)

Blanc Burgers and Bottles

It’s hard to sum up Blanc Burgers and Bottles in a few words.  Successful, perhaps.  Delicious, certainly.  Focused, definitely.  Local, there’s that, too.  Or we can consider the words of Ernesto Peralta, Co-Owner of Blanc, who says his Blanc Burgers and Bottles are “fun, upscale, casual, local, hot, sexy, accessible, approachable” and “family friendly.”  There’s a quite a lot going on with Blanc, but there’s no arguing with success.

How Blanc Came to Be: “Everything Happens For a Reason”

The story of Blanc started many years ago when Ernesto moved to Kansas City from Tucson, AZ to be with his young family.  In Tucson, he had been working as a bartender in a high end resort.  From one high end bar to another, when got to Kansas City, he started working at the Capital Grille.

This lead to a frenetic work schedule where he became a bar trainer and opening several Capital Grilles, including working for six months as a bar trainer in Scottsdale, AZ, but ultimately he wanted to open his own place.  He had an idea for a bruschetta menu tastefully paired with a wine/martini bar, which eventually ended up as what Kansas Citians now know as the Drop.

There was only one problem.  Ernesto knew cocktails, wines, and beers, but he needed someone who knew food.  A family friend recommended this talented chef who had graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale and was at 40 Sardines named Chef Josh Eans.  It didn’t take Ernesto long to hire Josh and it didn’t take long before the media took notice of Josh’s food.

Blanc the Early Years

The Drop was good, but Ernesto felt like he couldn’t do what he wanted in the space.  All the while, Ernesto and Josh had been talking about the gourmet burger bars they had dined at when they had separately been in Scottsdale.  To the idea of gourmet burgers, Ernesto wanted to add half bottles of wine and premium beer.  It was not too long before Blanc Burgers and Bottles was born in Westport with Ernesto, Josh, Ernesto’s wife Jenifer Price, and David McMullin all partners.

Their intent from the beginning was to stand out from other Westport bars and eateries.  That’s why when Ernesto’s wife designed the restaurant, she went with wide open spaces, bright white colors, and a modern aesthetic.  The food, with their homemade ingredients, special meat blends, and attention to quality ingredients was part of it, too.

The design (and the burgers) worked and people started pouring into Blanc.  Very shortly, people were being turned away because they couldn’t get a table, which was a shame since many of them were driving all the way from Johnson County to eat there.

This lead to Ernesto and Josh opening the Johnson County Blanc in Mission Farms and later relocating the Westport restaurant to its Plaza location (which was only a short drive away from Westport).  To further meet demand, they also launched a new concept, B2, in Lee’s Summit.

Blanc Today and Tomorrow

Today, Blanc stands as a valued member of the community and a good place to get a meal.  In house, they use brioche buns on their burgers at Blanc and high quality breads like potato buns at B2, make their own pickles and ketchup in-house from scratch (you can really tell the difference) as well as their chipotle aioli and their other sauces/dressings.  Even more impressively, they have their own proprietary meat blend that is made from naturally raised cattle.

That last part is especially interesting.  I had the chance to talk to Chef Josh about different types of meat and I was very impressed by his palate and his knowledge of various types of meat and meat production practices.  From the way he talked about grassfed vs. non-grassfed, natural vs. traditional, it was quite obvious both that he had a great palate and that he sampled a lot of meat before settling on his restaurant’s mixture.

It’s even more obvious when you taste the burger.

Not only is it a place to get a gourmet burger (and some of the best fries in the city.  Seriously, their fries are coated in truffle butter.  Can you say awesome?), but they are also huge supporters of local food producers.  On the back of their menu, they list all of the companies they support: Farm to Market bread, Shatto milk, Foo’s Custard, Roasterie Coffee, Boulevard Beer, and SodaVie handcrafted sodas.

They also support local charities and events like Forks N’ Corks, Jazzoo, and are working on more events in the future.  They even feed the Royals.  (I will make no comments here about the players’ conditioning and truffle fries, I promise.)  Even their architect and printing company is local.  Blanc is KC.

