Austin-based Top Chef and Esquire’s 2014 Chef of the Year Paul Qui is a creative talent who blends French training with Japanese cuisine and cultural influences from the Philippines, where he was born.
Earlier this month, Qui and Michael Mina hosted the San Francisco leg of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America tour.
Focusing on a few of his favorite seasonal ingredients, Qui has created a series of recipes in which an ingredient is used pretty classically, and then in an unexpected way, in an effort to encourage Whole Foods shoppers to try those seasonal ingredients, share their recipes, and earn an extra two-percent cash back using their Amex Blue Cash Credit Card, for a total of eight-percent cash back.
Follow the campaign and add your own recipes using #2Ways2Percent.
We also discovered that chef Qui hasn’t lost his love of important snack staples, like potato chips and instant ramen, both of which are featured in Paul’s recipes.
We spoke with chef Qui about the best winter comfort foods, his ideal Thanksgiving sandwich, and how you should be incorporating potato chips into other foods:
Describe by layer, your ideal post-Thanksgiving sandwich.
Wild berry jam or preserve
Sweet potato purée
What are your favorite winter comfort foods?
Arros caldo [soupy rice] and any type of noodle soup.
What grocery items do you think home cooks should add to their pantry that they might not already
Red Boat Fish Sauce and Jocobsen Sea Salt.
I like how your #2Ways2Percent ramen dish actually uses instant ramen, which I’ll never outgrow.
Which brands did you grow up with?
Nissin Top Ramen, Shin Ramyun, Mama Ramen, Cup of Noodles. I would encourage you to explore for yourself; it's part of the fun of eating instant ramen I think. If you want to get fancy and have it available, Sun Noodle is the way to go, and yes, they make instant ramen.
Also, your #2Ways2Percent ham omelette has potato chips! What other dishes benefit from the
addition of potato chips?
I like to put potato chips in sandwiches, on top of hotdogs, and on soft serve.
Check out all of Paul Qui's #2Ways2Percent recipes: