#TasteofThursday – Spring is in the air with Chef Victor Bongo’s recipe

 

Orange Infused Beets and Goat cheese Salad with Pistachio nuts and Honey Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

chef victor bongo beet salad

I love going to my local farmers market to buy fresh produce.   Every time I walk in the market I always have a big smile  on my face as I stare at all the fresh colorful fruits and vegetables and the aroma coming from it is heaven to me. I can always depend on the farmers market to introduce me to new varieties of fruits and vegetable. Beets are my favourites  and are available for much of the year, but the first spring beets, with their fresh greens still attached by deep rosy stems, are more tender than their larger brethren that are harvested later in the year. Spring beets are a revelation because they have a different sweetness than fall beets. They are grown from the same varieties, but their sweetness is fresher and cleaner. It’s hard to put specifically into words. The golden beets taste sweeter when raw than the red beets, but they have a slight background bitterness that the red beets lack. Cooking eliminates that bitterness.Every time I see spring beets it inspires me to get extra creative because theres so much you can do with it.  The young baby spring beets can simply be thinly slice drizzled with extra virgin oil oil, salt and fresh ground pepper and will taste amazing.  When I think of spring I think of citrus flavours, like Meyer lemons, blood oranges, grape fruits and limes. Meyer lemons  they have a sweeter and more floral taste than other lemons and can even have an slightly orange tint. This recipes has a mix of everything from my favourite fruit blood orange and Meyer lemons that add that nice touch to any recipes.

Honey Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients

2 tablespoon chopped shallots

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

3 tablespoon  fresh squeeze Meyer lemon juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup honey

1 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a food blender except the olive oil. Slowly add the olive oil to create an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper to taste

Beets salad

Ingredients

4 medium red beets

4 medium golden beets

2L water

1L blood orange juice

2 tablespoon salt

1 blood orange zest

6oz crumbled goat cheese

¼ cup dice pepper mix

¼ cup chopped pistachio nuts

1 cup honey lemon vinaigrette

3 oz. micro green

Place the 4 red and golden beets, water, orange juice and 2 tablespoon salt in a heavy large pot and bring to a boil than simmer on low heat for about an hour or till the beets are tender.

Drain beet and cool down on ice bath water to stop from over cooking.  After beets cooled peel the skin off with hands or knife. Than slice beets ¼ inch slice. Place in a large boil than add orange zest and 1/3 cup of the honey lemon vinaigrette.

Platting: using 6 plates, arrange slice beets over lapping each-other mixing the 2 different colors. Top it of with micro green, goat cheese, pistachio nuts and dice mix peppers. Using a spoon drizzle the honey lemon vinaigrette on it

Serve immediately

Beets are available for much of the year, but the first spring beets, with their fresh greens still attached by deep rosy stems, are more tender than their larger brethren that are harvested later in the year.

 

Chef BongoA talented African-Canadian Chef, Victor Bongo, who gained a respectable reputation by challenging culinary standards and incorporating a variety of ethnic flavours into his exquisite dishes. His first book, “The Excellence of Chef  Victor Bongo ” was published in 2009, in December 13, 2015 he launched his second cook book called “Born To Cook A Passion For Flavours” which has a great review by Bill Yosses the Pastry Chef of the White House.

Chef Bongo’s cooking style can be described as a fusion of global cuisine that incorporates the latest socio-cultural trends sourcing local ingredients from the farm to the table.  Chef Bongo is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and Cooks and of the World Association of Chef Societies.

He credits the foundation of his career to his mentor Edmund Liew, a 3-star Michelin Chef who was part of the winning Team Canada- Alberta at The World Culinary Cup in Luxembourg.

Chef Bongo has worked at several reputable organizations in Vancouver, including the Marriott Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel, and the Bacchus Restaurant at the Wedgewood Hotel. He has also had the honour of working for the Holland America Cruise Lines. One of the highlights of his culinary career as an Executive Chef was working at The Raven Hotel and Gourmet Restaurant in the Yukon; this restaurant is rated as one of the best restaurants by the “Where to Eat in Canada” National Food Guide.

Several articles have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers about Chef Bongo’s remarkable food creations, including The New York Times. Television producers have also taken an interest in Chef Bongo’s career: he has been invited twice by CTV to appear at  the cooking show for City Cooks, and he has also been invited to present a cooking show segment for Global TV.

In 2012, the prestigious Pilsner Cookbook featured a recipe of his. Recently, Chef Bongo was featured on 24-hour Newspaper as the “Outgoing Chef” who livens up Establishment Lounge.

A contributing factor to Chef Bongo’s success is that he is always willing to contribute and go beyond what is expected when participating in any event.  In 2013, he attended three significant events: Eat Vancouver, the Canadian Obesity Summit, and the Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Services Agencies of B.C. Health Fair.

As part of his commitment and contribution to society in general, in 2014, he became involved in Doctor Greg’s Super Chefs program, creating healthy children’s menus for Westin Hotels around the world. Chef Bongo is currently working closely with Dr. Greg Chang of Super Chefs of the Universe, which is devoted to the prevention of childhood obesity. Chef Bongo and Dr. Greg Chang run a program that focuses on teaching children how to have healthy eating habits.

He has opened a company called ‘Bongo Nation’, appeared at the New York Times Travel Show, and been invited to join the Food Network celebrity stage.

Chef Bongo was given the “Chef of the Year Award”, in the Yukon Territories for four consecutive years (2008-2011), in recognition of his unique food creations. In addition, he was awarded a “Gold Medal as the  youngest Accomplished Chef “ in 2008 by the Canadian Culinary Federation of Chefs and in 2010, he was nominated as “One of the Top Ten Best Chefs in all of Canada” by the Chef’s Congress. In 2012, he created a menu which won him the “Gold Plate Award”.

In addition to his extraordinary work in the kitchen, Chef Bongo is dedicated to providing positive change in the community, both in Vancouver and in Africa. He is the Vice President of Chain De La Solidarite Nord Sud Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides assistance to people in developing countries around the world.

Board member director for The BC Chef Association

Proudly Happy To be The Ambassador for Canada for the Best Chef in The world . A part of an amazing group of Michelin Chefs around the world.

A summary of some of Chef Bongo’s accomplishments during 2015 – 2016 have been:

§  2015 Westin Kids menu Refresh

§  2015 Launch of New Second Cook “Born To Cook A Passion For Flavour”

§  2015 VIP Invite Caesar Palace Las Vegas

§  2015 appearance Guest Chef Nubu Las Vegas

§  2015 appearance Guest Chef Gordon Ramsey Steak House Las Vegas

§  2016 New York Times Show Taste of the World Stage Cooking with Bill Yosses

Website: victorbongo.com

Facebook: Victor Bongo

Twitter: @BongoNation

Instagram: chefbongo

 

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