TOP CHEF 2020 WINTER EDITION: Season’s Eatings!

. November 30, 2020.

Ho ho ho and happy holidays! With the changing nature of the season due to the pandemic, one thing remains constant– great holiday food! Toledo’s best chefs share some of their favorite winter traditions and season’s eatings you can try at home.

ToledoGQ_ChefRob_KMiller-0091Rob Campbell

Your restaurant: Chef Rob’s Side Hustle Pizza.
Your cooking style, in 5 words or less: Chef-ed up comfort food.
Hometown: Adrian, MI.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? Nineteen years.
Favorite dish you serve during the holidays: I always love to do things with Hubbard squash around the holiday season. Reminds me of my grandmother.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime rib, and king crab. It’s what we always have on Christmas eve.
What is your favorite winter comfort food?  Froot Loops.

WINTER DISH – Standing Rib Roast with roasted baby carrots, Yorkshire pudding, cranberry chutney and béarnaise sauce

INGREDIENTS FOR PRIME RIB:
8lb bone in prime rib
3 tbl Dijon
3 tbl chopped garlic
3 tbl Worcestershire
3 tbl chopped fresh thyme
3 tbl sea salt
3 tbl fresh cracked pepper
4 lb baby carrots washed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Mix marinade together and smear all over roast
3. Place roast on top of carrots in roasting pan
4. Cook for 15 minutes and reduce heat to 325 and cook until internal temp is 127 degrees

INGREDIENTS FOR YORKSHIRE PUDDING:
3 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teas sea salt
1 cup prime rib drippings

DIRECTIONS:

1. Whisk ingredients together until smooth
2. Set aside at room temp until roast is finished.
3. When roast is finished turn oven up to 400
4. Place 1 tbl of dripping in the bottom of a 12 cup muffin pan
5. Heat pan in oven for 5 minutes
6. Pull muffin pan from oven and quickly spoon batter in pan filling each cup half way. (Portion scoop works great and even)
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes

INGREDIENTS FOR CRANBERRY CHUTNEY:
1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup turbanado sugar
1 cup fresh squeezed orange
1/2 cup small diced onion

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine ingredients in sauce pan
2. Bring to a boil until berries start to pop
3. Remove from stove and refrigerate

INGREDIENTS FOR BEARNAISE SAUCE:
3 tbl tarragon vinegar
1.5 tbl Dijon
4 egg yolks
1 teas sea salt
1 lb melted butter (140 degrees)
1 tbl of fresh chopped tarragon

DIRECTIONS

1. Combine all ingredients in stainless bowl
2. Whisk over water bath until double in size
3. Slowly drizzle in melted butter while whisking continuously.

RealSeafood_Chef_KMiller_1035Paul Cerveny IV

Your restaurant:  The Real Seafood Co.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Hungarian BBQ, casual fine dining.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 23 years.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime rib on Christmas, Turkey for Thanksgiving.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Potato soup, chicken paprika’s.

RealSeafood_Food_KMiller_1018WINTER DISH – Mahi Mahi Paprikash, served over Csipetke (pinched noodle) with grilled carrots and zucchini

INGREDIENTS:
1pc Mahi Mahi
2oz(v) Onion
2cloves Garlic
2TBL Butter
1TBL Flour
1 Carrot
1 Zucchini
1oz Sour cream
3oz (v) oil
10 oz Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
1TBL Hungarian Hot Paprika

Csipetke (pinched Dough)
1 Egg
1 TBL Water
6-8oz(v) Flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a bowl, beat egg, add water and mix in 6oz flour. Reserve the extra 2oz to add into dough as needed. Cover and let set for 30 min.
  2. Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to boil.
  3. After dough sets, pinch off small pieces into water, cook for 1minute until somewhat firm. Strain out and spread on a tray or plate. Set aside.
  4. In a sauce pot, sauté garlic, onion and Paprika in 1oz of the oil until translucent. Add Stock and reduce to 6oz.
  5. Roll butter in your tablespoon of flour, stir into sauce. It will thicken slightly.
  6. Remove from the stove and let cool for 3-4 min.
  7. Mix in sour cream, stir until sauce is smooth and even colored.
  8. Place the remainder of the oil in a sauté pan and heat till it almost smokes. Place seasoned mahi in oil carefully and cook for 2min, flip, cook for 2 more min. Pull off the burner and let stand for 2 more minutes in hot pan.
  9. Cut zucchini and carrots on the bias, so they’re long and flat. Brush with 1 tsp. oil, salt and pepper. Place on grill for 90 sec. each side. Pull from grill and assemble dish.

 

MancysSteak_ChefBill_KMiller_1083Bill Coyle

Your restaurant: Mancy’s Steak House.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Classic French, Pacific Rim fusion.
Hometown: South Lake Tahoe, CA.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? Eight years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Grilled New York Strip with fresh sauteed Chanterelle mushrooms.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Turkey with all of the trimmings.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Short Ribs.

WINTER DISH –  Roasted Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS:
12 Roma Tomatoes quartered
1 Large Spanish Onion diced
2 Carrots diced
3 Stalks of Celery diced
2 TBS Olive oil
2 Tsp White Sugar
½ Gallon Vegetable Stock
½ lb butter
½ lb Flour
¼ cup tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss your tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper and sugar and place on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 or until the tomatoes begin to blacken around the edges. 
  2. Melt the butter in a 4 quart pot and then add your carrot, celery and onion and saute until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the flour in and lower the heat to medium. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add in your tomato paste. Slowly incorporate your warm vegetable stock and whisk constantly until the stock is all in. Add in your roasted tomatoes and cream.
  5. Blend with an emersion blender until smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You can strain the soup or enjoy it rusticaly. 

 

Bluewater_Chef_KMiller_0840Falisha Faz

Your restaurant: Mancy’s Bluewater Grill.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fundamentally French, nostalgic, fearless, fresh.
Hometown: Blissfield, MI.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? This is my first time cooking in Ohio. I have served the Greater Ann Arbor area for the last seven years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Maple Roasted Brussels sprouts, with crispy lardon bacon, sweet onions, aged balsamic, pure maple syrup, romano, fresh herbs.
What is your go-to holiday meal? I love making the sides, I’m still responsible for the citrus brined, smoked turkey. If I can confess: my absolute favorite is making green bean casserole. Fresh haricot vert, herb roasted mushrooms, white wine, bechamel, and crispy fried shallots.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? My grandfather Henry taught me to make my great grandmothers Capriotada as a young girl, it is a Mexican Bread Pudding, and is traditionally one of the most important, and delicious dishes we serve as a family. It contains cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, raisins, sweet bread, and cheese. Yes…cheese! It is amazing.

Bluewater_Dish1_KMiller_0867WINTER DISH – Capriotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)

INGREDIENTS:
4- 2.3 oz Bolillos, or Crusty French style rolls.
4 C. Water
1 ¼ C.  of grated Piloncillo, or unrefined pressed palm sugar. (if they are unavailable, sub your favorite packed brown sugar)
3 Cinnamon sticks, or 1 ½ tsp. Ground cinnamon.
4 whole cloves
1 ½ Tsp. Mexican Vanilla
1 ½ C. raisins
5 TBS butter
2 ½ C. Shredded Jack cheese, or colby.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Melt butter, tear apart the rolls into one inch pieces, layer on sheet tray and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Set aside & cool.
  4. In a saucepan: Combine sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves. Bring to boil, and reduce heat to medium low, reduce ⅔ way, until syrup consistency. Remove from heat, and cool for at least 2-3 hours, strain out cloves & cinnamon sticks, add vanilla.
  5. Butter an 8×8 baking dish.
  6. In three even layers, like you are building a lasagna…

⅓ Toasted bread, ½ C. raisins, ¾ C. shredded cheese, 1 C. syrup. Repeat two more times. Cover bread with remaining syrup and a light sprinkling of cheese across the top.

  1. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, then uncover & bake until the cheese is golden brown. 
  2. Slice & serve warm.

