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Chef Spotlight: Seven questions and a recipe with Andrew Larson of Indaba

October 2, 2018

When Indaba Coffee Roasters opened its latest location in early September, it added a new menu item: fancy toast.

Chef Andrew Larson is at the helm of coffee shop’s kitchen and the fancy toast operation. One of the most popular offerings is topped with yellow lentil hummus. Larson, 55, shares the recipe below.

He’s been cooking professionally since he was 30. PBS inspired him to become a chef. Here, we get to know the chef behind Indaba’s sixth location and third spot downtown.

What’s your favorite dish to cook at home? Pasta and meat sauce.

Where do you eat when you eat out? There are many … Zona Blanca, Ruins, Central Food, Park Lodge, Umi, Gilded Unicorn, Biscuit Wizard.

Who or what inspired you to become a chef, and how? One day, sitting around the house, unemployed, I was watching “Great Chefs of the West” on PBS, seeing what they did, what they created. I told myself, “That’s it!!! That’s what I want to be!!!” My girlfriend said to me, “Are you frickin’ crazy?!! Work in a restaurant!!!” Yup.

What are your go-to ingredients? Scallions, eggs, peppers, bacon.

What was the first dish a customer ever sent back to you, and how did you handle it? Chicken Marsala. The chicken was, well, raw in the center. There’s no denying it. I had to go out and personally apologize to the guest and make a new one. Tell you what: I never made that mistake again.

What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to, and why? Tater Tots from scratch. The frozen ones we get from FSA and SYSCO are great!!! Imagine how good the ones you make yourself would be!!

What dish or ingredient best represents you? Pasta and meat sauce. It’s what I used to make for my girls on visitation weekends. It makes me happy.

Yellow Lentil Hummus

From Andrew Larson

1 pound Shasta Yellow Zero-Tannin Lentils, cooked until soft

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red onion, small diced

1/4 cup red pepper, small diced

1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend lentils, lemon and olive oil until smooth. Transfer mixture into bowl, fold in vegetables and season to taste.

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