Habana Blues' Chef Rafael Hernandez Along with Owner Leo Lopez Entertain Guests at MESA July 22nd,2017
Habana Blues Tapas, Chef Rafael Hernandez along with Owner Leo Lopez Entertain Guests at MESA
It all started with servers handing out Habana Blues' Signature Mojito Drink to start the night as guests arrived at MESA . The kitchen studio was filled with wonderful cooking smells as the chefs grilled the lamb chops earlier prior to guests arriving. Cuban Salsa Music played as guest mingled and did some shopping in the PANTRE until everyone arrived.
The night kicked off with a refreshing Cuban Salad with fresh avocados, red onion and tomatoes. They taught how to make a homemade vinaigrette dressing that complimented the veggies in the salad. They then served an amazing Chilean Sea Bass over the some buttery fluffy mashed potatoes topped in a Orange Miso sauce. Chef Rafael then passed out a Palette Cleanser ( Mojito Sorbert ) that was refreshing and tasteful as the 3rd course was being placed, a set of perfectly grilled Lamb Chops over a soft bed of Mushroom Risotto. The night ended with a Cuban Style Flan with strawberry sauce, whipped cream and fresh mint. The duo had everyone entertained as they laughed and interacted with the chefs.
Chef Rafael came to the United Stated in 1998 by winning the immigration lottery, with his mother. In 2006 he graduated from Sullivan Culinary Institute, here in Louisville, Ky. Chef Rafael has worked in many great latin restaurants including Mojito, Havana Rumba, Palermo Viejo, locally. He also opened a Cuban restaurant in Miami, FL before his return to open Habana Blues Tapas, with Leo Lopez.
Cherry tomato, cucumber, red onion, avacado, tossed in a orange thyme vinigerette.
2nd-Chuleta de Cordero
Lamb chop grilled to perfection. Served with a wild mushroom risotto and topped with fresh mint mojo.
3rd-Palatte Cleanser-Mojito Sorbet
4th-Pesado a la Naranja
Orange-miso glazed Chilean Sea Bass served with parsnip-potato puree.
5th-Flan de Fresa
Cuban style strawberry flan
Four Barrel Crossfiter, Case Belcher Starts a 4 Part EAT WELL Series at MESA
Case Belcher owner of Four Barrel Cross Fit in New Albany IN and Louisville KY is teaching a EAT WELL 4 Part Series at MESA Collaborative Kitchen Studio. His emphases on the classes revolve on what foods your body needs for a well balanced diet. Many times with today's food options we don't care or have the time to eat right, but Case teaches us that its actually much easier then it looks to eat healthy even on the run. Part 1 focused on Creating the Perfect Breakfast - A breakfast that is balanced, has maximum nutrient density, will kickstart your metabolism, and one that optimizes long term health and longevity.
He made a delicious Quinoa Bowl with Coconut Milk, Almond Spread, Chocolate and Berries. He then fixed a delicious sweet potato hash mixed in peppers , onions and other ingredients and served it in a large bowl. He spoke about easy ways to prepare your meals through the week and easy ways to remember the portions of what food items in each meal. Case finished the meal with a green smoothie loaded with greens, protein and fruit.
Part 2 of the Series will take place in August and will be on LUNCH.
Case and his staff have taught healthy eating to hundreds of clients over the years.
Whether you’re looking to lose inches, improve performance, or simply live a healthy life, our Eat Well series will teach you to prepare and enjoy heathy foods, all while showing you practical ways create these dishes.
Sample and learn to make 3 different flavorful and healthy options - All of which can be prepped in advance to keep you eating healthy for the whole week.
Chocolate Almond Quinoa Bowl
Bacon Sweet Potato Hash
Protein Packed Super Smoothies
At the end of each session we’ll send home recipes, grocery lists, and nutrition information for each meal.
