George has had a love of all things culinary from a very young age, and throughout his career, has worked with renowned chefs and food technologists. He discovered his passion for cooking at the age of five after spending time in his grandmother's restaurant. From then on, under his mother's guidance (who is a talented cook of her own accord) George recalls cooking anything his mother would let him, starting out with scrambled eggs and hamburgers and quickly moving on to fine Italian and French dishes.
After many years of honing and perfecting his culinary craft, George still enjoys what he humbly considers: "complimenting my family culinary experience," by taking courses in regional cuisines pertaining to the vegetable ingredient products his family specializes in, namely: Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican and Tex Mex.
Because of George's extensive knowledge and passion for food, he is a great resource to customers in helping them find the right ingredients for their recipe needs. "I need to understand what's happening in the kitchen," he explained. "If my client has an unfavorable flavor note, I need to be able to assess the situation to understand why." That extra level of service and care undoubtedly stems from his love of food and his work alike, which fortunately for George, go hand and hand.
For the pastry:
6 tablespoons butter, cold
2/3 cup plain flour
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
For the filling:
12 asparagus spears
1 1/4 cups double cream
3/4 cup blue cheese
1 - Make the pastry by cutting the butter into small dice-sized pieces and rubbing pieces into the flour with your fingertips. Add the egg yolk, pepper and a tablespoon or two of water and bring the mixture to a firm, even-textured dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2 - Bring a pot of water to a boil, cut the asparagus into short pieces and cook in furiously boiling water for 5 minutes or so until almost tender; remove from pot with draining spoon. Make the custard by beating the eggs very lightly into the cream, seasoning with black pepper, and a little salt (optional).
3 - Line a tart pan with the pastry, making certain you have pushed the pastry deep into the corners and that there are no tears or cracks. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans, then bake for 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove the baking beans and return pastry to the oven for another 5 minutes or until the pastry feels dry to the touch.
4 - Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Place the asparagus spears in the pastry pan and crumble the blue cheese over the top. Pour the custard in next and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes. Leave to cool, then transfer to a serving plate.