These dishes made famous chefs fall in love with cooking

Editor’s Note – Editor’s Note: “Julia” tells the story of legendary cookbook author and TV star Julia Child, who revolutionized home cooking in the United States. The CNN movie premieres Monday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET.

It was these life-changing dishes that inspired these now-famous chefs to start cooking.

Ingredients, technology and layers of flavor all come together in perfect harmony to create an unforgettable dish. Every bite triggered a hunger in them to explore the world of food and master the kitchen.

With their taste buds buzzing, this epiphany led them to pursue their newfound passion.

Here are the dishes that inspired celebrity chefs and up-and-coming culinary personalities to start their careers in the kitchen.

Daniel Boulud: Scrambled eggs with fresh mushrooms

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This international chef’s passion for food started at an early age. Growing up on a farm outside of Lyon, France, he harvested fresh ingredients and learned to cook by watching his grandmother.

“My grandmother would spend at least eight hours a day in the kitchen, if not more, to feed the family every day between breakfast, lunch and dinner,” Boulud said. “I remember the many hours I spent with her that gave me a love of cooking.”

It was the dish that sparked Bouloud’s passion in the kitchen crowded (egg scramble) with fresh mushrooms.

During the spring and autumn he would go with his grandmother to her secret places in their fields to collect wild mushrooms.

“What has struck me the most is the fact that nature always brings celebration – whether it is the first strawberry, tomato or mushroom of the season,” Boulud said.

“That’s pretty much what French cooking is about. There’s the technique, there’s the classics, but it’s first and foremost to go to the market and see what the market brings you and then cook something with it.”

Today, the chef brings his passion for fresh seasonal ingredients into his gastronomy. French cuisine was the guiding light as he expanded his empire with new restaurants and new menus incorporating international flavors and ingredients.

“French cuisine has been explored by generations upon generations of cooks, home cooks, and passionate people like Julia (the kid) and food writers. French cuisine continues to inspire people. It’s entertaining. It’s delicious. It’s accessible. It’s possible,” he said.

Fabrizio Villalpando: Grilled Octopus

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Like many of us, the pandemic was a moment when Fabrizio Filalpando took extra free time on our hands.

“I found I was watching a lot of cooking content, and I found it very relaxing,” Villalpando said. “So, I decided one day I would give this a try!”

Villalpando said he discovered his curiosity for food while working as a busman at the Ivory on Sunset at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California. The chef let him taste something from the menu and pickled grilled octopus with Meyer lemon jelly.

“When I tried it, I was like, ‘Wah, the food is great,’” he said. “I think it was my first time getting a balanced plate. It had an unexpected sweetness. I didn’t know you could mix sweet things with a savory dish, especially in elevated form.”

This life-changing moment happened when he was sitting in the back of the restaurant, next to the trash cans.

With basic culinary skills and background working in restaurants, he started producing food content for social media. He started practicing his chopping skills and watching YouTube videos for instructions. As he got better, he started making more and more dishes.

As the son of immigrants, Villalpando’s new love for cooking was an opportunity for him to rediscover his Mexican heritage and connect with the community.

“I found that piece of myself that I had kind of neglected for so long,” he said. “Mexican cuisine is a beautiful thing and I am learning more and more every day.”

The social media star suggested a starting point for those afraid of cooking: Go chop an onion.

“Go into your kitchen, get an onion, and just chop it. You’ll cry and then you’ll say to yourself, ‘I think I just went through the hardest of this process.'” Then move on to the rest of the recipe.

After a good cry, the rest is a breeze.

Lydia Bastianche: Grandma’s Cooking

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Lidia Bastianich is best known as an Emmy Award-winning TV presenter and bestselling cookbook author, but she’s also a refugee who discovered her love of cooking in unusual circumstances.

Bastjanic was born in Istria in 1947 – the same year the Italian peninsula came under communist rule of Yugoslavia. Her family, who was forbidden to speak their native Italian language, practice religion or run a business, felt the restrictions imposed by the new ruling party.

But at such a young age, Bastjanic was shielded from political conflict and led an idyllic life – spending most of her time with her grandmother Rosa, who lived in the small rural village of Posoler (in what is now Croatia).

Her grandmother had a farm where she tended animals and planted a large garden. I’ve grown, bred, produced, made and milled all the food for the family. And throughout the process, Bastianich was by her side as her little assistant.

Her childhood was intertwined with food.

For Bastianich, it would be impossible to single out a single dish that sparked her culinary career. Bursting with excitement describing all the delicious foods and flavors she devoured during these pivotal years of her life, including ripe figs, tender gnocchi and delicious chicken soup.

Wild asparagus was one of her favorites, and she would feed it herself. It was a thin pencil with a strong flavour. The complex flavor is described as bitter and earthy with a sweet finish.

There were thousands of ways her grandmother could make asparagus, from pasta and salad to soup and frittata.

She wrote, “I could still taste Grandma Rosa’s wild asparagus frittata, extra-virgin olive oil, goose eggs that were so fresh it was still warm, asparagus my forage, and a hunk of homemade bread to wipe it all off,” she wrote. .

Eventually, under the threat of the communist regime, the Bastianich family fled first to Italy and then to the United States – where she began her culinary career and continued her grandmother’s legacy.

“I left behind an entire world that I had longed for, and food was my relationship again to that world,” she said.

Today, she is a restaurateur, television presenter, cookbook author, and advocate for refugees and women in business.

“I don’t think she or she taught me how influential she was,” Bastianich said of her grandmother. “Only through years of searching deeper and deeper into myself do I find all of these connections, and I cherish them.”

Now, she hopes that others can celebrate their own relationship with food, just as I did.

“Cooking doesn’t specifically follow a recipe,” she said. “Cooking is about getting a result that truly reflects what you have, your knowledge, and the flavors you want.”

Jaíne Mackievicz: Flourless Chocolate Cake

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Growing up, Gyan Makevich – who lived in a remote town in Brazil – loved being in the kitchen and cooking with her parents. She joked that there were two reasons behind this: there wasn’t much to do, and she liked to eat different things.

Her mother ran a home bakery, and Makevich liked to help. Sometimes she would mix the ganache and whip up the meringue – most of the time she would lick the bowl.

She dreamed of becoming a chef like Julia Child, but when her father passed away, she completely stopped cooking.

“It was the thing that bonded the two of us, and for me it was just a sad moment. I didn’t feel like I could be in the kitchen again,” she said. “I had no inspiration.”

Makevich became a lawyer but when she realized that wasn’t her goal, she enrolled at Boston University’s Metropolitan College of Culinary College with the goal of becoming a food writer.

During one of the classes, I tasted chocolate cake with coffee. Then she had a flashlight moment.

“I tasted one of the cakes we had baked, and then I thought of my dad,” said Makevich. “I reconnected with that feeling and that was the moment I realized that’s the thing I’m going to do for the rest of my life.” . She then set her goal in cooking, baking and sharing Brazilian cuisine with the world through cookbooks and television.

The cake was similar to Julia Child’s Rain de Saba, a chocolate and almond cake.

“Just the smell of it makes me think of being happy,” she explained.

With a renewed passion for cooking and baking, Mackievicz took on a new challenge: the Food Network’s “Julia Child Challenge.” I took part in a series of cooking challenges against seven home chefs earlier this year and won.

“Dreams come true,” said Makevich. “I just want people to know that everything they know in the kitchen is valuable and you can take it anywhere.”

Her tips for new chefs: Take a risk, follow your intuition, and don’t be disappointed if it isn’t perfect every time. It encourages chefs and bakers to play with flavors and aromas.

“Courage should be your main ingredient,” said Makevich.

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