USA TODAY - Roblé Ali has been heating things up on Bravo with his high-energy reality show Chef Roblé & Co. (Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT), currently airing its second season. The upstate New York native and his crew, which includes a sous chef, baker, assistant, director of events and even his older sister, cater lavish events for some of the country's wealthiest and most famous revelers, including President Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio and Vanessa Williams.
Ali shares his thoughts with USA TODAY about summer fun and how to throw an awesome party.
What do you love about summer?
"There's lots and lots of great produce available; it's prime time for produce. The weather's great, lot of outdoor cooking. My favorite kind of cooking is outdoor cooking over an open flame. I do some pretty interesting events out in the Hamptons during the summer. It's a good time."
What's your entertaining style?
"When I throw events personally, outside of being a caterer, my style is to just get the right people in the right room and play the right music and feed them well and make sure there's great cocktails on hand. Then after that, things pretty much take care of themselves, you know."
What do guests always say when they leave one of your shindigs?
"'That was awesome.' I'm not even joking. I did a barbecue on Memorial Day -- it was the best barbecue ever! Ever. People are still talking about it. I got so many text messages: 'Oh my God that was the most fun barbecue I ever had!' It was insane. People came at 1 p.m. and stayed till like 10."
"(New York club fixture) DJ Moma came as a guest, and he hooked up his iPod to the wireless (speaker) and starts DJing in the middle of the living room and everybody's going nuts! It was like a disco inside of the living room."
What's your favorite summer dish to make?
"It's hard to say, but something just off of the grill. Like, a really well-made hamburger that was grilled over real wood charcoal, not that chemically stuff they sell in grocery stores. Real charcoal with some wood chips in there."
Ali also shares with USA TODAY his recipe for a mango-tinged seafood dish straight off the grill.
Chef Roblé shares his recipe for shrimp with mango flair.(Photo: Courtesy of Roblé Ali)
Curried Coconut Shrimp Skewers with Spicy Mango Drizzle
For the coconut shrimp
• 1 pound large shrimp (16-20 -- shelled and deveined with tails removed)
• 1 can coconut milk
• 2 packets Sazon
• 2 tablespoons roasted garlic purée
• 3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
• 2 stalks lemongrass
• 3 tablespoons toasted curry powder
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 3 tablespoons sugar
For the mango purée
• 1 jar mango chutney
• 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
• Splash soy sauce
Presoak skewers in warm water for at least 30 minutes.Combine the coconut milk, sazon, roasted garlic puree, Sriracha, lemongrass, toasted curry powder, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse until a smooth puree is formed.
Skewer shrimp on soaked skewers and arrange in a baking dish. Pour marinade over and allow to brine for 2 hours.
Preheat grill or grillpan to medium-high. Grill the shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
For the mango purée, combine mango chutney, sriracha and soy sauce in a food processor and pulse until a smooth purée is formed. Drizzle on shrimp to serve.
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