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Chef Terrell “T” McMullen

Terrell “T” McMullen

Owner – Rell’s Kitchen / Cook – Crazy Uncle Mike’s 

“Every Chef that took a chance on me. I wouldn’t have gotten to this point in my life without the lessons learned from everyone I ever worked for”

Chef Terrell McMullen or Chef T as everyone in the industry calls him is well on his way of gaining a new name, “The Sauce Master”.  Hailing from Queens, NYC it’s no wonder where he gets his passion to accomplish what he has so far, and tackle what he has planned for the future.  Professionally cooking for the past 12 years he attended Johnson & Wales University as well as The N.Y. Culinary Academy.  But he didn’t wake up one day and decide at 18 he wanted to cook, it started a lot younger, “My great aunt got me into cooking when was 12.  It was just simple things like burgers and pasta, but I instantly feel in love with it”.  It may have started simple, but now he is a master of sauces and has his own sauce brand and business to prove it.  When asked what does being a chef means to him, he simply replied “For me it’s creativity, Passion, Joy, and Peace”.  Once you get to know him on a personal level you’ll understand that this answer describes how he carries himself in and out the kitchen.   

The journey to become a chef is never the same for any two individuals, and we all face different challenges.  Overall some of us have faced people who didn’t hold our profession as a highly respected one,  “It use to anger me on a real personal level.  I started my journey before the industry was as popular as it is today. Now it’s just gratifying”.  Being a chef today is highly respected, but don’t underestimate the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to get there.  When asked what chef he looks up to or who has influenced him he couldn’t pick just one, “Every chef that took a chance on me.  I wouldn’t have gotten to the point in my life without the lessons learned from everyone I ever worked for”.  Being able to learn something from each chef he’s worked with and apply it along his journey is one of the skills that has taken him so far already.  Another topic he is passionate about is making sure people understand the misconceptions about the industry, “People don’t always see the time, effort, and stress that goes into creating a dish, let alone a full menu.  Sometimes we make the final result look easier than it actually is”.  Basically just understand that it takes lots of work to make something look simple and taste amazing.  

As you might imagine owning your own business is hard work and takes long hours, but he also works at a restaurant while running his business.  Just like most chefs this means he pulls well over 60+ hours a week at the least so self care is very important.  Chef T has a remedy on how he stays stress free, “Jameson lol, I’ve always been athletic so I work out and play basketball”.  You have to keep yourself healthy because to reach your goals it takes hard work and he’s accomplished two big goals already.  “My first cook position, my head chef was 32.  When I found that out, I made it a personal goal to be one by 30 and I did it.  The second is starting my own business, which I’ve done as well”.  This is just the being of the his culinary journey and he has lots more to share with the world.  Here’s some words of advice from him to any aspiring young chefs in the making, “You have to love it, there are going to be times that this life will take everything and then some out of you.  You just really have to love it”.  

Please Follow Chef “T” On The Following Platforms:

Facebook- Rell’s Kitchen

Instagram – r.k_sauces

Website – Rkitchenonline.com

*Check Out His Site And Buy Sauce Below*

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Island Ceviche

It’s officially Summer, even if some places haven’t gotten the memo yet. So it’s time for the fresh and flavorful food to come out. Ceviche is the perfect food for this time of the year. It’s cool, but packs so much flavor and can also have a bite if you add a little spice. This particular recipe takes traditional and combines it with some techniques that are not always seen in ceviche. There are so many islands in the Caribbean, but each one has different styles for ceviche and this is just one take on it.

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Ceviche is an amazing flavor punch of freshness.  Even though it originates from Peru, it has been adapted into many cultures around the world.  The Caribbean not only took on ceviche, each island has their own take on it.  Trinidad ceviche in particular really balances out the spice of peppers with natural sweetness from tropical fruits.  This recipe takes traditional ceviche native to Trinidad and enhances it with some different culinary techniques. 

