Meet our Newest All-Star Chef Paul Kahan

We are excited to announce that celebrated chef and James Beard Award winner Paul Kahan has joined our esteemed group of All-Star Chefs.  Chef Kahan is known in Chicago and beyond for his work as the executive chef at internationally acclaimed restaurants avec, Blackbird and The Publican to name a few.  Find out more about what inspires him in the kitchen and why he chose BlueStar for his home.

BlueStar All-Star Chef Paul Kahan

Chef Kahan grew up around food as he father owned a delicatessen and smokehouse that he would work at while growing up in the Chicago area.  He found his true calling after his college years when he went on to work in the kitchens of Erwin Drechsler and Rick Bayless where he learned the skills that got him to where he is today.  Kahan describes his dishes as elegant and imaginative Midwestern cuisine with enormous flavors and impeccably sourced ingredients.

BlueStar All-Star Chef Paul Kahan

“I think the only thing on the residential market that really functions like a true professional stove for the home is a BlueStar range. The high BTUs and even performance from the open burners, are just awesome. The French Top, which you usually can only find in commercial kitchens, gives me an incredibly consistent heat, and has multiple heat zones, perfect for finishing stews and other home cooked dishes…and it looks super cool,” says Chef Paul Kahan.

These high performance appliances enable Chef Kahan to deliver a repertoire of rustic, super-delicious, low-stress food to cook for gatherings. As Kahan puts it, “at the end of the day, what I love is cooking. My favorite place to cook is right at home in my kitchen, surrounded by friends and family, talking, laughing and having a great time.”

BlueStar All-Star Chef Paul Kahan

Kahan’s latest book, which released October 15th, Cooking for Good Times” (co-authored by avec’s Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix and Rachel Holtzman), shares his best kept secrets for approachable cooking for friends and family, using basic techniques to whip up all elements of a meal.  Enjoy one of the recipes from this exciting new cookbook now.


Brined and Braised Pork Shoulder with White Beans, Chorizo and Cider

Recipe from BlueStar All-Star Chef Paul Kahan

Braised pork shoulder’s flavor is pretty rich and straightforward, so I like serving it with ingredients that add a little dimension.  The chorizo is about heat, while the cider adds sweetness and acidity.  You can use one of any number of bean varieties, like white runner bean, giant Peruvian lima, great Northern, or cannellini.  Super-bonus points for using fresh shelling beans.  And if using canned is the difference between making this dish or not, use canned.

Ingredients – White Beans:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces Spanish dry chorizo, cut into 1/4″ wide slices
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup hard cider

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried white beans, soaked overnight and drained or 2 (15.5 ounce) cans white beans, such as cannellini or butter
  • 1 brined and braised pork shoulder, in its braising liquid
  • 1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Make the Beans:

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chorizo, onion, apples, garlic, paprika, and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browning. Increase the heat to medium-high. When the onion starts to color, pour in the cider. Cook until the cider reduces almost entirely, about 2 minutes. Add the soaked beans to the pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch, about 1 quart. Cook over medium heat until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes. If using canned beans, just add the liquid from the can and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid reduces a bit and everything is delicious.

Taste and season with more salt, if necessary – usually an additional 1 teaspoon for the dry beans and less for the canned beans if they are already salted.

Put It Together and Serve:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. If reheating the pork shoulder, cook, covered, until bubbly and warm in the middle, about 45 minutes. Add the beans to the pot and continue cooking, uncovered, until the beans and cooking liquid are bubbling and a little reduced, an additional 20 minutes. (If you’re not reheating the pork and making this all in one go, just add the beans during the last 20 minutes of braising.)

In a medium bowl, toss together the apple, parsley, lemon juice, oil, and salt. Top the pork and beans with the salad and serve out of the pot.