CHEF’S CORNER

Executive Chef John Dunbar gained his passion for cooking at a young age, watching his mother cook dishes infused with Southern tradition. Her love for simple ingredients and comfort food helped to fuel Chef’s excitement for culinary arts. In high school, he obtained an internship at Tre Jolie, a French café in Springfield, Virginia. After graduating high school, Chef John would continue his education threw Johnson & Wales University, where he received an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management.

During his career, Chef John has held various positions ranging from Line Cook, Banquet Cook, Lead Cook and Chef Manager in various hotels, catering facilities, and Fortune 500 companies. He has had the privilege of working for companies such as Marriott Wardman Park and Courtyard by Marriott in the Washington DC area, The Radisson Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, and a number of Retirement Communities in Ellicott City, Maryland. While working in the industry he has had the opportunity to travel and cook for politicians, dignitaries, DC council members, and Virginia Senator Tim Kane.

In his spare time, Chef John is a devoted husband and father who is very active in his church where he plays the drums.

Shrimp Pad Thai

In a medium bowl, soak the noodles in cold water for 15 min; drain. Cover noodles with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package rice noodles
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 onion, thinly slice
  • 1 carrot, thinly slice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 thai chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • ¼ pound bean sprouts
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, soak the noodles in cold water for 15 min; drain. Cover noodles with hot water, and soak for 15 minutes; drain. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet, over medium heat. Sauté onion, carrots and garlic until onion and carrots are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, and cook until pink, add fish sauce, soy sauce, thai chili pepper, sugar, lemon juice and vinegar. Pour in the beaten egg, and cook without stirring until egg is partially set. Add drained noodles, ¼ cup cilantro, and ½ cup peanuts. Mix while cooking until noodles are tender.

Butternut Squash Soup

Combine 1/3 cup panko and next 10 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring well. Add crab;

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces lump crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lemon, quartered (garnish)

Directions

1. Combine 1/3 cup panko and next 10 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl, stirring well. Add crab; stir gently just until combined. Place remaining 1/3 cup panko in a shallow dish. Using wet hands, shape crab mixture into 4 equal balls. Coat balls in panko. Gently flatten balls to form 4 (4-inch) patties.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with lemon wedges.

Watermelon Salad w/Feta & Mint

Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, peel and slice the onion into rings. Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar, whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time.

Ingredients

  • 1 watermelon (4-7 pound)
  • 1 red onion, slice
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs, slice
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

Directions

1.Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces,

2. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

3. Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar, whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time.

4. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

5. In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Add dressing over the melon mixture and toss

6. Garnish with mint sprigs.

7. Serve and enjoy