Guest Chef Sohail & Roasted Delicata Squash December 8, 2015
We’ve already told you how excited we are for Chef Sohail joining our Guest Chef Series, but we just had to remind you that his first featured recipe is coming up in our box next week! His Roasted Delicata Squash with Wheatberries, Pickled Red Onion, and Fresh Ricotta is sure to become your new favorite, with it’s strong flavor and colorful presentation.
We sat down with Chef Sohail to learn more about his inspiration…
HelloFresh: Tell us a bit more about your food philosophy.
As a lover of food, first and foremost, I set I out to create things that I enjoy eating and sharing with guests. While I like to be playful with flavored and combinations, at the end of the day I like to keep it simple – no foams, no micro elements – just delicious, satisfying fare.
From there, I let our locale inspire the details. We are really lucky to live in the agricultural center that we do, with access to the most flavorful produce, creamiest dairy, and incredible, grassy beef.
HF: How and when did you decide to become a chef?
I worked in restaurants in New York City as a way to make money through college. I think there was something that happened around year two of service, where the idea of cooking for and hosting hungry diners, became a real one that could take shape. It really chose me, more than I chose it.
HF: What do you do in your spare time to gain inspiration for new recipes?
Exploring the Catskills and picking the brain of my girlfriend, Sara, who loves to eat as much as I do. We stop in and visit with the farmers who grow and raise the amazing food we use in the restaurant, and seeing how passionate they are about what they do, is very inspiring. Some of these great people have been farming for generations and others from the city more recently, and followed their dreams of tending the land. The stories, alongside the beautiful bounty they harvest, will set my mind to motion working on menu items.
HF: What has been your most memorable meal?
Joe Beef, in Montreal. It was the first trip we took after opening the restaurant, and our only real mission was to consume great food. The guys at Joe Beef have gotten the formula right – a technique that shines through, tongue-in-cheek presentation, a hard-hitting wine list and super knowledgable, incredibly friendly staff. We had a horse stroganoff, oysters Ina. Radio, buttery escargot and the best bottle of wine I’ve ever had.
HF: Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes from the kitchen?
I don’t know if there is one story in particular, but I like to keep it light in the kitchen, even through stressful, high energy service. There are lots of inside jokes between the few of us in the kitchen, and those will keep us laughing.
HF: What one piece of advice would you give to home-cooks?
Have fun! Preparing food should be an enjoyable experience, and if you’re lucky, one that you can share with people you love. Memories come of being in the kitchen together, and those are the memories that stick with me now, when I’m in the restaurant. Don’t spend too much time worrying about things going exactly right, and just feel the food.
So will you be able to resist this recipe on the menu next week? Meal Choice closes tomorrow at MIDNIGHT. Make sure you opt into this recipe because you do NOT want to miss out!
Check out the recipe and pair it with Sohail’s famous Brown Butter Blondie for dessert, and visit Brushland Eating House next time you’re in the Catskills for more of Sohail’s delicious meals. Comment and let us know what you think, and enjoy his recipes for HelloFresh over the coming months!