See What’s Cooking with Chef Davis
Executive Chef Michael Davis believes that the creative innovation of wholesome foods is the best approach to eating. He says foods unadulterated by chemicals, layered in flavors with a picturesque presentation is at the heart of his cooking.
We recently sat down with Chef Davis – a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation – to whip up this Meal Plan Map exclusive interview with our newest blogger.
Chef Davis may be a man of few words, but he is a chef of many culinary talents – and he’s agreed to cook up regular advice for our subscribers. So, come and get it!
You believe a creative innovation of wholesome foods is the best approach to eating. So, what exactly does that mean?
It means we creatively take ideas and information that we have of a product, such as paella (seafood rice dish with saffron) – make a risotto with fresh stock (using saffron in it), then adding cut artichokes and peas to it once completed. Then I’ll take the risotto and form a cake individually portioned, brown it in a pan, then take a nice piece of fish, say salmon, and serve the salmon on top of the risotto cake and garnish the dish with steamed point neck clams with a bit of saffron seafood broth for sauce.
What inspired you to become a chef — and what did you do before you answered the call?
Honestly, I had started a family and needed a career. I didn’t want to get into carpentry because my friends were always being rained out and unable to work. I knew I liked food and it was certainly more in view than building rocket ships
What do you consider the 5 essential kitchen gadgets?
A good meat thermometer; a stand-up mixer (Kitchen Aid with attachments), a long, sturdy wooden spoon, an immersion blender and a pair of tongs.
I hate spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Got any time savers for the novice chef like me?
Cooking at home is cheaper than eating out, and when you control the ingredients it is more wholesome, less filled with additives and preservatives.
You can utilize ingredients in the store to assist your recipe, such as diced, frozen peppers and diced, frozen onions.
Also, l look in the specialty and international food aisle to save time and make some ‘wow’ dishes utilizing Asian marinades and Spanish sofrito for extra flavor. There are a number of great foods out there to aid in this technique. Experiment and be open to new taste sensations.
While we are on the subject of saving time — how can I cut the time it takes to grocery shop?
The best way to cut the time grocery shopping is to make a plan for the week – when and what you will be cooking. Write it down and utilize your list to shop. You will know exactly what you need which will save you plenty of time.
If you are in a more populated area, many of the grocery stores offer online food shopping. Provide them your list and they will even deliver or have it ready for you at the store.
What are a few of your all-time favorite dishes?
Well, I am an Irish descendant so I am more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I love breaded pork chops served with apple sauce, homemade macaroni and cheese, baked cod, fried seafood of any kind, and roasted Brussels sprouts.
What dish should be avoided when dining out?
Personally I think lobster. It is extremely high priced, you have to wear a bib to eat it, and you probably should offer an umbrella and protective goggles to your guests.
For me, this is better enjoyed at home or on an oceanfront dock where you can’t tell the difference between the ocean mist and the residual lobster spray.
Thank you, Chef Davis. We look forward to sampling your insights and advice in the coming months.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.