Chef Jack Caceci, Jr. is teaming up with the Gulfport Multipurpose Senior Center to launch a bimonthly cooking show called “In the Kitchen with Chef Jack.”
The bona fide soup guru, who is wildly known for his innovative soup recipes, says he reached out to the center earlier this summer hoping to volunteer.
“I’ve been taking time off from being a private chef with everything going on,” Caceci told the Gabber. “I wanted to volunteer, and when I got to talking with the senior center, we got to talking about soups.”
While the pandemic is keeping many seniors at home and away from risk, Caceci is recording segments making different soups at the center, to be shared virtually – and safely.
Episodes will air on Spectrum’s GTV channel 60 and Gulfport Senior Center’s Facebook page every first and third Tuesday.
The chef has over 35 years of cooking experience, ranging from professional kitchens to yachts to even the home of HSN founder Bud Paxton – not to mention at President Reagan’s inauguration in 1984. After traveling the world flexing his culinary flare, the chef made his way to Town Shores of Gulfport last year.
Caceci says he’s created around 150 soup recipes and plans to share some of his “best hits” with viewers. Most of which were created from leftovers during his restaurant days.
“If a special didn’t work, or we had a mix of different ingredients, I would find a way to make a soup out of whatever we had left in the pantry,” Caceci said.
Like his homemade shepherd’s pie soup, made with – you guessed it – leftover shepherds pie ingredients from the previous chef’s special.
“It was a hit,” the chef said before running down the list of ingredients he tossed into the pot, using instinct and experience to season and serve up to customers.
Each recipe should take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, and Chef Jack plans to give viewers pro tips like how to properly cut an onion, how to dice a zucchini squash and how to better your knife skills.
“It’s also great because viewers can choose to buy precut produce, or cut it themselves,” said Caceci.
The soup advocate says that seniors can not only make a gallon of soup at a time to freeze and thaw at their leisure, but they can also mix in starch to make a heartier dinner.
“My portobello soup can easily be eaten as a sauce over grilled chicken with rice or as a sauce for pasta. You can use soup for all kinds of things,” he said.
Each soup is a one-pot recipe, which means minimal cleanup.
Tune in and get some tips from a chef who has been whipping up soups for decades. The first episode of “In the Kitchen with Chef Jack” airs Tuesday, September 1 at 1 p.m., featuring an Italian Garden Lentil Soup. To snag the recipe beforehand so you can cook along with Caceci, call the center at 727-893-5657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.