Food Talk with Chef Ernesto Interview Friday 1/24/14

Food Talk with Chef Ernesto Interview Friday 1/24/14



Good evening everyone. Just wanted to share the latest culinary happening in my life.

I was interviewed by Chef Ernesto last Friday evening on his Radio Talk Show. Just wanted to put it out there. I really enjoyed the show and hope to become a regular guests on the show. Please check out his show weekly on Fridays at 6pm PST/9am EST.

Welcome to Food Talk with Chef Ernesto, the coolest Chef on the planet!

Join us as we Interview Chef Donnell Jones Craven. He is well versed hands on, culinary trained in classic and international cookery. His ability to lead a kitchen staff and front of the house into success makes him a valuable commodity. 
This culinary specialist is doing big things in the ATl. 
A Graduate of Morehouse College and an dedicated food and beverage manager is an awesome in complete kitchen management!!!!

show airs on Friday @ 6pm pacific. click the food talk link below, or call in to listen on your phone. 213-769-0900.


Sunday Night Dinner

family dinner 2

Good evening everyone.  Just wanted to share the meal I prepared for dinner this evening. My wife purchased some fresh coho salmon, plantains and frozen green beans. And what did I come up with?  Pan Seared Soy-Sesame Glazed Salmon Filet with steamed rice, sauteed green beans, fried plantains and sweetened green tea.

I took the salmon sliced it into 3 oz. portions, seasoned it with salt-free seasoning, premium dark soy sauce, sesame oil and some lemon pepper to lighten it up a bit. Seared the salmon in a cast iron skillet for 3 minutes on each side. Cooked some white rice and minced some onions to make some fried rice (my wife’s  request). Cooked some cut green beans with vidalia onions and seasoned with Bragg’s liquid amino for flavor.  Fried sweet ripe plantains with squeezed lemon and sprinkled with brown sugar with a refreshing sweetened green tea. It was a hit! Light, seasoned and favorable meal to start a new week. I will add the recipe soon.

Pan Seared Soy Glazed Salmon 9-22-13

Pan Seared Soy-Sesame Glazed Salmon

(5-7)  3oz. portion     Fresh coho salmon, skin on

2 tbsp                          Premium Dark Soy Sauce

1 tbsp                          Sesame Oil

1 tbsp                         Salt-Free Seasoning

2 tsp                            lemon pepper

Take salmon and  smear soy sauce and sesame oil (tbsp)  with hands. Sprinkle dry seasoning on fish lightly. Set to the side in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Heat cast iron skillet to medium high heat  and add 1 tbsp of sesame oil. Add filets with flesh side down and cook on all sides for 2-3 minutes each. Remove from heat and place on warm plate. Add diced tomato/cilantro/parsley for garnish.



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“A commitment m…

“A commitment must be made, A plan must be laid, A price must be paid.”
Quote from Gus Bradley, Defensive Coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks

I came across this quote last week reading a sports illustrated article  while at doctor’s appointment with my wife and thought it would worth adding to my blog. If there’s going to be any real success in your life, relationships, family or business you must make a commitment , have a plan and pay the price. I’ve always been committed to personal growth and development but haven’t done a good job at being consistent due to life’s distractions and events. I’m learning that you have to remain and maintain consistency and work your personal formula or mantra daily. 



Hummus: What you dont know now you know!


It seems that the western world of recent years has become infatuated with this basic and simple  food/meal.  To some its a dip for a vegetable crudite at a party, to others its a vegetable spread for sandwiches and to others it has become an alternate protein source to vegans and those who want to replace animal protein in their daily diet. When you visit the prepared foods or ethnic sections in your local market  you see it presented in many varieties from traditional, greek, black bean, cilantro and lemon,  red pepper, spicy, kalamata olives, sun dried tomato, etc. and the list goes on and on. This food staple is nothing new to the world, only new to us in the U.S. with the onslaught of highly visible marketing of every type of food based company on the planet.  But to those of us who really value, treasure, and pay homage to foods origin, culture and practical  everyday uses its simple. We prepare it in its original form. That’s right, the traditional way: chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, tahini (ground sesame seeds),  olive oil, a bit of paprika, salt, and cumin, whirl it up in a food processor and viola! break out the pita bread, kick your feet up on the couch or the lounge chair and enjoy the afternoon.


