Hot Chef Inspired Holiday Recipes to make at Home

Tuesday 01st, November 2016 / 09:24 Written by
Hot Chef Inspired Holiday Recipes to make at Home

Hot Chef Inspired Holiday Recipes Whipped up and Ready to Go

Tis the season for hot chef inspired stovetops, bold aromas and calories galore. Fall has arrived and with the holidays on the horizon, families are planning their excavations in the kitchen and preparing their menus for the special times ahead. Restaurant Gwendolyn’s Head Chef and Owner Michael Sohocki, The Clean Plate’s Chef Cat New, Chef Jason Garcia of Il Forno and The Well’s Chef Chemo Barrera and Sous Chef Ashley of Forthright in Austin, all specialize in culinary excellence and enjoy putting a spin on seemingly simply holiday food staples. You’re in luck – they have chosen to share their unique holiday favorites with you and give you recipes of insight for their homegrown menus this year.
Below are seven exquisitely delicious holiday recipes from each chef that are sure to impress your families, friends and guests this year. With these recipes, you’ll be cooking like a true chef this holiday season.

Hot Chef Inspired

This hot chef inspired Recipe is by: Head Chef/Owner Michael Sohocki

Establishment: Restaurant Gwendolyn

I have made sweet potatoes many times and many different ways, but the best recipe I’ve ever received came from my ex-mother-in-law, Yumiko Shimono. She calls Osaka, Japan home and makes wonders in the kitchen. Yumiko is the best cook I’ve ever known. She fills the air with incredible aromas and truly knows how to create immaculate flavor in her dishes. I’m thrilled to share one of her most delightful recipes, Ishiyaki Imo.

Sweet Potatoes, uncut (preferably 2 inches or less in diameter)

A wide, flat-bottomed pot (with a lid)


Pull a piece of tinfoil to closely cover the bottom of the pot and an inch up the side. Flatten the tinfoil down against the pot with a soft dry towel (this is just to protect your pot from scorch marks). Scrub the sweet potatoes with cold water to remove any dirt, but without damaging the skin. Lay the potatoes against the floor of the vessel tightly packed together, and then cover the pot and cook on medium heat. They will scorch and smolder, just as they would cook among hot rocks of a wood fire. Turn them over periodically until each side has received some smoke and spirit, and they are tender all the way through. (And then we eat them!)
The flavor of Japanese sweet potatoes is far more intense than what you find in America: white flesh, lower water content, almost starchy. If you are lucky enough to find them, they are worth $2 more than the Western models. I had the good fortune to live in a tight-knit community, where our neighbor who tended a huge garden would bring us buckets of bristling fresh vegetables throughout the year. He would come to the door with a large basket and an excited grin and yell through the front foyer, “Sweet Potatoes! Hurry!” As they say, “tsutchi kara, nabe mad-e”: “from dirt to pot.” If you have never had potatoes like this, you are missing out on the true flavor and excellence of them.
Note: For hundreds of years, “Ishiyaki Imo” has been a common street food in Japan. Late at night after bars let out, the hawkers push a wooden wagon with a brazier full of coals and sweet potatoes through the streets, singing “iiiiiishiiiiyaaAAAKEEEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMOOOoooooo!” You can buy them for a dollar or two all night long. They are eaten unadorned, rolled in a bit of paper or from a paper bag.

Hot Chef Inspired

This hot chef inspired Recipe is by: Chef Cat New

Establishment: The Clean Plate

cast iron skillet or 9 x 13 baking pan


2 mixing bowls

2c cornmeal, organic

2c flour, organic

2T salt

1/3c sugar

2T baking powder

1/2t smoked, sweet paprika


2c buttermilk, organic

2-3 eggs, (pastured eggs – 2 large, 3 small)

1 stick melted butter

1/2c bacon grease or vegetable oil

2c sharp cheddar/gouda/smoked cheddar

1c diced onions, small dice

mild version – 1 diced poblano + 2 diced jalapenos

hot version – 6 diced jalapenos

2c fresh corn off the cob

1. Grease pan or cast iron skillet and place in 350 degree preheated oven.

2. Sautee onions on medium-high for 3 minutes, add diced peppers. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add corn, pinch of salt and set into bowl to cool.

