Like almost everything in 2020, Aspens Food & Wine Classic – the forefather of all wine and food extravagances – has been put on hold due to the pandemic. It’s been a June tradition for decades and attracts the world’s best chefs who present cooking demonstrations, courses, and seminars. Also this year June came and went like last year without a classic. But from September 9th to 12th there was a mini-classic. I attended four of the events over the weekend and wanted to pass on what I had learned.
‘Turn everyday meals into the GOAT’ Let’s first explain ‘GOAT’. Stephanie Izard owns a group of Chicago restaurants including her flagship Girl and the Goat. The word “goat” is in the name of several of their other restaurants because “My last name, Izard, is the name of a mountain range in France and means goat. Goat is easier to remember than Izard, so I decided to name my restaurants. “
But for the cooking demonstration, the award-winning chef – and in 2008 the first woman to win Bravo’s “Top Chef” – prepared three recipes “that reflect how I eat at home”. During the pandemic, when their restaurants were closed, Izard was still busy cooking and trying new ideas.
When she creates a new recipe, it has to be salty (cucumber), creamy (mayonnaise), and crunchy (seeds or nuts).
“I want to experience a lot of texture and taste in dishes,” she said.
To that end, she created a line of condiments called This Little Goat, which her website describes as “globally inspired, flavorful foodie add-ons that turn the simplest meal into something unexpected and craving.”
For example, for the rock steak in this demo, she used her This Little Goat Went to Korea sauce in the beef marinade. For her sticky rice recipe, she used her This Little Goat Went to Tokyo sauce to give it an Asian flavor.
Izard threw in other goodies as he cooked.
“Always use salt in desserts,” she said. “Not much. Just a little will add flavor and bring out the sweetness.”
And what about your favorite ingredient?
“Kewpie,” she said. “I’ve tried all the mayos you can find in the supermarket, and the Kewpie sweetness is now my favorite.”
At thislittle goat.com you can order ingredients for the preparation of your dishes as well as other interesting items.
“Made for this moment”
Joe Flamm, season 15 winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” made his debut in April with his first restaurant, Rose Mary, in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. The eatery is named after his grandmothers Mary and Mary Rose, and the food there and the recipes he presented in Aspen reflect his Italian heritage and the bold, bright flavors of Croatian cuisine that his wife’s family came from.
He made corn risotto with a corn broth.
First he grilled the corn to emphasize its sweet taste, then cut off the corn on the cob and set it aside. The flasks were placed in water with plenty of butter and cooked together with a piece of cheese rind.
“Butter, corn on the cob, and cheese work terribly well together,” he said. “At the end you have a corn broth that you can cook with the risotto.”
The kernels were made into a simple cucumber.
“Make a marinade out of sugar and vinegar,” he said. “One on one works well for making this corn cucumber relish.”
His cooking tip: “I cook a lot by seeing and feeling and of course also by tasting,” he says.
“Bon Amis Bon Vins!”
Daniel Boulud is a legend in the culinary world, with a number of restaurants including his flagship, the two Michelin-starred Daniel in New York City. Ludo Lefebvre is based in Los Angeles, where he has his Trois Mec, a one-Michelin-star restaurant. The two have teamed up to present this cooking demonstration.
They made a French-style crab cake, poulette au Saint-Amour (coq au vin or chicken roasted in wine); and Tarte a l’Oignon et Epoisses, an apple pie with Epoisses cheese, a strong-smelling French cheese.
The crab cake was made from a mixture of crab and prawns, cream and eggs, which was mixed into a creamy mousseline in a blender. The three recipes had many steps and were complicated – typical master chef creations. Fun to watch as you prepare, but probably not something I would do myself.
What I picked up was that when cooking with wine, an entire bottle should be gently simmered until it is reduced by half.
“It enhances the taste of the wine,” says Boulud.
Lefebvre announced that he will be opening a fine French restaurant, Chez Marie – “named after my mother,” he said in December in the Food Hall of the Denver Milk Market on the city’s historic Dairy Block. We can look forward to it now. And it will be the place to try the complex dishes he made in Aspen. The two cooks indicated that they would cook together at the Colorado location.
“A taste of Spain from a kitchen in North Carolina”
Katie Button and her husband Felix Meana presented this demonstration and cooked together “like we do at home,” said Button. The couple owns two restaurants in Asheville, NC: Cúrate Bar de Tapas and La Bodega by Cúrate.
Button honed her cooking skills in the kitchens of some of the best chefs in the world, most notably Ferran Adrià and José Andrés, when she lived in Spain, which influenced the way she cooked. In 2016 she published her first cookbook “Cúrate: Authentic Spanish Food from an American Kitchen”.
“I fell in love with pantry cooking in Spain,” said Button.
Meana interfered: “In Spain you have to have a good pantry.”
The Button and Meana menu prepared for class was based on her cookbook of food from Spain.
“The dishes we are preparing today are cooking without heat,” said Button. “With food from our online shop, you can prepare this menu without lifting a finger. We did it for you. “
The practically cook-free menu included Iberian ham (the highest quality raw ham from Iberian pork), sobrasada (a raw, cured sausage seasoned with paprika that is eaten like pie) with goat cheese on toast tips, pickled asparagus with pickled white anchovies and goat cheese stuffed piquillo peppers.
Button’s tip: If you eat ham, let it rest in your mouth before you start chewing.
“You can enjoy the taste while the meat warms up,” she said, “just like trying chocolate.”
You can order quality Spanish groceries through the couple’s online company Curateathome.com. Also check out Curate Trips on the website, which offers culinary adventures to Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
Some good news for next year: The Food & Wine Classic 2022 in Aspen will take place again in its regular month from June 17th to 19th. Ticket sales start in January.
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