While cooking began as a necessity for me, over the years, it has evolved into a passion. My name is Chau Wansze and in December 2016, I decided to take my passion to the next level by enrolling in Bauman College’s Natural Chef program.
I chose Bauman for my culinary training because I see food as a way to nourish our health and well-being, which is the mission of the school. As a student, I have really been able to dig deeper into the culinary craft and hone my skills.
With a background in science and art, I’m able to draw from my experience in those fields and apply it to food. Cooking provides me with a unique opportunity to create something beautiful that exists for a brief moment, and then start all over again. I find this process of new beginnings to be very rewarding as it keeps things alive and moving.
As a passionate cook and an avid traveler, I love discovering new foods and learning cooking methods associated with different cuisines. I’m inspired to create dishes that reflect my discoveries and to share them with people. Whether it’s through teaching or creating delightful meals, my hope is to encourage people to make good food choices for their health and our planet.
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Miso Cauliflower Mash with Sweet Corn, Mushroom, and Chive Oil
This dish is inspired by the corn dishes featured in André Chiang’s beautiful book, Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant André. I love the play between the sweet and savory flavors reflected in this dish. Topping the miso cauliflower mash with crispy mushrooms and sesame salt intensifies the umami flavor. The addition of chive oil adds a bright sharpness that complements the sweet corn.
- 1 bunch chives
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs sweet white miso
- 1 Tbs mirin
- 1 Tbs sake
- 1 medium white cauliflower head, cut into florets
- 1 cup cream
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- 3 ears yellow sweet corn
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
- ⅓ cup cream
- salt, to taste
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (can substitute brown or maitake mushrooms)
- ¾ cup ghee
- salt, for seasoning
- 1 Tbs black sesame, toasted
- 1½ tsp salt
- Blanch chives in simmering water for 30 seconds. Shock chives in an ice water bath and then transfer to a paper towel. Pat dry.
- Gently squeeze out excess water and transfer to a high speed blender. Add olive oil and blend until mixture is puréed and vibrant green.
- Layer two pieces of cheese cloth on a fine colander mesh, and set it over a glass bowl. Pour mixture into the cheesecloth and let gravity do the filtering work. Chive oil will collect in the glass bowl for 15–20 minutes.
- Spread miso in a thin layer on a non-stick baking mat and bake for 8–10 minutes at 300°F until lightly browned.
- Transfer miso to a bowl and combine with mirin and sake. Mix until a soft paste is formed. Set aside.
- Turn oven to 325°F and roast cauliflower for 7–10 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
- Transfer to a medium pot and pour in cream. Add in a generous pinch of salt and season with pepper. Heat pot until cream comes to a simmer and cook until cream has reduced to half.
- Transfer to a food processor, and add in the miso mixture. Blend until smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Steam corn for 1–2 minutes until corn becomes bright yellow. Let cool and cut kernels off the cob.
- Transfer to a high speed blender and purée until smooth.
- Transfer to a fine colander mesh, held over a bowl, and use the back of a spoon to push out corn extract.
- Transfer extract to a small saucepan and stir in cream and vanilla seeds. Add a pinch of salt.
- Heat saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add more salt to taste.
- Take saucepan off heat to cool.
- In a small pan, heat ghee oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F.
- Gently lay sliced mushrooms into pan and shallow fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Fry mushrooms in batches so they don’t overcrowd the pan.
- Transfer to a plate covered with paper towel. Salt the mushrooms. Set aside.
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound sesame seeds and salt to a fine powder.
- Scoop out cauliflower mash and place it in a bowl. Pour in creamed corn around mash. Sprinkle mash with sesame salt and place mushrooms on top. Drop chive oil onto creamed corn.