3. Combine all dry ingredients.

4. In other bowl with peppers, corn and onions, add wet ingredients. After combining wet ingredients, add wet to dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

5. Let rest for 15 minutes.

6. Add mixture to hot pan/cast iron and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick /knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Hot Chef Inspired

This hot chef inspired Recipe is by: Chef Jason Garcia

Establishment: Il Forno

This dish brings together the flavors of fall with peppery arugula that becomes available in South Texas once the weather cools down in late September and early October.

1 medium acorn squash

4 oz arugula

2 oz pea tendrils

1 oz chunky garlic bread crumbs

2 oz roasted onions

½ oz fresh sweet mace, chopped

4 fl. oz oregano coriander vinaigrette


Slice acorn squash in half along the center from top to bottom. Remove and reserve seeds for another use. Season with salt, pepper and EVOO, and place face down on a sheet pan. Roast in a 400-degree oven, uncovered for 45 minutes or until soft to the touch. Remove and cool. Once cool slice into segments along the ribs of the squash. To prepare the salad, divide the squash onto four plates, season with salt and pepper. Place all other ingredients in a bowl and toss together with oregano coriander vinaigrette (recipe below). Top each plate of squash with a portion of the dressed salad. Top each salad with breadcrumbs.


This bright acidic vinaigrette pairs well with a Sauvignon Blanc from Veneto.

½ C white wine vinegar


2 T coriander, toasted and ground

1 T whole white pepper, toasted and ground

½ tsp honey

1 T fresh oregano, chopped

1.5 T kosher salt

Mix all ingredients except EVOO together in a bowl. Whisk in EVOO. Refrigerate at least two hours to allow for the flavors to marry, prior to using.

Hot Chef Inspired

This hot chef inspired Recipe is by: Chef Chemo Barrera

Establishment: The Well

10 lbs Texas venison

2 ea. yellow onions, medium diced

3 ea. carrots, medium diced

½ ea. celery stalk, medium diced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

2 T black pepper

1 T ground cumin

1 T chili powder

1 cup bourbon

3 qts. beef stock

3 ea. Roma tomatoes

1 lb of white mushrooms

salt to taste

1. Brown venison in pot, then remove.

2. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic and sweat until translucent, about 3-5 min.

3. Add pepper, cumin, chili powder and toast for 30-45 seconds.

4. Add venison back in and cover with stock and bring to a simmer.

5. Simmer for about an hour then add tomatoes, mushrooms and simmer for another hour, or until tender.

6. Add salt to taste.



Hot Chef Inspired

Recipe by: Chef Chemo Barrera

Establishment: The Well

2 cans cream of mushroom

3 cans green beans

1 T salt

1 T black pepper

3 cans fried onions

10 ea. Portabella mushrooms

1. Combine the cream of mushroom, green beans, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings if needed.

2. Stuff portabella mushroom tops with mixture.

3. Top with fried onions.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

Hot Chef Inspired

Recipe by: Chef Chemo Barrera

Establishment: The Well

4-5 bunches of collard greens, cleaned and destemmed

1 ea. smoked ham hock

2 ea. yellow onion, medium diced

5-6 garlic cloves, minced

2 T black pepper

1 T ground cumin

2 qts. chicken stock

4 ea. Roma tomatoes, medium diced

salt to taste

1. Clean collards by removing from the steam and washing.

2. Sweat the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the ham hock and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.

4. Add black pepper and ground cumin and toast for about 45 seconds.

5. Add the greens back in and cover with stock.

6. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

7. Add the Roma tomatoes back in and simmer another 15 minutes.

8. Garnish with diced ham hock meat.

Hot Chef Inspired

This hot chef inspired Recipe is by: Sous Chef Ashley Neave



16 ounces unsalted butter

6.15 ounces cocoa powder

32.2 ounces turbinado sugar

16 ounces eggs

0.8 ounces vanilla extract

13.4 ounces GF pastry flour

0.2 ounces salt

8 ounces walnuts, chopped


1. Melt butter in a sauce pan. Have cocoa powder and sugar ready in mixer bowl. Once butter is melted and foaming, pour over coca/sugar and mix until incorporated.

2. Add vanilla and eggs until fully incorporated.

3. Add salt and flour and mix again until incorporated.

4. Spread in ½ sheet pan and smooth the top. Cover with chopped walnuts.

5. Bake in 350-degree oven for 11 minutes, turn, then another 11 minutes.

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