Hi, I’m Denise Shavandy! I’ve been a chef in the DFW area for quite a while now, most recently at Cafe Modern for the last 5 years. My experience includes teaching hobby chefs, teaching culinary school, operating small kitchens, multi-unit operations, and large scale production kitchens. My favorite flavors are from the Mediterranean to far east Asia, and I love to incorporate them in non-traditional dishes! I am passionate about using seasonal produce, local products, and sustainability in purchasing practices.
I just started my own business called Spork & Spice! (Spork because they imply food to-go, I think they are a bit whimsical, multi-functional, and a little bit different than common tools. Spice because I love playing with spices, blends, and exotic flavors! Salt is great, and so important, but to me, the real way to step things up is adding spice!) I am mostly focused on doing pop-up events paired with cocktails, wine, beer, or spirits because I think the best way to showcase food and beverage is for them to work together to create a magical experience! I am also doing classes (virtual so far) and have a YouTube Channel called SporkU. You can follow Spork and Spice on IG @sporkandspice or FB at Spork & Spice. My next event will be a Day-before-Mother’s Day Brunch at WineHaus. I am working with Daniel Miller (former sommelier of Grace) from Local Source Beverage to create dishes to pair with four different wines.
My favorite snacks are either pickled, fermented, or crunchy! Pickled brussel sprouts (homemade), pickled okra with smoked paprika (homemade), Zairin pickled cucumbers with tarragon (MiddleEastern Market), Kimchi (love trying different kinds but think spring onion is my favorite), savory yogurt (like raita, or mast va khiar- kinda like tzatziki) Crunchy salty snacks I love- like pistachios, pretzels, and my true guilty pleasure is flamin hot funyuns!
When I make a casual meal at home I often like to mix things up – like Bahn Mi style hot dogs, Gochujang Spaghetti, Lengua Tacos with kimchi and dynamite sauce.
Sometime it’s more traditional like Persian Ash Reshteh and Red Posole. I really enjoy eating plant based and like to make Indian influenced dishes like saag paneer, gobi matar, black eyed pea masala or Asian style dishes like sesame tofu and broccoli.
And a few of my favorite things I’ve had when I eat out… Okonomiyaki, any specialty stuff from Hatsuyuki, and the Furikake Ribs at Tokyo Café.