 

12-1 FEATURE Top Chef - Basil CodyCody German

Your restaurant: Basil Pizza & Wine Bar.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fresh, local, contemporary cuisine.
Hometown: Kent, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? Two and a half, and many more to come!
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Shank specials…I tend to spice it up every year with different types of recipes. It is the leg portion and that I appreciate using every part of the animal, I have also done different takes for vegan shanks.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Beef tenderloin with truffle risotto and chimichurri. I fell in love with using the sous vide technique and it makes for a super tender melt in your mouth beef, it also showcases my fusion cuisine with chimichurri sauce.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Prime Rib or Beef Wellington

12-1 FEATURE Top Chef - Basil DishWINTER DISH – Sous Vide Beef tenderloin with truffle risotto and chimichurri

INGREDIENTS:
6-8 ounces cleaned beef tenderloin fillet
6 ounces cooked risotto
4 fluid ounces beef stock
3 ounces cooked wild mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, oyster or portabella)
A pinch of truffle peelings
A pinch of salt and pepper
3 fluid ounces of heavy cream
1 ounce of parmesan-reggiano or a cheese of your choice

 DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Rub Tenderloin with chimichurri sauce and add to vacuum safe bag and sous vide at 132 degrees for at least 1 hour
  2. Meanwhile, cook risotto and add remaining above ingredients once risotto is al dente. Make sure risotto is creamy and not dry or firm. 
  3. Once tenderloin is done in the sous vide either grill on high or sear in a cast iron. It is already cooked to rare so bring temperature up as desired.

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup diced onion
2 ounces cilantro
1/8 cup garlic
1 lemon juiced
1 cup of shisido peppers or green peppers
1 cup tomatillos
1 jalapeno
1 cup olive oil

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE DIRECTIONS:  

Roast ingredients in oven until soft, add to blender and mix until smooth, add more oil if needed to thin out.

Biaggis_Chef_KMiller_0626Jason Goldsmith

Your restaurant: Biaggi’s.
Your cooking style, in five words or less:  Changes with the seasons.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Caramel Apple Cheesecake.
What is your go-to holiday meal?  A meal I can go to and not have to cook.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Chili.

Biaggis_Dish1_KMiller_0626WINTER DISH – Pumpkin Creme Brule

INGREDIENTS:
24oz. heavy cream
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
½ pound solid pack pumpkin
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste
¼ tsp. ground allspice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
4 liq oz. pasteurized egg yolks
4 whole eggs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until completely combined.
  2. Push through a fine mesh strainer into a sixth pan.
  3. Place 11 dishes on a sheet pan and ladle 6 liq oz of the mixture into each dish.
  4. Place the sheet pan into the oven 80% of the way. Add enough warm water to be halfway up the dishes. This will keep the creme brule from burning on the bottom. Place a second sheet tray upside down on the next rack above the brulees.
  5. Bake at 275 degrees in the convection oven on low fan. After 30 minutes rotate for another 25-30 minutes.
  6. To test for doneness, tap the dish, the very center should be a bit loose. Try not to brown the top.
  7. Remove from the oven, dump the water, cover with another sheet pan and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Ciao_Chef_KMiller_0898Ben Gorsha 

Your restaurant: Ciao!
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fast and fun.
Hometown: Sylvania, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 14 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Pollo Marsala.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Green Bean Casserole.
What is your favorite winter comfort food?  Pho.

WINTER DISH – Vitello di Scallopine e Rosmarino

INGREDIENTS:
5 oz. veal cutlets, pounded thin
Salt and pepper
Flour for dredging
1 TBL olive oil
2 oz. mushroom mix
1 oz. dry sherry
2 oz. heavy cream
2 oz. chicken stock
½ tsp. chopped rosemary
1 TBL. unsalted butter
3 oz. risotto
3 oz. mixed vegetables
½ tsp. minced shallots

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Dust the veal slices in flour and shake excess off.
  3. Place the meat into the skillet and saute for approximately one minute on each side.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute lightly.
  5. Deglaze the skillet with sherry wine and remove the heat. Add the heavy cream, chicken stock, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. Reduce the sauce to 1-3. Add in the butter and stir well.
  6. Arrange the veal on a 12” round plate and pour the sauce over it. Serve with mixed vegetables and risotto.

