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.
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups flavorful mushrooms such as shiitake, chanterelle, or oyster mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons GC Farms’ extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup brandy, vermouth, or dry white wine
3/4 cup fresh peas
5-6 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup of peeled and minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 cups arborio rice or other risotto rice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or chives
1 - Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
2 - Melt the butter in a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 4 minutes. Add olive oil and garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
3 - Add the rice and stir to combine. Then add brandy, bring to a boil, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-4 minutes. Add simmering stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring enough to keep the rice from sticking to the edges of the pan. Stir the rice almost constantly — stirring sloughs off the starch from the rice. Wait until the stock is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. This process will take about 25 minutes. The rice should be just cooked and slightly chewy.
4 - Stir in the peas and parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley or chives.