July 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

At Home with Chef Robert Young

Bastone Complex's executive chef shares his Grilled Turkey Cutlets and Amish-Style Potato Salad

Chef Robert Young at home
Chef Robert Young at home: Bastone chef Robert Young cooks up grilled turkety cutlet and Amish potato salad in his Royal Oak kitchen

Robert Young, executive chef, staff supervisor and menu planner for the Bastone Complex in Royal Oak (which includes Bastone Brewery, Vinotecca Wine Bar and Restaurant and Monk Beer Abbey and Craft) cooked his first meal when he was just a young lad growing up in Wales in the United Kingdom.

From the age of 11, it was my chore to get dinner on the table because both my parents and my older siblings worked, the chef says. And the first meal I remember cooking was roast beef, Yukon gold potatoes cooked with butter and mint and a side salad. I cut my finger with a serrated knife while cutting the meat and needed seven stitches.

I still have the scar to prove it but it didnt scare me. I cooked dinner again the next day.

By the time Young was 14, he was working in a hotel kitchen washing dishes. And at the age of 18, he graduated from the Cardiff Institute of Culinary Arts, also in Wales.

Young came to the United States in 1994 because his American uncle got him a job working at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. That was followed by stints at the Harrison Roadhouse in East Lansing, as well as the Redwood Lodge in Flint. And in 2009, he started working as the chef for the entire Bastone Complex.

The Royal Oak resident says he works 60 to 85 hours a week because its my expectation of myself, not the companys.

I go there every single day, even if Im not scheduled. Of course, it helps that I have a three minute commute by foot from my apartment, he says. And I would like to point out that people dont work for me, they work with me. Without my support team, Im nothing. Im like a conductor. Its my job to have the right people in the right spot.

The chef says he finds the time to cook once or twice a week for his three children (Isaiah, 17, Abby, 16, and Sophie, 9) and makes the turkey cutlets and potato salad probably once a week in the summer and once a month in the winter.

Young decided to share his turkey recipe because its really simple to make and also because people usually cook turkey as a whole bird. I think using cutlets and then grilling them is a nice way to get away from the norm.

The chef says he came up with his potato salad recipe because he wanted to do something summery and also as the result of attending lots of family reunions that had really bad potato salad with too much yellow mustard, undercooked potatoes, overcooked eggs, Miracle Whip instead of mayonnaise, not the right amount of salt and never enough black pepper.

And when it comes to preparing potato salad, the chef says its best to mix in all the other ingredients when the potatoes are still hot. That makes the potatoes creamier and gives them a better texture. They almost become like chilled mashed potatoes, he says.

To accompany this meal, he recommends a Belgian-style wheat beer and a combination of char-grilled or pan seared vegetables good options include red onions, yellow squash, asparagus and zucchini, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and grilled 1 to 2 minutes per side. And for dessert: strawberries and whipped cream.

Grilled Turkey Cutlets and Amish-Style Potato Salad

The cutlets should marinate for two hours or longer, so be sure to plan ahead.

For the turkey cutlets

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 ounce fresh garlic, chopped
1 ounce fresh chives, chopped
1 ounce fresh rosemary, chopped
2 ounces sundried tomatoes (nonmarinated), chopped
6 raw turkey breast cutlets cut into 4 ounce portions
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the potato salad

2 pounds skin-on redskin potatoes, diced
4 hard boiled eggs, diced
red onion, diced
1 ounce fresh chives, chopped
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
4 ounces mayonnaise
teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon freshly ground pepper

To prepare the turkey cutlets: Mix the oil, garlic, chives, rosemary and sundried tomatoes together. Pour over turkey and let sit for a minimum of two hours. Just before cooking, drain marinade and add salt and pepper to taste. Place cutlets on grill. Cook four minutes per side.

To prepare the potato salad: Cook potatoes for 18 to 20 minutes. Drain well when done. Mix in the rest of the ingredients while the potatoes are still hot. Serve within two hours or refrigerate. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 556 calories; 22 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 36 percent calories from fat); 30 g carbohydrates; 3 g sugar; 294 mg cholesterol; 555 mg sodium; 58 g protein; 3 g fiber.

Judith Harris Solomon is a Metro Detroit freelance writer. judyfreelance@aol.com

Robert Young, executive chef for Bastone in Royal Oak, says that he created his potato salad recipe partly as the result of 'attending lots of family reunions that had really bad potato salad ...' / Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News
Grilled Turkey Cutlets and Amish-Style Potato Salad (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)
Chives, mustard and mayonnaise are a few of the ingredients in Young's ... (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)
Young adds vegetables to the grill when the turkey is almost done. (Elizabeth Conley / The Detroit News)