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Blog posts of '2015' 'September'

AUTISM SPEAKS TO LA

    

Matfer Bourgeat is a proud sponsor of the upcoming Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala on Thursday, October 8th, 2015.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, brings to Los Angeles a unique dinner party. The Autism Speaks to Los Angeles Celebrity Chef Gala will showcase award-winning chefs at its first local fundraising gala, having created an exciting legacy on New York's Wall Street for the past eight years.  One hundred top chefs, cooking tableside, will create their signature four-course meals exclusively for their guests at this unique inaugural event on October 8th at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.  No two tables will feature the same menus.

The evening will kick off with Wolfgang Puck Catering serving hors d’oeuvres inspired by his iconic restaurants such as Spago, CUT, Chinois and WP24. Following hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, guests will be escorted to their private tables where they will witness their master chefs such as our recently featured Susan Feniger and Jet Tila, and Vanessa Johnson Mendoza create four exclusive courses of signature dishes tableside.  Guests will also enjoy a special musical performance to be announced shortly.

To Purchase Tickets or for More Information About the Event – Click here.


About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. and 1 in 48 boys are on the autism spectrum.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed $560 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in nearly 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.  

CHEF SPOTLIGHT: JET TILA

By Mara Papatheodorou, your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Jet Tila Matfer Chef Spotlight

The Matfer Team had an exhilarating time with Executive/Celebrity Chef Jet Tila in Los Angeles watching him work his wok magic! He created his famous and fabulous Drunken Noodles and even shared his recipe (see below!) as well as luscious lobster dish using ideally matched Matfer tools. 

You have such energy and passion. As an established Executive Chef what inspires you?

I’m always inspired by my family’s culinary traditions and history. I’m aware that everything I cook has been done before by my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother. That knowledge is always with me.

I initially learned by watching my Cantonese grandmother cook recipes passed down to her. My parents arrived in California and opened Bangkok Market one of the first Thai markets in the country and then the Royal Thai restaurant in Los Angeles. I grew up in that environment. I worked in the store and in the restaurant from the bottom to the top. Asian ingredients were always around me from noodles to lemongrass to chilies to special spices. I remain curious about how it was done before and how it can be done today.

I respect the connection between then and now, the Old and the New Worlds. I enjoy teaching people about where I come from through my food. It is actually how my joy of sharing Asian flavors and techniques through teaching began. I started showing customers how to make Pad Thai and other noodle dishes in the back lot of my parents’ store as the interest in Thai cooking was on the rise. I now do culinary tours through Thai town to showcase its tastes and traditions. I’m still learning all of the time and sharing those lessons. I am a chef, a student and a teacher with every dish I create or recreate. I’m inspired every time I cook.

Jet Tila Matfer Chef Spotlight Giesser Messer Knife

Jet Tila Matfer Chef Spotlight Geisser Messer Knife

Your heritage is a combination of Chinese and Thai which reflects in your cooking but you also went on to learn classical French and Japanese techniques. Why?    

Initially growing up in the business I ironically didn’t foresee becoming a chef. I wanted to try something different but I came to realize that making food and creating dishes is in my DNA. I’m intrigued by ingredients and challenged by the multi-layer process of flavors and techniques. I decided if I was really going to pursue this path than I needed to know, respect and understand other types of cuisines and their methods.

Jet Tila Drunken Noodles

Matfer Hemispherical Bowl

You opened Wazuzu at the Encore Wynn resort in Las Vegas. You also introduced Asian cuisine to the masses at Google, Intel and EBay in Silicon Valley in their office cafes. Now you are a force and vision behind Compass, the largest food service company where you share Asian techniques so they can be produced for the greater public. You also have a web channel to highlight certain dishes and are a regular judge on Chopped. What’s different from what you did then to what you do now?

When I started, it was go, go go! Growing up as an immigrant in the Los Angeles Thai community, it was and still is all about achievement and always doing your best. The wave of Asian immigrants who arrived to chase their American dreams were growing up and becoming successful in their own right. When they traveled to places like Vegas they wanted to eat what they knew and liked. I was their contemporary and knew how to deliver those dishes and flavors. The Asian techno geek crowd employed at the big internet companies wanted to eat what was natural to them too.

