Chef Michael Weinstein has been in Metroplex culinary circles for years and we caught up with him recently. Check out what’s been keeping him busy:
Where did you get your start in the world of food?
I have always loved to cook every since I was kid making chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, french toast and just playing with different things. I really did not think I would ever make it into my profession. It was actually over 20 years ago when I was living at home and made up a chicken dish for my parents. They were very impressed by what I made and could not believe that I made the recipe up out of my head. After that I started watching the great chefs on PBS and tried to recreate what they made. I finally realized that maybe I should try to make a career of this, so I enlisted in a culinary program, got a job in a kitchen and the rest is history, I was also very fortunate because both of my grandmothers were both excellent cooks.
Tell us about Dread Head Chef.
Dread Head Chef is a company that is about 3 years old. It has put a twist to your traditional chips and salsa, because everything is sweet, and it is for dessert. DHC has four staple products on the shelves of every Whole Foods in Texas, as well as other unique food retailers in the DFW area. There are currently two flavors of tortilla chips that are dusted with either a cinnamon-sugar mix or a chocolate sugar mix. The “salsas” are fruit based and have zero tomatoes, onions or peppers…. Remember, they are all for dessert!! The two original flavors of salsa are Strawberry-Mango and Pineapple-Banana-Pecan. I also have a couple of seasonal flavors of salsa like Spiked-Peach, and Cranberry-Pumpkin-Pecan. I am also in the works of a Chocolate-Peanut butter salsa, and a Sweet&Sour-Watermelon salsa, as well as a Liquid-Cream-Cheese topping for your dessert nachos… Stay tuned!
Dessert chips and salsa…what a fun idea! How did you develop this combo?
This actually started as an accident. I was making serve yourself tacos for my family one night and wanted to do sopapillas for dessert but due to gluten allergies I decided to fry the corn tortillas I was using for the tacos and dust with a cinnamon-sugar mix. I also had some strawberries cut them up added some honey and sugar pureed a little bit of the strawberries left some chunks in the mix and next thing I knew dessert chips and salsa were born. I guess not to bad for an accident.
What do you think of all of the reality/competitive food shows on TV now? Any specific show or chef you like to follow?
I really do not watch too many of reality/competitive show for I cannot stand all of the drama that goes on during the season. I do still love to watch the Japanese Iron Chef show, as I have for many years. I like the cooking channel, as they feature a lot of chefs that get back to the root of what cooking is. They also have some shows such as FoodCrafters that show what artisan chefs who are out there creating some really cool stuff, and I was lucky enough to be featured on the show in November of 2010. The chefs that I do love to learn from and watch are; Thomas Keller, Alaine Ducasse, Jacques Pepin and of course Julia Child.