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.
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).”
After spreading fresh pesto over the unrolled sheet of mozzarella, Norbey neatly applied thin-sliced prosciutto.
Then–carefully–he started to roll. “If you try this at home,” Norbey advised, “you want the roll to be nice and tight.”
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.”
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.
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.”
Photos of Norbey Restrepo: Liz Muir
Medellin, Columbia: David Pena, Wikimedia Commons