FOODIES WEST.COM         
 CHEF DE CUISINE MICHAEL VARGAS:
That’s part of the culinary artistry.  When you dream about
something, and think about how you want it, and in turn, recreate
April 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 7                                                    what you just thought about.








 

 








 
      
Executive Pastry Chef 
Vanessa Johnson

       
Executive Chef 
Kareem Shaw

      
Jared Sowinski
Director of Beverage

      
April 2015
Chef's Larder

Find out Chef Michael Vargas's favorite spices on our Facebook page!


          
Lavender: Need some Alpha with your Beta?

     
Cast & Plow

     
Molinari Caffé Liquore

      
Chef Charles Wiley
Prepares his signature Salmon recipe



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Synopsis: Chef de Cuisine Michael Vargas, Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar, Scottsdale, Arizona
Growing up in a “huge” Mexican-American family, Michael Vargas said he was around food all of his life. “All of the gatherings,” the soon-to-be 31-years-old Vargas said, “from when I was little to an older age, it was always a party. Always surrounded by food. The kitchen was open 24/7.” This included “planty” of three-day parties with music and dancing. “Summer was always great growing up,” Vargas said. Food was fun for him. So it only made sense to become a chef, yes? “Originally,” Vargas said, “I wanted to become an architect. I studied a little bit of theater arts. I was always building sets, lighting and all that stuff.” He didn’t figure out his true calling was food until he graduated high school and faced the old what-do-I-do-for-a-living routine. “It was one of those things where I didn’t really know what to do after high school,” Vargas said. “So I thought, You know what, just let me try this. I know how to cook, so why not just go to school for it and see where it leads? Ever since then—I always loved it—I fell more in love with it.” At the Mandarin Oriental’s, Twist, owned by Michelin chef Pierre Gagnaire, Vargas worked with Chef de Cuisine Pascal Sanchez. Gagnaire, called a culinary genius, considered Sanchez an alter ego. Sanchez now owns a Michelin-rated restaurant in the French Riviera. “He’s probably one of the chefs that I look up to the most as a mentor,” Vargas said of Sanchez. “Because he actually spent the time with me, teaching me, for instance, that when you grill a steak, it’s not just a grilled steak. It’s caramelization. It’s the crispy herbs you put on top of it. It’s that brown butter that gives it that flavor and the cracked pepper. It’s the way you want to eat a steak. In turn, you give that to your guests and you try to create that experience. Recipe: Seared Squid and Lamb Picadillo with squid, minced lamb leg, pignolas, thai chili, ascolano olive, cumin lemongrass, lime, soya, Jalapeno Red Onion Relish Recipe: Tomato, Watermelon and Burrata Salad with tomatoes with avocados, palm hearts, blood orange oil, Chipotle Vinaigrette