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As is so often the case when we drop by Jules Catering’s always-sizzling kitchen, it was the rapid-fire handiwork of  Chef Grand Manger Norbey Restrepo that immediately caught our eye. On this occasion, Norbey was just starting to assemble Jules Catering’s popular passed hors d’oeuvre, Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella Pinwheels.

Pinwheels struck us as being an especially timely construction for the day before the Fourth of July.

Chef Grand Manager Norbey Restrepo prepares to roll pinwheels


A cool hors d’oeuvre

Step One in ‘pinwheel’ construction involves unwrapping rolled rectangular sheets of mozzarella, each measuring about 6″ X 20″. “As always,” Norbey explained, “Jules starts with top-of-the-line ingredients,” including–in this case–Bel Gioioso’s award-winning cheese and imported Italian prosciutto. “Sometimes, instead of prosciutto, we substitute Jamón ibérico (Iberian ham).”

                             As you can see, Norbey works fast!

After spreading fresh pesto over the unrolled sheet of mozzarella, Norbey neatly applied thin-sliced prosciutto.

After the prosciutto is in place atop the pesto and mozzarella, Norbey will be ready to roll

Then–carefully–he started to roll. “If you try this at home,” Norbey advised, “you want the roll to be nice and tight.”

                              Norbey excels at forming tight pinwheel rolls

Norbey sliced off the excess on the roll’s long edge (the excess has not yet been trimmed in the photo, below, left), then sliced off a couple of pinwheels so we could see where he was going with all this.

“For easier slicing and so the roll stays intact, we refrigerate the unsliced roll overnight,” Norbey explained. “Then, the following day, we slice individual portions and garnish each with fresh diced tomatoes and basil and a drizzle of olive oil.”

Rolled pinwheels are refrigerated overnight before they are sliced and then garnished


As Jules Catering has grown, so has Norbey

Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia Norbey started at Jules as a 16-year-old, in 1998. Beginning on the nighttime cleanup crew, he moved on to nighttime food prep, then daytime prep, and–over time–worked his way up to Chef Grand Manger.

                                              Norbey takes a short break

When we asked Jules Owner-Chef Anita Baglaneas to weigh in on Norbey’s obvious gifts she said, “He has a great palate, a wonderful aesthetic, and an admirable work ethic. I’m so proud of Norbey–just as I am proud of every member of the Jules family team.”

Medellin, Colombia: No wonder Norbey now and then feels homesick for his home town

Photo Credits:
Photos of Norbey Restrepo: Liz Muir
Medellin, Columbia: David Pena, Wikimedia Commons