In preparation for the Labor Day holiday weekend, we leaned on Beyond’s resident food expert, Randy Morgan, to share his cooking finesse for the perfect Labor Day meal and kitchen design tips. As a professional chef with 24 years of experience in the fast-paced industry, he’s worked with some of the globes most respected chefs, opened thriving restaurants across the country, and knows a thing or two about optimal kitchen compositions.
Diving into all things kitchen and design, the cuisine artist shared his ideal kitchen aesthetic, themed around simplicity, space and stainless steel. True to his profession, Randy’s dream kitchen requires ample space for food preparation, a place for every tool, and clean lines of steel throughout. While metal offers sleek, clean style, Randy notes that stainless steel also means easy cleanup, efficiency and ease.
When you pair a seasoned chef like Randy and a design creative like Juliana, great kitchen spaces are not far behind. His dream professional kitchen is centered around a massive stainless steel island, “all the appliances and workspaces are in the island and every bit of space is utilized,” Randy said. ”The island would be under a hooded ventilation system, double convection ovens with four high output burners, grill, fryer, broiler, under-counter refrigeration, and a large prep sink with pot filler.”
His wishlist of personal cooking appliances and tools was brief but packed with intriguing pieces that left us with fingers crossed for an invitation to the next home-cooked meal. “I’ve been fortunate to have worked in some incredibly well-equipped kitchens that I have built to have everything I needed,” he shared. “At home, it would be fun to buy a sous vide circulator, a pasta maker, high-end ice cream maker, and an outdoor fire pit and smoker.”
As most of us don’t have 24/7 access to a professional chef, we took it upon ourselves to also capture a few major kitchen recommendations and the perfect Labor Day meal to share with your loved ones directly from the cuisiner:
What are the top 5 elements every kitchen pro and home cook needs for a Labor Day meal and beyond?
- Carbon steel pans
- Robot Coupe food processor
- Le Creuset large dutch oven
- KitchenAid countertop pro mixer with attachments
- Convection ovens (Chef’s note: these circulate heat evenly throughout the oven, cooking the food evenly and properly. This is a must for baking.)
*Bonus tip: High BTU output gas burners to heat pans for searing and sauteing
What are your tried and true kitchen brands for kitchen appliances, tools and accessories?
- Ovens: Z Line, Vulcan, and Wolf
- Tools: KitchenAid, Robot Coupe, Le Creuset, Lodge, and Matfer Bourgeat
- Refrigeration: Traulsen, True, and Continental
What advice can you share for anyone currently considering a kitchen remodel?
Think outside the box and don’t adapt your cooking needs to fit into the framework of a traditional kitchen. Instead, think how you and your family use your kitchen and what additional appliances or different layout would be most comfortable for you. It’s all about your satisfaction in the kitchen and ease of execution that will motivate you to cook more and be happy with your renovation decision.
What should we be cooking for the perfect Labor Day meal?
Grilled Alaskan Halibut, Summer Market Vegetables, and Shallot Garlic Sauce …
GRILLED ALASKAN HALIBUT, SUMMER MARKET VEGETABLES + SHALLOT GARLIC SAUCE
A GLUTEN-FREE RECIPE | LABOR DAY MEAL | PRINTABLE PDF
This simple, delicious halibut with blackening spice and marinated + grilled veggies and peaches dish comes together with a light shallot, garlic sauce. Whether it’s Labor Day or any warm Sunday afternoon, head to your local market for some in-season produce and fresh halibut fillets and enjoy an afternoon of grilling and feasting together.
Prep time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Skin Off Alaskan Halibut Fillets Center Cut (7oz; 4 fillets)
Blackening Spice As Needed
Fairy Tale Eggplant or Baby Eggplant (8)
Heirloom Zucchini or Standard Zucchini (4)
Fresh Okra (12)
Fresh Ripe Peaches (3)
Fresh Cilantro (1 bunch)
Lemon Slices (garnish)
Kosher Salt As Needed
Coarse Grind Black Pepper As Needed
Canola Oil As Needed
SHALLOT GARLIC SAUCE
Salted Butter 1/8 th lb or 4 Tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 4 Tbsp
Fresh Garlic-chopped/minced 2 Tbsp
Fresh Shallot-chopped/minced 2 Tbsp
Fresh Oregano Leaves-chopped 1 tsp
Blackening Spice ½ tsp
Fresh Lemon – Juiced ½ ea
SHALLOT GARLIC SAUCE
Place all ingredients in a small saucepot and turn on low heat. Once butter is melted, mix ingredients together and let cook for another 2 minutes, turn off heat.
GRILLED ALASKAN HALIBUT + SUMMER MARKET VEGETABLES
Depending on the size of the vegetables, slice in half or quarter. Place vegetables in a large mixing bowl and lightly coat with canola oil, kosher salt, and fresh grated, coarse ground black pepper. Set aside.
Cut peaches into wedges, approximately 6 pieces. In a separate mixing bowl, place the peach wedges and lightly coat with canola oil. Season the fillets with blackening spice on 1 side only, the presentation side. How much you put on will depend on how “spicy” you want your fish. Use lightly if unsure. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of fillet. Lightly coat the fish with canola oil and rub into the fish. Ready to grill, make sure your grill is clean and hot with the burners on high. Place the peaches on the grill to achieve grill marks on both sides, lightly cooking the peaches. Clean the grill and place the vegetables on the grill to achieve grill marks on both sides and cooking lightly. Clean the grill again. Place fish on the grill blackening spice side down at a 45-degree angle from the grates. Cook for approximately 2 minutes and turn to the other 45-degree angle to achieve diamond-shaped grill marks. Cook another minute then carefully flip the fish to the other side. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the fish or it will dry out. The fish should be semi-firm when squeezed on the side of the fillet but still have a little give to it.
To plate the dish, place the vegetables together on the top left side of the plate. Place the grilled peaches on the top right side of the plate, across from the vegetables. Place the fish, blackened side up in the middle, between the vegetables and the peaches. Garnish the plate with fresh cilantro sprigs. Place a tablespoon of the shallot garlic sauce on top of the fish and garnish with a lemon slice.
SINCE WE’RE CELEBRATING FRIENDS AND FAMILY
CHECK OUT THIS PUBLICATION FEATURING BEYOND’S JULIANA AND HER FAMILY
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