Today, I want to present to some and introduce to others… Hummus (HOOM-uhs)! It  has been  said that hummus was originated from the Middle East. The Greeks, Arabians and the Israeli’s all lay claim to its origin as their own. But according to historical information, hummus most likely originated from Ancient Egypt in which  originated some 7,000 years ago in Egyptian culture. Chickpeas were abundant  in the fertile regions of the Middle East and commonly eaten. The Greeks and Egyptian were traders for centuries.  Greek and Arabian  cuisine share many similar foods items in their cuisines.  Some of the food items are stuffed grape leaves, baklava and tabouleh which are quite similar with specific differences of regional and local ingredients that are used. Many foods crossed over  during historical periods especially during the height of the Ottoman Empire. Hummus is also a part of several Middle Eastern cultures like Syrian/Yemen , Lebanese, Israeli and Palestinian. In Syria its one of the most popular dishes which is traditional eaten with falafel, kibbe and tabouleh. In  Israel its  a common part of the every day meals. Its popular because its made from ingredients that follow the Kashrut which is the Jewish dietary laws which hummus can be combined with both meat and dairy meals. In Israel it has been elevated  to become a “national food  symbol” and consumed more than twice as much as the neighboring Arabic countries, according to figures by Tsabar Salads, a hummus manufacturer in Israel. In Palestine hummus has been a long staple food, often served warm (see I told your so earlier), with  bread for breakfast , lunch or dinner. Its usaually garnished with olive oil, “nana” mint leaves, paprika, parsley or cumin.  Today its popular throughout the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Morocco and in Middle Eastern cuisine around the world. Chickpeas were widely eaten in the regions in which they were often cooked in stews and other hot dishes. The earliest know recipes for a dish similar to hummus bi tahina (when tahina is added to hummus) are recorded in cookbooks published in Cairo in the 13th century. A cold puree of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemon with herbs, spices, and oil, but no tahini or garlic, appears in the Kitāb al-Wusla ilā l-habīb fī wasf al-tayyibāt wa-l-tīb. This is very interesting to me because the historical background of a particular food item can be claimed by one or several cultures, but once you found out its earliest primitive origins can really be eye opening to many. I think we will all be surprised to where certain food really originated from. That’s why I chose to write, explore, comprehend and share the historical and cultural aspect of the foods and cuisines that we treasure from all around the world.


A traditional Middle Eastern meal is spread before the family and guests. This is where hummus makes its grand entrance to the affair as a dip or spread. It is the highlight of the food festivities as  a starter or appetizer of the culinary delicacies that are to be presented before the hungry guests that would induce a great sense of conversation and fellowship through the dining experience. So you see hummus is more than a bunch of mashed chickpeas  with lemon juice, spices and seasoning mixed in a bowl and served cold. Traditionally speaking its prepared and served at room temperature so the true flavor and essence can be captured  by the palate with the silkiness of texture, strong, yet subtle hints of fresh garlic and lemon juice, favorable olive oil and nutty profile of tahini (sesame seed paste). Its traditionally served with pita bread, a staple bread of the Middle East.  This starter wins  and outweighs the competition which is usually Potato Chips and sour cream and onion dip by a long shot! The reason being when its made properly with freshest and best quality ingredients  you can’t help but go back and get some more time after time.


Actually I made a small batch yesterday evening after having a taste for it for about a week. I was in the store earlier this week picking up a few things and I was in the deli/prepared foods section and saw several brands of hummus and put a few in my basket and then picked up some pita chips (my favorite brand that I will not reveal). I thought this would take care of my midday and late evening snacking with some baby carrots and  celery sticks. As I continued shopping through the store it hit me that I can make my own for less than half the price of the two 8oz. tubs and two bags of pita chips (that’s half filled with air) that would cost me over $10! That’s not a snack price, that’s  meal price! So what did I do? I went back to the deli section and put everything back for those who may want to enjoy with some of the additives and whatnot and picked up some a pack of traditional pita bread went over to the canned vegetable aisle and got two cans of chickpeas and off to the check out counter. All the other ingredients I have at home in the fridge and the pantry. I was on my way to some real food happiness! Food is happiness to me just like some good music, your favorite outfit, pair of shoes or song. Good food makes me feel at ease, at peace with me, the world and those around me.


If you live or visit Metro Atlanta drive out to Loganville and  visit Athenas Greek Cuisine & Mediterranean Bakery, 706 Athens Hwy. 78, Loganville, GA 30052 770.554.7400. I know the owner and the food is exceptional! I buy my hummus and tabolueh there if I don’t make my own. Also  visit the Mediterranean Grill with two additonal locations around metro Atlanta;  2126 North Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033 404.320.0101. The owner is a former chef They have great portion sizes and the lunch combination plate is very good. Its well know amongst the local business and Emory university crowd!

Follow my new blog as I explore the culture, history and significance of food!


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