Chipotle Crispy Chicken by Chef Cassey Pepela, H&S Chef Of The Month
H&S Chef Of The Month
Interview With H&S Magazine
Who Is Cassey Pepela?
I am a culinary chef with an unwavering commitment to my craft. Over time, I have honed skills in various culinary styles and techniques, working locally and internationally. Known for a commitment to excellence and attention to detail, I continue to delight food enthusiasts by offering private chef services through my business Pro.Chefs Company.
Type Of Cuisine?
Fusion cuisine! I am particularly drawn to it because it allows me to combine diverse culinary traditions and ingredients. This fusion of flavours and techniques opens up endless creative possibilities and keeps the dining experience exciting and innovative. It’s a style of cooking that reflects our multicultural world and offers a unique opportunity to surprise and delight diners with unexpected yet harmonious flavour combinations.
What Inspired You To Become A Chef?
I developed a passion for food and cooking at a young age, influenced by my dad’s cake baking hustle. I fondly recall enjoying watching him bake cakes in the traditional way. After high school, I ran my brother’s fast-food joint, and during college, I operated my BBQ skewer business. These experiences solidified my decision to pursue a career in
culinary arts as a professional chef.
What Is The Biggest Challenge You Have Faced In The Culinary Industry?
One significant challenge I’ve faced in the culinary field is the demanding nature of the profession. The culinary world operates at a relentless pace, with long and often irregular hours. Working in kitchens requires a deep commitment to the craft. The demanding schedule can take a toll on personal life and often means sacrificing weekends and holidays to serve diners.
What’s Your Biggest Achievement In The Culinary Industry?
1. Founding and spearheading Pro.Chefs Company, a private chefs company dedicated to creating tailored culinary experiences in the comfort of our clients’ homes. This has been both a passion and a privilege & through this endeavour, I’ve been able to live up to the motto #nokitchenlikeyourown, crafting unique and tailored dining moments that reflect the individuality of each home and highlight my culinary skills.
2. Taking the helm as the Head Chef in successfully launching and managing a vibrant gastropub. In this role, I had the privilege of leading a talented kitchen team and creating a unique dining atmosphere that resonated with our patrons. It was a rewarding experience that further enriched my culinary journey.
When It comes To Cooking, What Is More Important To You, The Technique, The Ingredients Or The Creativity?
In cooking, all these aspects are essential, and they complement each other. Ingredients often influence creativity, as you have to work with what’s available. Creativity, in turn, guides the technique used, to achieve the desired presentation and plating. So, they are all interconnected and equally important in creating a delightful culinary
Recipe Of The Week: Chipotle Crispy Chicken
• 100g all-purpose flour
• 100g corn flour
• A pinch of cumin powder
• A pinch of chipotle powder
• A pinch of cayenne powder
• A pinch of garlic powder
• A pinch of onion powder
• Salt to taste
The Chipotle Crispy Chicken
• 300g boneless chicken thigh
• 200g yoghurt (enough to coat all the chicken)
• Oil for frying
Preparation: The Chipotle Flour Mix
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir and keep aside.
Preparation: The Chipotle Crispy Chicken
Season & marinate the chicken thighs in yoghurt and leave overnight. The next day, drain the excess yoghurt and dredge the chicken in the chipotle flour. Heat some cooking oil in a pot on high heat, once hot, fry the chicken thigh pieces till they are cooked through and golden brown.
On a plate, serve the chicken thigh pieces with some lemon mayonnaise and fries as a side.