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""...it was the only one on the market that is close to commercial-grade.""

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski

BlueStar Chefs

San Francisco, CA

Why did you select BlueStar®?

We never owned a home, always rented and cooked on bad equipment, but cooked on a lot of people’s stoves in their homes through our catering business and knew we needed something better.  Our designer told us about BlueStar, we had never heard of it before. We checked it out in a showroom, and knew immediately it was the only one on the market that is close to commercial-grade.  We actually wanted to put a commercial stove in, but could not get approved by contractor due to insulation.  It’s definitely the BTUs, real chefs cook on high heat, you need a high sear, but also be able to go low and steady for control.

What inspired your color choices?

The entire kitchen was very muted and neutral, we knew we needed to add more color and were not sure how to do it, the range and fridge were a perfect option.  You can see the fridge from our front door when you walk in the house.  It is always something that people love and comment on.

How did you customize your BlueStar equipment to suit your own cooking style? / How important is the range when entertaining for family for special occasions? 

We can both cook at the same time, during the holidays and for entertaining, having 8 burners gives us the most room / surface area to do everything that we want to do at once.  Plus we can use all of our really large pot across multiple burners.  We also love to use the 18” small oven when it is just Nicole and her son for a quick meal, then turn on both when they are cooking for a crowd.

Which is your favorite feature of the range and why?

The different variety of the BTUs on each burner, as a chef its all about the finesse, you want to be able to move around the stove according to what you are making.  Plus it’s so easy to clean!

You are one of the few chefs to have one of the first BlueStar refrigerators. We all know that a range is an important ingredient in any chef’s kitchen, but what about the refrigerator?

Fridge is the focal point of the kitchen – because of size and color.  You can see it from our front door as soon as you walk in.  People are always commenting on it.

What is your favorite feature of the BlueStar refrigerator and why?

I love the clean lines. Not a lot of levels. You can get a lot more in, and there are not weird drawers with strange angles to put your produce in.

When you entertain for the holidays or family occasions, how important is the fridge in storage and capacity?  How would you customize the fridge’s interior to suit storing your favorite things?

Fridge is very spacious, it can hold everything that you brought home in their whole form, don’t need to cut or break down before cooking, can keep as is until ready without cutting it to make it smaller, or putting it in containers so that it will fit.  This is great because I can see how I originally bought something and it retains the freshness not to cut it down until I am ready to use it.

Talk about how you go from “cooling to cooking” – what is the interaction between your fridge and the range – how do they work together for you as a chef?

Tell young chefs: “always use the right tool for the job.”  You want to do something once and not have to transfer.  The BlueStar refrigerator lets you do that like you would in a prep kitchen.  For example, if you are proofing bread in the fridge you do not want to have to transfer it on to another sheet to cook it.  Whatever pan/sheet tray you do the work on it should be able to go from into the fridge to cool, then right into the oven to cook.  Same thing goes for cookies or pastries.  When you transfer you always risk damaging something, so you always try to avoid it.

We started in catering so the size of the fridge allows us to do seamless transfer – don’t need to put something on top of it or squish it in the process.

Was it important to you to have some key features be the same between your fridge and range – e.g. full sheet pans?  Can you give an example of using a feature that is in both?

You want things that feel durable, sturdy, well-made, because we use them hard and we don’t want it to feel like you need to be delicate for risk of breaking.  BlueStar products have that.

Favorite Products
Recipe

Black Butter–Balsamic Figs with Basil and Fontina Fondue

Make the fondue 

  • ⅓cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta or Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
  1. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately turn the heat to very low to keep warm.
  2. Pour an inch or so of water in a second small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the cheese in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit in the saucepan without touching the water. Set the bowl in the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. When the cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds, pour in the warm cream. Continue to cook the cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cheese has fully melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and Tabasco into the cheese until well combined. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl, and stir in the crème fraîche until well combined. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour.

 

Finish the dish 

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 large ripe fresh figs (preferably Black Mission or Kadota), halved lengthwise
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • Micro basil leaves or torn basil leaves for garnish
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Let it bubble and crackle, swirling the pan occasionally, until it stops crackling and turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling constantly, until the butter smokes and turns a blackish color, about 30 seconds more.
  2. Put the figs, cut side down, in the pan, turn the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Toss well and continue to cook, tossing occasionally and making sure to brown the round sides, until the figs are deep golden brown and soft but not falling apart, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the vinegar to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook, swirling and tossing constantly, just until it reduces slightly to glaze the figs, about 30 seconds.
  4. Drizzle about ½ cup of the fondue on a large plate, top with the figs and glaze, and sprinkle on the scallion and basil. Serve right away.