My learning curve was how to take Grandma’s recipes and reproduce them in an authentic way for larger audiences. It was a challenge and a blast. It was the meeting of traditional techniques with modern methods. Along the way, flavorful Asian cuisine has been introduced to others who have come to appreciate it. I have been so fortunate on my career track. I’ve really been allowed to do it all. I love teaching and sharing so the media part allows me to do that and at Compass I can continue to create with a big outreach.

In your accomplished career you have earned impressive accolades as well as holding some interesting world cooking records! Do you have a favorite?

I am honored and humbled by each one. Being appointed the Culinary Ambassador of Thai cuisine by the Royal Thai Consulate General is amazing.

The Iron Chef competition really tested my abilities on a whole other level and brought me recognition that steered my career in this direction. The cooking records were fun to do. I welcome challenge. I never thought my studies at the Sushi Academy would lead me to holding the record for the longest California roll (440 feet). And I smile at what my Grandma would say about my cooking the largest stir-fry (4010 pounds) or heaviest seafood stew (6500 pounds).

Drunken noodles are your signature dish. And this succulent lobster as another entrée with it is divine. What makes these recipes uniquely Jet?

It is taking what you know and just making it as delicious as it can be using the freshest of ingredients. The fantastic flavors of the Thai and Cantonese kitchens are second nature to me. The cooking mantra is to blend sweet, spicy, sour and sweet in every dish with every bite. I do that.

Noodles are a prominent component on the Asian menu and in Thailand it is all about rice noodles. When I created my Drunken Noodles—which is a type of Pad Thai-- I mixed the variety of saltier sauces (soy and oyster) with the spicy (sriracha sauce & chilies) the sweet (basil & sugar) and sour (Rice wine) to create the coating. The bite of the garlic and acidity of the fresh tomatoes tops it all off.  Being on Iron Chef and the Food Network highlighted the dish.

How would you describe your style of cooking?

I cook with abundance and abandonment.  The heat of the kitchen on every level provokes that and I believe translates that intensity into the heat of the dish.  I love the feeling-it is very Zen to me. High heat cooking like stir-fry in a wok means you have to cook fast and almost ferociously.  This is why I respect and rely on Matfer products in my kitchens. They’re beyond durable and their quality is of the highest caliber. The different sized bowls are deep and can be banged around without getting a dent. The Matfer wok guarantees a perfect stir-fry. Its shape has a good slope that holds the ingredients and balances the heat out beautifully. It is light enough in weight for me to be able to lift it on and off the stove when I’m tossing the noodles to coat them well. The length of the tongs let me get in there to move it all around and serve it straight to the dish. 

Established American author Alex Haley said, "In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future." Do you agree?

This quote really resonates with me. Family is everything. I say I have birth luck as it is my family that really set me on this phenomenal path. A lot of chefs spend much of their lives thinking that cooking as a career is the most important, challenging & fulfilling venture in a lifetime. Striving for success, recognition & honing one’s craft is everything. And much of that is true. Then you marry, have children and realize there’s nothing more challenging yet more fulfilling or tougher in the universe than being there for your family.  My devotion and passion for food is a very fulfilling career that now affords me my time with my family.

Jet Tila Druken Noodles Matfer Chef Spotlight

Personally, what are your favorite ingredients?

For me it is all about flavor and heat.  I love sweet basil and chilies. At home, I’ll make fried rice with a fresh basil omelette.

We are thrilled to join you at the upcoming Autism Speaks to LA Celebrity Chef Gala. What is your connection to Autism Speaks?

I’m so fortunate in life, love and career. I’m all about giving back and moving that fortune forward to others who may not have that yet. My wife Allison works in special education and early childhood development so I’m very familiar with autism. From her, I know what a difference research makes to help others. This event to me is about coming together as a community, being able to cook and share. It is an honor. I can’t wait!

Jet Tila Matfer Chef Spotlight

CHEF JETS'S DRUNKEN NOODLE RECIPE
That's right! We said it - Jet Tila shared with Matfer the recipe for his famously delicious Druken Noodles. 