TopChef_Bar145_Marcus_KmIller_0436Marcus Hartford

Your restaurant: Bar 145.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Elevated upscale comfort food.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 10 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Buttermilk, honey garlic glazed fried chicken sandwich.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Stuffed turkey roulade.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Mashed potatoes and salisbury steak.

TopChef_Bar145_ThanksgivingBurger1_KmIller_0480WINTER DISH – Our signature Fall Feast Thanksgiving burger

INGREDIENTS:
Confit slow roasted turkey legs
Sweet potatoes
Brown sugar
Nutmeg
Heavy Cream
Rosemary
Salt and pepper
Cinnamon
Chicken stock
Garlic salt
Onion powder
Butter
Cranberry relish
Sugar
Citrus zest
Baby spinach
Brioche bun

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook turkey legs between 315-350 degrees for around 2.5-3 hours until they’re fall-off-the-bone in its own fat, mixed with chicken stock as well. Season the turkey heavily.
  2. Make a sweet potato puree spread. Peel and boil or roast the potatoes, puree with hand mixer or food processor, then add brown sugar, nutmeg, heavy cream, rosemary, salt and pepper and a hint of cinnamon.
  3. Make a homemade chicken veloute gravy: Using a chicken stock with a roux, thicken it up into a sauce, season heavy with pepper, salt, garlic salt and onion powder. Finish off with some more butter for texture and glossiness.
  4. Cook down cranberry relish to a compote and add sugar and citrus zest.
  5. Finish on a bed of baby spinach, between a hot buttered toasted brioche bun.

 

FinalCut_CJacob1_KMiller_0690Jake Henry

Your restaurant: Final Cut Steak and Seafood.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Traditional foods with a modern take.
Hometown: Lambertville, MI.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 15 years (age 16-31)
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Braised Lamb Shank, black rice, carrot, melted leeks, barley dust, lamb jus.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Grandma’s house – always a variety – veg trays, shrimp cocktail, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, hand frosted cookies, roasted chicken, egg nog.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? A hearty soup, such as beef vegetable. Mashed potatoes corn and gravy never goes wrong when wanting to take a nap either.

FinalCut_Lamb1_KMiller_0682HOLIDAY DISH – Easy Take on Final Cut Lamb Shank

INGREDIENTS:
Lamb Shank
1 Carrot
1 Celery
2 onion
1 Leek
Barley
Chicken stock
Red wine
Butter
Salt and pepper to taste 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Braise Lamb Shanks in mirepoix (carrot, onion, celery), red wine and chicken stock.
  2. Cut leeks and melt in a sauce pan over medium heat with butter until this are nearly translucent and well coated in the fat. 
  3. Cook barley.
  4. Strain liquid from braised lamb and use as your jus. Set carrots aside.
  5. Plate dish with barley carrot and melted leaks, place lamb on barley and ladle jus into bowl.

CorkAndKnife_KMiller_0498Joseph Jacobsen

Your restaurant: Cork & Knife Provisions.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Modern rustic comfort food.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 15-plus years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: A Taste of Autumn: Goat Cheese Polenta topped with cider braised shredded pork and smoked apples.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Polish food is always a must in my family even if it’s just a side. Potato pancakes and pierogi are always a good addition to any holiday meal.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? A hearty pasta with some spicy sausage and fresh vegetables, topped with a cashew cream vodka sauce.

CorkAndKnife_Peroggi1_KMiller_0498WINTER DISH – Sauerkraut Pierogi sauteed in brown butter and topped with mushrooms and onions.

INGREDIENTS:
For Filling/Outside:
4 cups of sauerkraut (homemade or jarred)
4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup diced onion (sweet onion preferred)
1 cup of diced cremini mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 strips of smoked bacon

For Dough:
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup boiling water

DIRECTIONS:

For Filling:

  1. Dice up bacon and cook up in pan until crisp.
  2. Drain some of grease, but not all. Place sauerkraut in pan with bacon and mix up in hot pan (with burner off).
  3. Empty into bowl and set aside.

