reporter: Miguel Dominguez
May 10, Petaluma Restaurant — Influenced by Top Chef Ross Siragusa and chef Cecilio Matos, Executive Chef Chris Coleman served a dazzling array of Spring Mediterranean dishes for a party of Journalists, an International Designer, a Director and a Supermodel as part of a warm up in preparation for his new television show and book in development.
Brunch commenced with Bruschetta, followed by pan seared octopus, meatballs and cheese platters as starters. For entrés, Day Boat scallops, seafood capellini, ravioli and aged shell steak, all to be washed down with a wonderful selection of French wines—Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, Barbaresco, Cotes du Rhone, La Porte du Cailou Sancerre.
Bruschetta made with plum tomatoes, fresh garlic,
red onions and fresh basil on a crostini
Pan seared octopus with potatoes, red onions, black olives, celery,
red peppers and parsley with lemon vinegar
All were presented by the Chef himself, who sat down during the three course meal to explain recipes, his superstar chef career highlights from Chopped, early cooking from his youth in Panama, Miami Beach and Hamptons, restaurant development, and his Golden Glove boxing days. To quote him, “The menu was a challenge for me because of the simple fact that I am not an Italian chef, but I can hold my ground.” He remembers when a lady told him once that his cooking was as good as sex, and would never forget that day.
One of Food Channel's Chopped Star, Executive Chef Chris Coleman prides himself on cooking with “professionalism, passion, and love.” His cuisine speciality is called fusion, which stems from his broad upbringing and experience.
Of Panamanian origin, he left his homeland to first settle in Miami. He takes a lot of cooking courses and works out at the gym to be fit and be able to deal with the pressure of the kitchen, since he serves about 300 to 500 covers per day.
Debbie shows off the delicious meatballs in marinara sauce
Chef Coleman in the process of pan searing
Day Boat scallops which he wrapped in bacon
and served on a bed of wood oven roasted vegetables
Chef Chris Coleman has been associated with such restaurants as The Rusty Pelican, Cheesecake Factory, the Clevelander Hotel, The Grille Fish Restaurant, Banana Republic Restaurant, Nicks on the Beach, Farm House, Gurneys Resort, Claudio's, Ocean Grille Fish, Pig and Whistle Restaurant, Tatiana's Restaurant, Buggies Restaurant, and The Little Nail Resort.
Spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli in a black truffle cream sauce
Seafood capellini of clams, mussels, shrimp,
and calamari in a marinara sauce
The list of V.I.P.s he has served is impressive: Marc B Packer, Russell Simmons, Reverend Ron, Chris Lightly, Leonardo Di Caprio, Puerto Rican Top chef Alfredo Ayala, Top Chef Rocco di Spirito, Top Chef Eric Rippert, singer Melanie Brown and husband, David Rosenberg, Noah Tepperberg and Judy Tepperberg, David Stout, Alex Rodriguez. Kate Hudson. NBA player Al Harrington, NBA player Chris Duhon, Padma Laksmi, Marc Anthony's manager Big Ron Zayas, among many others.
Aged shell steak, served with fingerling potatoes
Chef Coleman is a member of the American Culinary Federation since January 2003, also The World Association of Chefs Societies, and The James Beard Foundation. These are the three top best cooking organizations in the hospitality industry.
Assorted olives were the perfect garnish for the Mediterranean theme
Cheese plates included Fontina, Manchego, Asiago, La Tur and Petit Basque cheeses
Chef Coleman confesses that if he were to have his own TV show, it would be 'The last man standing at Coleman cooking'
Mixed berries topped with creme fraiche was the perfect light dessert
Chef Chris with assistants Lauro Sucuzhagnay and Rommel Flores