Archive for the 'Chef Chase' Category

17
Jan
10

Cutting to the Chase


Chef Chase Sanders, in a snapshot taken by one of his coworkers at The Pasta Factory

Chef Chase Sanders just wowed me! That’s all I can say. The new chef of The Pasta Factory is no stranger to the art of fine cooking, or to The Pasta Factory‘s owner Sol Kirshenbaum.

Both worked together at Levana’s where Chase got a chance to hone his skills as a kosher chef. Chase is incredibly personable, warm, generous and totally without airs. He began his career as a lowly dishwasher eight years ago and worked his way up earning each bench mark by the sweat of his brow, a passion for food that flowed through his handiwork and an uncanny positive attitude that propelled him forward. The man has vision, depth, a contagious enthusiasm, superb creativity, and a great love for his chosen profession.

Totally non-pretentious in his approach to food, Chef Chase explained: “Simple clean flavors- that’s how I like to execute my food.” He was so willing to share the specifics of what went into the dishes that tasted so extraordinary. As though talking about most favored children, he described particular fresh herbs, the cooking by taste and touch, the experimenting that goes into perfecting sauces like his béarnaise without the use of butter, creating modifications in his reduction sauces without sacrificing taste, and about adapting authentic Italian or American flavors to dishes for the kosher kitchen.

Chef Chase, in hands on style, does his own daily shopping for the latest catch in fish, “ I want to know the fish I’m serving.” And so it goes with the other fresh ingredients Chef serves at the restaurant. “I have to feel, smell and taste. I have to use my own senses to get the right mix of textures and tastes for what I prepare.” The Chef summed up his philosophy of good food when he said “Anyone can put three ingredients together, but if you put your whole heart and soul into the preparation, it comes out amazing!” “All my love comes through the knife into the sweet potato!” Well, those sweet potato fries did have that something indescribably delicious about them. That signature “love ingredient” also transmits itself to his staff, as Chef Chase makes a point of keeping everyone tight and close together – working as one to create great service each and every day. We wish him the best of luck as top chef at the Pasta Factory and look forward to see all his culinary visions comes to fruition.

SYR

05
Jan
10

The Pasta Factory


One of the greatest joys of preparing entries for The Kosher Scene blog has been meeting the talented seasoned restaurateurs and chefs along the way.  Sol Kirschenbaum, owner of The Pasta Factory (1400 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666, Telephone: 201.837.1000) and former partner of Levana’s has just an amazingly vast knowledge of the kosher restaurant business. Sol’s also an incredible wine connoisseur; he loves his reds especially those from the lesser known Israeli wineries; his many years in the fine kosher dining business and vast experience with what makes for fine food, were just the recipe for a great evening of food talk and tasting.

It was one of those freezing, weather is frightful, 20°, teeth chattering, winter nights. Chef Chase Sanders prepared a lovely Roasted Truffle Butternut Squash with Basil soup. This creamy soup had just the right blend of sweetness and the basil overtones were delicious; and it was hot.

Appetizers followed. We split the Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, tender bites of grilled breast with tricolor salad and balsamic dressing. The combined flavors and crispness of the quesadilla were flavorful and authentic. The second appetizer was a Lamb Merguez Pizza with arugula, olives, capers and shallots drizzled with Tahina.  This dish demonstrates Chef Sanders adaptive and creative talents in executing an authentic Mediterranean dish modified to meet the strict standards of the kosher cuisine. It looked great, the tahina resembled drizzled cheese, and the combination of flavors really worked!

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

Lamb Merguez Pizza

At some point, someone brought us two great glasses of wine. I had a Dalton Safsufa Cabernet Sauvignon, very solid and flavorful, while CS had a Herzog Selection Merlot, also quite good. At this point my feet were thawed and I was ready for the main course.

The waiter brought out a Crispy Breast of Chicken with asparagus risotto, seasoned with preserved lemon. I’m still a little floored as to how he made simple chicken taste so good, (must be that special ingredient he adds to his dishes; (see our little piece on Chef Sanders that will follow next week, if you want to find out), but it was simple and savory. The risotto was cooked to perfection and I loved the asparagus accent; gave it great flavor. CS had a fabulous Skirt Steak marinated in molasses and shallots. He reluctantly gave me piece to taste, (South Americans are so possessive with their beef), and the blend of flavors was terrific. Presentation on all our dishes was simple and elegant

Skirt Steak

I’m really dating myself here, but does anyone out there remember “Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat. Whenever he gets in a fix he reaches into his bag of tricks.”  Well… let me tell you about Pasta Factory’s dessert chef, Felix. Forget tricks, this man is a magician. His desserts taste sinfully milchigdairy…oh…the creams….the chocolate…. the mousse…the taste….oh my! We were served a flourless Triple Chocolate Cake and a dish of Butterscotch Cream. I was gonna have to pay for this with an additional forty laps in the pool next day, but it was all well worth the calories. Pastry Chef Felix’ 14 years of experience at the 4 Seasons really showed in his presentation and mouth-watering desserts.

Tricolor Chocolate Cake

The Pasta Factory has a warm brick interior, a lovely quiet ambiance suitable for family and one on one dining. They are also the only kosher restaurant in Bergen County with a liquor license. They boast a diverse, exciting menu of delicious food, and beautifully served ample portions. Enjoy. We certainly did.

SYR

Pasta Factory on Urbanspoon




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