We love it when “our” Go Cooking chefs do something so extraordinary that it makes the news. Here are a couple of chefs who have stepped so far outside the box as to warrant some headlines:
What an exciting year for Chef Ken Lefebour! Not only has he re-branded his well-loved Dundas catering company to become Nellie James Gourmet to Go, but this fall he played a major role in an intriguing local event called “Pop up Dining.”
Pop up dining in Hamilton was organized by Dave Hanley of Dishcrawl fame. It is a new phenomenon for our city, but the concept has been a sophisticated “foodie” trend in urban areas all over the world, from Hong Kong to San Francisco, from the early 2000’s. The idea is simple but amusing: it involves a chef setting up a sort of “insta-restaurant” for an evening. The venues can be created in any or all sorts of public buildings such as art galleries, factories, offices, or outdoor areas such as gardens, bridges, barges or even in private homes. The advertising for the event must be spontaneous, quick and easy(almost instant) and is usually created through word of mouth and the internet. People go for the atmosphere and sense of adventure — as well as for the food. The surprise aspect of the event gives it a feeling of freedom and adventure — if not downright anarchy.
Hamilton’s first pop up experience was on October 17th, with Lefebour catering a four course dinner, with wine, in a warehouse on the bay near Pier 8. Candles glowed on the white linen tablecloths while 36 guests ate roasted eggplant puree on truffled toasts, salad with bleu Bénédictin cheese, cassoulet and chocolate peppercorn tarte, all accompanied with suitable wines, while they enjoyed a unique view of Hamilton’s harbour. In an interview on CHCH TV (www.chch.com/pop_dining/) Lefebour describes the experience as “controlled chaos.”
The next Pop up dining experience has not yet been announced. If you are interested in participating, check out http://popupdininghamilton.eventbrite.ca for tickets and information.
Another newsworthy chef this month is Chris De La Rosa from Caribbeanpot.com. De La Rosa is an inspired cook, cookbook author and one of our favorite Go Cooking instructors. His popular website is known for its classic recipes based on culinary creations from all over the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Trinidad and to all parts in between. Caribbeanpot is enjoyed globally and De La Rosa welcomes over 400,000 visitors from all over the world every month.
Anyway, on November 4th, Chris and his daughter Indy are off to Seoul, Korea where he will be representing Canada and the Caribbean in a recipe and cooking contest. Korean food, by the way, is listed as one of the top ten food trends of 2013 (“Korean is the new Japanese!”) by “Follow Me Foodie”, one of my favorite cooking and travel websites out of Vancouver. The Korean food certainly is spicy, but I would never have thought of it in the context of the Caribbean. However, it seems that, back in August, Chris was challenged by “Visit Seoul”, a Korean tourist bureau, to take a Korean dish and put a Caribbean spin on it. The cook was asked to make a video of the recipe and send it in to the competition which bears the rather less-than-snappy title of “The Global Seoul Fusion Korean Food Audition.”
Never one to avoid a challenge, De La Rosa took a classic way of making Korean fried chicken (yangnyeom tongdale) and added some Caribbean ingredients without changing the essential structure of the dish. He made a video to send to the judges —
— and – not surprisingly — he was chosen as one of the five finalists. (I say, not surprisingly because if you watch the video, I challenge you not to drool on your keyboard.) Chris will be travelling to Seoul to demonstrate his recipe, to take part in a six day culinary tour and to compete with four other teams from around the world for the grand prize. (I notice that some of the other competitors seem to have come from Morocco, China and Vietnam.)
Anyway, bon voyage, Chris and bonne chance! And we all will be eagerly waiting to congratulate “the wicked chef” when he returns, at our Go Cooking session on Tuesday, November 26.
And here’s a recipe from one of Chef Ken Lefebour’s latest Go Cooking sessions. Chef Ken is very particular about the type of meat that he uses and gets ingredients for this pork tenderloin dish from Jepson Meats.
Caul Wrapped Pork Tenderloin from Jepson Meats
recipe from Chef Ken Lefebour, Nellie James Gourmet to Go
2 lbs pork tenderloin
4 oz caul
2 tbsp crushed coriander seed
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
6 oz. Forty Creek whiskey
1. Trim pork tenderloin of silver skin and cut into 5 portions
2. Rub with spices and garlic and season with sea salt and black pepper.
3. Place an approximately 6″ X 5″ piece of cowl flat on the table. Place pork on caul, tuck ends and roll. Secure with toothpicks or by tying with string.
4. Heat an oven-proof pan. Add oil to smoking point and place pork in pan. Sear on two sides. Flip to the third side and immediately place in 425 degree oven for approximately 18 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally. Add a small amount of water to the pan if it becomes too dry.
5. Remove pork from oven and rest for 5 minutes.
6. Remove excess oil from the pan, then place back on high heat. Deglaze pan with whiskey and reduce liquid by 2/3rds.
7. Add chutney to reduced sauce. Slice pork, top with chutney and serve.
This is a great fall recipe. The Chef makes his own, homemade chutney but you could probably use a good bottled chutney to add to the sauce. You can visit Jepson’s Fresh Meats at the downtown Hamilton Farmers’ Market or check out their website. I think the secret is in the beautiful tender meat!