Michael Christensen

Chef Michael Christensen

michael-christensen-largeMichael learned how to cook when he was just 11 years old. Growing up in Chicago, his father taught him basic techniques and Michael often prepared the family dinner in the evenings. During his high school years, Michael worked as a dishwasher in local restaurants. In the early 90s, during his twenties, he learned how to truly be a chef when he worked for Grand Casinos in Minnesota. He earned his culinary degree at a community college in Minneapolis and then completed his culinary training at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. During his time in Minnesota, over the course of 11 years with Grand Casinos Inc, Michael opened four casinos in different states and 11 restaurants within those casinos. He was also on the opening team of Grand Casino Stratosphere in Las Vegas and three other casinos in Mississippi.

He joined Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque in 2011, after owning and operating his own catering company and restaurant in Albuquerque for about four years. Over the course of his career, he has been using the Perfect Puree line of products. Michael and his team make most of the dishes in the casino’s Thur Shan Buffet from scratch. He focuses on seasonal ingredients and uses The Perfect Purée products to cut down on preparation time in the kitchen and deliver consistent flavors.

He frequently makes soufflés, mousses, vinaigrettes and sauces with The Perfect Purée’s purees and concentrates. Michael’s Smoked Duck Salad with Black Currant Vinaigrette uses Black Currant Puree in its glaze and vinaigrette. Using the purees gives Michael’s dishes a consistent, robust and natural flavor. And, it is cost effective, he says, because a little goes a long way. Michael uses the purees in his wild game dishes as well. Michael says the fruit balances out the strong meaty flavors. The Perfect Purée concentrates work well in his soufflés as a flavor base. The purees are easy to use in sweet dishes and create that ying and yang he’s seeking on the plate. He also makes a crème anglaise, a light pourable custard sauce, using Perfect Purée’s Black Currant.

Featured Recipes by Michael Christensen

Blueberry Bombe

Black Currant Vinaigrette on Smoked Duck Salad