From the MidLife Road Trip Chef Series: Meet Chef Billy Parisi #recipe

Meet Chef Billy Parisi
Chef turned video producer Billy Parisi is one of the true culinary media entrepreneurs branching out through the digital world. His recipe videos have accumulated over 7 million views across the web and he has been featured on television, radio and print in various markets throughout the United States. He currently serves as the culinary voice for Heinen’s Fine Foods and is the in-house chef for Lowes Food Stores. With his fresh look and hip personality, Chef Billy Parisi puts his unique twist on everything culinary! Stay connected with Chef Billy Parisi on Facebook, Twitter,  and at www.BillyParisi.com
 
When did your love of cooking begin?

I suppose it goes far beyond me. My father was a cook and my mom was a waitress at a little restaurant in Detroit and that is how they met. We moved to Cleveland and then to St. Louis and there my dad became friends with Gerard, a restaurant owner, and I began washing dishes at the age of 13 in his restaurant.


Who inspired you ?

Much like in Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, the chefs and cooks at Gerard’s were literally my heros and I was so eager to learn from them all about the facets of cooking. From there I began to read cook books and magazines and it really blossomed from there. I watched a lot of Food Network back then as well, but there were no “Look at me Look at me” type of chefs . My favorite show was “Great Chefs, Great Cities.”


What is your favorite method of food preparation and why?

I’d have to go with braising on this. Sure it takes time, but you get the most flavor and the most tender protein possible.

Is there a region or culture whose culinary style you prefer? Why?

I believe that all cooking stems from some sort of French influence, but I literally like to cook everything. One day we may be rolling sushi and the next making paella.

What is your favorite main course recipe?

I am a real sucker for Duck Cassoulet. I come from a pretty big family and when comfort food with a twist of elegance is done well, then there is no style of cuisine I like better.

What’s in your ultimate dessert?

When in it’s respective season, I am real sucker for fresh fruit and the use of vanilla bean.


Including any person(s) living or deceased ~Who would be seated at your ‘fantasy’ dinner table?

This is funny to me and these answers may surprise you!  Jesus, My wife (who would probably not allow any women celebrities haha), Kanye West, Jaime Foxx, Thomas Keller, Tom Hanks and I hate to say it cause I think I have a man crush but Ryan Reynolds?


What tips do you have for budding chefs who are new to social media?

I believe it depends on what exactly they do for a living; Are they the chef of a restaurant, a chef in the media, an at home cook, etc. Content is king and you better be able to share professionally produced niche video content in bulk. I am also a huge fan of being yourself, sharing your “Chef” world with the rest of us and most importantly RESPONDING TO THOSE WHO MENTION YOU. I mean isn’t that what social networking is all about? It’s a two way street people, so all the A list celebrities if you really want to hear from your fans it wouldn’t hurt if just once a day you responded to your fans. Ok I am done venting :-)


We’re all about exploring new places, people & foods.  What’s on YOUR bucket list?

Since the crazy college years are over I have become a SUPER boring person LOL! I will say I am constantly on the hunt for the best BBQ and the best pizza I can possibly find no matter where it is, so if you can help with this then I would be grateful. There are also several college football stadiums and professional baseball stadiums that I would love to visit and all the local fare that comes with those atmospheres!


RECIPES:
Lemon and Herb Roasted Flattened Chicken with Panzanella Salad
Chicken:
  • 1 flattened Chicken
  • 3 tablespoons of finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of minced fresh oregano
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons of finely diced shallots
  • 1/3 cup of white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 tablespoons of chiffonade fresh basil
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Salad:
  • 1 loaf of Artisan bread cut into 1″ thick slices
  • olive oil for coating
  • 3 cups of baby arugula
  • 2 tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 julienne sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup of fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Serves 4 to 6

Procedures:
  1. Chicken: Place the chicken in a deep pan and rub it down well with garlic, thyme, oregano, lemon juice, zest and olive oil.  Wrap the pan with cellophane and place in the refrigerator for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. After the chicken is done marinating place on a hot grill skin side down and cook for 8 to 12 minutes.  Place ice cubes where there seems to be a lot of flames to help control charring.
  3. Cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked completely through.  To cook the legs longer simply push them to the center under the chicken breast to avoid over cooking.
  4. Vinaigrette: In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients and set aside.
  5. Salad: Using a pasty brush, brush each side of the bread with olive oil and place on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until toasted.
  6. Once toasted, cut the bread into 1″ thick chunks.
  7. In a large bowl mix together bread, arugula, tomatoes, onions and 2 to 4 ounces of vinaigrette and mix thoroughly.   Season the salad with salt and pepper.
  8. To Plate: Separate the chicken breasts and thighs using a knife and garnish with fresh herbs and serve next to the panzanella salad.  
Roasted Rack of Lamb Persillade with Baby Buttered Potatoes:
Lamb:
  • one 5 bone rack of lamb
  • 8 ounces of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 finely minced shallot
  • 4 tablespoons of finely minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Potatoes:
  • 5 to 7 fingerling potatoes
  • 5 to 7 baby red potatoes
  • 1 ounce of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of finely minced chives
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Serves 2 to 3

Procedures:
  1. Lamb: Whip the butter until it becomes white and fuffy.  Add in garlic, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and saute it in a medium size saute pan on high heat until it is brown on all sides.
  3. Once caramelized place the lamb rack meat side up and generously spread 1/3 cup of the herb butter on the lamb and then sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the butter.  Place the pan in the oven on 375° for 8 to 12 minutes.
  4. Potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.  Once cooked remove the potatoes and place them in a pan with chives, butter, salt and butter and mix to coat.
  5. To Plate: Slice the lamb and place around the buttered potatoes. 

 

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