What does the future hold?  Blanc is in the middle of growth spurt.  For starters, they are looking to expand into Omaha and Little Rock.  This is a labor of love for them for a number of reasons, but most importantly, they want Blanc to be Little Rock and Omaha, too.  That means they have to find the right supplier of brioche buns, a good source of ingredients for their pickles and ketchup, and a meat supplier who can produce their special meat blend.  Finding the right suppliers who do things the right way has been their challenge and their passion.

Here in Kansas City things are growing, too.  They have recently changed their menu (which caused me no end of heartache since I thought they got rid of the Pig and Bull.  Then I found out it was turned into Barnyard and got a fried egg.  Mmmm… fried egg.)

They are also starting to sell burgers at this small venue called Arrowhead stadium. You might have heard of it.

Growth has been contagious for their suppliers, too.  Their meat delivery company has had to hire a fulltime driver just to keep up with demand.  They also added fried Shatto cheese curds to their menu, which have been so popular Shatto has had to buy more head of cattle. 

(By the way, have you tried the curds?  Seriously, stop reading this now and go try them.  You can read this article on your smartphone at the restaurant while you are eating.  Oh, and order the fries.  They’re really good.)

Like I said before, it’s hard to describe Blanc Burgers and Bottles in a few words, but it’s even harder to argue with success.

Chef Josh Talks Perfect Burgers

So, BlogWellDone is a cooking blog before anything else, so when you have a master burger chef sitting across the table from you, you have to pick his brain about his craft.  By his own admission, Chef Josh is driven to achieve perfection and from these tips, you can see he’s doing a pretty good job.

Making Hamburgers

On the subject of hamburgers, Josh has two pieces of advice.  The first is not to buy preground beef, but rather to ask the butcher to grind it at the store (or do it yourself if you are so equipped.)  The second is not to use chuck, but rather use brisket that is ground with steak trimmings.  Josh feels brisket delivers more flavor and is, after all, more Kansas City.

Josh then makes his burgers into 8 ounce patties, seasons them with salt and pepper, and recommends cooking them at home in cast iron (smart, smart man.)

Making Fries

Then the conversation turned to the subject of fries.  You may have heard me mention the fries.  They’re good.

Blanc fries are cut fairly thin (about 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch) and about 2-3 inches long.  He fries them at 325 degrees for 4 minutes and then at 375 for an additional minute, which is why they are crispy and delicious.  Oh, yeah, then they’re tossed in truffle butter (which you can make yourself or buy from Dean and Deluca.)

Thanks for the advice Chef.

The SodaVie Sidebar

Okay, it may sound a little crass to feature another company’s products in an article about Blanc, but I don’t think Ernesto and Josh will mind too much since they were the company’s first customer.  Also, they let me sample a bottle of SodaVie’s Cucumber soda, and it was amazing.  SodaVie is another Kansas City company that makes small batches of naturally carbonated, handcrafted soda.

The Cucumber soda we had was crisp and refreshing.  I think I ended up drinking most of the bottle (sorry for not sharing.)  SodaVie also makes Thai Basil and Citrus Kicker (the kicker is a spicy pepper, by the way.)  Check them out at

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Grilled Pizzas with Laughing Cow Cheese and Caramelized Onions

Laughing Cow PIzzasThere’s a new sensation in my house

Grilled Pizza

I know, we came to this one a little late since grilled pizzas are showing up everywhere, but that’s okay.  While I will never be confused as being cutting edge, I do tend to make a mean dish once I finally hop on the culinary bandwagon.

And I have jumped on this bandwagon with both feet.

Grilled Pizza – The Beginning

To begin my initiation, I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some of their regular pizza crust (regular as in note whole grain.)  My wife makes a mean pizza crust, but frankly both of us had had long weeks. Thus we made the not-terribly-difficult decision to pay the $3 and let the fine folks at Whole Foods take care of all our crust needs.  Plus,  Whole Foods pizza crust is pretty darn good.

