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Virtual Speakers Series with Matt Basile and Anna Olson

July 29, 2021 by Speakers' Spotlight

Summer-Inspired Recipes from Celebrity Chefs Matt Basile and Anna Olson

Fire up that barbecue because we’ve got two fresh recipes from two culinary masters that will leave everyone at your dinner table asking for seconds.

We were joined by legendary griller Matt Basile and legendary baker Anna Olson who cooked up a delicious meal we can all re-create at home. Matt grilled the perfect hot and honey garlic pork chops with grilled bok choy and oyster mushrooms, and Anna brought it home with gooey skillet brownies topped with roasted marshmallows. How perfect does this meal sound?

Grilling the Perfect Porkchop

While cooking their delicious dishes both Matt and Anna shared tips to help us up our grilling and baking game. Anna hosted Matt while he cooked our porkchop entrée and here are a few tips he shared with us:

  • Cook your porkchops on indirect heat. Matt only fired up two of three burners and placed his porkchops on the side that was off so they could cook from the indirect heat of the other burners. Once cooked, he fired up the third burner and finished his chops on direct heat to give them a nice char.
  • Season your chops right before they go on the grill. Salt drains moisture so don’t do it too early.
  • Sambal Oelek is the new sriracha or at least it should be. It’s an Indonesian chili paste that Matt added to his bok choy before throwing it right on the grill — no basket needed! The grill cooks out the moisture and gives the leaves some nice char and caramelization.
  • You can BBQ anything without adding oil to it, it’s up to the chef! But oil adds fat and this is what give you a nice sear on your food, and why Matt added some to his oyster mushrooms.
  • Allowing your meat to rest before serving is almost more important than the actual cooking process, Matt says. After some trial and error, he says 8-10 minutes is the resting sweet spot.

Matt created a meal for 3-4 people in 20 minutes! He barbecued individual porkchops, but by grilling a rack of porkchops you could easily make this meal for 10-12 people. Download Matt’s recipe here and see more from Matt in the video below.

Baking that Irresistible Dessert

After the entrée was cooked, it was Anna’s turn to show us the secret to baking the perfect gooey skillet brownie. She used a skillet to bake her brownies because you could actually do this on the BBQ! She says you treat your BBQ as you would your oven but use an oven thermometer to doublecheck the temperature. Download Anna’s recipe here and see more from her in the video below.

  • Baking chocolate is a must! When melting the chocolate, do it with the butter as this keeps it from separating.
  • Cool the chocolate back down once it’s melted before throwing in your other ingredients. You can do this by mixing the sugar in first.
  • Eggs should be room temperature before adding them to the mix. If you forget to pull them out ahead of time, Anna says running them under the tap in warm water will do the trick. Baking ingredients of the same temperature bind better, Anna said. So, if your butter is melted, then the eggs should be warm and if the better is cold than the eggs should be cold.
  • Don’t use an electric beater! This adds air to the batter and will give you a cakier brownie vs. that gooey, fudgey brownie we all know and love.
  • For our friends in Calgary, Anna shared the secret to baking at a higher altitude — reduce the leavening (baking powder or soda) by up to half, increase the liquid by about 15%, and reduce the heat by about 15°F.

Thanks to both Matt and Anna, we can all be ready to throw that perfect summer cookout. See more in the video below:

Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro’s. In four years, it went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. He is the author of two cookbooks, Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life and a regular guest on Global Morning and Breakfast Television.

Anna Olson is one of Canada’s most recognizable television chefs as the host of Food Network’s Bake with Anna Olson, Fresh with Anna Olson, and Sugar. She is the author of several bestselling cookbooks, including her latest, Baking Day with Anna Olson and Set for The Holidays, which won the Taste Canada Silver Cookbook Award.

Interested in booking Matt and/or Anna or hosting your own cooking demo at your next event? Email us at in[email protected].