Getting Fired, Dealing with Anxiety, and Silver Linings

chef chris spear on being fired and dealing with anxiety

On This Week’s Podcast

This week is a solo episode (find it here). I discuss the time I was fired from a job and the subsequent anxiety that I experienced due to that. It took a long time before I came to terms with the whole experience. But there was also a silver lining… It ultimately led to me starting my own personal chef business, and this community. If you’ve been fired, or if you’re a hiring manager, I’d love for you to listen to this episode. If you have feedback, you can get in touch by contacting me on one of the platforms listed below.

This Week’s Sponsors

Sponsor- The United States Personal Chef Association
While the pandemic certainly upended the restaurant experience, it provided an avenue for personal chefs to close that dining gap.  Central to all of that is the United States Personal Chef Association. Representing nearly 1,000 chefs around the US and Canada, USPCA provides a strategic backbone for those chefs that includes liability insurance, training, communications, certification, and more. 

One of the upcoming events for USPCA is their annual conference scheduled for July 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, FL. Featuring speakers and classes, the conference allows chefs to hone their skills and network with like-minded business people, and is open to all chefs in the industry.

For those who supply the industry, it’s a chance to reach decision-makers and the buyers of products. Chefs Without Restaurants listeners can use promo code CWR50 to save $50 on registration. Please contact Angela at aprather@uspca.com for information on becoming a member, attending the conferences, or exhibiting. 

Sponsor- Vosteed Knives

Are you looking for top quality kitchen knives for dad this Father’s Day? Well, look no further than Vosteed. With over two decades of experience, Vosteed knives are durable, well-balanced and comfortable to use. You’ll find that these knives have a razor sharp edge, robust and strong full-tang construction, and perfectly engineered ergonomics. These high carbon steel blades will definitely get the job done in the kitchen.  

Right now, you can use discount code VOSTEED15 to get 15% off your order. Go to the Vosteed store on Amazon to order yours now. Check out the Vosteed websiteInstagram page and Facebook group.

Relevant Links and Where to Learn About Chefs Without Restaurants

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

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If you enjoy the show and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee

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Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

Everything Bagel & Pilsner Focaccia

everything bagel and beer focaccia

About the recipe

This is by far one of the easiest breads to make. I started making focaccia at the beginning of COVID. Thankfully I have a lot of chef friends who kept my pantry stocked with flour and yeast. While I’ve made a similar one before, this was the first time I’d made a whole-wheat focaccia. I chose the Silver Bread Flour from Deep Roots Milling in Lowesville, VA. It’s their organic redeemer hard red winter wheat. It baked up really nicely, with a slighly tighter crumb than I usually get when using a white bread flour.

This recipe is by chef Chris Spear of Perfect Little Bites personal chef service.

Recipe

550g bread flour (whole wheat, white or a blend)⁣
5.5 g (1 ½ tsp) kosher salt⁣
6 g (2 tsp) instant yeast
5 g (1 tsp) granulated sugar⁣
410 g (420ml) lukewarm liquid (1 bottle pilsner beer + 52 g filtered water- see notes)⁣
4 T olive oil, divided⁣
1 ½ T Everything Spice (such as the one from Spiceology)
1/4 tsp smoked paprika⁣
fleu de sel salt⁣
olive oil pan spray⁣

Method

Heat the water and beer to 110 degrees F. Place the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the warm liquid. Knead for 5 minutes on medium. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour on the counter, then move to the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.⁣

Remove the dough from the fridge. Spray a 1/4 baking sheet with pan spray, then rub 2 T olive oil on the pan, making sure to get the sides coated too. Add the dough to the pan, and stretch it gently with your fingers. Allow it to come to room temp, rest and rise for an hour. Then stretch it again and let it rest for another hour.⁣

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour 1 T olive oil on top of the dough and spread it all over the top. Sprinkle smoked paprika on top. Top the dough evenly with the everything spice. Using your fingers, press about 20 indentations evenly into the dough. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top with fleur de sel or Maldon salt.⁣

Bake until golden brown, around 30 minutes. Let cool just slightly before transferring the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.⁣


Notes- I used 1 standard bottle of beer. It should give you 358 grams, which is why I added the very specific 52 grams of water, to bring it up to a total of 410. For this bread, I used a pilsner, but feel free to use a pale ale, wheat beer or even use all water if you prefer.