When I got my crust home, I figured we’d want to have pizza with caramelized onions, so I got them started.  Then, I divided the pizza dough into four smaller balls, rolled them out flat, and let them rest.

But what to do about toppings?

Grilled Pizza and Laughing Cow Cheese

A long, long time ago the good folks at Laughing Cow cheese sent me a coupon for a free sample, which, of course, I accepted.  Because I am kind of a big dummy, I never actually used the darn thing, but that’s okay since my wife keeps a pretty steady supply in the house.  (Sorry for the anecdote, but for FTC purposes, I wanted to say something.  I mean I did receive free product, I just never really used it.  Silly FTC.)  Anway, she loves the stuff and puts it on toast, crackers, tomatoes, etc.  Edit: that never happened.  It was Alouette and Chavrie that sent me coupons.  They’re obviously much better for it. 🙂

I wasn’t even thinking about it at first.  As I was trying to figure out how to top my resting crusts, I settled on doing a balsamic/caramelized onion jam and goat cheese pizza.  The problem: no goat cheese!  But, as stated above, we did have Laughing Cow Swiss cheese. 

You know, sometimes it’s okay not to have all the ingredients you wanted…

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Filed under recipes, vegetarian

Chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr. At the Brookside Farmer’s Market

Hey everyone, Chef Jasper just told me that he will be having his 8th Annual Heirloom Tomato Seminar at the Farmers’ Community Market at Brookside.  (That’s at Border Star Montessori School at 63rd and Wornall.)

It’s Saturday, July 24th at 8:30.  There’ll be a cooking demos and tastings (yay, tastings) along with all the regular attractions at the market (Bread of Life bread and sweets, organic produce, and organic meat.)  Oh, and who knows, maybe I’ll get challenged to make Velveeta fudge again.  Woo…

Anyway, if I can get up at 7:30 to be there, so can you!  See you then!

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#GoJunkFood Steak and Eggs Loaded Fries

Like Loaded Fries, how about

Steak and Eggs Loaded Fries

So a couple of us from Twitter (myself, @elleskitchen, @RJFlamingo among others) decided to pool our collective talents and write about a topic near and dear (and sometimes in) our heart: loaded French fries.  Check out everyone’s posts and let us know which one you think is best.

For my part, I went with something a little out of the ordinary, not only because it was what I had in my refrigerator, but because I thought it would taste good.  In fact, this could have been my #FridgeFriday post, but that just seemed like cheating.  Anyway, here’s a very Kansas City style version of steak and eggs, using smoked brisket and BBQ sauce.

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Filed under FridgeFriday, GoJunkFood, recipes

Chef Jasper’s (That’s 3J’s) Chilled Artichoke Soup

jaspers_cheers From HenHouse.comChilled Artichoke Soup

Durng my review of Jasper’s Limoncello Experience, I lamented the fact I never got the recipe for the cold artichoke soup he served to get the evening rolling.  Always one to be accomodating (even if it was *two* months later…AHEM!), Chef Jasper was gracious enough to provide the recipe.

Even better, this is a two-for-one recipe since Chef provides notes at the end on how to make chilled asparagus soup (which he served at the Mozzarella Experience.)

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It’s #FridgeFriday … the Gluten Free Edition Featuring Persian Lime Shrimp Scampi

#FridgeFriday Persian Lime Scampi

Hi everyone and welcome to my first #FridgeFriday post!

Now, I know what you’re either wondering what, exactly, is #FridgeFriday??? and/or you’re thinking “Great, he’s gone and done another another of those weird Twitter things.”  Thinkers: you are correct.  I have done another one of those crazy Twitter things.  Wonderers: allow me to explain.

My ridiculously crazily awesomely talented tweep, @sbsbea, has gotten all of us crazy food bloggers to take pictures of their refrigerators every Friday.  We are then instructed to write a post about the meal we made from the contents therein.  Since I love a challenge (and Mrs. WellDone hates wasting food), I couldn’t resist doing it.

