The Comfort Food Classic This Chef Is Cooking Up at Home During COVID-19

Looking to try your hand at a fresh take on a classic lunch dish? Metrot Detroit Chef Brent Foster has you covered.


Brent Foster
Brent Foster

For Chef Brent Foster, after school snacks were a bit more elaborate than dunking a pop-tart in the toaster and taking a breather before getting to homework. Taking his mom’s advice to always have hard-boiled eggs and celery in the fridge, he’d whip them together and created various open-faced sandwiches. 

Among his favorite, to this day, is the tuna melt. 

“I’m a sucker for good tuna melt,” he tells CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire. “It was always one of my favorite things my mom would make when I was growing up. Watching her, my step-mother, aunts and grandma all these lovely ladies in my life and the certain takes they would do with certain dishes, overtime after looking at a bunch of cookbooks, I figured out my own methods, combined with theirs.” 

Now, a longtime member of Detroit’s culinary scene, Chef Brent shares his fresh take on a classic lunch dish: The Tuna Melt, of course.

Tuna Melt

It’s a combination of hot, cold, crispy texture and seasoning. 

The Cheese: Chef Brent uses a combination of cheeses — Munster and Rustic Parmesan

The Bread: Chef Brent employs a two-step toasting process. He uses mayo because it provides a nice crispy crust and a nice oily texture when you spread some on the outside of the bread and toast it. Start by pan toasting the bread and then finish it in the oven in order to ensure the tuna is hot. That’s very important. The cold comes from the toppings — some cucumber and a little lettuce. 

Click the audio player for Chef Brent’s advice on quarantine cooking.

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  • LaToya Cross
  • Amanda LeClaire

    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.