In an attempt to keep track of my stories, here is a quick Q&A I did with a personal chef in West Palm Beach, Chef Jeremy Hanlon. It’s such a treat to chat with chefs. What I admired most about Chef Hanlon was how he continually challenged his sense of taste. His diligence in the kitchen now affords him the freedom to make a living creating new dishes (using the best local ingredients) nearly every day.
As part of winning the Hot Chef Challenge in 2010 (a contest put on by the National Restaurant Association), he was flown to Chicago where he cooked alongside Chef Marcus Samuelsson — who also happened to have been one of the judges when Chef Hanlon appeared on the TV Food Network’s Chopped.
Hanlon’s Hot Chef Challenge winning dish was meant to showcase fresh ingredients as well as his take on future restaurant hot trends. It included achiote-accented cobia prepared “sous vide” with local oranges, fennel and scallion and served with toasted organic quinoa and fresh basil. He also made a neat-o flatbread for dessert topped with farm fresh ricotta, grilled pears, and blackberries macerated in acai berry juice – and then he added aged manchego! No joke.
If you are interested in creating your own dish to enter in this year’s contest, you can start by downloading and reading the NRA’s latest trends survey here.