Chef Virginia Willis on Writing Cookbooks and Her Wellness Journey

chef virginia willis

About Virginia Willis

This week on the podcast I have James Beard Foundation Award-winner, chef Virginia Willis. She was the TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree and executive producer for Epicurious TV on the Discovery Channel. She’s made cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Virginia is the author of a number of books including Lighten Up, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits.

On This Week’s Podcast

On the show, we discuss how she got into writing cookbooks, how her cooking style has changed, and her wellness journey which has led to her losing 70 pounds. We talk about food media, and credible sources for recipes and cooking tips. Virginia’s also passionate about sustainable seafood, and we discuss that as well.

This Week’s Sponsor

Looking to make better pizza? How about bagels, bread, or English muffins? Then you need a Baking Steel. Don’t just take my word for it. Kenji López-Altof Serious Eats/The Food Lab said “this is the answer I’ve been waiting for to produce consistently awesome pizza over and over”.

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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Virginia Willis

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Virginia’s Instagram
Virginia’s’s Website
Virginia’s Facebook
Virginia’s Twitter
Virginia’s Eating Well Recipes

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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

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If you enjoy the show, and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee


 Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

Learn How to Start an Online Cooking Class Business with Chef Matt Finarelli

Chef Matt Finarelli

About Matt Finarelli

This week on the podcast I have personal chef and cooking instructor Matt Finarelli. Matt was a guest on our show way back in March 2020. In fact, he might’ve been the last in-person show that we recorded before the Covid shut down. If you’re interested in hearing that episode, it was number 24, and you can find the link here

Due to the situation with Covid, Matt didn’t feel comfortable going into people’s homes to cook or provide lessons. But, like most people, he needed some form of income. So, Matt turned to online cooking classes. It wasn’t something he had experience with, but he found a way to make it work. Now, he wants to share that knowledge with you. 

On This Week’s Podcast

Matt talks about how he got started, and what he learned along the way. He’ll tell you what gear he’s using, how he sets up the online classes, and what his price structure looks like. While Matt plans on going back to in-home dinners and lessons, he says that he’ll definitely be continuing to do the online classes, and wanted to provide tactical information to help you set up a similar business. If you’d like to learn how to make money with online cooking classes, this is the episode for you. 

This Week’s Sponsor

Looking to make better pizza? How about bagels, bread, or English muffins? Then you need a Baking Steel. Don’t just take my word for it. Kenji López-Altof Serious Eats/The Food Lab said “this is the answer I’ve been waiting for to produce consistently awesome pizza over and over”.

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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Matt Finarelli

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Matt’s Instagram
Matt’s Website
Matt’s Facebook
Two Hands, One Drink on YouTube

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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

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If you enjoy the show, and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee


Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

From Fine Dining to the Personal Chef Business with Chef Lana Lagomarsini of Lana Cooks

nyc personal chef lana lagomarsini of lana cooks

About Lana Lagomarsini

On this week’s podcast we’re joined by Lana Lagomarsini. Lana is the chef and owner of Lana Cooks, a personal chef business based in the New York City area. Lana comes from a fine-dining background, having cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Gramercy Tavern, Daniel, and Momofuku Ko. Like many chefs, when restaurants began shutting down due to Covid, Lana explored the personal chef sector.

On This Week’s Podcast

On the show, we discuss her restaurant background and her transition into the personal chef business. We talk about kitchen culture, finding her culinary voice, and the future she’d like to see in the food industry. Lana also talks about cooking for her community, her involvement in the Black Food Movement, and how African American Cuisines and the slave trade impacted American Cuisine.

This Week’s Sponsor

Looking to make better pizza? How about bagels, bread, or English muffins? Then you need a Baking Steel. Don’t just take my word for it. Kenji López-Altof Serious Eats/The Food Lab said “this is the answer I’ve been waiting for to produce consistently awesome pizza over and over”.

You can listen to the show on PodpagePodlink,  BuzzsproutITunesSpotifyTuneInStitcherAmazon MusicPandora I Heart Radio, and everywhere podcasts are found.

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Lana Lagomarsini

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Lana’s Instagram
Lana’s Website


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CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

==========================

If you enjoy the show, and would like to support it financially, check out our Patreon, or you can donate through Venmo or Buy Me a Coffee


Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites