Signature sauces by Huntington Beach teen with autism a big hit at Pacific City restaurant

  • From right, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    From right, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    Julen Ucar combines various ingredients in a mixing bowl to create Julen’s Non-Verbal Herbal Ausome Sauce at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

    From left, Julen Ucar and Executive Chef Danny Allen pose for a photograph at Ways and Means Oyster House in Huntington Beach on Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

HUNTINGTON BEACH Julen Ucar carefully measures the ingredients for his special “Non-verbal Herbal” marinade in the cozy confines of the Ways & Means Oyster House at Pacific City. The sauce, with just the right proportions of extra virgin olive oil, two kinds of vinegar, basil and other spices, has become a popular complement to the restaurant’s steak, fingerling potatoes and spinach dish.

After finishing the first sauce, he starts combining soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and enough red chili flakes to give it a little zing. At the restaurant, the sauce, called “Off the Charts,” is paired with an in-house aioli to flavor a tricolor cauliflower entree.

The 18-year-old Fountain Valley High senior with autism created two flavors of “Julen’s Ausome Sauces” that have been featured on the restaurant’s menu for the past year.

Ucar comes to the restaurant on Wednesday mornings to prepare his sauces for the day. During the rest of the week, the prep cooks prepare the sauces from recipes in a book they call “the bible.”

Executive Chef Danny Allen said when Ucar and his mother, Michelle, first brought in samples of their sauces for the restaurant to consider about a year ago, he realized they would pair nicely with the food.

“I’d put it up against anything that’s on the market,” Allen said of the marinades.

According to Allen, many cooks and chefs incorporate too many flavors into their creations. Ucar’s sauces hit just the right note.

“They’re simple, but they’re unique. It’s amazing,” Allen said.

The Wednesday morning visits, made before the restaurant opens, are clearly a highlight for the soft-spoke teen. Dressed in a T-shirt that reads “This is what ausome looks like,” he seems at home in the prep area, surrounded by jars of black pepper, paprika, minced onion and cumin.

Ucar says he likes the friendly atmosphere in the kitchen, particularly when the prep cooks crank up the music.

For years, Ucar and his sister, Isabel, have helped their mother prepare meals at home. Michelle Ucar said her son often liked to add ingredients to the salad dressing prepared for the family meal.

“We started watching him and he was really good a making sauces,” she said.

That’s when the idea of “Julen’s Ausome Sauces” began to percolate.

“We were looking forward and making a sustainable future for him,” his mother said.

After experimenting with different tastes, the Ucars, who live in Huntington Beach, winnowed their sauces to three versions of each of two sauces and held a taste-testing party for friends. They refined the selections and in February 2014 had the final recipes.

After they got Food and Drug Administration approval, the first batch was commercially bottled in October 2014 by a company hired by the Ucars.

Michelle Ucar said a chance meeting with the owners of Ways & Means led to a chance to have the sauces taste-tested at the restaurant and added to the menu.

Since then, the Ucars have produced three batches of 85 cases each of Non-verbal Herbal and Off the Charts. 

Although the sauces haven’t made the family any money yet, Michelle Ucar said she is looking to widen distribution beyond a few smaller stores in her home state of Ohio and to peddle the marinades at special events and fairs.

The sauce is also available online at ausomesauces.org.

Ways & Means donates $1 from each of its meals sold with Ucar’s sauces to New Vista School in Laguna Hills, for children with autism spectrum disorder. Ucar was a student there before transferring to Fountain Valley High.

“For us, it’s great to give back and give Julen a chance to do what he loves,” said Barbara Holder, general manager of the restaurant.

Michelle Ucar said when her son was an infant he hit all the normal benchmarks for a healthy baby. It wasn’t until he was 3 years old and in preschool that teachers said he had a speech delay. That was when others began to put labels and limitations on him, his mother said.

But Michelle Ucar has a different vision.

“This journey became not about what he cannot do, but about what he can do and finding a way to make that happen,” she said.

She said the family’s goals are to strengthen the brand and possibly expand the offerings.

Until then, she says her faith makes her believe in her son’s future.

Julen Ucar is now taking culinary arts classes at Fountain Valley and says he gets “Iike Bs and As,” in his classes.

He said he plans to study culinary art at Orange Coast College next semester.

It’s likely he will be the only one in his class with his own signature sauces.

