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.
6 small, flat sugar pumpkins for serving the soup in.
2 1/2 cups fresh cooked or canned pumpkin
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dry sherry (optional)
4 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 cup diced celery
1 sprig of fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 tsp of salt
Toasted pumpkin seeds for a garnish
Fresh cracked pepper
1 - Cut the top (one third) of your pumpkins off to create a lid for your pumpkin serving bowls. Scoop out the seeds and strings, cleaning the inside well of any debris. Clean the seeds, place them on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt, and roast in a 200°F oven until lightly golden brown. Set aside.
2 - In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat. Sauté the onion, celery and garlic for about 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, sherry and chicken broth. Blend in well with a whisk and then add sprig of thyme. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
3 – Remove thyme spring. Then remove soup mixture from the heat and puree in a blender in small batches. Return soup mixture to the pot.
4 - Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a separate saucepan. Whisk in flour and cream, blending well. Cook for 1 minute and then add mixture to soup. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
5 - Heat the pumpkin shells in a 200ºF oven for 10 -15 minutes before adding soup to keep the soup warm.
6 - Pour soup into your hollowed-out pumpkin bowls. Serve toasted pumpkin seeds on top as a garnish with plenty of fresh cracker pepper.