The Cocktail Hour
Josh Cohen Sits Down With Chris Fearnow To Talk 'Hell's Kitchen,' Las Vegas And Comfort Food
WHO: Reality television personality and executive chef Chris Fearnow
WHAT: The Paloma cocktail paired with the tuna tartare with avocado, pickled enoki mushroom, white dashi broth and sesame crackers; the NYY Steak with signature thick-cut bacon from house-cured kurobuta pork belly and homemade cornbread; and the charcuterie board with house-made bresaola, pepperoni, salami, duck prosciutto and authentic cheeses.
WHERE: NYY Steak at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek / 954.935.6699 / casinococo.com
1) Appearing as a judge on the hit FOX series “Hell’s Kitchen” was: a phenomenon experience. Gordon Ramsay is nothing like he seems on TV. When the cameras came on he would go into character. He is actually a wonderful human being.
2) Once you’ve done a TV series on the Food Network, you realize: that the Food Network is the real deal. There is nothing fake about it, and it allows you to become comfortable on camera. They let you do your thing. They know food and they really know what they’re talking about. As chefs, appearing on Food Network can provide a certain level of credibility to many people.
3) My absolute favorite dish to prepare is: my shrimp ceviche. I use fresh Gulf shrimp, which to me are the cleanest, best shrimp anywhere. I use fresh limes, fresh cilantro, fresh white onion, a little salt and serrano chili. I always thought that biting into food should be like a carnival of tastes in your mouth.
4) As an executive chef overseeing six dining venues at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek, people might be surprised to learn that my go-to comfort food is actually: my pizza here at Sorrisi [another restaurant at Seminole Casino he heads]. We use all authentic cheeses, all coming from Italy, and we use just the right amount, too. It’s just so much flavor; the olive oil, thin and so crispy from the 700-degree oven. That’s comfort food for me. I could eat it every single day.
5) In a culinary career spanning nearly four decades from Las Vegas to Coconut Creek, my most memorable moment in the kitchen was the time that: President Bill Clinton came to stay with us at Green Valley Ranch. It was after his heart surgery and we were filming “American Casino” for Discovery Channel. We went all out for him. We crafted him this large cone of chocolate covered strawberries, which Hillary [Clinton] politely asked us to remove. “He’ll be up all night finishing these,” she said. I just had to smile.
From humble beginnings as a prep cook at his parents’ sandwich shop in Las Vegas in the late 1970s, Chris Fearnow has maintained an unsurpassed passion for food. During a four-decade career in the kitchen he has worked alongside many of the world’s greatest master chefs, becoming a fan favorite at such famed Las Vegas properties as The Mirage, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and Green Valley Ranch. Fearnow relocated to South Florida in 2016 after being named executive chef at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. Outside of the kitchen he enjoys rebuilding Chevy hot rods by hand and riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycles. A father of five and grandfather to nine, Fearnow currently resides in Coral Springs.
About The Drink:
Olmeca Altos Plata tequila, sparkling grapefruit craft soda, salt-rimmed glass