  1. Heat olive oil in 10in skillet and cut cherry tomatoes in half.  Add in cherry tomatoes, kosher salt, white pepper, cumin, and sugar into the skillet.  Cook until cherry tomatoes start to caramelize and take off heat to cool down.  
  2. Zest one orange, lime, and lemon and juice all citrus fruit.  Add juice of oranges, limes, and lemons in bowl with tabasco.  
  3. Chop lobster and red snapper into small-med dice and both plus shrimp into bowl of citrus juice. 
  4. Slice red onion thin, rough chop habanero pepper, and cut pineapple and mango into med dice.
  5. In large bowl add pineapple, mango, red onion, red bell pepper, habanero pepper, cilantro, and cherry tomatoes into bowl.  
  6. Pour protein and citrus juice into big bowl and toss all together.  Can serve right away, or let sit for 24 and let all flavors combine.

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Stumbler Cookie

I am in no way shape or form a pastry chef, but if you learn some basics you can really still be a pretty good baker. Baking cookies usually reminds people of their childhood or growing up. Well these are grown up cookies with a shot of whisky to round them out. I’m not a huge chocolate fan, but the amount in these cookies are just enough. The best thing about this recipe is that it’s fun and easy to make and the cookies are chewy and delicious!

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This recipe combine all the great things that you want into one official cookie.  Chewy chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal whisky cookies is a mouthful to say so I’ve officially named them the stumbler cookie.  These are always great for a quick sweet snack and the hint of whisky keeps them from being too sweet.  The best thing about these cookies is that the recipe allows you to go bigger on size without losing the chew or moisture.  

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and set up cooling rack for when cookies come out of the oven. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, either 2 cookie sheets or cook cookies in batches.
  2. Either by hand or in bowl of electric mixer, beat butter until creamy.  This process is easiest when you soften butter first. Add light brown sugar, granulated sugar and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add in eggs one at a time and fully incorporate into mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl mix AP flour, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg together.  Using a rubber spatula, stir the dry mixture into your butter mixture.  Fold in oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and whisky.
  4. Making 20 even dough balls about 2 inches each, and place them on the parchment covered cookie sheets.  Bake cookies for 25 mins and turn sheet halfway through baking process.  Once cookies get golden brown around the edges take out and slid cookies onto cooling rack.  

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Chef Bill Lipscomb

Bill Lipscomb 

Executive Pastry Chef – East Lake Golf Club

“If you’re young and thinking of becoming a chef….DON’T”

Chef Bill is an amazing pastry chef, but that should be no surprise because he attended Culinary School at Ecole L’Enotre. Gaston L’Enotre is known as the grandfather of modern day pastry, but Bill’s love for baking and pastry bloomed earlier in his life.  “I got into baking and pastry because of my mom and dad.  When I was growing up they cooked and baked everything at home”.   He even goes on to acknowledge his mother as the most influential chef in his life because of the fact that she made everything.  This definitely laid the foundation for the chef that he is today. Even though our origin stories are not similar, his thoughts on what being chef means to him resinates with me.   “Being a chef is the greatest thing to me.  It’s fun, there is fulfillment, creativity, I feel I accomplish something everyday I am in the kitchen”. 

Being a working chef and actually living the day to day vs what people see on TV or assume is very different.  “Some of the misconceptions about being a chef, one is that it’s easy and it is by far not at all easy, another is we make a lot of money, being on television is what every chef wants, all chefs can cook is a huge one, we have the best work schedule”.  Out of these I believe I have a discussion about all chefs actually knowing how to cook at least once a week with my friends as well.  Even with misconceptions about what being a chef is, Bill still feels that people respect the craft and career.  “I have never really come in contact with any one who didn’t take what I do seriously, many people I do come into contact with are very curious about what goes on in a kitchen”.  

“One of the proudest moments in my culinary career was when I won a medal in my first baking and pastry competition”. This is no surprise if you have ever had the pleasure of tasting or even just seeing one his creations.  It does take hard work and dedication to reach the level that Bill has, and it comes with lots a sacrifices as well.  As a chef we work long hours and put in loads of time so self-care is usually last on our list of things to do.  Luckily Bill takes the time to keep his stress down by working out at the gym and playing with his daughter.  With all of this being said he does have advice for someone who wants to pursue being a chef.  “If you’re young and thinking of becoming a chef….DON’T”. Sound advice, because I can vouch as well that if you don’t love it it’s not worth it, but if you do it will fulfill you each and everyday.  