Chef Peng Looi, New York's "Chef of the Year" Cooks at MESA
Chef Looi came to perform and cook at MESA Collaborative Kitchen Studio in New Albany on July 20th, 2017. The distinguished guest chef shared his passion for the culinary arts. He had a wonderful sense of humor and had guest laughing at his fun stories. He started off with his Cauliflower Steak Dish with a wonderful Tea Unami Sauce and sweet green grapes to compliment the sauce and finished with a refreshing Panna Cotta. He was very pleasant man and guests really enjoyed his company.
Chef Peng S. Looi’s life is as eclectic as the dishes he serves. He was born and grew up in Ipoh, Malaysia before continuing his high school education in Manchester, England. In 1981, Chef Looi came to the United States and earned his degree in civil engineering. He soon realized his heart was with cooking not engineering while doing his internship.
In 1987, Looi opened his first award-winning restaurant August Moon Chinese Bistro featuring contemporary Chinese cuisine with South East Asian influences reflecting his ethnic background. In 1994 came the upscale casual Asiatique Restaurant, serving his own unique and artful interpretation of East - West Pacific Rim cuisine. Local and regional food critics have quoted Looi’s work as ‘works of edible art’.
Chef Looi has been a guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House multiple times and was a master chef at the World Gourmet Summit in Las Vegas. He has also been invited for national guest chef appearances at the Epcot International Food + Wine Festival, Disney, FL, Grand Food + Wine Affair, Houston, TX, Charleston Food + Wine Festival, SC, Boca Bacchanal, Boca Raton, FL and San Diego Food and Wine Affair, CA
In March 2008, Chef Looi was honored with the nationally prestigious Jefferson Evans award for ‘Chef of the Year’ in New York. This was the first time the award honored an Asian chef.
Well known for his commitment to community and charitable causes, Chef Looi has been the coordinating chef for the Crane House (an Asian Institute based in Louisville, Kentucky) annual biggest fundraiser, Asian All-Star dinner, for numerous years. He has also assisted in raising funds for the Salvation Army Culinary program and Kosair Children Hospital. Besides community work, he is also a member of culinary advisory board to the Hospitality Department, Sullivan University. He and his family resides in Louisville, KY.
1st : Cauliflower Steak
Grapes, Garlic, Tea Unami Sauce
2nd: Grilled Calamari
Chermoula Creme, Asparagus, Shrimp Oil
3rd: Black Cod
Miso Glaze, Mango Carrot Puree, Edamame.
4th: Panna Cotta
Coconut, Lychee, Cocoa Soil
BBQ, Bourbon & Cigars at MESA
It was full house on Wednesday at MESA as we entertained our guests with BBQ, Bourbon and Cigars! Yes, the food was such a great compliment to the bourbon tastings paired with each appetizer. Guests enjoyed being taught by Scott Clark from Southern Glaziers on the different types of bourbon, where it came from, the history behind each brand and how the distilleries made them. 4 types of bourbon were poured on a flight as Chef Wiese from Brown - Forman prepared 4 different types appetizers all BBQ or Bourbon based. From his BBQ Pizza with blackberry BBQ Sauce to his finishing dish of Bourbon Peach Bread Pudding. When the guests started to eat their dessert , Guest host Jeff Mouttet from Match Cigar Lounge located on Main St. In New Albany spoke about cigars as he passed out a complimentary Cigar to each guest. He spoke on the different types on cigars and how bourbon compliments them. Definitely a wonderful way to spend hump day!
- Pulled Pork Flatbread with Blackberry BBQ Sauce, Caramelized onions and White Cheddar
2 - Bourbon BBQ Chicken Lollipop
3 - Cherry Glazed Pork Belly over Southern Cream Corn
4 - Candied Peach Bread Pudding with Maple Glaze
Chef Dallas McGarity comes and performs at MESA
What a great time guests had with Guest Chef Dallas McGarity as he represented his own local neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of the Highlands in Louisville, KY on Grinstead Ave., THE FAT LAMB MODERN KITCHEN &BAR. He was joined by his wife Laura who engaged and laughed with the guests. " I really enjoyed Chef Dallas' wife just as much" said a guest after the performance. The Chef was a wonderful teacher and made sure all of the people watching him cook their meal also learned in what was in their food. He let guests smell the ingredients and told them how much of what to put in the food. The duo were extremely friendly to the guests and there was definitely a great vibe that night. Special guests joined us for the night running nominee for U.S Senator Andrew Takami and his wife Ann & Indiana House Representative Ed Clere and his wife. The Lamb Meatballs were a big hit with many guests along with his Shrimp & Grits! We are looking forward to having him back!
