As the owner and executive chef for Limón, Café Bisque, and his latest restaurant, the Arvada Grill, Alex Gurevich is always on the run. Still, he makes a point to sit down for healthy family dinners several times a week with his wife and two children.
Gurevich grew up in the restaurant industry, helping his parents run the Lakewood Cafe, but he also wanted a formal education. After receiving a degree in accounting from CU, he attended the Culinary Institute of America and the Nevsky Culinary Academy in St. Petersburg before apprenticing in Tuscany and Provence.
"We don't use mayonnaise. Instead, we use this Follow Your Heart Vegenaise. It's egg-free, emulsified grapeseed oil." Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise, $5.99, www.followyourheart.com
Gurevich and his wife, Patty, traveled to Peru to visit family friends. "As a French chef, I had never seen the variety of corn, chiles, and spices," he says. "The influence of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the indigenous culture makes [the cuisine] familiar, but with a twist."
"For me, cooking is relaxation. If I come home and have the house to myself, I'll just cook. I can take my mind off of business for a while."
Give Me Vanilla
"For date night at home, we do vanilla poached lobster," says Gurevich. "My wife buys vanilla beans through a Colorado company. She has a stash of organic Tahitian vanilla beans, and they're great quality for the price." Beans from the Organic Vanilla Bean Company in Breckenridge, $20 a pound, www.organic-vanilla.com
"We have a Sunday breakfast ritual," Gurevich explains. "We do a healthy version of biscuits and gravy. I do a roux with half butter and half olive oil, and we use Gimme Lean [a soy-based meat substitute] instead of sausage, and organic flour for the biscuits."
Gurevich uses large glasses for special wines. "Instead of decanting, I'll use these to get a really big wine to open up," he says, holding up a Riedel Sommeliers glass. Riedel Sommeliers Burgundy Grand Cru crystal glass, $99 at Williams-Sonoma.
"A good zester is really important," says Gurevich. "I like this microplane zester for lemons. It makes a fine shred with none of the pith, for a bright acidity."
Gurevich recommends using half the usual amount of oil or butter when browning meat or poultry. "Browning works great with half the oil, and added water. But you have to make sure that you have a great nonstick pan."
RECIPE: Gimme Lean Stuffed Squash (Serves 4)
- 2 butternut squash, split in half
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1-pound package of Gimme Lean (soy-based meat substitute)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup goat cheese
- 1/2 cup basil, chopped
- pinch of coriander
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- favorite pesto or marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 300°. Rub squash with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and turn up temperature to 400°. Scoop out the baked squash, but leave enough to maintain a hollowed shape to stuff later. Discard seeds and chop up baked squash.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add the Gimme Lean. Sear until lightly crispy. Remove from skillet and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
In the same skillet, cook onions until translucent, and add garlic, jalapeño, salt, and black pepper. Deglaze with white wine. Continue cooking until wine has been absorbed. Transfer mixture to the same bowl. Add goat cheese, chopped squash, basil, coriander, and lemon juice to the bowl and mix well.
Fill the four halves of squash with mixture and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Allow to slightly cool. Slice into 2-inch pieces and garnish with pesto or marinara.