Meet Chef Julius Russell

Chef Julius RussellExcecutive Chef Julius Joins Gourme Mist Team

As seen on The View, Chicago Tribune, BET Networks, WGN, ABC, NBC, N’Digo, NBC’s iVillage “In the Loop”, Time Out Magazine, Red Eye, CLTV/Metromix, Evanston Now and Chicago Sun-Times.

Chef Julius serves as owner of A TALE OF TWO CHEFS, Executive Chef for Kehe Food Distributors and TV Host on the Big Ten Network. Chef Julius’ culinary training began at the age of eight under the careful guidance of his mother. After college, he began to build a corporate career, while continuing to hone his culinary skills. After successfully climbing the ranks, Mr. Russell left his Executive Sales Management position to pursue his passion as a Private Chef.

Over the past decade Chef Julius has continued his culinary education stateside at the New Orleans School of Cooking and in Paris with Princess Marie Blanche de Broglie at La Cuisine Marie Blanche and Patrick Terrien at Le Cordon Bleu Academie d’Art Culinaire de Paris.

In his work, Chef Julius consistently challenges the idea of what dining should be, often calling on his alter ego “Chef Tiki” to shake things up a bit. His ability to blend classic French, Spanish and Italian techniques with the flavorful influences of Cajun/Creole, Caribbean, Latin American and Asian cuisine is unmatched. His motto, “The Flavor Leads” speaks to his passion for blending global cuisines to create innovative dishes that transcend region.

As a Private Chef, he accommodates the culinary needs of celebrities, as well as, prominent Chicagoans, providing in home dining and elaborate dinners of parties 2 to 50. In addition, A TALE OF TWO CHEFS provides specialty catering and menu design for corporate clients such as, Goodman Theater, N’Digo Magapaper, Jewel-Osco, NBC5 Chicago, Christian CEO’s of America, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Schnucks, Giant Eagle and MillerCoors, Inc.

Chef Julius serves as Executive Chef of Kehe Food Distributors, an employee-owned company, headquartered on a 1 million square foot campus in Romeoville, IL, distributing specialty, gourmet, natural & organic, Kosher and ethnic foods to more than 12,000 retail customers in 49 states, Mexico, and the Caribbean. As Executive Chef, he works in partnership with Kehe Executive Management to create innovative product development and sales programs for the 40,000+ products in the Kehe catalog. He is responsible for the culinary execution for all of Kehe’s corporate events.

Chef Julius’ major appearances include the Bloomingdales Home Store “Cooking with Heat” Series, The Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest, All Clad’s “Roast Like a Pro”, Jazz at Jewel Summer Series, Real Men Cook for Jewel Osco, Giant Eagle’s Food & Wine Show with The Food Network and the San Francisco Food & Wine Show.

His commitment to philanthropy is demonstrated through his work with the American Diabetes Association, Chicago Public Schools “Cooking Up Change” Healthy Schools Campaign, Darfur Darfur, Umoja Student Development Corporation and the Firehouse Community Art Center.

Enjoy These Gourme Mist Recipes Created By Chef Julius

Chipotle ShrimpTaco with Mango Salsa

1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
8 corn tortillas
2 limes, cut into wedges
1/2 small red onion diced
1 jalapeno minced, seeds optional
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 ripe mango diced
2Tbls. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper

For the Salsa

Put the onion, mango, jalapeno, and garlic in a bowl and stir in the cilantro

For the shrimp

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high heat

Mix 1-2 sprays of the Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl

Add the shrimp and toss to coat

Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.)

Spoon salsa on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and squeeze a touch of lime juice on top

Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon

2 Tbls grainy mustard
2 Tbls. mild honey or pure maple syrup
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
¼ C. brown sugar
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. minced rosemary
1 Tbls. grated lemon zest
1 lb. salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick)
Kosher salt and Course ground black pepper
1 cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches)

Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.

Prepare grill to medium high heat.

Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, thyme, brown sugar, 2-3 sprays of Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit).

Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.

Herb and Garlic Marinated Chicken

3 Medium sized chicken breast (butterflied)
2 C. Red wine Vinegar
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. dry parsley
2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper
2 C. Chicken stock

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl except the chicken, oil and the stock, take half of the marinade and set to the side

With the other half of the marinade, spray the chicken with Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister, just enough to evenly coat the chicken, set in the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.

Place chicken on a high heat grill and grill on both sides for approximately 3-4 minutes each.

In a separate pot combine the Chicken stock and the reserved marinade and reduce by half.

Once chicken is done, remove from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Place chicken on a serving dish and drizzle with the reduced sauce.

Jerk Marinated Tilapia with Tropical Salsa

3-4 Tilapia filets
¼ C Jerk seasoning
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
salt and pepper

Start by patting the filets dry.

Spray the filets generously on both sides and season with salt, pepper and the jerk seasoning on both sides.

In a sauté pan heat to medium high heat.

In a hot skillet spray the Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister 2 – 3 times and sauté on both sides for approximately 3 minutes each side.

Remove and plate.

Marinara Sauce

1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
3 cloves roasted garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes, undrained
3 fresh basil leaves
½ tsp. dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Heat 2-3 sprays of the Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots; cook and stir 3 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Once done and seasoning has been adjusted lightly puree in a blender.

Rainbow Roasted Beets

1 each candy stripe beet, red beet, and golden beet
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
3 sprigs of thyme
3 cloves of peeled garlic, sliced thinly
1 shallot thinly sliced
salt and pepper

Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Rinse the beets and trim off any leafy tops.

Toss with the garlic, shallot, thyme, oil and season with salt and pepper.

Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the oven.

Roast until tender and easily pierced with a knife, about 1 ½ hours .

Remove from the oven and let cool.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel using a paring knife or by scraping with a clean towel.

