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Chef Spotlight: Seven questions with Chris Sylvia of Farmhouse Kitchen and Silo Bar

November 21, 2018

Chris Sylvia is the chef at Farmhouse Kitchen and Silo Bar in Ponderay.

His favorite dish to cook might surprise you. So might a dish that he dreams about making, one that brings surf and turf to a whole new level.

Here, we get to know the 32-year-old chef a little bit better.

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? Kale soup.

Where do you eat when you eat out? At the taco shop or cheap Chinese food.

Who or what inspired you to become a chef, and how? When I was 14, I worked at a restaurant across the street from my house. Watching the cooks there and the way they talked and acted, it was similar to a sports team. I was hooked after that.

What are your go-to ingredients? Onions and garlic.

What was the first dish a customer ever sent back to you, and how did you handle it? I honestly don’t remember now, but then I probably thought it was the end of the world.

What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to, and why? There’s so many! The first two that stand out are spaghetti nero and Matt Jennings’ “sea pig,” a clam bake inside of a roasted pig.

What dish or ingredient best represents you? That’s a tough one. I would guess the egg. It’s one of the most versatile ingredients.

Kale Soup with Chorizo and Kidney Beans

From Chris Sylvia

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces hot sauce

2 links chorizo

2 quarts peeled diced white potatoes

1 gallon chicken broth

1/2 quart water

1 quart kidney beans, drained and cleaned

2 quarts chopped kale, spines removed

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook onion in olive oil until translucent in large stock pot. Add hot sauce and whole chorizo links. Add potatoes, chicken broth and water. After a few minutes, add the beans and kale. Cook until potatoes are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chorizo and cut into slices and place back into soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mozambique Sauce for Chicken or Shrimp

From Chris Sylvia

1 onion finely diced

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 tablespoons butter

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 tablespoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 cup light beer or white wine

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt, to taste

Cook onion in olive oil until translucent, then add garlic and hot sauce and cook until garlic is soft. Add butter and bouillon cube and seasonings and stir well for 30 seconds then add beer or wine and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Season to taste.

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