Michael Jackson's Chef

Kai Chase, Part 2 of 2

Kai Chase July 1

Kai Chase July 1

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Healthy Living Magazine: Can you give us the scoop on any special requirements, if any, when you were cooking for the president?

Kai Chase: Wow. That was a great gig to get. I had two hours to come in, prep the food, make it and present it.

Healthy Living Magazine: For how many people?

Kai Chase: It was 100 people. I had staff that worked with me but what I decided to do for him was something really simple and taste-worthy. So I did a lot of different tapas. I was really creative with the various dishes using ingredients from his native background and regions of upbringing. Influences of Hawaiian, Indonesian, African and American. So one of the dishes I prepared for him and his guests was a tandoori and pineapple chicken satay with a vanilla bean sabayon dipping sauce. It was fun and it was tasty.

Healthy Living Magazine: What’s your favorite dish to make?

Kai Chase: My favorite would have to be my signature Rock-a-celebrity mole. It’s my version of guacamole and my signature dish. Avocado and guacamole are the center of any Mexican or Latin cuisine, but I jazz it up a little bit and use more Latin flavors than typical.

Healthy Living Magazine: Did you go to a culinary school?

Kai Chase: I went to two culinary schools. I went to one here in Los Angeles called Epicurean. I graduated and from there went to Le Cordon Bleu Paris where I did my master studies.

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Celebrity Chef Kai Chase

Healthy Living Magazine: You lived in Paris? For how long?

Kai Chase: I lived in Paris for a few months doing master studies and enjoying the culture, the people and the food. I made great friends and I am still friends with some of the chefs there.

Healthy Living Magazine: You have quite an interesting life.

Kai Chase: Thank you, Yana. I love life and I have a good time. I love what I do, too.

Healthy Living Magazine: What do you think is the healthiest meal that you can make? A meal where all the ingredients are superfoods.

Kai Chase: I like to use tofu. So I make alternative dishes for non-healthy eaters. And it cracks me up when they fall in love with the dish and don’t even realize how good it is for them. For instance, on game day like Super Bowl, I make a caramelized onion and roasted garlic dip using soft tofu in place of cream cheese or sour cream. I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities who like tofu, who are into vegan, macrobiotic, and don’t want any dairy in their diet. I’ll make salad dressings like ranch or blue cheese, but I’ll use a soft tofu and almond milk to replace the dairy. You can flavor it up with some celery seeds. There are a lot of dried and fresh ingredients on the market today that people overlook. You can add celery seed to Worcestershire. It will have a creamy consistency and it’s good for you.

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Celebrity Chef Cheryl Najafi

Healthy Living Magazine: What is the weirdest request you’ve gotten from a celebrity client, if you can share?

Kai Chase: The strangest request I’ve had from one of my celebrity clients was from Steve Harvey. He was working on the set of the Steve Harvey show. And he requested that I make him some chitlins. chitlins, which are pork intestines. They are a Deep Southern favorite of African American people. And it’s something that he had that taste for. He wanted me to make them in his dressing room trailer. Chitlins, if you know, take a long time to clean and they have a smell to them. You have to clean them well, but it takes a few hours to do and they take all day to prepare. So that was a challenge, knowing that I’ve never had them before and I’d never made them before, but I ended up pulling it off. He loved them. Doused it with hot sauce. But that was the strangest request. He’s now a very healthy eater.

Kai Chase July Guacamole

Kai Chase July Guacamole

"Rock-A-Mole” & Chile-Lime Tortilla Chips

Signature Recipe and Story Courtesy of: Kai Chase

2 Large Haas Avocados, Cut and Seeded
½ Poblano Chile, Seeded, Stemmed and Finely Chopped
1 Serrano Chile, Seeded, Stemmed and Finely Chopped
½ Medium Red Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Cilantro, Chopped
½ Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
2 2 oz. Jars Pimento, Sliced (juice removed)
½ Granulated Garlic
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

On a wooden cutting board slice the avocado length wise and open, remove the seed with a chef’s knife and scoop the green, creamy flesh into a large mixing bowl. Using a fork mash the avocado until it becomes a semi-chunky and creamy consistency. Add the poblano chile, serrano, onion and pimento, mix together with fork. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

To Make The Chips:

Yellow Corn Tortillas (1 dozen), cut into triangles
½ tsp. Chile Powder
1 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbl.Lime, Fresh
Safflower Oil Cooking Spray

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet spread the tortillas evenly and coat with the safflower oil spray on both sides. Sprinkle with salt, chile powder and lime juice. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and serve warm with the “Rock-A-Mole.”

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