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Valerie Bolon - Personal Chef

Featured Recipe

Pulled Braised Beef Brisket over Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

Part One: Pulled Braised Beef

1 whole beef brisket
1 white onion, rough chopped
3 stalks celery, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
2 c. red wine (optional)
3 c. beef stock (can be store bought or homemade)
2 TBS cooking oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place a large saute pan over high heat on the stove. Add the oil and let it get hot for about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper to lightly coat the meat. Next place the meat in the saute pan and let sit for about 3 minutes or so until the meat forms a nice golden brown (caramelization), then flip the meat over with a pair of tongs and let the meat caramelize on the other side. Once the meat is brown on both sides, remove from the pan and place in a large, deep baking dish.

Next add the onions, celery, and garlic to the same pan and let cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring slightly to release the aromatic flavors. Then add the wine and deglaze the pan. Let the wine cook down until there is basically no liquid in the pan and then add the stock. Bring the stock up to a boil. Next pour the liquid with the vegetables into the baking dish with the meat. Cover and braise in the oven at 350 degrees until the meat is extremely tender and will pull apart easily, approximately 4-5 hours. Note: make sure the meat is almost completely covered with braising liquid. Once the meat is cooked, pull out of the oven and let cool a bit before pulling it apart. Take the liquid, strain it and pour back over the meat to keep it moist and flavorful. Serve hot.

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Born and raised in the Chicago area, Valerie Bolon has spent her life surrounded by amazing family and friends. After 14 years of working in various aspects of the restaurant business and countless travels around the world, Valerie has come to realize the true passion and dedication it takes to be a great chef. She believes food is the most universal aspect of life and it is what truly connects us to one another throughout the world. She takes great pride in sharing her truest expressions of herself through her cooking.

After so many years of interesting culinary experiences such as working in New Orleans for Emeril Lagasse to a brief stint on the hit tv show Top Chef, Valerie decided to use her passion and creativity to become a Personal Chef. She loves to bring people of all walks of life together over great food and fun. Valerie specializes in everything from intimate dinners in the home to unique 7 course tasting meals. Thus her most recent endeavor, an underground dinner club called Culinary Speakeasy was born. She feels fortunate that her travels have truly allowed her to incorporate her love for food, cooking and people into every aspect of her life for all to taste.

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global cuisine fusing flavor and creativity