IN THE KITCHEN WITH DANNY STERLING
2019 US Wellness Meats Featured Chef Q&A
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Danny Sterling, I am a chef from western Maryland. In 2018 I founded a company with my wife (Julia) called Cumberland Heritage. We focus on using food to achieve optimal health.
How did you get involved in cooking?
My family, like most, has always been very focused on food. My grandmother was a great cook, and I assisted her in the kitchen growing up. When I was sixteen I got my first job working as a prep cook at a local restaurant. While it took me many years to develop my craft, I realized that cooking was a passion of mine.
Describe your cooking style:
I am a classically trained chef and feel very confident in those disciplines; however, recently I focus on making nourishing food creative and delicious.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
When I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016, my wife and I researched as much as we could about food that would support my immune system. For a period of time I cut red meat out of my diet completely, but then began to learn about the incredible nutritional benefits of consuming grass-fed meats. I began searching for sustainably raised, grass-fed meat options and that is how I came across US Wellness Meats! When we added grass-fed meat and organs into our diet we noticed a huge change in our energy, mental clarity, we weren’t always hungry.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
The glazed pork is one of my favorites mainly because it’s so simple. I use this recipe at home and in commercial kitchens.
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Top five ingredients: USWM Pork belly, USWM whole primal beef ribeye, USWM beef marrow bone broth, USWM Beef Braunschweiger, Bulletproof brain octane oil. Must have kitchen tool would be a Victorinox fibrox pro 10” bread knife. Over my years of cooking I have built a diverse collection of knives. I like to have one for every task; however, this is one of the most versatile tools I own (it stays sharp for so long). *Disclaimer: I picked these ingredients for survival reasons. I also figured I could get salt from the water and live off of local vegetation. This was the hardest question! *
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Cook your meats at lower temperatures! In my early days of cooking we use to just sear or grill meats then throw them in a 400°F oven for five minutes and hope the carry over cooking wouldn’t turn the protein to shoe leather. Now, I cook most of my proteins in the 175°F-275°F range. This method takes a little bit longer, but you do not have to rest the meat as long, and rarely risk over cooking.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
“Perfection is a lot of little things done well” – Marco Pierre White. While I don’t agree with Marco’s management style, I think this quote is admirable. Cultivating a kitchen environment that promotes positivity, sourcing the best ingredients, focusing on nutrient density and choosing flavor profiles over trends are the “little things” that are important to me. Often in a traditional restaurant setting these aspects are ignored.
Anything else you want to share?
My wife and I are so proud to be featured by a company like USWM. We feel very called to your mission and believe in promoting sustainably raised, grass-fed meats. We are just getting started with our company Cumberland Heritage, but we have a lot of exciting things in the works. In the upcoming months we will be announcing dates and locations for our summer pop-up series. If you are interested, please check out our Instagram and sign up for our newsletter!
Enter to win our January 2019 Featured Chef Prize Pack! Contest runs from January 1 – January 13, 2019.
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