For dough:

  1. Place the flour on a clean work surface.
  2. Add the salt.
  3. Make a well in the top of the flour and add the egg.
  4. Work the egg into the flour.
  5. Slowly add the water to the flour mixture, mixing it in as you go.
  6. Knead dough until smooth.

To assemble:

  1. Roll the dough out very thin, approx 1/16 inch.
  2. Cut into round circles using a glass or a cookie cutter.
  3. Add a spoonful of the filling to the center of each circle, compacting the filling.
  4. Fold the dough around the filling, sealing the edges, creating a half circle or crescent shape.
  5. When all of the pierogi are filled, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  6. Sautee mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoon of butter. Empty into bowl and set aside for now.
  7. Place the rest of butter into a sauté pan with onion and begin to brown on low.
  8. Cook the pierogi in boiling water for just a few minutes and transfer them with a slotted spoon to sauté pan with butter and onion. Turn heat up just a bit.
  9. Crisp up the outside of the pierogi and brown the butter a bit while doing so—turning pierogi over to get both sides.
  10. Once light brown, place all pierogi into a serving dish and top with mushrooms.

 

AdamsStreetCafe_Cef_KMiller_0561John Kerstetter

Your restaurant: The Adams Street Cafe.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fresh, simple, classic comfort food.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 22 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Ribeye steak and halibut dinner.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Ribeye steaks.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Chicken pot pie.

AdamsStreetCafe_Dish_KMiller_0545WINTER DISHSweet potato hash and eggs

INGREDIENTS:
1 sweet potato
3 strips bacon
1/4 sliced sweet onion
1 clove sliced garlic
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dice sweet potato and blanch in boiling water till tender
  2. Chop bacon and cook in a cast iron pan till crisp
  3. Add sweet onion and sliced garlic
  4. Add potatoes and cook till browned, season with salt and pepper
  5. Plate and add 2 eggs cooked your way (I like mine basted or sunny side up)

 

12-1 TOP CHEF - Rosies Eric KishEric Kish

Your restaurant: Rosie’s Italian Grille.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Creative, adventurous, comforting, experimental, diverse.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 21 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Seafood Jambalaya.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime Rib.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Mac and Cheese.

12-1 TOP CHEF Rosies Seafood JambalyaWINTER DISH – Seafood Jambalaya

INGREDIENTS:
1 sweet red pepper sliced
1 small sweet onion sliced
8oz sliced button mushrooms
2oz unsalted butter
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon Cajun season
8 shrimp 16-20 size
4 u-10 scallops cut in half
6oz of fish diced up
1 Italian sausage link coin cut
6oz chicken breast diced up
8oz of rice
2oz sherry
4oz hot sauce
8oz beef stock
8oz pizza sauce

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook the rice according to the directions on the box, set aside. 
  2. In a large sauté pan melt the butter and add all the protein and vegetables and let that cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the sherry and hot sauce and let that cook for another 1-2 minutes. 
  4. Add the beef stock, pizza sauce and Cajun seasoning let that simmer for about 5 minutes or until the protein is fully cooked.
  5. Take off the heat, and serve with rice. Enjoy.

 

StubbornBro_KMiller_0565Enrique Lopez

Your restaurant: The Stubborn Brother Pizza Bar.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Authentic, fresh, flavorful, visual, love.
Hometown: Oaxaca, Mexico.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo: 8 years.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Ceviche.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Chicken noodle soup.

WINTER DISH – Ceviche

INGREDIENTS:
4 Tilapia filets, chopped
1 cup lime juice
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 chopped red onion
2 chopped Jalapeno peppers
1 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
1 T dry oregano
2 T olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix Tilapia filets and lime juice, keep in fridge for 2 hours
  2. Mix in remainder of ingredients and serve chilled

12-1 FEATURE Top Chef - MawardyReza Mawardy

Your restaurant: Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Artistic, beautiful and detailed.
Hometown: Medan, Indonesia.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 15 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Chirashi.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Tuna with mango salsa.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Homemade beef stew.

