Chef’s Corner: Homemade Aioli


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Chef Maggie Lazarre said she was the oldest women in culinary school when she started at the age of 53. But less than five years after graduating, she’s now living her dream of running a mom-and-pop café.

This small café in an unassuming shopping center is the mid-life dream of 58-year-old Lazarre.

After 30 years as a nurse, she’s spending her retirement taking care of people once again, this time, as a chef.

Lazzare told Ivanhoe, “I was like, why not tie my nursing knowledge to food? I can still heal and teach people.”

Her California wrap is her most popular dish, and it’s as simple as her concept of clean food and healthy eating.

“One day I was just playing around. Let’s throw this, throw that, and I give it to the staff and they like, oh, Maggie, this is a winner, this is good,” detailed Lazzare.

But what sets this California wrap apart isn’t the fresh spinach, the crispy chicken, the sautéed onions and peppers, the avocados or the drizzled ranch dressing. Her secret ingredient goes in first.

“Our house aioli really makes the wrap. And an aioli is just flavored mayonnaise, really. You can put anything in mayonnaise and call it an aioli,” explained Lazzare.

This aioli starts with fresh shallots and minced garlic. Add lemon juice, cilantro and parsley. Salt and pepper to taste and a dash of hot sauce.

It’s so simple that the hardest part, really, is knowing how to wrap the perfect wrap.

To give the aioli a Mexican flavor, add cilantro, lime and cumin. For a Mediterranean flair try lemon juice, dill and Dijon mustard.

Contributors to this news report include: Jessica Sanchez, Supervising Producer and Field Producer; Tony D’Astoli, Editor.