However, my first foray did run into one little problem…Mrs. WellDone has both the camera and my iPhone, meaning that I am cameraless.  However, in the spirit of the challenge, I made a meal with only ingredients I had in my house including some frozen shrimp that needed to be eaten, some spinach that needed to be eaten, and some blueberries…that needed to be eaten.  A pic of my less than organized fridge will come later.  Promise.

All I can say is thank goodness for The Tasteful Olive‘s balsamic vinegar and Persian lime infused olive oil (of which they so tastefully gave me sample bottles) because even with less than ideal shrimp, spinach, and blueberries, I had a good meal.  (Well, the butter helped, too.)

Oh, and as near as I can tell, this meal was gluten free!  The one sticking point might be the balsamic, but that recipe is another post!

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Gluten Free Update #3 and Sriracha Miracle Whip

Gluten Free Update #3: Troubles, Oh Yeah I Got Them

Okay, so at some point I figured that the wheels would come off this experiment.  Not that I’m quitting, I just realize I need to be smarter about what I eat. 

Suffice it to say, my mistakes are wholly my fault.  I should know better, but if I was really Celiac, I’d be in trouble.

Amongst my gaffes:

  1. Soy Sauce.  It’s made with wheat.  I knew it was made with wheat.  I tend to choose tamari because it has a milder flavor due to the fact it’s made with rice.  D’oh.  The bigger issue, though, is soy sauce finds its way into a lot of things I like to eat including unagi sauce on sushi and BBQ pork buns at the Asian market (of which I have had several due to their rice dough.)  Ugh. 
  2. Maltodextrin.  I’d like to get more opinions on this.  I’ve heard it can be a problem because it’s made from wheat in some countries.  Generally, though, since I am still learning about gluten free foods, I should have followed the rule if I don’t really know what it is, I probably don’t need to eat it. 
  3. The biscuits at the Bristol.  The biscuits are delicious.  Sweet, yet doughy.  And oh yeah, they’re made from gluten.  Because enjoying them is a force of habit, I totally wasn’t even thinking as I was munching away tonight at dinner.   Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My consolation is that I had to write a similiar post after becoming vegan where I realized I was chowing down on a whole lot of animal products I couldn’t see and weren’t in the dish.  Still, I feel bad… so learn from my mistakes in order for me to feel better about life.  K?  Thanks!

In all seriousness, I think part of the gluten free experience is learning what to look for in labels.  It also means thinking before I eat anything.  I’ll get better.

Anyway, enough berating myself for now.  I did want to share one quick recipe.  I realize it’s simple, but it’s so darn tasty.

This was the topping I put on my bunless burgers over the weekend.  It uses Miracle Whip (which according to is okay), but if you don’t want the dairy, swap it out for some veganaise, 1/2 of a lemon’s worth of juice, and a healthy pinch of sugar.  It also uses sriracha, which according to, is cool, too.

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Filed under gluten free, recipes

Gluten Free Update #2

Blueberry Balsamic ChickenSorry, everyone, I had intended to give updates about my month of living gluten free more often, but last week was hectic, especially with having to interview Chef Holli Ugalde, write the interview, make sure FOX was cool with it, etc.

That’s  not to say I haven’t been off the gluten free diet.  I just haven’t had the time to blog about it.  Well, here goes.

Gluten Free Update #2

Let’s see, I have Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to blog about.  On Friday, I had my first experience in dining out gluten free.  I went to 75th Street Brewery for lunch and had 7 hour roasted pork with green onion risotto and asparagus.  The pork had a date sauce on it that was amazing and used no flour (I checked.)

For dinner that night, I made a blueberry balsamic chicken (recipe follows) because I had some blueberry wine I needed to drink up.  I served it with rice noodles and peas.  The peas were good.  The rice noodles were not a perfect side.

