IN THE KITCHEN WITH JUSTIN MASSIE
Tell us about yourself:
I have been cooking since I can even remember, my Mom learned how to cook from her Mother, so my Mom decided to get me going early. My first masterpiece was trying to create an egg McMuffin at home because I wasn’t old enough to drive and go get them on my own. From there it was just me learning as much as I could until I actually made it to California Culinary Academy San Francisco in 2007. Since then I’ve worked for several different hotels, many different restaurants, throw in a hospital and most recently as private chef for Philadelphia Eagles players.
Describe your cooking style:
My cooking style is based in creativity. How can I take something common and put my own twist on it. Maybe that twist is for show, or maybe that twist is to put a nutritionally beneficial aspect to something that normally wouldn’t be as healthy. I take my fine dining background and use it to influence clean eating.
How did you learn about grass-fed meats?
I learned about grass fed meats many years ago right out of culinary school. At the hotels I worked at, we would use multiple grass fed or free range products, but I didn’t really dig into what exactly they were or why they were so different. Moving forward to a point in my career where I’m helping people eat as clean as possible, there is a much higher appreciation for the nutritional aspect that comes along with products where the animal itself ate clean, and was raised in a proper environment to produce the highest possible nutritional value.
What is your favorite recipe featuring grass-fed meat?
Favorite recipe is the Lane Johnson go to pre game meal, grass fed 15oz Ribeye with candied yams. Steak just gets with a little sweet and spicy brown butter emulsion that has all the yummy goodness of the steak pan drippings. Very simple, but a fan favorite for sure.
You’re stranded on a desert island; luckily, you’re stranded with your top 5 ingredients and one must-have kitchen tool:
Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Hot Sauce. And my tool would be my chef knife for sure. I’m stuck on a desert island, and anything I would catch would be seasoned perfectly, and then I would be able to finished with a little hot sauce.
Best cooking secret/tip/piece of advice you’ve learned:
Keep things simple and don’t try and do too much. It’s my greatest piece of advice based on the world I thought I wanted to go into after culinary school. It was a fine dining world where the amount of components and techniques for a dish could be endless. And then at the end of the day I would say, yeah that’s good but I think there’s better flavor from the mom and pop restaurant that used fresh, simple ingredients and didn’t overthink it. Focus on the ingredients and keep it simple.
What’s your favorite quote/song for culinary inspiration (if any)?
Continually inspired by what I’ve been told by pretty much all my chefs, which is the idea that you will only go far in the industry if you are passionate about what you’re doing. There has to be a love for food that’s evident in the dishes you are preparing. Food is love.
Anything else you want to share?
Being a chef is something I was meant to be. It was my calling you could say. I had a million other career paths I thought I wanted to go down, but I realized long ago that I excel in this more so than anything else, so why not do what it takes to go as far as I can possibly go with it. I love what I do and I’m happy to share through my food, as well as passing my ideas on to other people who are hungry about learning anything I can offer them.
Your social media links:
See this great interview all about Justin and his meal prep responsibilities with Philly football.
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