Xavier Smith, the executive chef at the NEW Center, has attained Certified Executive Chef (CEC) status through the American Culinary Federation – a certifying body for chefs and cooks for more than 45 years.
Smith came to the NEOMED Education and Wellness (NEW) Center in 2014, following training at Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. His cooking background includes working as a chef at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida as well as at Russo’s, a Northeast Ohio restaurant.
As the executive chef, Smith leads the culinary staff at the conference and event center on NEOMED’s campus as well as creating menus for the campus restaurant The Bistro, which is open to the public as well as students, faculty and staff.
The Bistro puts Smith’s creations front and center every day on the NEOMED campus. New menu items by Smith have been added as of Jan. 18.
A certified expert
When asked about the process of attaining Certified Executive Chef status, Smith said, “The process for becoming certified is not an easy one. I had to design and execute a three-course meal for four judges who are also CEC chefs. Everything has to be done on site and you have a three-hour window to finish.”
Throughout this certification, Smith had to demonstrate his extensive knowledge of food, management, food cost, ordering, menu planning, customer service and nutrition.
“I have learned a great deal from cooking,” Smith said. “Without the knowledge that I have obtained over the years, I would not have been able to achieve this Certified Executive Chef accomplishment.”
- Steak Pasta Puttanesca: Grilled sliced sirloin steak, mushroom, onion, bell peppers and cavatappi pasta tossed in a creamy tomato sauce.
- General Tso's Chicken: Crispy chicken, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers and General Tso's sauce.
- Shrimp Curry: Sautéed shrimp, carrots, bell pepper, onion and broccoli finished in a red curry sauce.
- Loaded Mac and Cheese: Crispy bacon, mushrooms, broccoli and cavatappi pasta tossed in a creamy cheese sauce and finished with crumble Ritz crackers.
- Buttered Chicken: sliced grilled chicken, sweet peas, carrots and cauliflower tossed in an Indian butter chicken sauce.
- Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta: Grilled chicken, mushroom, broccoli, tomatoes and parmesan cheese tossed with cavatappi pasta and a Lemon Pepper Velouté.
- Crispy Shrimp Taco w/ tortilla chips: Crispy shrimp, cilantro lime slaw, sliced avocado and cheddar cheese in a soft tortilla shell finished with a chipotle crema and seasoned tortilla chips.
- Gyro Pita: Shaved beef and lamb, sautéed onions, diced tomato and baby arugula in a warm pita and finished with cucumber Tzatziki sauce.
- Hot Pastrami Sandwich: Shaved pastrami, sauteed onion and Swiss cheese on marble Rye bread and finished with Dijon Aioli.
- Meat Lover's Pizza: Fire baked pizza crust topped with zesty basil tomato sauce, pepperoni, sausage and bacon, finished with shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Chicken Florentine Focaccia: Sliced chicken breast, roasted tomatoes, baby arugula and spinach cream cheese spread on Focaccia bread.
- Chicken tenders and fries: Juicy chicken tenderloin breaded and deep fried and served with a side of fries.
Submitted by Sean Fejes