On Saturday, we had bun-less burgers.  They consisted of a slice of tomato with 18-year balsamic from The Tasteful Olive (FTC disclosure: I got a discount on that balsamic so I could make recipes from it), a 1/4 pound patty, a slice of mozzarella cheese, some homemade sriracha mayo, and carmelized onions.  They were so good we had them for lunch on Sunday.

For dinner Saturday night, I had a chicken breast, mashed potatoes (no gravy), and creamed corn.

On Sunday, we made burgers again, and then my wife made gluten-free pizza for me.  It was good.  Texturally, it was a little different, but not too bad all things considered.  Recipe will follow, but I want to try to experiment first.

Today, for lunch I made Mexican rice casserole.  Basically, I made Mexican rice, then added sauted chicken and some frozen vegetable medly.  I didn’t want to add frozen vegetable medly, but I am trying to eat more veggies.

What I Have Learned So Far

I’m hungry more often.  I keep thinking that has something to do with the fact that the grains and fiber expand, making the eater feel full.  Since I’m not eating them, I’m not getting the benefit. I don’t know, I may totally be making that up.  Still, I know I am getting more protein and vegetables, I’ve just been hungry.

All in all, though, I don’t really miss gluten.  I kind of don’t like the fact I can’t have cookies and bread with Oregon Growers preserves, but I’m not at the craving stage.  See, because I can have corn and rice, I can eat my two favorite dishes: chips and salsa and sushi.  So really, life is good.

Note, that comment about not missing gluten should in no way diminish the plight of those who are suffering Celiac disease or any of the other illnesses which gluten irritates.  I’m just finding that as I plan meals, gluten free doesn’t feel like a vise (and so far, it’ not nearly as restrictive as being vegan.)

Of course, so far I’m only doing gluten free.  I am still eating dairy and drinking caffeine, unlike some of my friends who have been forced to give that up, too.  That may come later in the month.  We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s that recipe for gluten free blueberry balsamic chicken.

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Filed under gluten free, recipes

Hell’s Kitchen’s Chef Holli Ugalde

Watch Chef Holli Ugalde on Hell's Kitchen

Watch Chef Holli Ugalde on Hell's Kitchen

Chef Holli Ugalde from Hell’s Kitchen

For some, greatness comes after years of hard work.  For others, greatness is thrust upon them by fate.  And for one special Chef, it came after a whole bunch of coffee and Red Bull.

Or so the story goes of how Chef Holli Ugalde earned her spot on Fox’s cooking reality television show, Hell’s Kitchen.  “I had never watched the show,” she said, but people kept telling her to try out and she kept saying no. 

But on the day of the audition, “I had the day off and I was bored,” she said.  So, like any champ, she woke up at the crack of dawn, stood in line for hours with resume and professional headshots in hand and then delivered a lengthy dissertation on cooking and food chemistry… okay, that’s not true. 

“I got loaded on coffee and Red Bull and showed up at like 4pm.  People had been there since 7 with books of head shots and menus they’d written.  I just went in and talked.”

Then she got a callback.  So, she got loaded on coffee and Red Bull again and went in and just talked about her life and what was going on in her relationship.  Then she got a place on the show.

Of course, then she watched the show and started to wonder what, exactly, she gotten herself into.  Well, as of July 6th, she has gotten herself three eliminations away from a black jacket and few weeks away from culinary history.

Now, she shares her thoughts on Hell’s Kitchen.

Cooking For Chef Gordon Ramsay

Before starting the show, Chef Holli thought working with Chef Gordon Ramsay was going to be terrifying…and that pretty much turned out to be accurate.  She had never dealt with anyone that “in your face.”

His attitude was infectious.  When she got back from the show, she got a job at a resort hotel with 900 acres of organic lavender.  In this pastoral setting, she was a terror of a head chef, shouting out orders, cursing out anyone who forgot, and earning the nickname Ramsay…  (At her new place, she swears she’s nice, which doesn’t mean she’s not going to the Savoy eventually.  There is, after all, a year-and-a-half gap between the filming of the show and when it aired.)

