When I met Cody, the first thing I noticed was that Brooklyn had seemingly thrown up all over him. Skinny jeans, ironic suspenders, arm tattoos galore. As a New Yorker, I say this with love.
I also soon learned that Cody cared more about his hair than any other member of team US. Yes, even more than Don. I mentioned this fun fact last night as I was watching the sneak peek of episode 1 on BBC America. My friend Dan said halfway through the show: “you know what, Cody’s hair is looking particularly good in these interview shots.” Boom!
But let’s hear more about the man of the hour…
Cody Utzman graduated from college after a two year culinary course, and his real journey began. Throughout his travels, Cody says that cooking has been “his corner stone of his adventures” and has given him the chance to experience culture, people and places. He’s cooked his way through the mountains of Wyoming, to the tundra of Alaska, to the desserts of Arizona. He has lived and worked at a Buddhist temple in Hawaii, an Eco Resort in Nicaragua, and the beaches of Costa Rica.
He has also been a private chef in Boston before returning to New York nearly 7 years ago. Surprisingly, moving to New York has been Cody’s toughest challenge yet. He says “unlike any other place in the world, rarely forgiving and never patient, New York City will eat a young chef alive!” Initially he worked in several restaurants. He then went on to open his first serve restaurant in 2007, and three more followed in the next 4 years. Although extremely proud of his achievements, Cody believes opening his restaurant empire has been the ultimate test of his strength.
Cody’s father told him when he was 15 that “success comes to those hustle wisely” a philosophy that Cody has lived by ever since, and it’s this mantra that Cody used whilst on the road throughout “Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S.”!
This mantra of Cody’s wasn’t always popular on the show, but you can judge for yourself on October 2nd. Check out Cody’s recipe for a classic meat and potatoes blue plate special below. And don’t forget to check back for the virtual viewing party potluck and giveaway on Tuesday!
Cody’s Grilled Rib Eyes with Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes and Sweet Corn Salad
Makes 4 servings
This dish is a classic All-American meat and potatoes meal, with a little summertime twist. It’s the perfect blue plate special to make at home after a long workweek. There is something so hard about the end of the day when you’ve given so much out, it’s important to actually take the time and give back to yourself. The simplest way I find to do this, is to get in the kitchen at home and make Dinner! The corn salad with the potatoes reminded me of one of my favorite winter dishes: creamed corn and mashed potatoes for holiday dinner. I find a little heat ties everything together, so try serving this with your favorite store bought salsa, or fire roast some jalapenos and tomatoes on your grill, give them a rough chop, and add green onion, lime juice, and olive oil. Enjoy this simple meal with your loved ones as you watch me and my fellow chefs compete on Chef Race UK vs US October 2nd!
2 pounds baby new potatoes, quartered
4 Aged Rib Eye Steaks, at room temperature
Sweet Corn Salad (recipe follows)
1. Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through – air on the side of very soft so they are easier to mash.
2. Drain the potatoes and set aside in a bowl. Stream in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of good olive oil and smash with a fork or masher until at your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, fire up a charcoal or gas grill.
4. Brush the steaks with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Grill the steaks over high heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare. Remove to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. To serve, make a bed of potatoes on each plate. Top with the steak and corn salad.
Sweet Corn Salad
5-6 Fresh Local Cobs of Corn
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Greed Bell Pepper
1 Small Red Onion
2 Green Onions
1 Bunch of Thai or Regular Basil
½ Cup Really Good Quality Olive Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
Salt/Pepper/Red Chili Flake to Taste
1. Shuck the Corn and cut the kernels from the cob. Be sure to cut close to the cob to get all the good stuff.
2. Small dice the peppers and onion.
3. Tear the Basil into large pieces.
4. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy the perfect taste of summer!