High Point Grill Chef Mike White creates innovative dishes and gives back to the community – Low Calorie Diets Tips

High Point Grill & Taproom Chef and Owner Mike White continues to run two businesses while giving back to the community. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Like many others, Mike White often watched television in his youth.

In the early 1990s, Food Network was still in its infancy and introduced a new breed of chefs.

Julia Child’s days will always remain, but there was a changing of the guard.

At this time, White was bewitched by Emeril Lagasse.

“The first time I saw him throw in a condiment and go ‘BAM!’ said. I was addicted,” says White with a smile. “That was the first catch. Then I became obsessed with Bobby Flay and Anthony Bourdain. They were my rock stars. I wanted to be that chef.”

White continued to watch Food Network and YouTube to satisfy his curiosity about the world of cooking.

Look to the present and the 37-year-old is not only a chef, but also a philanthropist and business owner.

He is the mastermind behind High Point Grill & Taproom, 9780 Coors Blvd. NW, Suite A and The Point at the Promenade, 5200 Eubank NE.

White has been a chef for eight years, although he has been cooking for around 20 years.

Chef Mike White creates an entree at High Point Grill & Taproom in Albuquerque. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

“I’m self-taught,” he says about his path to becoming a chef. “I started cooking when I was a teenager. I worked for different restaurants and did everything in the kitchen. I decided to take the plunge and take the reins and create.”

There is no day that is the same for White.

He wakes up every day after only a few hours of sleep and starts worrying about problems with the business.

These days, he’s not just concerned with how many people will come to the restaurant.

One of his biggest problems is whether he will have enough staff to fill the day.

“I also try to help in the kitchen as much as possible,” he says. “I’ll work on the line. Then it’s off to meet with vendors and test products because I’m always trying to improve.”

As of June it is still waiting to reopen The Point on the Promenade due to staff shortages.

Despite the problems, he prevails.

“Every time I stop, I feel like people are driving past me,” he says of his determination. “Recently I had the opportunity to take two days off and I started painting and putting up new decorations in the restaurant. I put up shelves so we had more storage space. I saw it as a time to improve the restaurant.”

White describes his days as “triage management” because he is always dealing with new topics.

“It’s a mess I thrive in,” he says. “I don’t know how to work any other way. I don’t find it easy to fall asleep.”

When being a chef and owning two restaurants isn’t enough, White finds time to give back to the community.

He has been the driving force behind the 505 Food Fights for a number of years.

Like the TV series Chopped, 505 Food Fights pits New Mexico chefs against each other in a head-to-head competition.

The chefs have an hour to create two dishes using three of the mysterious ingredients.

Viewers are charged an entry fee, which then goes to a designated charity in New Mexico.

In recent years, more than 20 New Mexico charities have received more than $20,000 from 505 Food Fights. Some of the organizations are The Kitchen Kids, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, New Mexico Autism Society, New Mexico Chapter of the American Heart Association, Rebels with a Cause, and Pediatric Congenital Heart Association to name a few.

“I’m in the process of figuring out the next event and who the participants will be,” he says.

As if that weren’t enough, White also runs the non-profit organization The Kitchen Kids, which offers free educational and cooking classes where kids of all ages and abilities can work side-by-side with industry professionals.

“We’re going to have a block party in July,” he says. “Some of my Kitchen Kids students will be participating in a 505 food fight event. They will be under the guidance of a local chef during their competition. The chefs will be there to ensure all health codes are followed and to ensure each dish is prepared correctly.”

White took culinary arts classes in high school and knows the importance of teaching kids that path.

This is the impetus for The Kitchen Kids.

“Had I had the opportunity to be a part of it as a kid, I would have been number one,” he says. “It’s really cool because a lot of the chefs I work with on this program have been on Food Network shows. I’ve been to a few shows and it’s great to be able to be that positive example for the next generation of chefs.”

Although born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, White considers himself a New Mexican.

He was raised in the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area after his father retired from the military and got a job at Intel.

White enjoys friendly competition in the local culinary scene because it only benefits the quality of the cuisine.

“I’m a big supporter of local chefs,” he says. “We need locally owned restaurants around here because those are the places that give the food its unique flavor. I often go and support the local restaurants, not just to try their food but to see what they do best. Then I can take a step back and see what I’m doing and how I can improve. Supporting local restaurants is important as each venue adds value and culture to the scene. Otherwise it would be a sanitized food scene with cookie cutter restaurants.”

High Point Grill’s Green Chile Chicken Philly Sandwich with hand-cut fries, homemade guacamole paired with a High Point lager. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Green Chile Chicken Philly

6 ounces chopped chicken breasts (marinate in your favorite fajita seasoning the day before)

2 ounces New Mexico green chilli, your desired level of spiciness

½ cup sliced ​​white onions

½ cup sliced ​​mixed bell peppers

1 tablespoon Chimayó red chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ ounces shredded cheddar

1 ½ ounces shredded provolone

2 ounces guacamole

Green Chili Aioli

2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise

Pinch of freshly chopped parsley

A squeeze of lemon juice

1 teaspoon pureed green chili

1 teaspoon mashed roasted garlic

Over high heat, sauté the marinated chicken, peppers, onions, and red chilli powder (in a skillet or on a shallow grill) until the chicken is tender, about 6 minutes.

Mix the ingredients for the aioli and whisk everything together.

Dress up your favorite hoagie roll with green chilli aioli. Stack high with the chicken and vegetable mixture and top with cheese.

Place the sandwich under the grill for about 90 seconds until the cheese starts to brown and serve with guacamole.

Recipe by Mike W. White, Executive Chef and Founder of High Point Grill

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