Chef Dan Alexopoulos cooks the way he plays music: no one ingredient is allowed to overwhelm the taste of the entire dish.
By Jane Auster
“You have to balance all of the ingredients in the recipe,” says the chef, who has owned The Watermark Taphouse & Grille in Waterdown, Ontario, for the past three years.“I play bass and piano and record music.
When I cook, I cook the way I record – you master the song the way you master your recipe. With a song, you know when you have recorded it wrong, and it’s the same with a recipe.” When Chef Dan cooks with Pure Kraft, nothing is off key, and meals are note-perfect.His menus, which change with the seasons, offer a palate-pleasing variety of dishes that would best be described as California fusion – melding Mediterranean, Spanish, and a little bit of Canadian influences for his restaurant, which seats 170 inside and 70 outside in this scenic part of southern Ontario.
Chef Dan has worked with Pure Kraft refrigerated dressings since he opened his restaurant, and he notes that the Pure Kraft Asiago Caesar and Pure Kraft Creamy Balsamic are particular favourites when he is creating new dishes.“I started three years ago, when I first opened, by testing Caesar dressings. I made my own Caesar and bought different Caesars, and I decided to use Pure Kraft Asiago Caesar because it tastes homemade.
With other Caesar dressings, you always get that bite-back, but not with this one.”The versatility of the dressings also makes them must-haves in his kitchen.
Pure Kraft Asiago Caesar dressing, for instance, is not just a salad topping. By adding other ingredients, Chef Dan can turn it into any number of creamy pasta sauces. As he says, “Add a little of the Caesar and you don’t have to worry about adding garlic. It thickens, and the flavour is really full.”
The Pure Kraft Creamy Balsamic is a key ingredient in the creation of what Chef Dan calls his “Cadbury” salad, featuring pecans, chocolate, goat cheese, fresh berries and grapes. He also offers a steak BLT – a sizzling tenderloin or New York strip, topped with a full roasted tomato and mixed greens, all in a bacon Balsamic reduction and piled six inches high.“I play it by ear,” he says of both his cooking and his music. “You can do pretty much anything with these dressings. I mix things together, taste them, and create a dish. The Pure Kraft dressings never taste fake.”
These are not the only benefits the chef gains from working with the Pure Kraft dressings:
- They are made without any preservatives, artificial flavours or colours, adding homestyle goodness , fresh and simple .
- Their finest ingredients mean premium taste.
- Their versatility means chefs can easily mix up their menu items and keep diners interested and coming back.
- Ready-to-use Pure Kraft dressings are huge time and labour savers. Kitchen staff do not have to waste precious time mixing marinades, dressings and dips. And that time saving leads to cost savings, too.
- Consistency is guaranteed. “People complain if something tastes different,” Chef Dan notes. With Pure Kraft dressings, the taste is right every time.
- They work as if they are another ingredient in the recipe. They never overwhelm a dish, but complement the other flavours.
For more information on Pure Kraft Refrigerated Dressings, visit kraftfoodservice.ca