AUGUST 6, 2012



When Jason Schaan is not in the kitchen, he’s on the water.

The 34-year-old chef de cuisine at Michy’s lives in Hallandale Beach, just north of the city of Miami, and spends his days off spearfishing, diving and surfing. Though raised in Virginia, he’s taken well to life in Florida.

Fittingly, he says his favorite foods are “fresh and from the ocean,” and when asked to share a favorite recipe for Sous Chef Series, he chose the kind of dish he would actually eat at home: a grilled-fish sandwich that he serves with a swipe of jerk aioli and jicama-apple slaw.


Jason Schaan's:



Some Like It Hot

To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, Schaan preheats his grill (gas or charcoal) until very hot, then generously oils the grate. Once you put the fish on the grate, he cautions, “Don’t mess with it. Don’t play with it. When the fish has browned on one side, you’ll be able to flip it easily.”

Flipping Out

In addition to a sharp knife, Schaan’s must-have kitchen tool is a fish spatula, which he uses to gently flip fillets without damaging the delicate flesh.

Grilled-Snapper Sandwich with Jerk Jicama-Apple Slaw


2 sandwiches (with extra slaw)


Jerk Aioli

Scallions, 2 small (light green and white parts)

Garlic, 1 small clove

Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, ½ small chile, seeded

Kosher salt, 1 tablespoon

Allspice (ground), 1 tablespoon

Light brown sugar, 1½ teaspoon

Thyme leaves, 1½ teaspoon

Nutmeg (ground), 1½ teaspoon

Black pepper (ground), ½ teaspoon

Cinnamon (ground), ¼ teaspoon

Orange zest (finely grated), ¼ teaspoon

Ginger root (peeled and finely grated), a small pinch

Mayonnaise, 1 cup


Jicama, 1 small (peeled, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds, stacked and sliced into thin strips)

Celery root, 1 small (peeled, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds, stacked and sliced into thin strips)

Granny Smith apples, 1½ (peeled, halved, cored, sliced into ⅛-inch-thick rounds, stacked and sliced into thin strips)

Lime, 1 (juiced)

Cilantro leaves, ½ bunch

Snapper Sandwich

Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon

Lemon, 1 (juiced), 1 tablespoon

Canola or vegetable oil

Red snapper, two small fillets

Potato-bread buns, 2

Heirloom tomato, 1 (sliced ¼ inch thick)

Bibb lettuce leaves, 2


Chef’s knife

Cutting board

Measuring cups and spoons

Mixing bowls

Rasp-style grater

Wooden spoon


Rubber spatula

Citrus reamer or juicer

Grill brush

Grill tongs

Silicone basting brush

Paper towels

Grill spatula


1) In the blender or mini food processor, purée until smooth:

  • Jerk Aioli ingredients

Using the rubber spatula, scrape into a medium bowl, cover and set aside.

2) In the large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine the:

  • Jicama
  • Celery root
  • Apples
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons Jerk Aioli

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate (save the rest of the Jerk Aioli for another time).

3) In the small bowl, use the whisk to combine the:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Use the grill brush to scrape and clean the hot grill grates. Use grill tongs to dip a few folded paper towels into a small bowl of:

  • Canola oil

Grease the grates with the oil-saturated paper towels. Once the grates start to smoke, add the:

  • Red snapper fillets, skin side down

Grill until the fish is cooked halfway through, 1 to 2 minutes. Use the grill spatula to rotate the fish 45 degrees. Grill 1 minute more, then turn the fish over. Use the silicone basting brush to coat the fish with the olive oil-lemon- juice mixture and cook until nearly cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Use the spatula to rotate the fish another 45 degrees and grill for 1 minute longer. Transfer the fish to a plate.

On the grill, place the:

  • Potato buns, cut side down

Grill until lightly toasted. Use the tongs to place each bun on a plate. Place a grilled fillet on the bottom half, then top with some slaw, a slice of tomato and a lettuce leaf. Cover with the top half of the bun and serve.

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