12-1 FEATURE Top Chef - Nagoya dishWINTER DISHSteamed Maine Lobster

INGREDIENTS:
1 lobster
Garlic butter
Chopped salmon
Scallions
Pine nuts
Miso glaze
Mango Sauce
Sriracha

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Steam the lobster in a pot with garlic butter for 7 minutes.
  2. Chop the salmon, scallions and pine nuts. Mold all three into a tartar form.
  3. Garnish the plate with avocado, cucumber and edible flower.
  4. Use the different sauces to create designs on the plate.

ToledoGQ_Carlos_KMiller-1100Jose Carlos Mendez

Your restaurant: Carlos Restaurants (Cocina de Carlos, Carlos Poco Loco, Carlos Que Pasa).
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fresh, clean, innovative without complications.
Hometown: Degollado, Jalisco, Mexico
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 14 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Tacos and tamales, haha.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Birria.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Pozole (hominy pork soup). Also chicken or vegan variations.

WINTER DISH Pozole (hominy pork soup)

The day you cook it, “delicious,” but, every day that passes and you reheat it, “super yummy.”

INGREDIENTS:
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 dried chiles de arbol, stem and seeds removed
2 dried ancho chiles, stem and seeds removed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stem and seeds removed
3 (15-oz.) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
Thinly sliced radishes, for serving
Thinly sliced green cabbage, for serving
Freshly chopped cilantro, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  • 1. Season pork with salt and pepper. In a large pot over medium heat, add pork, onion, garlic, cloves, cumin seeds, bay leaf, and broth. Add enough water to cover pork by two inches. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer one and a half hours, skimming foam off top as necessary.  
  • 2. Place dried chiles into a medium bowl and pour two cups of boiling water in. Let soak 30 minutes. Place chiles and about ½ cup of their soaking liquid into a blender. Blend until smooth, adding more water as necessary. 
  • 3. Add chile puree and hominy to the pot with the pork. Continue to simmer, covered, until pork is very tender, one and a half hours more. 
  • 4. Serve pozole with radishes, cabbage, and cilantro. 

topErika Rapp

Your restaurant: Registry Bistro.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Modern Midwest cuisine.
Hometown: Lake Township – go Flyers!
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? I moved back to Toledo 15 years ago. I’ve been cooking for 24-ish years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Every year we make sticky toffee pudding cake. We serve it Warm with topped with Earl Grey Ice Cream & Salted Pralines. It’s definitely a favorite among our team and everyone else. We offer it on our dessert menu throughout the holiday season.
What is your go-to holiday meal? A holiday tradition in our family along with turkey is Pheasant Stuffed Pheasant. A recipe I learned from the first chef I apprenticed under. First, I prepare a mousseline from the dark meat & cognac and stuff the light meat with the mousseline. Then I slow roast the pheasant on the bone until the skin is crispy. Then carve it, and serve the dish with roasted mushrooms and a rich demi sauce made from the pheasant bones. It’s a wonderfully tedious and decadent dish that we indulge in once a year.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Hands down…meatloaf, preferably served with roasted carrots.

WINTER DISH – Roasted Chestnut Soup

INGREDIENTS:
2 T unsalted butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 Bu. Fresh Thyme
1 Bay leaf
¼ c. Brandy, Cognac, White Wine or Whiskey ( it’s all your preference here)
6 c. Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth (preferably homemade but store bought is fine but use low sodium if possible)
1lbs. Roasted & Peeled Chestnuts ( these can be purchased pre roasted & shelled or you can roast them yourself. Be sure to cut an x in the bottom prior to roasting to prevent exploding chestnuts)
3 T Cold Chopped Butter
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Pinch of Nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over low heat
  2. Stir in onion & sweat until translucent
  3. Add garlic & stir until you can smell the aroma
  4. Turn the heat up & stir until you see some browning on the bottom of the pan forming
  5. Add your liquor of choice (be very careful here, any high proof liquor will flame up— I recommend turning off the flame when doing this to be safe)
  6. Add the broth, chestnuts, thyme & bay leaf
  7. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour on low heat, covered as to not reduce the soup
  8. Puree in blender until velvety smooth
  9. Place back on stove
  10. Wisk in cold butter & nutmeg – season to preference
  11. Serve

12-1 TOP CHEF Smokehouse Lee Reneau vintage photoLee Reneau

Your restaurant: Smokehouse 734.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: High quality ingredients prepared simply.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 17 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Gumbo.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Smoked turkey.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Homemade chili.