Slice the beets, lightly spray with Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister , and season with salt and course ground black pepper.

Roasted Garlic and Balsamic Vinaigrette

4-5 sprays Gourme Mist Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Mister
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 roasted garlic clove
¾ C. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Use a blender to mix all the ingredients except the oil. It will produce a thicker vinaigrette dressing.

Blend slowly and slowly drizzle in the oil until oil is completely blended with the rest of the ingredients.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Refrigerate and store in a covered container. Whisk well before serving.

Roasted Tomato Salsa

12 Roma (plum) tomatoes
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 small red onion, quartered
1 jalapeno
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 Tbls. fresh lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
¼ C. chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

Preheat the broiler.

In a medium baking dish, place the tomatoes, onion and jalapeno.

Spray with the Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister, salt and pepper.

Note: If you prefer do this step out back on the grill it will reduce the heat in your kitchen and you will love the added “smoky grilled” taste of the fresh grilled vegetables.

Checking often, broil or grill 5 to 10 minutes or until the outsides of vegetables is lightly charred.

Remove vegetables from heat.

Remove and discard tomato cores, jalapeno stems and seeds if desired.

Toss all the roasted vegetables and garlic into a food processor a few at a time and coarsely chop.

Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in cumin, lime juice and cilantro.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

Shrimp and Spicy Chorizo

1 Bag Jumbo peeled and deveined Tiger Shrimp
½ lb. Spicy Chorizo (sliced or small diced)
¼ lb. Whole unsalted butter
3 oz. White wine
½ Bunch Flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
2 Tbls. Minced Garlic and Shallot
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
Salt and Pepper taste

Make sure shrimp is thawed, clean and dry, Lightly spray the shrimp and toss until evenly coated, and season with salt and pepper.

Take garlic and shallot and sauté in half the amount of butter just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.

Then take chorizo and sauté in the remaining butter, butter should turn orange at this point.

Add the shrimp and sauté just until shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.

At this point add your white wine slowly and everything should come together and turn saucy.

Finish with the parsley.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

1 medium-size white onion, thinly sliced
About 3 cups (loosely packed) coarsely shredded, cooked boneless skinless chicken (a rotisserie chicken works well here)
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
1 jar (16 ounces) Salsa or Roasted Tomato Salsa
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt, about ½ teaspoon
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
12 warm corn tortillas
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
About 1 cup shredded cheese such as Chihuahua, Monterey Jack or brick
OR ½ cup finely grated Mexican queso fresco, añejo or Romano
Sour cream, optional

In a large skillet, cook the onion in the oil (2-3 sprays) over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the salsa, tomatoes with their juice and the vinegar.

Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the chicken, then taste and season with salt.

Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve the chicken mixture in the warm tortillas. Pass the diced avocado, cheese and sour cream to add to tacos as desired.

Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak (Perfect for salads, sandwiches, or Dinner)

8 oz. Skirt Steak cleaned of fat and connective tissue
1 Gourmè Mist Barrel Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Mister
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister
1 clove Garlic
½ Shallot Sliced
1 sprig thyme
Salt and Pepper

In a mixing bowl generously spray the steak with Gourmè Mist Barrel Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Mister and Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister

Crush the garlic and slice the shallot and add that to the mixture

Next pick the leaves off the sprig of thyme and add to mixture

Next place steak in the container and close lid, Allow to marinate for 2 hours or more. After steak has marinated, remove steak from mixture, lightly pat dry and season on both sides

On a lightly oiled hot skillet (using the Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister)  or grill cook the steak to your liking of doness

Once cooked, it can be sliced for salad, tacos, sandwich or as and entrée.

Mesclun Greens Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

1 bag of mesclun greens
1 Gourmè Mist Canola Mister
2 Tbls. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Gourmè Mist Balsamic Vinegar + Raspberry Mister
½ C. Fresh raspberries
salt and pepper to taste

In a small mixing bowl spray Gourmè Mist Balsamic Vinegar + Raspberry Mister several times to coat the bottom of the bowl, add the mustard, honey and season with salt and pepper

Lightly whisk and add several sprays of the Gourmè Mist Canola Mister, whisk again

In a separate bowl add the greens and toss with the vinaigrette and the raspberries

Taste and adjust seasoning

Roasted Garlic Potatoes

1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister
2 Tbls. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Stir in potatoes until evenly coated.

Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.

Teriyaki Shrimp

½ lb. Jumbo shrimp
¼ cup Teriyaki
1tsp. sesame oil
1 Gourmè Mist Extra Virgin Oilve Oil Mister
2 Tbls. Sliced scallion
1tsp. white sesame seeds
Salt and black pepper

For the shrimp:

Lightly spray the shrimp and toss until evenly coated, and season with salt and pepper

Saute or grill the shrimp over high heat for about 2-3 minutes on each side, just until shrimp has turned pink and has curled

Immediately remove from heat

For the sauce:

Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the teriyaki

Bring teriyaki to a simmer and stir in the sesame oil and seeds

Remove from heat after ingredients have been added and toss with the fully cooked shrimp and garnish with the scallions

Voodoo Shrimp

1 lb raw peeled and cleaned shrimp (U 21/25)
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 Tbls. Creole seasoning
1 Gourme Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister
1 Gourme Mist Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Mister
Salt and pepper


Marinate the shrimp by spraying with Gourmet Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Add salt, pepper, Creole seasoning and chili flakes. Mix with your hands until seasoning has covered all of the shrimp.

Allow to marinate for 30 minutes

Preheat grill to med-high.

Lightly spray the grill with Gourme Mist Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister.

Gently place each shrimp on grill and let cook 2-3 minutes.

As the shrimp turns pink, flip and repeat the same process.

Remove shrimp from grill, brush with the Voodoo Sauce and serve immediately.