Chef Chris makes a number of amazing dishes for the Gamma Phi Beta house at the University of Denver, but he's beloved for his homemade peanut butter.
Like many College Chefs, Chef Chris has been interested and a part of the culinary world since he was a teenager. Starting out as a dishwasher, he worked his way up "from bad steakhouses to bad chain restaurants to fine-dining restaurants, moving across the country," Chef Chris says. "I did anything that was interesting to me, so I've got a huge resumé and extensive background of cuisines and things I've cooked."
For about 25 years, he's been cooking everything from French, Japanese, Chinese, and American cuisine. He's worked for Wolfgang Puck's Denver café and did some management training for Puck's company in Orange County, California.
Chef Chris and College Chefs have been preparing customized meal plans for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority since September 2013. So far he loves the experience. "It's an awesome kitchen; there are about 40 girls in the house and almost 150 in the chapter," he says. "They are all so nice, super respectful, and well rounded."
Chef Chris believes it's very important to make as much of his menu from scratch, but he doesn't exactly follow recipes. "When I make something I try to remember the ingredient amounts, and when I look up a recipe it's just to remember a few ingredients," Chef Chris says.
With a strong background in Asian cuisine, his two favorite dishes to cook for the chapter are coconut curry and chinois chicken salad, which he says are also the girls' favorites. They also love Chef Chris' homemade peanut butter. He first made it around September when the house had cases of peanuts left over from a recruitment event. He asked the sorority if he could use them to make peanut butter; they said yes, and the rest is creamy, delicious history. He's been improving on the mixture every time he makes it, and the girls aren't afraid to give their opinion! Want to make it for your fraternity or sorority? It's pretty simple!
Chef Chris' Peanut Butter
10 oz. canola oil
2 lbs. dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1 tbs. salt
1 ½ tbs. vanilla
5 tbs. honey
1 ½ oz. sugar
2 oz. canola oil
Put the ingredients in a food processor (in the order they are listed above) and mix to the consistency you desire. The entire process takes less than five minutes start to finish!