WINTER DISHLee’s Gumbo

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 cup butter
4 links andouille sausage cut in half moon pieces
2 cups diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups smoked pulled chicken
1 cup cut okra
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add butter to stock pot, brown andouille sausage. 
  2. Add onion, green pepper, and celery. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. 
  3. Add flour and mix well. 
  4. Add chicken stock. 
  5. Add chicken, okra, and all seasonings. 
  6. Simmer 15 minutes. 
  7. Serve in bowl over white rice. 

DSC_0214Moussa Salloukh

Your restaurant: Souk Mediterranean Kitchen.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fresh, from the heart, no rules.
Hometown: Born in Zahle, Lebanon, came here at three years old, been here ever since.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 25-plus.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Garlic roaster duck breast with pomegranate glaze.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Leg of lamb.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Kibbeh nayeh (spiced raw meat).

WINTER DISH – Bread Pudding

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups granulated sugar
12 large beaten eggs
4 cups milk
4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 loaves cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups chopped pecans

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup brandy

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2 inch pan.
  2. Mix together granulated sugar, eggs and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter and pecans.
  4. Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce: Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

smithSteve Smith

Your restaurant: Mancy’s Italian Grill.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Refined comfort.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 8 years.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? Piedmontese Bone-in Ribeye.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime Rib and perogies.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Mashed potatoes.

dishWINTER DISH – Pierogi

INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH:
2 cups AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
1 cup warm mashed potatoes
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

INGREDIENTS TO FINISH:
4 tablespoons butter, cold
1 medium onion, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the dough: Mix together the flour and salt. Add the egg to the flour and combine. The dough will be quite clumpy at this stage.
  2. Work in the sour cream and soft butter until the dough comes together in a slightly rough, slightly sticky ball.
  3. Using just your fingertips, knead and fold the dough without adding additional flour until the dough becomes less sticky but still quite moist.
  4. Wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, or up to 48 hours.
  5. To make the filling: Combine the warm mashed potato and cheese. Stir and mash until the cheese is melted and the filling is cool to the touch. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
  6. To fill the pierogi: Roll half the dough 1/8″ thick. Use a 2″ round cutter to cut circles of dough. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Save the scraps; these can be snipped into small pieces and added to simmering soups.
  7. Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of filling on each round of dough. Gently fold the dough over, forming a pocket around the filling. Pinch the edges of the pierogi to seal, then seal again with the tines of a fork.
  8. At this point the pierogi can be frozen for up to 4 weeks, or refrigerated overnight, or cooked in a large stockpot of boiling salted water. Only cook about 10 pierogi at a time, so that they have room to float without sticking. When the pierogi float, they’re done. The time will vary depending on if they are fresh or frozen.
  9. Sauté the shallots or onion in the butter in a large skillet until the onion begins to brown. Add the drained pierogi and cook until browned and crisped. Serve hot with additional sour cream, applesauce, or other condiments.

12-1 FEATURE Top Chef - Ye Olde Durty Bird Sous Chef Team for TCP Dec2020Ye Olde Durty Bird Sous Chef Team

PHOTO: Andre Pitts (front left), Don McCluskey (back left), Shawn Grant (front middle), Gary Yglesias (back right) & Josh Juhasz (front right)

Your restaurant: Ye Olde Durty Bird.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Quick quality in house cooking.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 9 years.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? Holiday Prime Rib Dinner.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime Rib.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Our Durty Chili Mac.

