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Often times, the Thanksgiving hype focuses on the main entrée – the turkey. But while the main dish finishes roasting — what about the most important meal of the day: breakfast?
We posed this question to emerging chef, Theo White (pictured left), while also challenging him to use the holiday’s favorite flavor, pumpkin — and we were ah-mazed at what he freshly drummed up.
Wholly self-taught under the mentorship of Dallas-based chef and Top Chef former participant, Tre Wilcox, Theo White is the king of many firsts for his family: the first to get a full ride scholarship to a Division One school, the first to graduate college, the first to join the military, and of course the first to groom his culinary gift to perfection.
We first spotted the California native at a BMW event housed at Lone Star Park that featured Bravo TV’s Chef Roble and Chef Tre Wilcox of Tre Cooking Concepts. After instinctively following our noses, we stumbled upon the chef’s facebook page and the rest was history.
“I have to give thanks to Tre Wilcox for allowing me the opportunity to come into his kitchen and learn from one of the best in the game,” White humbly adds. “Cooking is a gift I have; [I] never went to school for it. I’m still learning, but if I can see it and taste it, then nine times out of ten, I can make it.”
And that’s just what Inspire N Style challenged the emerging chef to do – to create a savory Thanksgiving dish, inspired by the use of pumpkin. Always one up for a challenge, here’s what Chef Theo White crafted exclusively for Inspire N Style readers.
PUMPKIN PIE FRENCH TOAST WITH CITRUS CREAM FILLING AND BOURBON SYRUP
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Prep: 30 Minutes
Cook: 15 Minutes
Yield: 8 Servings
1/2 a package of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sugar
Orange juice squeezed from half an orange
Lemon juice squeezed from half a lemon
Orange zest (use to liking)
Lemon zest (use to liking)
For the citrus cream cheese filling: Fold the sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, and zests into the cream cheese until creamy and smooth.
1 pint of heavy whipped cream
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree (Canned)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 large eggs
For the french toast mix: Pour the ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until all is blended. Slice a loaf of French bread into slices approximately 1 inch thick. Dip and coat each side of the bread with the mix and fry over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
1/2 cup of bourbon (Jim Beam – 100 proof)
1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar
For the bourbon syrup: Over medium to high heat in a sauce pan, add in bourbon until boiling. Then stir in brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together into blended, then stir in Karo corn syrup. Lastly, add in butter and vanilla. Stir until completely blended together. Remove syrup from heat and cool to allow the mixture to thicken.
Plating: Take two slices of French toast and spread a thin layer of cream cheese filling between the two slices. Cut diagonally and arrange on the plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and chopped walnuts. Lastly, drizzle the syrup to liking and Voila!
Serve with your favorite breakfast meat dipped into the syrup, with fresh rosemary potatoes, and chipotle gouda scrambled eggs and you have the perfect, tasty Thanksgiving breakfast, gourmet style.
For more information on Chef Theo White, visit his Facebook Page. ***Season or use ingredients to your preferences or liking; measurements are approximated.***
Images credit: Leah Frazier for Inspire N Style Magazine. Chef Theo White headshot used courtesy of Theo White.