Ask a Chef Interviews

Ask a Chef: Ann Gentry

Ann Gentry

If you’ve ever dreamed of having a chef on retainer, here’s the next best thing (or almost): this column. To start, we ask Ann Gentry, our own executive chef and the visionary founder of the organic vegan eatery Real Food Daily, which kitchen tool she thinks is well worth the splurge. Here’s what she told us:

“My all-time favorite home kitchen tool is the pot I’ve had the longest, a 3 1/2-quart Le Creuset French Oven. After about 25 years, the lid still fits snugly. And the nonreactive enamel coating is scratch-resistant, so it still looks good! I love that it’s perfect for one-pot meals. Made of cast iron, it distributes heat evenly and allows me to cook using a medium to low flame, which works well when you prepare lots of vegetables and grains as I do. I can also put it in the oven for casseroles. I recently splurged on two bigger sizes; each time, I was anxious about the high price, but bought the pot anyway because I knew what a great product I was getting. Also, Le Creuset has added all these bright, fun colors. So not only do I have more pots that will last a lifetime, but now there’??s cherry red and Caribbean blue in my collection.”

April 2009 p.23

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Hi my daughter Kelly is vegan. She became vegetarian when she was twelve and recently vegan. She is now a17 year old High school senior. She is looking into college education in dietetics and nutritioan. Do you have any reccomendations on a path in college and colleges that may be more particular in being vegan. We live in NJ.

Donna Paterno - 2015-10-16 17:06:01

I've been a vegetarian for over 40yrs and when I recently found out I was gluten intolerant. After a few months of being gluten free I also found out I was lactose intolerant. I'm having a hard time finding a variety of fairly simple items to make myself. My husband is not a veggie. Do you have any ideas?

Robbin - 2015-07-14 17:33:31

Have you and your staff ever considered doing an issue on TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) recipes? I need your help. Here's the recipe (and the history of the restaurant) from one of my favorite fast food restaurants. I tried using TVP instead of hamburger. Didn't turn out as well as I was hoping. Can your staff help me with this? I'd love to send them the alternative recipe. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Sissy Poettler Tastee-Inn-And-Out 3/4 batch 1/2 batch 1/4 batch 4 ounces Heinz ketchup 3 2 1 3 teaspoons prepared mustard (heaping) 2 1/4 1 1/2 3/4 3 teaspoons creamed horseradish (heaping) 2 1/4 1 1/2 3/4 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 1/4 1 1/2 3/4 5 teaspoons salt (heaping) 3 3/4 2 1/2 1 1/4 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 3/16 1/8 1/16 5 lbs ground beef (85/15 is recommended) 3 3/4 2 1/2 1 1/4 1 cup ground onion 3/4 1/2 1/4 1 teaspoon Accent seasoning (MSG) (Optional) Directions: 1 Take an 8 ounce cup or jar and add the ketchup, mustard, horseradish, Worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. This should fill the cup. If not, add more ketchup. Stir thoroughly untill all ingredients are completely mixed. You now have the basic spices. 2 Place the beef in a flat bottom aluminum kettle. Put the seasoning you just made into the kettle on top of the beef. 3 Fill the same cup or jar with warm water, rinsing it around to get all the fine seasoning out and pour it into the kettle. 4 Next, fill the jar with finely ground yellow onions and empty into the kettle. 5 Add the heaping teaspoon of Accent. 6 Take a wooden spoon to stir and mix all the ingredients in the kettle thoroughly. 7 Put the kettle on your stove over a low flame and stir constantly with the wooden spoon for about 15 minutes or until the meat is broken apart finely. Increase the heat to medium and let the mixture come to a boil. Let boil for 25 minutes. Stir with the wooden spoon every few minutes to assure that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the kettle and to avoid lumps. 8 Use a regular metal straining spoon to portion out the meat. Serve on buns.

Sissy Poettler - 2014-11-06 15:33:01

Ann please tell me the name of the square chef knife you use on Veria. I love that knife! If possible can you tell me where to buy one?

Diana Scott - 2014-08-04 00:58:43

I am going to make your homemade seitan. Can you freeze it for later use? I am a family of one and would like to know. Thank-you, Judi H.

Judi Hughes - 2014-05-11 18:01:18

Vegetarian Diet = The Hunger Games I have been a vegetarian for nearly three years now. I am almost aways hungry. There are so many things I cannot eat for protein, that I have a hard time feeling satisfied after I eat. I have a thyroid problem and have to limit my soy intake to once or twice per week only. I am always trolling for protein. Any suggestions?

Sonitchka - 2012-04-12 20:57:11