WINTER DISH – Holiday Fried Brussel Sprouts (Yields 6-8 servings)

INGREDIENTS:
32-38oz Fresh Brussels sprouts (equivalent to 8 cups once trimmed and halved)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt or to taste
1⁄4 Cup Balsamic Reduction (See recipe)
1 Cup Dried Cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. 
  2. Rinse Brussels sprouts in colander or strainer and give a good shake to remove excess water. Trim off stem end and cut the brussels sprout in half.
  3. In large mixing bowl, toss trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts with Olive oil.
  4. Spread out Brussels sprouts on a half sheet tray in a single layer.
  5. Place on center rack in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir Brussels sprouts then return to oven for additional 20 minutes cook time.
  7. Remove from oven and place in mixing bowl, sprinkle in salt and dried cranberries and toss all together.
  8. Transfer to serving dish and drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve!

INGREDIENTS FOR BALSAMIC REDUCTION:
1 Bottle of Balsamic Vinegar (16.9oz/500mL)
1/8 Orange Wedge with Rind
1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar

  1. Before starting, place a small plate in your freezer. You will need it to test the cooled consistency of the reduction near the end of the reduction process.
  2. Pour the entire bottle of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan over high heat.
  3. Add brown sugar and stir with whisk, then add the orange wedge to sauce pan. Bring to a boil then let simmer on medium heat for about one hour to reduce and thicken. Be careful not to scorch reduction during this process.
  4. Before the reduction cools, remove small plate from freezer and place a few large drops of the reduction on the plate to test it. It should stiffen quickly on the test plate when at proper reduction consistency. If it runs, keep it on the heat and continue to simmer and return plate to freezer for retesting. 
  5. Once you have reached proper reduction consistency, allow to cool down to room temperature before using.

* Time saving note: You can buy premade “balsamic glaze” at most grocery stores and use this as a substitution instead of making your own balsamic reduction!


WhiskeyWolf_Chef2_KMiller_0880
Alex Braden

Your restaurant: Whiskey and the Wolf.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Old school with modern technique.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 12 years.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Roasted Duck with Blackberry Coulis.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Pot roast with root vegetables and a simple mushroom gravy.

2018_TopChef_Benchmark-0121Jeff Dinnebeil

Your restaurant: Benchmark.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Simple and executed with love.
Hometown: Sylvania, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 15 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: We do a pretty awesome board that we lovingly refer to as the Butchers Board. It is all of our prime steaks and anything special that we can get our hands on to make it fantastic.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Slow Roasted Prime Rib with all the trimmings.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Definitely has to be making rich and creamy Italian Polenta with any kind of delicious braised meat. (It is my wife’s and daughter’s favorite thing I make.) 

Shortys_Chefs_KMiller_1077Brian Hein

Your restaurant: Shorty’s True American Roadhouse.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: All inclusive.
Hometown: Stilwell, KS.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 9 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Snickerdoodle Caramel Apple Cobbler.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Chicken and sausage Jambalaya.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Pot Roast.

ONLY USE IF NECESSARY 12-1 TOP CHEF Sidelines Chris HinesChris Hinds 

Your restaurant: Sidelines Italian Grille.
Your cooking style, in five words or less: Fresh, classic, simple, comforting.
Hometown: Toledo, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 14 years.
Favorite dish you serve in the restaurant during the holidays: Pork Tenderloin with bacon maple reduction.
What is your go-to holiday meal? Prime Rib.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Lasagna. 

Deets_Pacer1_KMiller_0595Pacer Miller

Your restaurant: Deet’s BBQ.
Your cooking style, in 5 words or less: Marinades for days!
Hometown: Sylvania, OH.
How many years have you cooked in Toledo? 3 years.
Favorite dish you serve during the holidays: I’m not gonna lie, I’m a big supporter of Porchetta. I like the novelty and versatility of it.
What is your go-to holiday meal? With a whole filet of salmon, you can make enough salmon wellington to feed a group of four. Faster to make than you’d think. Great with a light salad, roast vegetables, or a risotto if you have the time.
What is your favorite winter comfort food? Beef Stews and Lasagnas have kept me and my family warm through many cold dark winters!