Men Who Cook: Ronald Moss II

This time our spotlight shines on Ronald, who enjoys showing is proud mixed heritage through food

Welcome back to our weekly feature highlighting brothers who throw down in the kitchen. This time our spotlight shines on Ronald, who enjoys showing is proud mixed heritage through food.

Missed one? Catch up on all the interviews and recipes of our featured chefs in our Men Who Cook Roundup »

Name: Ronald A. Moss II
Occupation: Architectural Designer/Consultant
Age: 26
City: Pittsburgh, PA

ESSENCE.COM:  So why do you enjoy cooking?
 I like to cook because I love to eat!! In all seriousness though, I spend my days designing anything from townhomes to office buildings. I love having a job where I can be a part of creating things that will stand the test of time and impact the lives of others. It is that creative passion that spills over into the kitchen. Whenever I have the opportunity to experiment with flavors and colors, and textures, I really tap into my artistic side and have a great time creating a dish that pushes the limits or takes an old favorite and puts a great tasting spin on it.

ESSENCE.COM: Definitely, so what spin do you have to share that could work for others in the kitchen?
MOSS: For a quick fix add some Adobo or Sazón to quickly add some flavor to any dish. Now, if you want flavor deep in the core of your dishes my trinity of flavor never fails. That consists of garlic, onions and peppers. And the greatest ingredient that I always incorporate into any dish I make for family and friends is Love. That is what makes that dish your mom makes tastes so much better than any other dish that you have tasted in your life.

ESSENCE.COM: And what are your favorite food memories?
MOSS: In my family with two different cultures, American and Cuban, the common language of how we show our love for each other revolved around food. We spent great times together cooking or sharing around the table. That tradition is still passed on outside the family with all my close friends.

ESSENCE.COM: (Laughs.) And what is your standout recipe?
MOSS: To my friends my signature dish would probably be my ribs, but that's because I love them so much and will volunteer to make them at any opportunity that comes. But my signature dish came about one day while helping at a catered event in Philadelphia and is inspired by my love of my Caribbean/Latino culture. It is from my soon-to-be published cookbook "Oodles of Options: The survival guide to life outside of your mother's kitchen." I like to call it Coconut Shrimp with Calypso Noodles.


Coconut Shrimp with Calypso Noodles


• 1 can - mango juice

• 1 can - guava juice

• 2 packages - ramen noodles

• 3 cups - water

• 1/2 lb. - Deveined and shelled shrimp

• 1 jar - peach apricot marmalade

• Salt & Pepper to taste

• Dried garlic powder to taste

• 1 1/2 cup Grated coconut

• 1 teaspoon - Guava paste

• 1 can - Cranberry sauce

• ¾ cup - Flax seed meal


1. In a sauce pan add the mango juice and the marmalade, in another add the cranberry sauce, guava juice and paste and cook it down over a medium heat until creamy.

2. Season the shrimp with some garlic and salt and pepper

3. Add shrimp to the large bowl and pour the mango/peach/apricot mixture over them and then add the coconut and flax seed meal and mix until the shrimp are coated thoroughly.
Then bake in a 350º oven until golden brown.

4. In another pot add 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Break up the packages of Ramen and add to the boiling water.

5. Cook the noodles until tender but still firm, stirring once or twice to break apart. Drain well, add them to the guava/cranberry sauce and mix well

6. Serve up the shrimp on a bed of the noodles




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