Friday, December 3, 2021

Cooking up a love story



By Chef Annie 

It’s been over a month since we closed doors at The Chefs Express in Olde Marco.

In our quest to get our new restaurant opened at The Beach Club, I have been working on creating new menu options….and thus a Love Story is born.

Have you wondered how great it would be married to a chef? I am certain, at one time or another, whether a long day at work, hectic schedules, your birthday or guests dropping in unexpectedly… you imagined your chef husband or chef wife using his or her talents to dream up that special meal.

Well, being a chef at a restaurant does not always mean you carry those talents home. Working in the kitchen all day, means I tend to want my husband to cook for me at home….and he does, or I would probably starve! Rick, my husband, is a meat and potatoes kind of guy who loves to fire up the grill. Whether its 16 oz T-bones, 8 oz pork chops or grilled chicken breasts, he always brings a great meal to the table.

One night last week, though, I decided to jump into the kitchen and reward my adorable husband with my culinary talents… yes, I had missed being in the kitchen! Now, in considering what I was going to prepare (because it was last minute, and I had no intention on running to the grocery)… it was going to be a culinary “experiment”.

I found we had chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, and yes we always have some sort of pasta on hand, so these became my basics. The water for the linguini was put on to boil and a sauté pan was brought out. I always like to start with extra virgin olive oil and butter when I sauté, so 2 tablespoons of each were added to my pan with 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, were heated over medium heat. Next came my chicken medallions, this is when I slice my chicken breasts into small thin pieces; they were added. My next step though, would bring a new twist to my chicken dish, and thus my LOVE STORY. I reached into the freezer, believing, I was grabbing a bag of basil, (yes, I freeze my fresh grown herbs that I grow on our patio) and reached in and sprinkled some on the chicken…oh my, it wasn’t basil, it was thyme! Okay, now what? Well, thyme and rosemary I pair together often, so now came a sprinkle of chopped rosemary. I had been thinking of sundried tomatoes with feta….but no feta…so into my pan went the sundried tomatoes and then I found a can of artichoke hearts, so in they went too. Okay, now I need a cheese…hmm, it was going to be blue cheese! So a handful of blue cheese was sprinkled over the mixture, a few churns of fresh ground pepper and a dash of sea salt…and voila, the aroma was amazing!

I opened a bottle of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay, my husband’s favorite, plated the meal and called my husband for dinner. And as I said, I cooked up a LOVE STORY: A love of the new flavors, my love of cooking, and my husband’s love for this new creation.

It was just 2 days later when Rick asked, “can you please make that pasta and chicken again tonight?” Well, it seems we have another winner for our new menu! See you all soon in our new location at The Beach Club, we are as anxious as you for the grand opening!

Join Chef Annie at The Chefs Express, coming soon at a new location. For catering requests, please visit and view the beauty she creates with her delightful creations.


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