April 21, 2016:
BlueStar® is excited to introduce our newest All-Star Chef, Alex Raij. Alex is chef and owner, along with her husband Eder Montero, of several popular New York restaurants: Txikito, El Quinto Pino and El Comedor in Manhattan and La Vara in Brooklyn. Alex has received awards and recognition from numerous publications including The New York Time, Bon Appetit and New York Magazine. She was voted Eater.com’s 2012 Chef of the Year and Bon Appetit named her among six ground breaking chefs in the feature “Women Chef’s: The Next Generation” as well as multiple James Beard nominations. With the remodel of her new BlueStar® kitchen and the launch of her new cookbook we have so much to fill you in on!
Chef Raij joins an exclusive group of BlueStar® All-Star chefs, critics and interior designers including Michael Symon, Jose Garces and Marc Vetri among others who are passionate about achieving restaurant quality results at home. For this reason they chose to customize their home kitchens with high-performance BlueStar® products. Chef Raij customized her BlueStar® equipment to match her cooking style as well as her design style. She chose a BlueStar® 36″ Gas Range in Oyster White (RAL 1013), a creamy, soft color that coordinates with the silky modernism of her home. She added painted knobs in Curry (RAL 1027) for a pop of color suggestive of the Basque region’s colorful terrain. The completed the design with a matching BlueStar® ventilation hood also in Oyster White. The Platinum Series™ range she selected offers unsurpassed power and performance that includes 25,000 BTU burners, an Interchangeable Griddle Charbroiler and an extra-large oven with true European convection and an 1850° infrared broiler.
This week Raij is also celebrating the launch of her first cookbook, “The Basque Book: A Love Letter in Recipes from the Kitchen of Txikito“, co-authored with husband and partner Chef Eder Montero. Chef Raij is renowned for revelatory preparations of simple ingredients which can be seen throughout the recipes in her book. In this much anticipated debut, Raij and Montero share more than one hundred recipes from Txikito – all inspired by the home cooking traditions of the Basque Country – that promise to change the way many home chefs cook.
Chef Raij shared with us how excited she was to start a brand new culinary chapter of Basque region cooking on her BlueStar. “As a professional cook, you are exposed to many pieces of equipment with special uses but we know that the best things really last and are versatile,” said Raij. “My BlueStar® range is beautiful, but it’s also powerful, with high heat burners just right for achieving a rapid boil, high-heat sear or the perfect saute. It also can be turned down to a true low, gentle heat. It’s precise and responsive.”
One of Chef Raij’s favorite recipes to make at home on her new BlueStar® range is Lomo en Adobo, a recipe included in her new book. It’s a paprika and garlic-cured pork loin that can feed an army or just one. “You cure a whole boneless pork loin ahead, then roast it and slice it; or you can cut it into boneless pork chops and pan roast it or slice it then and serve seared as you would Canadian bacon with two fried eggs. It’s a recipe that keeps on giving,” said Raij. “It also takes you on a grand tour of the BlueStar® from cooktop to oven to griddle. The BlueStar® is so precise. Its need you to be engaged with your food but it is incredibly responsive to what you might need from it.”
We are excited to test out all of Alex’s recipes and can’t wait to show you the final images of her complete kitchen.
Credit: Reprinted with permission from The Basque Book by Alexandra Raij with Eder Montero and Rebecca Flint Marx, copright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photographs copyright © 2016 by Penny De Los Santos