Community Care with Chef Ginger Pierce

When Chef Ginger Pierce isn’t leading a bustling, fully staffed kitchen, or discovering ways to run it more sustainably, she’s volunteering at Church of the Holy Apostles, the largest soup kitchen in New York City and second largest in the country.

Published on: April 11, 2020

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At 1 Hotels, we believe that it's our responsibility to be a platform for change, to transform the world around us, to support our local communities and inspire others to do the same. We are proud to say that during these unprecedented times, so many of our team members are embodying our mission and doing all the good they can for those affected by or on the front lines of this pandemic.

Today we’d like to highlight the work being done by Chef Ginger Pierce, Executive Chef of Jams at 1 Hotel Central Park. When Ginger isn’t leading a bustling, fully staffed kitchen, or discovering ways to run it more sustainably, she’s volunteering at Church of the Holy Apostles, the largest soup kitchen in New York City and second largest in the country.

Chef Ginger Pierce and her husband, Preston Madson, Executive Chef at Il Buco Alimentari, have taken a lead in modifying operations and are serving 1,000 meals per day under new COVID-19 guidelines. The soup kitchen benefits underserved New Yorkers, homeless and those who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

But Ginger isn’t stopping there. For families without access to groceries, she has expanded the take home grocery program and will soon be distributing 1,000 bags per week, up from 150. 

We thank you, Chef Ginger, from the bottom of our hearts, for all that you are doing for our community and for being an example of what it means to be #NewYorkStrong. You inspire us all to be more caring and thoughtful during this time, to take small steps that add up to a big difference. 

Learn more about the work the soup kitchen at Church of the Holy Apostles does and how you can get involved here.

Chef Ginger leaves us with a recipe for a seasonal treat to try at home.

Gnocchi Primavera

GNOCCHI PRIMAVERA

Gnocchi Dough Ingredients
5 lbs russet potatoes (whole, unpeeled, scrubbed clean)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup salt (3/4 for boiling the potatoes and 1/4 for the dough)
4 whole eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 quart 00 pasta flour (plus extra for rolling)

Gnocchi Dough Directions
1) Place the potatoes, bay leaf, garlic, rosemary and 3/4 cup salt in a medium pot. Fill with cold water until the potatoes are just covered.
2) Pull the Parmesan and eggs to room temperature.
3) Simmer the potatoes on medium heat until they are fork tender. When ready, strain the potatoes from the water and discard the bay leaf, garlic and rosemary. While still hot, rice the potatoes with a food mill or potato ricer.
4) Add the Parmesan, remaining salt, and eggs, and mix by hand until incorporated (it's best to do this as hot as your hands can handle, two layers of disposable gloves can help).
5) Work in the pasta flour by hand until incorporated fully (careful not to over mix). Move the dough to a flat work surface.
6) Cut about 1/5th of the dough and roll into a long tube. Cut into five smaller tubes.
7) Using a back and forth motion, gently roll each piece into a long rope about 1.5 inches thick.
8) Cut small squares off of each rope using a knife or bench scraper, place in an even layer on a sheet tray, and freeze.
9) Once fully frozen, the gnocchi can be stored in Tupperware or a freezer bag and can hold up to three months.

Gnocchi Primavera Ingredients
1.5 quarts frozen gnocchi
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup asparagus sliced thin on a bias
1/2 cup English peas
1/2 cup sugar snaps cut in half
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 shallot thinly sliced
1 tsp crushed Calabrian chili
1/3 cup vegetable stock
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup Parmesan

Gnocchi Primavera Directions
1) Warm a 11-13 inch nonstick saute pan.
2) Add the butter and olive oil, and once the butter is melted, add the gnocchi and brown the gnocchi on one side.
3) Add the vegetables, garlic, shallot, and Calabrian chili, and sauté until caramelized.
4) Add the vegetable stock and reduce until almost dry.
5) Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6) Garnish with fresh mint leaves and Parmesan, and enjoy.

To minimize the use of plastic in your own life, look around your home and work to identify plastic items. From there, seek to find alternatives.