I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to have a conversation with a chef with over 3 decades working in the culinary industry. Chef John Moogan is a perfect example of a person with so many passions, talents, personality, and millions of mouth-watering recipes.
Creating delicious dishes comes naturally to this chef. His experience in the culinary industry has reached many areas in New York City, including a catering company in 2008, then joined Citifield as a Chef De Partie for New York Mets for over a decade.
Currently, chef John is dedicating his time by sharing knowledge and expertise to help other restaurant businesses thriving as an owner of LVC Chefs Caterer and Hospitality Consultant company.
In this interview, we were talking about summer vegetables, and at the end of the session, I made Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad using chef John’s favorite recipe. This salad is so refreshing, flavorful, impressive, eye-catching, and super delicious. The combination of citrus, the sweetness from honey, and the freshness from watermelon is so beautifully presented in this super quick and easy summer salad you can make at home. [no more boring lettuce with balsamic vinegar, everyone!]
These are my conversations:
S: Hello chef, what are your favorite summer vegetables?
J: As far as my favorite summer vegetables I have a few. Squashes are number one because they are versatile and readily available…. from soups and salads to zucchini bread. I love them fried with a dipping sauce too. I also love cucumbers because they are nice and cool, readily available, and inexpensive. Number three is going to have to be peppers. I just love them raw with some creamy salad dressing.
S: Where do you get your ingredients nowadays?
J: Being immunocompromised and with COVID-19 such a thing now I have stayed away from grocery stores and have been getting my produce from a farmers market Bedford Stuyvesant and local delivery services.
S: Last question, what are your roles in LVC Chefs and where can people reach you?
J: In my consulting business LVC Chefs, I help to make kitchens fiscally sound again, I help redo their menus, to train staff, and work with purveyors. I’d love to be a part of the solutions for any areas that needed help. People can reach me at LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Email, and at (917) 445-4827.
S: Thank you so much!
Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, (or 2 lemons)
- ¼ cup minced shallots (or about 1 large shallot)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- ½ cup high-quality olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 cup arugula
- ⅛ seedless watermelon, rind removed, and cut in 1-inch cubes
- 12 ounces feta cheese, ½-inch diced
- 1 cup whole fresh mint leaves, julienned
To make the dressing
- Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly to form an emulsion.
- If not using within an hour, store the vinaigrette covered in the fridge.
To make the salad
- Place arugula, watermelon, feta, and mint in a large bowl. Drizzle enough vinaigrette to coat the greens lightly and toss well.
- Add salt and pepper as desired and serve immediately.