Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2011 Celebrity Chef Challenger: Hail to the Chef, Richard K. Pannell

The 9th Annual Celebrity Chef Challenge is a little over 2 months away, but that is just enough time to introduce our competitors one by one, and for you to pick a favorite to cheer on the night of April 29th at the California Automobile Museum.  I am so excited to be involved again!!
The first chef spotlight is Chef Richard K. Pannell, of Table 260 Downtown Sacramento, Pannell Quizine Catering and founder of Cuisine Noir Magazine, an online publication devoted to promoting African Americans in the culinary field.

Cakegrrl: What made you want to become a chef?
Chef Pannell: I am not sure. I started cooking when I was 12 years of age in my mother’s kitchen. I then accepted a job from my brother at the restaurant he was working as a cook. He hired me as the dishwasher and started training me as a prep cook. I was so excited that I learned how to make garlic bread and homemade French fries. I was hooked at 16. From what I can tell, my first inclination of becoming a Chef was in 1980 when I talked my teacher at a local computer extension program to allow me to cater our graduation…

CG: Where did you receive your training?
Chef Pannell: I did about one month at a local culinary school by the name of Leiderwolf. I was bored so I quit, they went out of business and I just started going to the popular school of "Hard Knocks"…

CG: What is a typical day like for you at the restaurant or your place of work?
Chef Pannell: Begins at 10am…any last minute prepping. Thinking of the days special. Inventory.  Ordering. Quick lunch rush (if there is one). Returning phone calls. Cleaning. More cooking. Seeing if I got any food on my chef jacket. Why, you might ask. If my jacket or apron is too clean that means it’s a slow day. If my jacket or apron is lightly dirty that means it’s an ok day. If it is completely stained…then I have been careless and busy. If it has a spot here and a wipe there, then it means that I have been cautious and in control…that the way it is most of the time…

CG: What are/who are your primary cooking influences?
Chef Pannell: What-guest smiles and compliments.
Who-any chef or foodie who is creative and not afraid of taking food to the next level. Patrick Clark, Chef Joe Randall, Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Alton Brown, Paula Dean and many more…

CG: What are your favorite and least favorite foods to prepare?
Chef Pannell: Blackeyed Peas, Okra, Tomato Stew, anything that doesn’t look like ‘sex’ on a plate…LOL

Chipotle Lamp
Corn and Garlic Potatoes
CG: Please tell me about your most overwhelming moment in the kitchen.
Chef Pannell: When I get a rush and can’t get the food out quick enough…”We are fast, but we are not fast food!” When you have a sous chef and he/she walks out and you are stuck!

CG: What is your "can't live without" kitchen tool and why?
Chef Pannell: Chef knife…it does it all…even use it as a spoon…believe it or not…LOL
CG: I agree with this!

CG: If you had a different career choice, what would it be?
Chef Pannell: A producer for events…love to be behind the scene putting things, people and places together and making it work. Entertainment Producer

CG: Best meal ever?
Chef Pannell: Cheesy Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread and Caesar salad, sparkling apple cider.

CG: Tell me why are you going to win the Celebrity Chef Event 2011?!?!? :)
Chef Pannell: Because of me, my creativity, eclecticness, flavor combinations and foodatude (my passion for food)!

For more information on today's featured chef, click here.

The 9th Annual Celebrity Chef Challenge is at California Automobile Museum from 5:30-9:30pm. You can purchase tickets with your credit card by clicking here (FYI, there is a $2 convenience fee). To avoid that fee, you have plenty of time to pay by check by sending your money here:
InAlliance, Attention: Celebrity Chef Challenge, 6950 21st Ave., Sacramento, CA 95820.
For more information on tickets or ways to pay, click here.

The Celebrity Chef Challenge is the annual benefit for INALLIANCE, a nonprofit organization that provides support programs for people with developmental disabilities in the greater Sacramento area.

All proceeds from the Celebrity Chef Challenge go towards enhancing the vital programs INALLIANCE provides the community. 

1 comment:

ladyp said...

Hey big bro, this your sis Patrica. I know you are going to win this challenge.Of course I am biased, however my brother, Chef Pannell is the greatest. He is doing big things and bigger food. I am so proud of you. All that have not experienced his talents, you have no idea what you are missing. Attend this challenge, even better take a trip downtown to Table 260 and enjoy the elegance.