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Chef Kevin Furmanek Tells Us How to Make His Favorite Togarashi Spice

May 05, 2021

Meet Chef Kevin Furmanek

Chef Kevin earned a certificate in culinary arts from the Morris County School of Technology in New Jersey and an associate of science degree from Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. His first kitchen job was at Rosemary and Sage in Riverdale, New Jersey. He also worked as Sous Chef at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, Rhode Island; and at the James Beard Award-winning Neath’s Asian Bistro in Providence, Rhode Island. Chef Kevin has worked at The Cliffs since 2005.

Q&A

WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE?

My passion for food began at a young age. I grew up eating homemade sausage, perogies, and other specialties of my Polish heritage. My first kitchen job trained me in French cuisine, at a restaurant that incorporated only the purest, most seasonal ingredients. After culinary school, I worked under a chef who inspired me to traditional Italian cuisine. I later worked with James Beard Award-winning Chef Neath Pal, whose menu is best categorized as French-Asian fusion; he reinforced my early introduction into the value of fresh-picked vegetables and just-caught fish. These diversified experiences with multiple styles of cuisine make me a virtual chameleon in the kitchen – and they’re the basis of my commitment to scratch-made dishes created with fresh, local ingredients.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANOTHER CHEF TO CATER YOUR NEXT MEAL, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Chef Martin Yan (a Chinese-American chef and food writer, who has hosted an award winning PBS-TV cooking show since 1982), because when I was growing up, “Yan Can Cook” and Cuisine” were the only TV shows to watch for cooking. The Food Network was just starting to air on TV, and these two shows influenced me to begin my cooking career. Because of him, I have always enjoyed using Asian ingredients and cuisine.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE, CAN’T-LIVE-WITHOUT INGREDIENT?

As a chef, it would be very hard to narrow down to one ingredient. Man, I would say
fresh thyme.

A Simple Spice for Fish, Poultry, Beef, or Pork

This seasoning can be used on beef, poultry, fish, or pork – I like using it the most on Seared Ahi Tuna.

kevin furmanek recipe card togarashi spice

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