Did the Show Get Edited to Make it More Dramatic?

Surprisingly enough, Chef Holli says no.  (I figured the answer to that would be an emphatic “Yes.”)  Still, as she says, she did, in fact, say all of the stuff they put on the air.  (Well, she does admit to a little prompting from the show…)

If anything, Chef Holli says they calmed her down and cut out some of her vulgarity.   However, she doesn’t think the show kept her from looking like a ditz, but as she says “Yeah, it’s me.  Yeah, I say strange stuff, but I’m a ditz and I can cook, so it’s okay.”

What’s It Like Seeing Yourself on TV?

Without hesitation, Chef Holli said “It’s weird.”

But she doesn’t get the chance to enjoy it much, at least not on Tuesday nights.  She watches each of her shows at a big viewing party with a bunch of her friends (you can check out her Facebook page to see the pics.  Everyone looks like they’re having a good time.)  However, she does DVR the show so she can watch it the next day and wonder “did I really say that?”

DVRing also allowed her to notice a minor wardrobe malfunction in the last episode.  (“What was that?” she asks.)  Strangely enough, they don’t teach anything about how to handle that in culinary school.

Do You Have Any Regrets?

“Everyone thinks I am going to say the porn thing, but I’m not, because it’s true,” she says.  (Editor’s note: I didn’t think she was going to say that.  Just sayin’.)

Instead, she remembers on the first show that she said she can cook as well as everyone else, but she’ll just look better doing it.  “That’s so not me,” she says.  “I’m not conceited.”

(Editor’s note: On the other hand, if it’s true, it’s true.  I’m looking at you on this one, enitre blue team except Autumn.  Just sayin’.  Second editor’s note: I cleared that comment with my wife.)

The Raw Chicken Incident

In one of the episodes of Hell’s Kitchen airing June 29th, Chef Holli served raw chicken to Chef Ramsay, who responded with a fairly succinct summary of his feelings about the chicken and Chef Holli in general.  (And it actually was fairly succinct.  On the show she was only told to get a grip.  Had it been Fran, the tirade could have lasted for hours.)  It was only fair to give Chef Holli a chance to defend herself.

“It wasn’t that bad,” she says.  She thinks it would have been fine in another few seconds, but she didn’t want to serve dry chicken to Chef Ramsay.  That, too, would have lead to one of Ramsay’s infamous tirades.

The Ever-Changing Team

Then there was the subject of the constant additions to the red team (which seemed to have a run of bad luck in elimination challenges.)  “New people threw us for a loop, but we needed it,” she says. 

The red team was Chef Holli’s first experience with an all-female brigade.  Most of the kitchens she has worked in have been 95% male.  She admits having a guy on the red team cut down on the team’s tendency to go after each other.

Of course, the team would not have been constantly in flux if they had done better in elimination challenges.  Frankly, Chef Holli would have liked to have won more, but she actually saw an advantage in not winning the challenges.  She says “We had an advantage.  We were always in the kitchen and we got to know the product.”

Where You’ll See Chef Holli Next?

Well, if I had to guess, I’d say the Savoy in London, England.  (She didn’t say that, by any means, but it’s not that bad of a guess.)

Right now, she’s the executive chef at a top secret hotel in Palm Springs, California and she’s doing viewing parties every week.  She’s also working on a cookbook and a line of gelatos.  (Sneak peek: she has a commercial kitchen and is working on gelatos that mix sweet and savory together.)  She’s also traveling and doing culinary shows.

She also wants to open her own restaurant with a concept she calls “shabby chic.”  It will be small, intimate, comfy, but high class.  Reservations for three, please?

Ultimately, she was fun to chat about food with.  She’s really passionate about ingredients (ask about fennel, I dare you), eating locally, and her time on the show.  My only regret was I didn’t get to ask one question.

Halibut wrapped in a banana leaf… Indian, huh?  What part of India was that, exactly?

If you can’t get enough of Chef Holli, you can friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, or watch her on  YouTube.


Filed under interviews