Talking Food with Master Chef Rich Rosendale.
Rich Rosendale is a world renowned, classically trained chef. He completed a 130-hour cooking exam covering all aspects of cuisine earning him the prestigious title of Certified Master Chef. Rich has traveled across the world teaching, cooking, and learning from the best of the best. He’s a friend of PJP and recently dropped by to host a Modern Plating & Technique Workshop.
When someone of that level of expertise comes by to our Philadelphia office, it’s mandatory that we pick his brain about his craft.
It’s been a year since you’ve been at PJP – what food trends have your eye since we last spoke?
“I definitely think that there’s a trend towards eating more vegetables. Believe it or not, even with products like the Impossible Burger, things that are like that. Obviously, a little bit of controversy (around) how healthy those actually are for you. But again, believe it or not – those (plant based) items are centered to market more towards meat-eaters not actually vegetarians. So, for people who want to eat more produce, more vegetables in their diet – this is a big push towards that market. Another one is the cannabis infused dining market. These trends continue to have momentum.”Rich Rosendale
You mention the Impossible Burger, have you tried the Impossible Burger or any version of the plant-based burger?
“I’ve had one of the burgers that are plant-based. I don’t really have an interest in eating them, it’s not really my preference, I try to eat everything in balance and a lot more whole vegetables. I love meat, but I also love vegetables. Throughout the course of a week, I cook for my family every night and we go through loads of fresh vegetables. We also have pasta and we also have meat. I believe in a good balance.”Rich Rosendale
You mention a love of vegetables, in your opinion what is the most underappreciated or underrated vegetable?
“Oh man, there are a few of them. I think cauliflower. I think a lot of greens, a lot of people tend to just put greens in salads, but even things like mustard greens and kale, a lot of those things when cooked can take on an almost umami/meaty satisfying (taste) when added to a cooked dish. Also, roasted vegetables – roasted cauliflower and grilled broccoli is something I can eat all day.”Rich Rosendale
I ask, because I just got into onions and I gotta admit, I respect the versatility.
“There’s actually a lot of things that you can cook to get different flavor profiles out of food. One of our most popular soups at our restaurant is a six-onion soup. It’s basically cream-based, the onions are cooked with chicken stock.”Rich Rosendale
Normally when I think of Onion Soup, I think of a broth base.
“This is cooked in a little bit of chicken stock, pureed, enriched with cream and garnished with fried shallots and shaved chives. People come in and order it by the quart, they love it!
Another one (underrated vegetable) is also shallots, they’re very good. Some people may be reluctant to have onions, I tell them to go to shallots first. Shallots in a dish tend to melt where onions are heartier. Shallots minced up added to a salad or to fried potatoes caramelized with some green beans can really add some dynamic flavors to your dish.”Rich Rosendale
Awesome, so you just wrapped up another session in Philly with PJP – can you tell us a bit about this workshop and the workshops you’re taking around the country?
“So, we call this one ‘Modern Plating and Technique’ and it’s not just about plating. If I just showed up hear and just started putting food on plates, I think people would really miss a whole layer of how presentation is elevated. Those are the techniques that we use. How do we come up with some of the consistencies and flavors of the dishes with the sauces? We’re using techniques like Sous Vide, or different tools like Pacojets and blast chillers.
Things that we do, give us more equity of time in the kitchen to focus on presentation. If I show somebody a dish, they might say ‘I could never do that in my restaurant’ but if I show them 5 time saving techniques that actually let’s them manage their day better, then they kinda see the full scope of what we’re trying to do.
Some of the other things we’re doing, we just built a brand-new state of the art culinary lab in Northern Virginia called the ‘RC Culinary Lab.’ We’re also doing classes there. We have people traveling from all over the world to take classes.
We also launched Rosendale Online which is an online subscription-based recipe platform. So people who maybe don’t have the budget to make it to one of my classes, they can sign up and see world video production and recipe video content all over the world.”Rich Rosendale
Great to hear all that you have going on, to end – do you have any advice for up and coming chefs?
“Well, this is an exciting time to become a chef. When I was coming through culinary school, it was a much more narrow scope of possibility. It went, (you) go to culinary school, then you go work in a restaurant or hotel. Now! It is profound, the myriad of options of what you can do.
When I left the Green Briar, I used to be the executive chef there, oversaw 18 kitchens. I resigned about five years ago, then had to reinvent myself. What was most exciting about that, I launched into entrepreneurship and I’ve done so many things. Whereas, twenty years ago as a chef, you didn’t have those options.”Rich Rosendale
You’d just get locked in and stay in your lane.
“Totally! We’re doing cooking classes, we’ve got our culinary lab, we just opened a 120,000 sq. ft. event space in downtown Atlanta, we’re doing catering events for Facebook, and like the Turner Network, all kinds of places! We have our online recipe platform. It’s really exciting now to be a chef.
I think that because of the internet the tools that are available to the everyday person, whether you want to launch a podcast or start a business. A small person or an independent can have the same resources as a company like Coca-Cola. So, if you want to do something, you need the initiative to go and do it. Because passion doesn’t mean sh*t unless you actually go out and do something with it.”Rich Rosendale