MEET OUR FEARLESS LEADER… CHEF DAN!

This series highlights our amazing team members at The Seasoned Chef and The Gourmet Spoon. In this series, each member will also highlight their favorite family recipe, along with the story of how it became important in their lives. The heart of the home is always in the kitchen.


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MEET CHEF DAN WITHERSPOON!

Hello, I am Chef Dan Witherspoon – the owner, director, and lead instructor for The Seasoned Chef and The Gourmet Spoon.  I’m so glad you’re here!

After working under celebrated Belgian chef Henri Bergmans, and earning my way to executive chef positions in both Southern California and Denver, I finally found my calling in cooking instruction.

37 years of cooking professionally and 18 years of instructing home and recreational cooks, I finally decided to purchase The Seasoned Chef Cooking School in 2011 to grow it to what it is today.

Every day, I still look forward to working with the other members of this team and teaching classes. I love working with corporate team building groups and teaching home and recreational chefs the basics of home cooking.  We want our students to go home having learned how they can simply, affordably, quickly make a delicious and healthy meal at home.

Our students love coming to our classes.  They are motivated, engaged, and excited to learn.  Over the years, I’ve found that the best moment of my day is when I am able to see my student’s eyes light up because they have learned something new and are able to create a delicious dish on their own.  That’s why I do what I do and still love coming into work every day!

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE

This recipe has been one of the mainstays of my teaching repertoire for 18 years.  It is not only delicious, but teaches my students a great deal about the cooking fundamentals, from proper temperatures for meats to making tasty sauce from scratch.

As an additional bonus, the sauce can be made ahead of time and reheated so that you can enjoy company as they arrive.  Just don’t add the butter until just prior to serving.

TRIANGLE TIP ROAST WITH ROASTED MUSHROOM & SHALLOT RAGOUT

Time: 1 hour; 4-6 servings

TRIANGLE TIP ROAST

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½-2 lb triangle tip roast, defatted

  • Salt and pepper to season

  • 2 tablespoons salad oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Blot dry the roast with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. When the skillet is hot, add the oil and lay in the roast. Brown lightly on each side, about 1 minute per side.

  3. Place the skillet with roast into the oven and reduce heat to 325º. Roast for 25-35 minutes, depending on the thickness of the roast, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130º, or desired degree of doneness.

  4. When done, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

ROASTED MUSHROOM & SHALLOT RAGOUT

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 shallots, whole

  • ¾ lb mushrooms

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled and seeded

  • 1 small bunch tarragon

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • 6 tablespoons wine, red or white

  • 1/4 cup demi-glace or beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat shallots with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place in pan and roast for 30 minutes until tender. Remove, let cool, then peel and slice. Clean the mushrooms thoroughly and cut into quarters. Set aside.

  2. Cut roasted red peppers into thin slices. Clean tarragon from stems and rough chop.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in sauté pan. When hot, add mushrooms and sauté until almost tender, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Reduce wine to a glaze then add the shallots, bell peppers and tarragon. Add the demi-glace and bring to a boil. Moisten cornstarch with water and thicken as desired. Off heat, swirl in the butter. Serve immediately.

To serve, slice the roast thinly across the grain. Arrange 3-4 slices on each dinner plate and top with the ragout.