Please Follow Chef Bill On The Following Platforms:

Facebook – Bill Lipscomb

Instagram – paystryshef

Twitter – Bill Lipscomb @paystryshef

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Caramelized Onion Mash

Most would probably argue that mashed potatoes is not a revolutionary recipe and most would be correct, but you haven’t tried these. This recipe originated because I was trying to get my little brother to try different foods and he was a picky eater. He liked onions, but they couldn’t be raw and he didn’t like spice at all. So that the whole family could eat the same meals I kept trying to adjust flavors here and there and one day I just ended up adding some leftover caramelized onions into my mash. He tried it and really liked it and when I told him there were loads of onions he freaked out because he didn’t think I was telling the truth. Cooking many different foods in different ways give you loads of different flavor profiles to enjoy.

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Mashed potatoes are one of the easiest things to make, but this recipe will make sure you only eat them this way.  The nice sweetness from the onions and the scent of rosemary is a combination that will keep you coming back for more.  Using the russet potatoes is what makes this dish amazing because they absorb all of the cream and butter the best.  

  1. In a large dutch oven bring 4qt of water to a boil.  Once the water comes to a boil add 1 tbsp of kosher salt and 1 sprig of rosemary to the water.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut in half, then add to the boiling water.  Cook until the potatoes are tender but not too soft.
  3. Heat 2 oz of butter in a skillet and keep heat on medium.  Slice onion thin and add to the pan to caramelize.  
  4. In a small sauce pot heat up heavy cream to a simmer.  Add 1 sprig of rosemary to the heavy cream to steep and flavor the cream.  Grate garlic and add to the cream.  Whisk in 6 oz of butter, paprika, black pepper, and 1 tbsp of kosher salt. 
  5. Put potatoes into the bowl of your stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment turn on low to break up potatoes.  Add in the onions, remove the rosemary sprig from the heavy cream and add in as well.  Mix and adjust salt and pepper to taste, serve while hot.  
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Chef Spotlight – Who Is Chef…?

In the past 10 years of cooking professionally as a Chef I’ve come across some amazing people and I still do. I want to shine a little spotlight on some of these people so that others can see them as well. Hopefully this will introduce you to amazing Chefs in your areas or even far and beyond and you can use their services. At the least you will learn some things about being a Chef in the process with true authentic answers from all the Chefs involved.

WHO’S UP NEXT?

  • Are You A Chef On The Rise?
  • Do You Know Someone Who Is Amazing Cook?
  • Have You Established Yourself And Want To Share Your Wisdom?
  • If Any Of These Apply Please Send Information To My Email To Connect!

chculinarycreations@gmail.com

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Shrimp & Polenta

Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, baked shrimp, shrimp surprise, and so on a so forth. Just like Bubba I’m a big shrimp guy and I like seafood in general so this one was a no-brainer. Shrimp and grits are a staple in the south, but can be heavy and kind of flavorless. I like replacing the grits with polenta and adding some extra spices to really round out the dish, while keeping it light as well. Don’t take my word for it though, just make it and see for yourself.

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Shrimp & Grits is a staple for the south and it’s great for morning noon and night.  This recipe kicks it up a notch and replaces the grits with creamy polenta.  This cajun inspired recipe gives you a spicy flavored sauce on top of creamy soft polenta.  By replacing bacon with pancetta you also don’t have to worry about the entire dish being overpowered.  While most shrimp and grit recipes are heavy with this white wine butter sauce it still fills you up but is very light. 

