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A CULINARY CHAT WITH PRIVATE CHEF JASON BELLABY

Don't Miss Chef Jason's Autumn Squash Salad Recipe!

Where did you begin your career?

I started working at Scarsdale Golf Club as a prep cook. However, I owe a lot of my foundational knowledge to Abigail Kirsch. I was a very young line cook who worked my way up to sous chef. That’s where I built my skills in off-premise catering. You’d be surprised what you can create in an open event space without a proper kitchen. 

What made you transition to working as a private chef?

The covid pandemic. I have three daughters and one of them is immunocompromised. I had to be careful to who I was exposing myself and it was safer to cook solo. I also found that clients were not able to celebrate special events in restaurants during the pandemic. There was a whole new clientele who wanted to dine comfortably and safely in their own homes. I do miss collaborating with a big team, but I truly enjoy working for myself and creating my own menus. 
 

What are the different services you provide?

My specialty is plated dinner parties for 2-12 guests however I also provide catering for larger parties, often with passed hors d’oeuvres or buffet style. I can provide as much or as little support for a party as needed; my team is capable of setting up, serving, and cleaning up. We leave your house as we found it, often with leftovers packed in the fridge! I assist with attaining party supply rentals and liaising with other contractors as needed and try to take as much off the host’s plate as possible so he or she can actually enjoy their party. 

Favorite thing about being a chef?

I truly love food! I am always researching and developing new recipes. I love learning about where ingredients come from and how a dish originated. There will always be the classics, but food also evolves and there is always something new to learn. 

Favorite food to make? 

Duck Confit! More specifically, a dish from the south of France, cassoulet. 

 

Favorite food to eat? 

Cheeseburgers! Nothing fancy. Although the Black Label Burger from Minetta Tavern is darn tasty. 

CHEF JASON’S DELICIOUS HOLIDAY DISH

Autumn Squash Salad with Raisin Agrodolce

This holiday season, don’t miss this mouthwatering dish—perfect as a start to a celebratory meal or on its own as a vegetarian entrée!

Autumn Squash Salad with Raisin Agrodolce

Serves 4-6

For the Squash:

1 each delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into

one-inch crescents

1 each small butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds

removed, cut into one-inch crescents

2 tablespoons brown butter, melted

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small pot, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter begins to foam, brown, and releases a nutty aroma remove it from the heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl toss the squash, melted brown butter and salt. Distribute the squash in one even layer on a sheet pan. It is very important to not crowd the pan, otherwise, the squash will not properly caramelize. Use a second sheet pan if needed. Roast for 25-35 minutes, turning the squash at the halfway mark. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. The squash should be fork-tender.

For the Raisin Agrodolce:

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

Zest from 1 orange or lemon

Method:

In a small pot, bring vinegar and water to a boil. Once a boil has been reached add the raisins to the pot. There should be enough liquid to cover the raisins. Set aside to cool. In another small pot combine the olive oil and walnuts. Over a low heat cook the walnuts until lightly toasted stirring occasionally to ensure even

cooking. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. To the bowl, add the raisins along with any liquid in the pot. Next add the oil along with the walnuts. Give everything a good stir. It is best to make this one day in advance but not necessary, allowing flavors to develop. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

For Serving:

1 each green apple, medium dice

1 shallot, peeled, sliced into thin rings

2 tablespoon Parmesan, grated on a micro plane or small holes on a

box grater

1 cup radicchio, core removed, sliced into thin ribbons

4 cups baby arugula, kale or a combination of the two

Method:

Except for the raisin agrodolce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Lightly toss. Pieces of squash may break apart. That is expected, creating a creamy texture in the salad. Gently lay out the salad in a shallow bowl. Lightly warm the agrodolce in a pot or microwave. Be sure to use a microwave safe container. Stir the condiment and spoon over the salad to enjoy. Add smoked ham or prosciutto for additional goodness. Other salty cheeses such as gorgonzola or pecorino may be substituted.

 chefJasonBellaby.com 

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