Ingredients:

Sauce
1 tbsp. Mushroom Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Sweet Soy Sauce
1 tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1.5 tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 tbsp. Sugar
1 tbsp. Sriracha Sauce
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
6-8 Thai Basil Leaves, chiffonade

Stir-Fry
3 tbsp. Canola or Peanut Oil
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1-2 Serrano Chiles, sliced thin
2 Eggs
1/3 lbs. Beef, Pork, or Chicken, thin sliced against the grain
1/2 Medium White Onion, sliced
3-4 cups Fresh Rice Noodles, separated
1/4 cup Chinese Rice Wine
1 cup Thai Basil Leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved

Preparation:
1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Heat oil to medium high in a medium sauté pan and sauté garlic until light brown.
3. Add eggs in and lightly scramble until barely set.
4. Add meat and onions folding constantly until the meat is half cooked, about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add fresh rice noodles, sauce, tomatoes and basil; toss to combine for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Make sure the noodles are cooked until the edges are slightly crisp.
6. Deglaze Pan with rice wine, and then add basil and tomatoes. Serve hot and enjoy!


MORE ABOUT JET TILA

Executive and Celebrity Chef Jet Tila specializes in classic Thai and Chinese cooking. A Pan Asian specialist, he's a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and the California Sushi Academy. He is the Culinary Ambassador for Thai cooking in Los Angeles. Jet was a participant on Iron Chef and Chopped and is now a judge on Cutthroat Kitchen and Camp Cutthroat with Alton Brown. He is a consultant with Compass Food Industries and a co-owner of Stir Market Food Hall in Los Angeles.


TOOLS FOR TASTE
As an inspirational chef, you are assured a fine finish for your own notable noodle dish when you use Matfer's Black Steel Frying Pan, Elite Ceramic Tradition Wok, S/S Wire Skimmer, Hemispherical Mixing Bowls, Garlic and Onion Press and Stainless Steel All Purpose Tongs.

TASTES & TRADITIONS - THE NOTABLE NOODLE

By Mara Papatheodorou, Your Tastes & Traditions Expert

Jet Tila Drunken Noodles Matfer Taste and Tradition

Take note of the noodle. This notable staple has an illustrious past, a very popular present and a formidable future. The grande grain is its base whether barley, millet, rice or wheat. When ground and mixed with water, the resulting flour power does its stuff and dough makes its starchy debut. From there it can be pulled or kneaded, looped or twisted, pinched or prodded, rolled or stretched into any number of noodle concoctions.

Since the growing of grain is worldwide, most cultures have their own versions of noodle mania. Interestingly enough, remnants of its ancient past dating as far back as 4000 years ago, point to China as the first place and “kitchen” to grind rice, wheat or millet to make dough that was shaped into dumplings or turned into strands for a meal.

Noodle methods and types then spread throughout Asia, became a basic part of dining traditions and held ritual significance at celebrations. To this day, serving long noodles at important Asian ceremonies still represents a long life of luck and abundance.  
On a trip to China in the 13th century, famed Venetian merchant Marco Polo was enamored by the main entrée served to him in various forms at the Emperor’s feast and traveled back to Europe with dried samples. In later years, Italy became the pasta capital of the world. Whether baked or boiled, served in soups or stews, over or under other elements, thick or thin, long or short, with spices or sauces, noodles have legitimately earned their place of distinction at the table.

Jet Tila Matfer Chef Spotlight

CHEF JET TILA STIRS UP HIS FAMOUS DRUNKEN NOODLES
Wok on! Two side-by-side triumphant Thai creations showcase this passionate chef’s impressive expertise and knowledge of noodles and lobster. Take a look at his dynamic duo of delectable dishes and dont miss the recipe for Chef Jet's famously delicious Drunken Noodles! More >

TOOLS FOR THE TRADE
As an inspirational chef, you are assured a fine finish for your own notable noodle dish when you use Matfer's Elite Ceramic Tradition Wok, S/S Wire Skimmer, Hemispherical Mixing Bowls, Stainless Steel All Purpose Tongs, and Exoglass® Sieve Strainer