  1. In a bowl place the shrimp with 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of black pepper, and 1 tbsp of kosher salt.  Grate 4 cloves of garlic into the bowl and mix in the red pepper flakes, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper.
  2. In a small pot add boiling water and heavy cream together and bring to a boil.  Add in 1 tbsp of kosher salt and 1 tsp of black pepper.  
  3. Chop pancetta and shallot into small dice and put aside.
  4. Add polenta into the pot and whisk on low heat until polenta is fully cooked.  
  5. Take polenta off the heat and add 4 oz of butter and 2 oz of grated parmesan cheese and place the lid on top of the pot.
  6. In a skillet add 2 tbsp of olive oil and wait until it is heated up.  Add in shrimp making sure to place shrimp directly on the hot pan, not crowding it.  As the shrimp start to turn from opaque to pink flip over and cook on other side.
  7. Taking a spoon mix together polenta, and place some of the polenta in each bowl.
  8. Using tongs place shrimp on top of polenta.  
  9. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in pan and the pancetta and shallot.
  10. Add white wine into pan to deglaze and turn heat off and add 4 oz of butter to pan. Pour over shrimp and polenta evenly and chop green onions to garnish the top.

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Coffee Crusted Pork Loin

This recipe idea was formed while I was living in Key West working at a Taps restaurant. Everyone on my team loved coffee and I honestly don’t drink it all. The aroma of coffee on the other hand is really nice and I like that scent. Making daily specials I was thinking of a way to make a lunch special with lots of flavors and thought pork could really carry the coffee without being overpowered.

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Pork loin is a great cut of meat because it is very versatile.  Pork can take lots of bold flavors and still shine through.  Crusting the outside with coffee and putting aggressive spices gives the pork an intense flavor.  The sweetness from the drunken cherry sauce will balance out the entire dish.  This recipe can be served alone or along with polenta or mash to absorb all of the juices and flavors.  

  1. Heat grill pan and wipe with vegetable oil.
  2. Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix coffee, cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt in a bowl. 
  4. In a small saucepan heat up black cherries with the brown sugar, honey, orange juice, bourbon, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  5. Reduce cherries until liquid is halved and keep warm for serving.
  6. Take paper towels and remove all moisture off of the pork loin and then roll in the coffee mixture to completely cover.
  7. Using tongs, place pork loin on the grill pan and keep in one spot until grill marks appear.  Turn the pork loin 90 degrees left or right to give you grill marks with a cross-cross-hatch pattern.  
  8. Once you get the pork marked place on a sheet tray and put into the heated oven using an instant read thermometer to go to the temperature of your choice.
  9. Take out pork and let rest for up to 5 mins before slicing, after slicing place cherries and sauce on top and serve with micro-greens as your garnish. 

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Orange Chicken

I like to cook items that not only I personally like, but also that appeal to my culinary style. Being from the south I never really liked traditional southern cuisine , but I tried to find ways to make them more enjoyable. One thing is that I like to fuse asian flavor profiles and ingredients into southern cooking, Combine that love, plus the love of take-out and I came up with this recipe.

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Orange Chicken is one of my favorites when ordering take out.  While it is not very traditional in Asian Cuisine it is something that you can find on almost every take out menu in America.  The best thing about this dish to me is that with the sweet from the orange you can kick up the heat and not overpower the dish. It can be served by itself or paired with rice for a complete meal.

  1. Heat 3 cups of oil (vegetable, or any high temp oil) in dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Pour buttermilk into one container or bowl & put flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a second container.
  3. Mince garlic gloves and add to buttermilk as well as zest from 2 oranges.
  4. In a medium saucepan add orange juice, brown sugar, honey, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, and zest from remaining 2 oranges and turn on low-med heat to reduce.  Keep an eye and stir as needed, after reduction reaches 1/2 turn off heat.
  5. Divide paprika, onion powder, and black pepper evenly in buttermilk mixture and flour mixture.  Add 3 tsp of cayenne pepper to buttermilk mixture and 2 tsp to flour mixture.  Add 2 tbsp of kosher salt to buttermilk mixture and 1 tbsp to flour mixture. Juice all 4 oranges and add to buttermilk mixture, take whisks and mix both mixtures well in their separate bowls.
  6. Cut chicken into small pieces (4in x 4in) and add to buttermilk mixture. Let sit at least 15 mins, and check temp of oil before proceeding.
  7. In batches, take pieces of chicken from buttermilk mixture and toss in flour mixture and fry until golden brown and temp reaches 160 degrees.  
  8. When done move cooked chicken into separate bowl and toss with reduced orange sauce.  Serve over rice or alone on a plate while hot.
  9. Cut up green onions and garnish, optional garnish could be white & black sesame seeds as well.