Chef Joe Randall has accumulated enormous experience and knowledge from his many years in the hospitality and food service industry. His food career began in the Air Force flight-line kitchens in 1963. What followed were a succession of opportunities that ultimately led to executive chef positions at several award-winning restaurants (the Cloister in Buffalo and the Fishmarket in Baltimore).
During his professional journey to success, he has won many awards (including recognition by Ebony magazine in 2008 as one of the top 10 African American chefs in the country). He has appeared on numerous local and national television shows, been featured in major publications, including Plate, Southern Living, and Fancy Foods magazines, and he has served on the faculty of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. For many years, he has operated a consulting company that provides assistance and guidance to restaurateurs striving to offer high food quality and efficient operational service to their customers.
His goal, as a teacher, is to share with students the techniques and skills needed to create authentic low-country flavors that have won for African-American cuisine a well-deserved place among the great foods of the world.
Chef Joe Randall’s Sweet Potato Smoked Sausage Bisque
Serves 6 to 8
1 stick of butter (1/4 pound) 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium green pepper, diced 2 ribs celery, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup all-purpose flour 1 ½ quarts chicken stock
1 ½ pounds baked fresh sweet potatoes, cooled and peeled 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground white pepper 4 dashes Tabasco sauce 1 pound Julianne smoked sausage
Directions: Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium high heat and sauté the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or roux is blond.
In a separate saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Stir the hot stock into the soup pot, mixing until smooth. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, puree half the sweet potatoes and add them to the soup. Simmer and stir the soup for 15 minutes.
Dice the remaining sweet potatoes and add them to the soup pot. Season with thyme, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
Bake the smoked sausage for 15 to 20 minutes; allow to cool, remove the skin, cut into julienne. Heat in oven before serving. Ladle hot soup in soup plates. Put julienned smoked sausage in center and serve.