1st : Lamb Meatballs
Tzatziki, Gremolata, Red Onion & Feta
2nd: Tomato & Tuscan Kale Salad
Lemon Garlic Chickpeas, Feta, Toasted Pine Nuts
3rd: Shrimp & Grits
Polenta, Bacon- Butter Caramelized onion Sauce & Chives
4th: Keylime Tartlettes
Chef Dallas McGarity grew up in rural South Carolina. His mom and mamaw instilled a passion for food at an early age. After graduating from culinary school at Johnson & Wales University and working in Charleston, SC for many years, he moved to Louisville, KY in 2004. Chef Dallas was encouraged that the Louisville food scene had much to offer a young chef and fell in love with the city. After working at several fine dining places in Louisville as Executive Chef, he was ready to open a restaurant as both Executive Chef and Owner. With the help of his wife, Laura, The Fat Lamb Modern Kitchen & Bar opened in November of 2016. The small, open-kitchen concept has received a great response from the highlands neighborhood within which it is located and continues to serve both local patrons and visitors upscale comfort food with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. The Fat Lamb provides Chef Dallas a place to call his own.
Honors and Awards
Four-time James Beard House Dinner Invitee (2006, 2009, 2011, 2014)
Louisville's Business First Forty Under 40 Honoree (2017)
Euphoria food and wine festival participant Greenville, SC (2013 -present)
Charleston wine and food festival participant (2015)
Atlanta food and wine festival participant (2012)
Louisville Chapter ACF Chef of the year (2013, 2014)
Sophisticated Living Magazine featured chef
Food & Dining Magazine featured chef
Slow Food Bluegrass member and supporter
Bourbon and Bowties; Taste of St. Raphael, Home of the Innocent Backyard BBQ; Cabbage Patch Settlement House; Conrad Caldwell house; Gilda's club; Highland Presbyterian Weekday School; Mama-to Mama; JCPS Chef's Club for Elementary Students; State Fair Cooking demonstrations; March of Dimes; APRON Inc; Bloom Elementary School; Louisville Leopards
Chef Josh Wiese Cooks Another Exquisite Dinner
MESA welcomed Chef Josh Wiese for the second time by popular demand. He filled the studio with amazing smells as he smoked ribs hours prior to guests arriving. He served a full house 4 courses as he taught on different techniques on cooking. Guests engaged with his stories while they ate. He finished the meal with watermelon sorbet with chocolate seeds!! It was very refreshing and light. The salad really stood out with the pancetta and the homemade vinaigrette dressing. His plating is always so neat and colorful. We were joined by a special guest, his father John Wiese.
Crispy Gnocchi in a Basil Pesto Oil with Shaved Pecorino
Arugula Salad with Olives, Pancetta, Feta Cheese and Black Mission Figs Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Bourbon Braised Beef Short Ribs with a Smoked Tomato Demi over Fondant Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes and Sautéed Fresh Green Beans.
Watermelon Sorbet with Chocolate Seeds
Chef Wiese is a Culinary Graduate from Sullivan University and has 15 plus years in the culinary industry as he first started in working for the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville , KY. He gained experience there under the best chefs in the area that helped propel his career through hotels, fine dining restaurants, commissary kitchens and convention centers. He has also executed meals for celebrity musicians, athletes and even the President and Vice President of the United States. Most recently he was part of the culinary team for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California. He is currently with the team at Brown-Forman as well as a private chef and caterer. Because of his roots he likes to use local ingredients and local farmers.
