Chef Franco Noriega and T-Fal bring the heat to the kitchen


A little heat in the kitchen can be a good thing. Chef Franco Noriega and T-Fal want you to find your flame with some delicious food.

Could your kitchen use a little heat? Chef Franco Noriega, who some people might know as the “naked chef,” knows how to raise the temperature in the kitchen. With a little bit of his cooking advice and the right kitchen tools from T-Fal, everyone can learn why a great dish starts with a strong flame.

Have you never noticed that everyone seems to be into food? Whether you are a foodie, novice chef or just an occasional cook, food seems to bring everyone together around the table. Why should that conversation only begin at the table? What about starting at the beginning, in the kitchen?

Cooking with someone can be a great experience. Whether the final dish is perfect or a definite Instagram fail, it doesn’t necessarily matter. The idea is to spark a conservation over food and see how things can get a little heated in the kitchen.

Before all those flames ignite, there are a few tips and tricks to make the cooking the best possible experience. In a way, it all starts with finding the hot spot.

Any chef knows that a hot pan is key to cooking. If that sizzle can’t be heard on the stove, the pan isn’t hot enough. Still, it can be hard for some home cooks to know if the pan is hot enough. Luckily T-Fal makes it easy.

The signature Thermo-Spot is the visual indicator that the pan is ready for cooking. No more guessing or using a spritz of water as an indicator. This cookware sets you on the path to success.

With the kitchen tools set, the next step takes a little more nuance. Luckily, Chef Franco Noriega has some expert advice for adding turning up the heat in the kitchen.

The successful Peruvian chef and restaurateur is a force in the kitchen, but many people might know him for his social media following as the “naked chef.” Needless to say, his social media posts have caused many people’s temperatures to rise a little.

In partnership with T-Fal, Chef Noriega hosted several cooking classes for both singles and couples. These classes were to encourage people to skip the restaurant date and make a cooking date. After all, the spark doesn’t come on a plate, sometimes you have to stoke the fire.

Recently, FoodSided had the opportunity to chat with Chef Noriega about some of his cooking tips. From encouraging people to explore Peruvian food to using the right tools in the kitchen, he believes that cooking can be a great way for people to get to know each other.

Chef Noriega mentioned that cooking with the right tools can help any cook get better results. While he has years of cooking experience, he understands that knowing when to put the food in the pan is key. Luckily, the T-Fal Thermo-Spot makes it easy because it is like a “sous chef you know lets you know when you’re ready to go.”

With the hard work out of the way, he said that cooking can be a great way to get to know each other. Specifically, he said that “I think that’s a great way to help you (each other) … when you’re trying to break the ice.” Plus, the two “cooks” have something invested in the meal. From a great meal to a big oops, it is something that they did together.

Picking the right meal can be a little more challenging. Chef Noriega suggested to pick ingredients that can keep the “romance going.” While some aphrodisiac ingredients are a possibility, he believes that cooking is about “the moment that you share.”

He said that it isn’t about the “result on the plate” rather it is about the “moment that you spend with a person.” That type of sentiment gets to the heart of all cooking. Far after that picture fades and the flavor dissipates, the memories from the moments in the kitchen and around the table will always remain.

Chef Franco Noriega cooking at the T-Fal event, photo credit Sandra Arenas

Still, a really amazing recipe can make the experience even more memorable. As a Peruvian chef, Chef Noriega has some delicious dishes that are perfect for date night.

Right now Peruvian food is having a huge moment. Chef Noriega said that “Peruvian food has strong Asian influence with a lot of flavors and working with the blending of spice from the different cultures.” In a way it fuses together ingredients and cultures to make the perfect blend.

Since Peruvian food could be a fun way to spice up the kitchen, why not learn to cook one of these dishes. As part of this campaign, Chef Noriega shared his recipe for Spicy Basil Chicken Stir Fry.

"Spicy Basil Chicken Stir FryBy Chef Franco Noriega, On Behalf of T-fal CookwareMain CourseDifficulty Level: EasyNumber of Servings: 4Cooking Time: 30 minutesResting Time: 20 minutesINGREDIENTS• T-fal Nonstick 10-inch fry pan Set• 4 teaspoons oyster sauce• 1 tablespoon sugar• Kosher salt• 2 teaspoons soy sauce• 4 tablespoons olive oil• 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces• 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (from 3 medium)• 3 tablespoons minced garlic (from 5 to 6 cloves)• 2 tablespoons minced serrano or Aji amarillo pepper *Optional for additional spice• 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving• Cooked jasmine rice and lime wedges, for servingDIRECTIONS1. Pre-heat the large T-fal non-stick fry pan on high heat waiting for the Thermo-Spot to indicate the pan is ready by turning solid red2. Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in the fry pan. Separately, season chicken with salt; pat dry.3. Swirl in 2 tablespoons oil. Add half of chicken and cook, undisturbed, until browned on bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and chicken, leaving second batch in skillet.4. Return first batch of chicken to skillet along with shallots, garlic, and chile. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in oyster-sauce mixture, then basil. Remove from heat; continue stirring until basil just wilts and sauce coats chicken. Serve immediately with rice, lime wedges, and basil leaves."

This recipe is a wonderful example of Peruvian cuisine, but more importantly, it is a recipe that a couple can cook together. It can spark a conservation, stoke the fire and possibly keep the flame going a little longer.

FoodSided would like to thank Chef Franco Noriega for chatting with us and sharing his recipe. Also, we would like to thank T-Fal for facilitating this conversation.

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Are you ready to get a little heated in the kitchen? Does cooking with someone special stoke your fire?