Read more about Signature sauces by Huntington Beach teen with autism a big hit at Pacific City restaurant This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Signature sauces by Huntington Beach teen with autism a big hit at Pacific City restaurant appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Los Angeles or Orange County? Find out which Southern California chef is crowned 'Top Chef'

For the majority of her culinary career, Shirley Chung has been a “shadow” chef – a talented cook tasked with translating the recipes of celebrity chefs.
Not anymore. During her second tour of duty on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” the Newport Beach…Read more about Los Angeles or Orange County? Find out which Southern California chef is crowned ‘Top Chef’ This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Los Angeles or Orange County? Find out which Southern California chef is crowned ‘Top Chef’ appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Twenty Eight trades Chinese cuisine for meat-centric menu

Bravo’s “Top Chef” continues to refer to Shirley Chung as executive chef and owner of Twenty Eight, but the reality is she broke ties with the Irvine restaurant several months ago.
The departure was amicable. “She has moved on to pursue other…Read more about Twenty Eight trades Chinese cuisine for meat-centric menu This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Twenty Eight trades Chinese cuisine for meat-centric menu appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Top Chef recap: Big egos thwart chefs during Restaurant Wars

Eight chefs left on “Top Chef” means one thing: Restaurant Wars.
Our recap of Thursday night’s program is focused on local chef Shirley Chung, co-founder of Twenty Eight in Irvine. The Newport Beach resident is back for redemption after placing…Read more about Top Chef recap: Big egos thwart chefs during Restaurant Wars This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Top Chef recap: Big egos thwart chefs during Restaurant Wars appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Noods, Noods, Noods: Next Foodbeast fest is nuts for noodles

After two successful Oozefest events, Santa Ana-based Foodbeast is tackling a carb comforting ingredient for its next festival: noodles.
Dubbed Noods Noods Noods, the Saturday celebration promises innovative Asian and noodle-focused dishes from…Read more about Noods, Noods, Noods: Next Foodbeast fest is nuts for noodles This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Noods, Noods, Noods: Next Foodbeast fest is nuts for noodles appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Brad A. Johnson's 2016 Restaurant Awards

Well over 375. I’ve lost count, to be honest. But that’s roughly how many times I dined out in 2016 on my quest to uncover the very best restaurant experiences in Orange County. Along the way, I’m always searching for that one chef who stands…Read more about Brad A. Johnson’s 2016 Restaurant Awards This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Brad A. Johnson’s 2016 Restaurant Awards appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Top Chef recap: Does Newport Beach chef Shirley Chung survive after serving judges a mouthful of mullet bones?

Even though this episode was likely filmed during a muggy day in the South, “Top Chef” celebrated Christmas, Italian-style, during Thursday night’s episode. In this topsy-turvy episode for Orange County chef Shirley Chung, the contestants are…Read more about Top Chef recap: Does Newport Beach chef Shirley Chung survive after serving judges a mouthful of mullet bones? This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Top Chef recap: Does Newport Beach chef Shirley Chung survive after serving judges a mouthful of mullet bones? appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Brad A. Johnson: Menu is looking up at Pub Thirty-Two

“Hello, ladies! The usual?” asks the cheery bartender as two women walk into the pub.
“Yes, the usual,” the women respond in unison as they climb onto bar stools and start chatting. They both look like they just had their hair done.
The…Read more about Brad A. Johnson: Menu is looking up at Pub Thirty-Two This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Mission Viejo’s RSS Feed. Mission Viejo Paper Shredding Company

Powered by WPeMatico

The post Brad A. Johnson: Menu is looking up at Pub Thirty-Two appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

'Top Chef' Season 14 recap with O.C.'s Shirley Chung

“I better win this time,” Orange County chef Shirley Chung proclaims in the first few minutes of the premiere episode of “Top Chef,” which aired Thursday night on Bravo.
After finishing fourth in Season 11, the pressure is on for Chung to…Read more about ‘Top Chef’ Season 14 recap with O.C.’s Shirley Chung This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Irvine’s RSS Feed. Irvine Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

The post ‘Top Chef’ Season 14 recap with O.C.’s Shirley Chung appeared first on Mobile Shredding.

Powered by WPeMatico

Pastor at Saddleback Church turned his life around while serving 25-to-life terms for double murder

LAKE FOREST – Danny Duchene dropped to his knees as pastor Rick Warren led a prayer over him, the recently named pastor for Saddleback Church’s prison ministry.
“The greatest feeling in life is being used by God for something larger than…Read more about Pastor at Saddleback Church turned his life around while serving 25-to-life terms for double murder This post was shared via The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Lake Forest-Laguna Hills’s RSS Feed. SaddleBack Valley Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico