Sunday, January 29, 2012

An Afternoon with Jeffrey Saad

If you don’t know Jeffrey Saad, you will and you should.  He was runner up on “The Next Food Network’s Star” (totally should’ve won), he’s a partner and chef of The Grove Restaurants in San Fran, and he’s now hosting “The United Tastes of America” on Cooking Channel, which is a fun show where he runs around tasting similar dishes in different cities.  When he tires of that, I will happily jump in to replace him.

No, I’m not working for him, yet, but I did have the good fortune of spending an afternoon with him and his lovely wife in their home in LA cooking, eating and well, throwing back a little tequila.  Accompanying me were my dad (the mastermind of this culinary experience) and 4 of my girlfriends, who are not a shy or quiet bunch, so we tried to return a little in the entertainment department.

Jeffrey started us off with a little pan y tomate so our stomachs wouldn’t growl and probably to get us all to shut up for a second.  The true blue way of making it is just by rubbing a little garlic and sliced tomato directly on toasted bread, and voila, a delicious side.

He then moved into egg land, a land we all know and love, and thanks to Jeffrey, will love even more now.  There are some basic, but impactful little tricks like adding water to scrambled eggs which causes some steam, leading to fluffier eggs.  You can juice them up even more by sautéing a little bacon, because everything is better with bacon, with some radicchio, and a splash of lemon, fold it into the eggs for a fabulous fresh and salty combo, livening up your day to day eggs.

We made a spice filled chicken masala sandwich, and when I say we, I mean Jeffrey did, and we ooed and ahhed and tried to make sure his shirt didn’t catch on fire with his multiple pans going and multiple stories to our multiple questions.  He’s an entertainer for sure, but he’s so passionate about what he’s doing that he sucks you in.  If he was selling a line of Tupperware, we would have all bought the set.  He did give us some of his new spice creations and a cookbook is on the way, so you too can get in on some of the Jeffrey action in your home soon.
The afternoon flew by, and next thing we know tequila is open, except of course this was no ordinary tequila.  He put a habanero pepper in overnight, giving it a fabulous kick that hits the back of your throat, but in a very loving way.  We could have emptied about 3 of those bottles, but luckily Jeffrey (or actually I think it might be his wife, who appears to have an appropriate leash on the never say no host) knew better that one glass was more than enough for this crowd, or we’d be staying for dinner.

We ended the day by making crepes, a nice nod to my new home.  We each made our own and spread Nutella on it like it was the last ingredient on earth.  

It was delicious, and a fun afternoon with a chef and true “personality” whose star I hope continues to rise like the perfect egg souffle.

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