In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Coffee Rubbed Kurobuta Pork Chop from chef Christopher Ennis of Vibrato Grill Jazz ... etc. restaurant in Bel Air, Calif.
Perched atop Mulholland Drive in Bel Air, Calif., is one of the West Coast's best places for jazz, romance, visuals and delicious American cuisine. Here's one of Chef Christopher Ennis' specialties! The secret ingredient to the flavor in this recipe happens to be America’s favorite morning beverage … coffee! The steps are easy, not a lot of ingredients, but the results will leave your taste buds buzzing for more!
left/msnbc/Components/Photos/060307/060307_ennis_bcol.jpg144862900left#000000http://msnbcmedia.msn.comGabriel Serafin1PfalsefalseAbout the chef: Executive Chef Christopher Ennis is a native of New York, not far from Niagara Falls, but his culinary assignments have crisscrossed the country. At only five years old, Ennis started helping his father in the kitchen and advanced to working in the family seafood business, Montondo's Seafood. Ennis attended Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where he studied fine arts. His passion for painting is still evident in the artistic plating of his culinary creations. During school he worked for T.G.I. Friday’s; while it wasn’t the most glamorous kitchen, it taught him speed, consistency and efficiency. “I found the exhausting pace exhilarating … it was like boot camp, but it was very fulfilling to get that many orders out,” remembers the chef.
Upon moving to Colorado to pursue competitive snowboarding, Ennis landed a job at Shad’s Restaurant in Breckenridge an establishment that made pasta fresh daily and specialized in the Rocky Mountain region’s wealth of wild game. After a year, he moved on to Café Alpine, where he prepared Mediterranean cuisine. Although accepted for advanced placement at the New England Culinary Institute, Ennis continued learning on the job returning to The Quail Ridge in upstate New York, an intimate American-French restaurant. Then he moved onto Los Angeles to work at Asia de Cuba in West Hollywood’s Mondrian Hotel. Soon he moved on to Fenix at the Argyle and then was named Executive Chef at Astra West and The Lounge @ Astra where he designed menus for many special events including Emmy Award galas serving over 2,000 guests.
Ennis was attracted to Vibrato because its owners share his culinary philosophy. The 32-year-old chef is partial to fresh, organic produce and his menu is very sensitive to seasonality. He also emphasizes simplicity explaining, “If there are three or four ingredients on a plate, I want you to be able to taste them all, allowing the freshness and quality of each one to speak for itself.”
Coffee Rubbed Kurobuta Pork Chop is served at Vibrato Grill Jazz for $33. This recipe is for a serving size of two. right/msnbc/Components/Photos/060307/060307_pork2_bcol.jpg1794100000right#000000http://msnbcmedia.msn.com
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Vibrato Grill Jazz ... etc.
2930 Beverly Glen Circle
Bel Air, California 90077
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.