A Recipe for Tiger Shrimp Ceviche from Bronzeville Winery Chef Lamar Moore
July 3, 2023
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Chef Lamar Moore knows better than most people that being a chef requires more than just great cooking chops. Endurance, creativity, sharp knives, resourcefulness, teamwork, and even a knack for social media contribute to success in the culinary field. Moore possesses all those skills, plus an innate desire to mentor younger chefs.
Moore recently stepped into a ripe opportunity right in his own neighborhood by taking on the role of Executive Chef at Chicago’s Bronzeville Winery. When Moore, 41, was hired by owners Eric Williams and Cecilia Cuff last April, he inherited a culinary team led by Dondee Robinson.
“The kid has such great talent,” says Moore of Robinson. “A rich spirit, and I wanted to work with him to get him to the next level, and also do some fun culinary stuff on the South Side of Chicago. He has an understanding of the restaurant and the neighborhood. He came to me and said, ‘Hey, can you taste everything I'm making and tell me what you think?’”
They dove into menu development and execution together, with Moore learning the young chef’s palate, and taking him to work at off-site events so he can learn the ins and outs of that type of cooking.
Moore says he makes it a goal to train and mentor Bronzeville Winery’s staff. He himself struggled to find a mentor after graduating from culinary school in 2003; he had to leave Chicago to find one.
“It's very important to me and my community that I'm able to extend what I was taught. That's where home is for me and that's why I'm here,” Moore says.
So what’s on the menu? At Bronzeville Winery, Moore brings a taste of many of his former kitchens, and he’s found that the Winery's community particularly loves seafood. Red Snapper with Robinson’s Spicy Coconut Curry sauce flies out of the kitchen, and the team hand-batters upwards of 150 pounds of shrimp per week.
Seasonal produce is a must, too. Moore sources from local purveyors and farms as much as possible to support the community and keep the menu vibrant. In the spring, sweet peas and beech mushrooms dotted the menu, while tomatoes and watermelon have taken over now that summer has arrived. He brings in freshly milled grits and grains from Marsh Hen Farms in South Carolina, and, as an ambassador for certified Angus beef, buys steaks from Purely Meats, a family-owned business on the West Side.
His 23 years in the kitchen helped him learn the business side of the restaurant world. Moore says Cuff and Williams share the same values as Moore.
“We want to be a vibe in the neighborhood but also want to promote and push our teams,” Moore says. “For me, this is home. I'm a Bronzeville native …We're all neighborhood people that are excited about what we're doing as a neighborhood, which … is why I decided to join this team. I feel the vibe in here.”
Moore cooked out West for years—in Northern California after cooking school and in Las Vegas after winning Food Network’s “Vegas Chef Prizefight” in 2020—but is grateful to be back home.
“What I love about Chicago is we have a great network of chefs and we really stick around each other, stick together. People say that over and over again, but it's because it's true...We work together, not against each other,” he says.
Moore shared a recipe for Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Ají Limo Leche de Tigre, similar to one that he learned when he helped open Tanta, a Peruvian restaurant in River North.
“My style is eclectic but simple,” says Moore. “Clean and crisp with bold flavors.” He recently ran the ceviche as a menu special.
“People went crazy for it,” he says. He was eager to see how people enjoyed it as he continued running it. "That's the beauty of this place, man. You get to have fun and do some creative cool stuff.”
This recipe for his fresh, summery, no-cook ceviche showcases local produce and international flavors, anchored by Moore’s community’s favorite seafood—buy the freshest shrimp you can find and enjoy this dish all summer long.
Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Ají Limo Leche de Tigre
By Chef Lamar Moore
1/3 cup fresh sea scallops, optional
1 cup fish stock or water
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 medium red onion, sliced very thinly into sticks
1 chile rocoto pepper, or 2 aji limo chile, 1 habanero chile, or 1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
1 pound fresh tiger shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Peruvian Inca corn or “corn nuts”
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1. In a blender, add scallops, stock or water, ice, 1/2 cup lime juice, 1 tbsp of the cilantro,1/2 of the sliced onion, salt, and 1/2 the chile, and blend well to create the leche de tigre.
2. Taste and add more salt as needed, then strain through a fine sieve and reserve.
3. Place raw shrimp in a bowl with the remaining lime juice, chile, and onions. Add the leche de tigre and toss well.
4. Arrange on a chilled plate and garnish with cilantro, tomatoes, and crispy corn.