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Why Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless doesn’t ‘trust’ jalapenos

Rick Bayless at Macy's Culinary Council demonstration (www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Rick Bayless at Macy’s Culinary Council demonstration (www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

“I don’t trust jalapenos,” laughes Chef Rick Bayless held at Macy’s Culinary Council cooking demonstration at Northpark center last weekend. Bravo’s Top Chef Master Winner and veteran chef/restauranteur was in Dallas showcasing holiday-inspired Mexican dishes followed by a delicious food tasting for select shoppers.

Holiday Guacamole created by Chef Rick Bayless (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Holiday Guacamole created by Chef Rick Bayless (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

So why doesn’t he trust jalapenos? Because “jalapenos are unpredictable”. Instead he prefers the more reliable serrano pepper which produces a consistent level of heat when making guacamole at his award-winning Mexican restaurants like Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago. Tips like rinsing raw white onions to remove sulfurous compounds released during slicing gets rid of the overpowering ‘oniony’ taste to using a potato masher to make perfectly lumpy guacamole were peppered throughout his entertaining demo. For a festive twist, the Oklahoma native dropped in pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts in the guacamole.

Kuri Squash soup with Ancho Chile and Apple (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Kuri Squash soup with Ancho Chile and Apple (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

For his pumpkin soup, Bayless chose to use a kuri. The kuri pumpkin is a small, thick skinned pumpkin which produced a warm and bright color when blended. Dried ancho chilies layered the soup with fruity spiciness to be softened with natural sweetness of apple. Then Bayless showed off his bartending skills with a blood orange margarita recipe. He said he loved using the Oxo cocktail shaker as “the lid doubles as a jigger”.  As a chef who actively uses seasonal ingredients, he chose blood  oranges to make this traditional Mexican cocktail.

Blood Orange Margarita (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Blood Orange Margarita (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

The Macy’s Culinary Council includes some of the nation’s leading culinary masters such as Rick Bayless, Michelle Bernstein, Cat Cora, Tom Douglas, Todd English, Emeril Lagasse, Ming Tsai and Wolfgang Puck. Launched in 2003, this distinguished team of ambassadors provides expert culinary advice and leads in-store cooking demos to teach customers how to bring a little gourmet to their dining table.The events are free though registration is required to attend.

Macy's shoppers get their cookbooks autographed by Chef Rick Bayless (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Macy’s shoppers get their cookbooks autographed by Chef Rick Bayless (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

For this particular event, shoppers who spent $35 or more in the Home Department received a $10 Macy’s gift card, a special holiday gift and a copy of Chef Rick Bayless’ cookbook, “Fiesta at Rick’s” which he signed after the demonstration.

Till our next Happy Meal!

 Cheryl Collett is freelance journalist and a mom on a mission to expand her kids’ palates.  IttyBittyFoodies chronicles their yummy adventures. For recipes ideas, look under HomeMade or check out the best kid friendly places under Restaurant Reviews and best kid foodie items at Product Reviews. Get the latest updates if you Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ittybittyfoodie

Disclosure: Everywhere compensated me for my attendance. This post features original content (like all my freelance journalism work) and all opinions expressed are my own.

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Cheryl Collett, Itty Bitty Foodies - Yummy Adventures with Kids!

Cheryl Collett, Itty Bitty Foodies - Yummy Adventures with Kids!

Cheryl Collett is a freelance lifestyle writer. She blogs about her two passions: food and her kids at www.ittybittyfoodies.com

1 Comment

  1. Lexi
    January 13, 2014 at 10:36 am — Reply

    Love this post, Cheryl! Everywhere thanks you for your participation!

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