Chefs in the News

Rosie has the latest news about chefs, what they have been doing and where they are going, plus information about the personal appearance of chef Carla Hall at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown.

Do you know of any chefs who have changed jobs? If so, e-mail the details to [email protected]. Be sure to include the chef’s name, former restaurant affiliation, where they are working now, or what they are doing in the interim.
Carla Hall, a Top Chef All Stars fan favorite and co-host on ABC’s daily show The Chew, will be at the ShopRite of Greater Morristown, Village Food Garden Culinary Center, 178 E Hanover Ave., Cedar Knolls on April 2 from 5 to 7 PM for a meet-and-greet. She’ll sign copies of her brand new cookbook, CARLA’S COMFORT FOODS: Favorite Dishes from Around the World, which was also written with author Genevieve Ko who was senior food editor at Good Housekeeping.

The book contains Carla’s personal stories, tips, international spice guide and recipes that show how to take staple ingredients and basic dishes and spin them into new variations from different countries. “This is the sort of cooking I’ve been doing my whole career. I master a technique, then I think about global spices and seasonings and try using them in different ways,” says Carla Hall. “I follow threads of flavor through cultures and ultimately put together a dish that’s easily accessible in taste and execution. And that’s what you’ll get in this new cookbook!”

Chapters in the cookbook run the gamut from soups and salads and desserts. Recipes include Cooked-to-Death-Delicious Green Beans with Potatoes; Tomato-Pepper Mahi-Mahi Stew; Banh Mi Pork Burgers with Cucumber, Carrots, and Cilantro; Butternut Squash Tatin; and Salted Peanut Chocolate Pudding Tarts.

The book goes on sale April 1, (Atria Books $29.99) but ShopRite is selling it at a special price of $20.99, a 30% savings. Information: 973-829-6825.

Here is a sample recipe:

Butternut Squash

Squash feels so American to me, but I’ve found a wide variety from all over the world that range from deep red to pale orange, from dense and meaty to watery and stringy. Butternut’s a solid, middle-of-the-road squash that’s easily found in markets. I’ve found that its combo of sweet and starch makes it ideal in other cuisines, too. It gets so naturally sugary when cooked, it tastes like a universal treat. Choose ones with smooth skin that feel heavy for their size. I always look for long ones without too much of a bulbous bottom because they’re much easier to peel and cut. Sometimes, I feel a little lazy in the kitchen, too!


Roasted Garlic and Chile Butternut Squash

Serves 8

When I first developed this dish, I was worried I wasn’t adding enough seasonings. I was trying to stay true to the Italian spirit of keeping vegetables simple to let them shine. Then I nibbled a half-moon of squash. Boom! It was so, so good. That hint of garlic-chile heat brought out all the natural sweetness of the squash.

1 large butternut squash, trimmed, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings discarded

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the squash crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil, salt, garlic, and chile flakes. Spread out in a single layer.

2. Roast the squash until tender and browned, about 30 minutes.

Carlas’ Tips
• A strong vegetable peeler’s good for removing the thick skin of butternut squash.
• Some like it hot: Add more crushed red chile flakes or even a pinch of cayenne.

Frances Janisch photo credit
Copyright © 2014 by Carla Hall from CARLA’S COMFORT FOODS published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


Congratulations to executive chef Mitchell Altholz of Highlawn Pavilion and The Manor, both in West Orange, for being selected "Best Chefs America" for 2014. This recognition places him in the category of the top 1 percent of chefs cooking in America today.

Pat Turano, who owns Trattoria Rustica in Montclair is also the chef/owner of Fogo Tapas Bar, 10 Park Ave, Montclair (973-744-3255); BYO.

Please send press releases and restaurant news, including information on staff changes, wine tastings, and cooking classes to [email protected].

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