Q & Egg + Shakshuka Recipe with Soraya Kilgore
Handsome Shakshuka by Soraya Kilgore
Why this beloved Miami pastry chef doesn’t use cookbooks and how she's started growing food from scraps
If you eat out in Miami, you’ve probably heard of Soraya Kilgore. The renowned pastry chef has made a name for herself with her unique creations, challenging palates with indulgent ingredients and creative flavor combinations. Together with her husband, Brad Kilgore (Food & Wine’s 2016 Best New Chef in America), they’ve created an empire of beloved Miami restaurants under the Kilgore Culinary Group umbrella — attracting eager diners from all over the world. When she’s not devising new creations at her whimsical MadLab Creamery, Soraya is consulting on desserts at one of the Kilgore’s several restaurants, keeping her schedule incredibly full. We caught up with Soraya about some of her favorite things to do when she does have downtime — from her go-to natural happy place, to her favorite cooking music, to how she takes her breakfast eggs. And make sure to keep scrolling, because Soraya’s highly-coveted Shakshuka recipe awaits at the end (and yes, it does feature some fresh Handsome Brook eggs).
Where did you grow up? What is the #1 best thing about it? (& the #1 worst thing?)
I grew up in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. It is small, but it is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Best? It has gorgeous mountains, crystal clear beaches and amazing food. Worst? I don't like our politics, but who does
Do you remember your first egg? (If not, your most memorable egg?)
I do not remember my first egg (does anyone?!), but I am sure I was just a little over one! Eggs were eaten at my house every single day. In Honduras, you buy flats of eggs at a time and probably go through one a day. There is no breakfast without it! My most memorable egg is obviously the Soft Egg at Alter. It is on my mind constantly
I usually work out, shower, and make breakfast — which ALWAYS has eggs in it! There is no breakfast in my book without an egg.
Favorite breakfast spot or diner? Order?
I love All Day! Great coffee and egg sandwiches. Runny & Everything or Huevos Rancheros.
If you could be a farm animal for a day, which one would you be? Why?
I think probably a horse, because I am guaranteed not to be eaten (and they are really majestic!)
Your go-to nature happy place?
Any remote beach in the world. But I do love being in the mountains too. I don't have one specific place, just being in a green lush place — like the jungle or beach — instantly reinvigorates me.
Favorite music to listen (/dance) to while cooking?
Jazz or old blues. I am more of a singer while cooking than a dancer. I love Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.
I don't have one. I stopped looking at cookbooks years ago and usually cook recipes that have been in my family for years (or just make it up as I go!) I do like stuff like The Noma Guide to Fermentation, though.
Favorite home kitchen tool?
My blender and mandolin. I use those on a daily basis.
Do you have any sustainability hacks to share?
Yes! During quarantine, I (and so many other people I know) started reusing the bottoms of everything from lettuce to onions to regrow them on water — and it works!
Dinner that takes you less than 15 mins to make
A hearty salad with hard boiled eggs, bacon, cheese, cilantro, tortilla chips crushed and whatever else you can find in the fridge. I make avocado vinaigrette, and voila!
Must have omelette addition?
I love adding some fresh truffles to it. Eggs and truffles are soulmates!
Kiss, Marry, Kill: Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary
Kiss — rosemary, Marry — cilantro, and Kill — basil. Funnily enough, my house tells a different story. The three herbs that I have at home are those three (I killed the cilantro — not on purpose!)
Who/what were you in a past life?
In my past life, I think I was still me (i.e. same soul). Hopefully some exotic princess, though! Or a jazz singer. I know I was a woman — no doubt about that.
Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?
I would prefer to breathe underwater but only if I could also see underwater as well. If I couldn't, then flying for sure.
A word you use way too often?
Your breakfast: scrambled, sunny side, or poached?Honestly love all, each one has a place and a time
Your state of mind: scrambled, sunny side, or poached?Depends on the day of the week, mostly scrambled!
Pancakes, Waffles, or French Toast?French Toast
How do you take your coffee?I don't do coffee usually, but if I do I go all the way with a cappuccino with a dash of cinnamon. I usually prefer matcha with coconut milk.
Handsome Shakshuka recipe:
- 1/2 a spanish onion, very thinly sliced.
- 1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and thinly slices
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 can of plum tomatoes (crush by hand)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili (if you have at home)
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 6 Handsome Brook Farm eggs
- 1.5 C feta or other fresh cheese
- 1 T Olive Oil
- Fresh picked cilantro or parsley
- Saute onions, once translucent add peppers, cook for 20 min. Add garlic, cook for about 3 minutes. Add all spices, salt and pepper, cook for about 1 minute.
- Pour in tomatoes, mix in well, cook for about 12 minutes.
- Stir in 1 cup of the feta
- pour into whatever ramekin you will use if desired, if not keep in the same pan.
- make little dibbets for the eggs, and put them on top with extra feta.
- place in the oven for about 10 minutes or until done. They should be ooey gooey delicious!
Serve straight out of the oven, sprinkle the herbs and serve with warm bread!