Chef’s Corner with Chef Jeff Littlefield
At The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, the Pacific Ocean is your playground with 8.5 miles of fun in the sun in the heart of Huntingdon Beach, CA…Surf City, USA! And this is where Chef Jeff Littlefield pulls out all the stops at Shades Restaurant & Bar.
journeyPod enjoyed a dinner tasting and Chef’s fabulous Sunday Champagne Brunch (complete with entertainment by Magician, Jeff Black). Our favorites included the kobe meatball sliders, the spiced lamb skewers, and of course Chef Jeff’s signature crab cakes! Oprah loved them, so we figured we would too! Shades also has the wonderful Emeritus Pinot Noir on the menu—and by the glass! It’s my favorite!
Chef Jeff provided us a big plate of his homemade pickles that we fell in love with last year (and yes, he even shared the recipe with us!) so much and gave us some inside scoop into his world of cooking
What age did you start cooking?
I loved skiing. So I figured if I could get a job cooking at the restaurant at Snowbird Resort, I could ski for free! I really enjoyed cooking, so I went to the CIA in New York and have been at it ever since.
What do you look for when you first enter a restaurant?
I look for smiles on the servers’ faces. The servers should be busy, but also in control.
Who do you admire in the cooking world?
I worked with Mario Batali before he was famous. He has a terrific palette and great ability.
What advice would you give to cooking enthusiasts?
Practice. Practice. Practice. Don’t be afraid to “change it up.”
What is the craziest request you’ve received?
When I was working at the Four Season’s in New York City, it was not unusual to run 40 blocks to buy something as simple as a pork chop.
What is your biggest cooking challenge?
Asian technique is difficult. Everything from the ingredients to the tools.
What’s the latest cooking trend?
Simple foods are always a trend. Using the best ingredients is key.
What new and exciting things are going on here at Shades?
Guests and locals can enjoy our “Going Green” $30 three-course prix fixe dinner through the end of March. We have our ‘High Five” Happy Hour Menu (all items $5), and on Thursday night we have our wine tasting. Oh, and you can follow us now on Twitter and Facebook.
For more information on The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, stay tuned for our upcoming podcast.