Executive Chef Scott Dickenson Representing THE EXCHANGE PUB & KITCHEN
Chef Dickenson was more then prepared as guests walked into MESA to enjoy his 4 course dinner he prepared for the night. The bold flavors came through to each bite. He had everyone's attention the whole night as he engaged them with his stories, tips and jokes. A palate cleanser between each course was served to each person, starting off with a Cucumber and Gin shot after an amazing southwest Tuna Sashimi was a great start to the meal. The steak.... WOW! Cooked to perfection! And the Peach Bread Pudding was the perfect ending to the night!! Guests really enjoyed all the food and Chef Dickenson left MESA representing THE EXCHANGE PUB & KITCHEN proud.
Southwest Tuna Sashimi with Salsa Verde, Corn and Tortilla Chips
2nd: PEACH SALAD
Frisee, Bacon Vinaigrette, Blue Cheese & Chive
Hanger Steak with Rhubarb Chimmichurri , Robuchon Potatoes & Patty Pan Squash
Bourbon Peach Pudding
- Chef Dickenson
Executive Chef Dickenson from Norfolk, VA Chef Dickenson started cooking at age 15 and has developed different styles of cooking starting with the Cuban flare to now adding bold flavors to his menu. THE EXCHANGE PUB & KITCHEN recently have been recipients of many awards including BEST OF LOUISVILLE and BEST RESTAURANT in Southern Indiana among many other awards.
Noche Mexicana with Chef Paco Garcia
What a Fiesta at MESA Saturday night with Chef Paco Garcia representing Con Huevos in Louisville, KY. Chef Paco brought authentic Mexican flavors across the table! Hand made sopes filled with a black bean stuffing topped with slow pulled pork with Mexican Achiote Sauce to the salmon he beautifully plated. Margarita's was the cocktail of the night and was a perfect compliment to the Chef's food.
Guests really enjoyed the chef's company as they all laughed through the night as if they all were old friends eating around a dinner table. The dessert was a 5 star review from all guests as he closed the night with a chocolate flan topped with berries and a sugar caramel sauce and tequila!
1st Course: CHILAQUILES SUPREMOS
Chilaquiles are the most popular dish in Mexican cuisine. This is Chef Paco's recipe made with tomatillo and pasilla sauce topped with black bean, crema, queso fresco, pork and pickled onion.
2nd Course: Guajillo Almendrado Salmon
Guajillo Chile is one of the most widely used pepper across Mexico. When combined with almonds, this dish will have a savory and perfectly balanced flavor.
3rd Course: Cochinita Pibil with Achiote Sauce
Achiote is one of Mexico's popular ingridients because it gives food an amazing earthy flavor and a spectacular red color. It is native to the tropical regions of Mexico, Central America , South America and the Caribbean and was used by the ancient Mayans as body paint. Salmon with Achiote Sauce is a typical dish from Yucatan Region.
4th Course : Flan de Chocolate & Tequila
This traditional Mexican style flan is a lovely special dessert, great finale to the best Mexican meal.
- Chef Paco Garcia
The deep love for Mexican cuisine that Chef Paco Garcia feels was developed at a young age growing up in Mexico where through at his mother he was exposed to a variety of foods that would fuel his lifelong passion for cooking.
At the age of 17 years old he came to USA and began officially his culinary career. He worked for Harvest, Proof, Holy Grail and Mayan Café where he had the opportunity to work directly with his mentor the renowned Chef Bruce Ucan. At the same time that he was improving his skills working in the restaurant industry he studied Culinary Arts at JCTSC.
After 4 years under Chef Bruce tutelage Chef Paco became the Executive Chef at Con Huevos, since then, he has been contributing at the successful of this brunch oriented Restaurant with his creative Mexican breakfast cuisine. Recently Con Huevos was honored for DO502 like best brunch restaurant in Louisville and won the 2016 Gravy Cup challenge.
Walk through MESA Valley.........
With his Tennessee roots, Chef Wiese from Brown-Forman, brought local flavors to the table in a Southwestern Flare. The Chef filled the kitchen studio with an amazing aroma as he prepped for the night with his soux chef Adam. As guests walked in to get seated they were all intrigued as to what the chefs were up to with such smell coming from the kitchen. Guests were attentive to Chef Wiese as he cooked and told stories about where he was from and how he got to where he is. He shared his secrets and tips to his southwestern cuisine. There were many crowd pleasers but the Apache Spiced Pork really stood out. His dressing on the salad was another home run for the night and he ended the night with a bang with his "torta". Beautiful plating all the way through. Definitely one of Mesa's favorite chefs.
