A conversation with Chef Rob Mancuso CMC

Member of the Forever Oceans Culinary Board

 

Chef Rob, what is your current position?

 My current role is Director of Culinary Operations, Bohemian Club. I create and design all menus and manage a core management team and a number of cooks. I run the Bohemian Grove operations each summer which serves a capacity of 3500 plated meals per day and a team of 120 chefs.

 

Why did you choose to become a chef?

 I became a Chef because I have a passion for people and art. I use that passion and love for cooking to bring joy to other people – it’s a transcending experience.

 

Why do you think it’s important to be on the Forever Oceans Culinary Board?

 I have always taken pride in my strong advocacy for sustainable resources, pushing for a more environmentally-friendly initiative in the culinary field. If I can impact the industry in any way, be it large or small, I feel accomplished. Being part of Forever Oceans is a great way to allow my voice to be heard, even if it’s silenced behind a dinner plate. Sustainable fisheries are the only way our oceans will survive and rebound from the devastation that has commercially occurred in the last 50-60 years.

 

Chef Rob, do you have any educational tips on fish, how to choose a great piece of fish,

cooking methods to why it’s important to include fish in your diet?

 Soaking whole fish in ice water for a few hours firms the flesh.

 The eyes should be crystal-clear, plump, wet, and shiny, with no sunken features. The dorsal fins and tail of the fish should be healthy-looking, shiny from being wet, and fully intact with no noticeable rips or tares for being mishandled. Fresh fish will have bright red gills and firm flesh that “springs” back when pressed on. Finally, fresh fish should have little to no odor. Imagine a fish pulled right from the ocean – it should only smell of the sea.

 Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish, can improve your cardiovascular health, promote brain health and can reduce depression and anxiety. Sustainable farm raised fish done so in an ecologically sound manner is amazing for you and the planet.

 

Chef Rob, what would you like to cook for us today?

Miso Glazed Kahala with Coconut Rice and Tropical Fruit Salsa  (simple Island style dish)

Kahala with Cocout Rice and Mango Salsa

Serves 6

Ingredients:

 

For the Kahala:

6 Kahala fillets – 6oz each

1.5 tsp. Kosher salt

2tsp Furikake seasoning

2tsp coconut oil, to saute

2tsp butter, to saute

 

For the Coconut rice:

3/4 cup coconut milk

3/4 cup water

1tsp salt

1tsp sugar

Ginger

Scallion, sliced on a biased

1tbsp Canola or coconut oil

 

For the Mango Salsa:

1 cup diced Mango

1/3 cup diced Red bell pepper

1/3 cup Red onion

1tbsp minced Jalepeno or spicy pepper of your choice

2tbsp chopped cilantro

2tbsp Lime juice

1tsp salt

 

How to cook the Kahala:

Season the Kahala with Salt and sauté over medium high heat in coconut oil and whole butter.

Cook each side for approximately 4 minutes depending on thickness of fillet or until an internal temperature of 132°F.

How to cook the rice:

Rinse the jasmine rice several times under cold water until the water becomes clear; reserve

In a pot of appropriate size, place the oil, water, coconut milk, sugar, salt and smashed ginger; add the rice

Quickly bring to a boil and cover; reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Mix gently with a rubber spatula. Taste, season with more salt if necessary, add sliced scallions and serve.

How to make the salsa:

In a bowl of adequate size, combine all ingredient together. Gently mix and reserve for plating

 

How to plate:

Spoon equal portions of rice on a dinner plate of your choosing. Gently place the cooked Kahala to the side, resting slightly on the rice.

top with mango salsa and garnish with lime and cilantro; serve. 

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