Executive Chef Andrew Pearce
Chef Andrew Pearce excels when the competition stage is the kitchen, more specifically, “Hell’s Kitchen.” The Philly-based chef is one of eight remaining contestants on season 16 of the popular reality show (the next episode airs Jan. 5, 8 p.m. on Fox). For those wondering why he decided to try out, the answer is simple: His mom.
“My mom passed away two years ago and ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ was one of her favorite shows, so I really did it for her,” Pearce said. “To have the opportunity to learn from Gordon Ramsay, one of the best chefs in the world, was a chance of a lifetime. He’s very demanding, but he brought out the best of me as a chef.”
Closer to home, Pearce can be found creating his culinary masterpieces at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Chop House — part of the famed Gibsons Restaurant Group — where he serves as the executive chef. It opened in the spring as part of SugarHouse Casino’s expansion. In his current role, his guests serve as the judges.
“You don’t often get a second chance to impress the guests, so every visit has to be on-point and you can’t have an off night,” Pearce, who previously served as executive chef at the South Broad Street-based Palm, said.
For those up for a challenge, Pearce is sharing his 302 Crab Cake recipe with Cherry Pepper Remoulade.
“The 302 crab cake is a family recipe that goes back to my grandmother and is close to my heart,” the Delaware resident said.
Crab Cake Ingredients:
2 cans of jumbo lump crabmeat
1–1/2 cups of mayonnaise
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
1–1/2 teaspoons of yellow mustard
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1–3/4 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning
1–1/2 cups of Keebler club crackers, crushed
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
Prepare a sauté pan with an ounce of oil and a teaspoon of butter. Preheat to medium.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Worcestershire, Old Bay, Tabasco and yellow mustard, until smooth. Add the crackers, and continue stirring until a thick, tacky texture is produced. Gently fold in the crab, being careful not break up the lumps of crab.
Shape portions of the mixture into 4-ounce patties, and place into the sauté pan. Gently fry the crabcake patties over medium heat until they turn golden brown on both sides.
Once the patties are browned, top them with the cherry pepper remoulade (see recipe below), and wait to cool before serving.
Ingredients for Cherry Pepper Remoulade
1–1/2 cups of mayonnaise
3 cherry peppers
Salt and pepper, to taste
Use a blender to mix together the mayonnaise and cherry peppers, until smooth. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, once it has a smooth texture. Top your finished crab cake patties with the remoulade to zest up this meal! SPR
Hugo’s Frog Bar and Chop House
Owner: Gibson Restaurant Group
Opened: Spring 2016
SugarHouse Casino, 1001 N. Delaware Ave.
Staff photo by Tina Garceau