Select Page

More Flash to the (Radical) Pan

In order to bring all of the flavors of your favorite restaurants home, it’s not enough just to have fresh, locally sourced ingredients at your disposal. While Malibu-based Chef Oren Zroya happens to be a chef for A-list celebrities like Owen Wilson, Gerard Butler and Shannen Doherty, he insists anybody can be their own A-list chef with the right set of tools. Based on his experience, cast iron works great, but he needed something that could not only sear, but also crisp, sauté, toss, and stir-fry at the same time.

Chef Oren’s design for his “Radical Pan” enables any home cook to get restaurant-inspired appearance and flavor. The lip of the nonstick-coated pan is taller on one side, forming a backboard that makes it easier to flip food using spatula against it or shaking and flipping your ingredients. The FDA-approved surface also means that you may be able to cut back on your oil and fats usage, which lets natural flavors of your ingredients shine through—important if you are spending a little extra to have them at their peak of flavor and nutritional value. 

“In one sentence, food is medicine,” Chef Oren insists. “There are so many things in nature that help with different health issues, like seasonal and local/native foods. In my own cooking, I like to use garlic, ginger, mushrooms, fennel, oregano, and turmeric because of their nutritional boosters. I also use plenty of herbs and root vegetables because they’re nutrient dense.”

In a restaurant setting, Chef Oren acknowledges he is required to present a diverse menu as some guests are pickier than others. However, when cooking at home for his family, he has a different mindset. He chooses a mix of family favorites and preps them with joy, “nourishing them by doing something I love.” As a new father, he looks forward to introducing his son to diverse foods and seeing how he reacts. Time in the home kitchen will always be quality family time, teaching kids how to eat well and when various ingredients are at the peak of their flavor and nutritional value.

“Timing is key when sourcing ingredients,” he explains. “I like to visit local farmers’ markets because their ingredients are usually fresher and truly organic. Anything perishable, like leafy greens or meats, I’ll buy to last for two or three days max. Other things like dry goods and root vegetables can last for a couple of weeks, but I like to use them sooner rather than later. The biggest enemies to freshness are moisture and air, so for things like picked herbs, I wrap them in newspaper and put them in a dark, dry drawer along with things like onions, garlic, shallots, and potatoes.”

While Chef Oren prepares dishes from all over the world, he applies his own personal Mediterranean twist. When it comes to bringing out the best in produce, he will use flavorful oils like avocado, hazelnut, or almond, and will add spices like zaatar, sumac or allspice. With most of his dishes, they’re not finished until they are topped with something fresh like fresh greens/herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. To achieve consistency, however, that kind of care needs to be applied to keeping his pans and other tools clean and sanitary.

“Clean as you go. Take care of your equipment by washing it with soap and hot water and let them air dry,” he advises. “Also, have designated cutting boards for veggies, for fish, and for meat. Avoid using wooden cutting boards for meats as they’re harder to disinfect. This method helps prevent cross contamination between the different types of food. When it comes to sanitizing, I recommend using a half-teaspoon of bleach or white vinegar mixed with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the surfaces and scrub with hot soap and water and let them air dry.” 

Photo Notes: Actress in photo with Chef Oren is actress Jessica Michél Serfaty

When it comes to dressing up your kitchen, dining room or patio, Chef Oren suggests using your location and the current season to decide which special table touches will look best.

“I like to always see what’s around the place where I’m cooking,” he says. If you live near the beach, use some beautiful shells. If you live in an area like Manhattan, maybe a minimal, cleaner approach with some unscented candles and greyscale accents. As a rule of thumb, your table should fit the environment and surroundings. You can find anything you need in your yard or neighborhood. Also, very important, avoid anything too tall as it intrudes on cross-table conversation.

Moroccan Mushroom with Shallots and Garlic

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more for later
  • 2 tbsp ghee (use more extra virgin olive oil instead if you’re vegan)
  • ½ lb shallots, peeled
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 thyme springs
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • ½ lb white mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • ½ lb smoked paprika  (or try ½ tsp harissa spice blend!)
  • ½ lb tsp cumin
  • 1 cup low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken broth is fine)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, more for later
  • 2 tbsp ghee (use more extra virgin olive oil instead if you’re vegan)
  • ½ lb shallots, peeled
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 thyme springs
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and halve
  • ½ lb white mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • ½ lb smoked paprika  (or try ½ tsp harissa spice blend!)
  • ½ lb tsp cumin
  • 1 cup low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken broth is fine)
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
Step 1:

In the 12-inch Radical Pan, heat extra virgin olive oil and ghee over medium heat.

Step 2:

Add shallots, garlic, thyme and cinnamon.

Step 3:

Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallots start to soften.

Step 4:

Increase heat to medium/high and add mushrooms.

Step 5:

Cook for a few minutes, tossing the mushrooms with a little more oil. Season with kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cumin.

Step 6:

Add your broth and bring to a simmer on high for approximately 10 minutes until the liquid has completely reduced.

Step 7:

Stir in fresh parsley and remove from heat.

Step 8:

Serve mushrooms with hummus or over a bed of couscous. A little crusty bread or pita wouldn’t hurt as well!