1st PESCADO: Chipotle Honey Smoked Shrimp over Sweet Corn Succotash
Smokey Southwest flavors complimented with the sweetness of raw honey and indigenous maize pairs perfectly with the shrimp.
2nd PLATO PRINCIPAL: Apache Spiced Pork & Chimichurri Compound Butter atop Whiskey Glazed Heirloom Root Vegetables
All the flavors of the southwest collide in this dish from the bold spiced wild javelina to the earth root vegetables. Chef Josh couldn't escape his own deeply rooted culture and his southern flair with the Tennessee Whiskey.
3rd ENSALADA : Grilled Romaine with Candied Bacon, Charred Heirloom Tomatoes, Shaved Manchego & Pear Lime Vinaigrette
After a bold offering the journey continues with a rustic salad highlighting subtle charred flavors topped with the creaminess of the Manchego Cheese and Chef's signature dressing.
4th POSTRE : Southwestern Cocoa " Torta" with Hand Churned Vanilla Bean Cream and Spiced Candied Pecans
"Torta" as in a small grilled southwestern sandwich , layered with a rich Mexican style chocolate and grilled in butter. Served with homemade ice cream and lightly spiced pecans to complete your experience tonight.
- Chef Josh Wiese
Culinary Graduate from Sullivan University. Chef Wiese has 15 plus years in the culinary industry as he first started in working for the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville , KY. He gained experience there under the best chefs in the area that helped propel his career through hotels, fine dining restaurants, commissary kitchens and convention centers. He has also executed meals for celebrity musicians, athletes and even the President and Vice President of the United States. Most recently he was part of the culinary team for Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California. He is currently with the team at Brown-Forman as well as a private chef and caterer. Because of his roots he likes to use local ingredients and local farmers.
Italian Affair with Chef Britney
Chef Britney came to MESA to cook an teach how to cook Gnocchi 2 ways. He started with his signature sauce, Big Ass Bourbon Sauce, served with large cocktail shrimp and avocado. There was not one empty dish sent back! Chef Britney also baked amazing bread while everyone enjoyed their appetizer and filled the kitchen studio with a wonderful aroma. The bread was served with their salad that was complimented with home made vinaigrette dressing. A sorbet palette cleanser was then served before the main entrée.
Chef Britney was very entertaining and even got a bit emotional as he expressed how happy he was his daughter was there to help him cook at MESA.
Dessert was a crowd pleaser as he served Budino. A custard like dessert topped with a caramel topping , whipped cream and a long wafer cookie. Everyone expressed how amazing the Budino was.
1st ANTIPASTI : Big Ass Bourbon Shrimp Cocktail
Prawn Shrimp & Cocktail Shrimp served cocktail style over Big Ass Bourbon Sauce, avocado and lemon.
2nd INSALATA: Romaine and Tuscan Kale Salad
Lemon Pepper Dressing on top of Romaine Heart Lettuce & Tuscan Kale. Topped with tomato, cucumber, Cheese & Lemon.
3rd: ENTRATA: Gnocchi in Maranara Sauce
Gnocchi fused with basil , prosciutto , garlic and topped with parmesan cheese.
Gnocchi in Cream Sauce
Gnocchi topped with a cream sauce fused with peas, garlic, parsley and cherry tomatoes topped with prosciutto.
4th DOLCE : Budino
Bourbon custard with salted caramel and whip cream
- Chef Britney
Culinary Graduate top of his class, Cum Laude, from Sullivan University, He has been cooking over 30 years beside his brother, Matthew Antonovich who holds a Michelin Star Award Winner for his work at Casa Grissanti, Mozz, Z' Oyster Bar , Mama Grissanti and Napa River Grill. Chef Britney is now working on a new restaurant called Palatucci's named after the Italian side of his family.