Sunday, September 13, 2009

Follower Sunday: Thank You Readership! Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef of 2009 Contributes to Cerebral Palsy with Healthy Recipe

By Anthony J. Sepe

Each Sunday, I thank my readership for their loyalty and dedication to my blog, by providing a healthy recipe.  To those that know, this is a healthy repeat, but for those that are unaware and are new to the blog, this is my way of “giving back.”  It is also a way to “Pay it Forward.”  Each Sunday, not only will you have a healthy recipe, but you will have an expert in the field of dietetics, food and nutrition, provide the healthy recipe to you.  It is my pleasure to provide for you this week, my colleague and Chef, Kelly English and his recipe:  “Restaurant Iris Beet Salad.”


Chef Kelly English headshot_JPEG

chef kelly english
             restaurant iris


Born and raised in southern Louisiana, Chef Kelly English has learned a thing or two about authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine.  After putting himself through college at the University of Mississippi by working as a cook in local kitchens, English decided
to get serious about his passion for food. He graduated from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at the top of his class, and has studied both in Spain and France.  The majority of his culinary education, however, came under
the direction of award-winning chef, Chef John Besh.

After many years training under Besh, English was ready to spread his wings. He came to Memphis with hopes of opening his own restaurant and bringing his unique style of cooking to Memphis diners. In April 2008, English opened Restaurant Iris, a French-Creole restaurant, in the historic Overton Square of midtown Memphis.

English and his team have taken the Memphis dining scene by storm in the restaurant’s first year. Restaurant Iris received a four-star review from the Commercial Appeal and was voted Memphis’ “Best New Restaurant,” “Best Service,” and “Most Romantic Restaurant,” by Memphis Magazine readers.
Memphis Magazine also awarded Restaurant Iris a 4.5 out of five star review. English’s restaurant was also voted “Best New Restaurant” by the Memphis Flyer, was named “Editors Choice: Best Restaurant” by At Home Tennessee,
“Best Bet Outside of Louisiana” by Louisiana Life Magazine, and “Hot New Restaurant” by Delta Magazine.

In April 2009, English was named Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef. This title, which has recognized rising stars since 1988, is awarded to exceptionally talented men and women who are pushing culinary boundaries throughout the country.



© Restaurant Iris Beet Salad

Developed and reprinted with permission from Chef Kelly English and Restaurant Iris

Serves 4


  1. 12 beets
  2. ~ 3 tbsp. Salt
  3. ~ 18 oz. Olive oil
  4. 1 cup Sugar
  5. 3 cups Champagne vinegar
  6. 2 ½ Water
  7. 6 oz. Pepper Jelly
  8. 12 oz. Red wine vinegar
  9. Feta or Blue cheese
  10. Salad greens

Optional: tomatoes, cucumbers, local vegetables

Beet preparation:

Wash 12 beets. Place beets in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. salt. Toss beats in olive oil. Place beets in baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil. Roast at 350 degrees for one hour or until tender. Remove beets while still hot. Wipe skins off beets with kitchen or paper towel. Slice beets. Marinate in mixture of 1 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. salt, 3 cups champagne vinegar, 2 ½ cups water. Let sit for 24 hours.

Vinaigrette dressing preparation:

Mix 6 oz. pepper jelly with 12 oz. red wine vinegar, and 18 oz. olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper.

To serve:

Place beet slices on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with your favorite low-fat feta or blue cheese. Wash salad greens. Toss with vinaigrette dressing to your liking. Add tomatoes, cucumbers, or local vegetables if available.


Chef Kelly English


  1. Great beet recipe! I've been working with fresh beets lately, so this is perfect. Thanks :)

  2. Hi Gina,
    You are most welcome; our pleasure! Thank you for reading.