Playing with Fire
Monday, August 18, 2014
A group of American and Canadian chefs gathered yesterday in a field in the Hudson River Valley( just outside of Hudson, New York), to grill food, share ideas and raise money for the FarmOn! Foundation. These multi-chef events are often disappointing. This one was definitely not.
A few highlights:
Jeremy Charles, of Raymonds in St. John's Newfoundland. Everybody was talking about his dish, Canadian Snow crab topped with the most minusucle ear of corn and the loveliest sea greens. This picture does not do it justice: the corn was the size of a child's pinky, fresh and delicate, underlining the pristine sweetness of the corn.
April Bloomfield's whelk scungilli with tomatoes, peppers and corn on garlic bread: everything you expect from April. An astonishing explosion of flavors and textures.
Tigelle with goat and harissa, from Rob Gentile, of the wonderful Buca, and Bar Buca in Toronto. An intense little sandwich, rocking with flavor.
Matt Jennings, of Townsman in Boston, was serving the best tomatoes I've had this season, mingled with bits of eggplant, really great Parmesan and topped with a gorgeous squiggle of whipped basil cream.
Jamie Bisonette and Lee Cooper of L'Abattoir in Vancouver had chickens whirling on a spit outside their tent. They shredded them, tossed them in an intense Southeast Asian sauce and served them on little bits of cabbage. The flavors danced. They also had this season's great peaches (and if you haven't had a peach this year, what are you waiting for?), on grilled flatbread with chicken livers. Chicken livers love peaches.
Zak Pelacio and Jori Jayne Emde picking the pig from Climbing Tree Farm. They served the pig on roti, , with pickled red cabbage, herbed yogurt and lots of herbs. But the don't miss event at this booth wasn't the pig itself - fantastic as it was - but their southeast Asian succatash, the vegetables tangled in a spicy homemade fish sauce and vinegar mixture. I couldn't stop eating it.
Meanwhile Sean Brock (up top), was happily grilling a mixture of hominy and tiny vegetables, rhapsodizing about the quality of the vegetables. They were.... great.