one plate at a time.

I am honored to report that I have recently been nominated for a James Beard Rising Star Chef Of The Year Award. I am one of twenty eight semifinalists. On March 18th they will announce the finalist. I am excited to find out the outcome! I want to thank the person or people who submitted my name to the James Beard Foundation. I was truly in shock when I read my name on their website. I am proud of our accomplishments at restaurant a(MUSE.). This nomination may have my name on it, but it is a tribute to the hard work of all our dedicated staff.

When I was a young cook, I once told my mentor at the time, Kevin Reading, that I aspired to one day be a regionally great chef. He was very encouraging and stated that anything was possible through hard work. To me, regionally great meant a chef who was known in the mid atlantic for creating an excellent product and developing a style of cuisine that guests would come from surrounding areas and beyond to enjoy. At this point I feel that I am on my way.

With cooking I have never been in competition with anyone but myself. It would be great to be a James Beard Finalist. No matter what happens I will still keep cooking, doing my best  to cook a high level of cuisine one plate at a time.

A look at recent plates at at restaurant a(MUSE.)

Photo was taken by Courtney Swift.

Photo was taken by Courtney Swift.

foie gras

Hudson Valley foie gras with carrots and pine (CS Photo)

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In the kitchen (CS Photo)


Nantucket Bay scallops - trout Roe - lardo - potato - fennel

Nantucket Bay scallops – trout Roe – lardo – potato – fennel (CS Photo)

flatiron steak - onion - turnip - hedgehog mushrooms

flatiron steak – onion – turnip – hedgehog mushrooms (CS Photo)

house cured coppa - Cheseapeake gold oyster - oyster mushroom - cedar - sunchoke. a broth of mushroom, cedar, ham, and oysters poured table side.

house cured coppa – Cheseapeake gold oyster – oyster mushroom – cedar – sunchoke. a broth of mushroom, cedar, ham, and oysters poured table side. (instagram picture)

oak creme brûlée -orange curd - bourbon -molasses - shattered caramelized honey gummy - smoked almond

oak creme brûlée -orange curd – bourbon -molasses – shattered caramelized honey gummy – smoked almond (instagram picture)

razor clam - foraged sumac - wintered acorn - spice bush gel

razor clam – foraged sumac – wintered acorn – spice bush gel (instagram)

beach bonfire our version of smores

beach bonfire our version of smores (instagram)

Lobster - beets - horseradish - rose hip vinaigrette

Lobster – beets – horseradish – rose hip vinaigrette. A plate created for a tasting menu. (instagram)

Thanks again for everybody’s love and support.


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Blue Prawns with smoked paprika and mustard seed

Hawaiian Blue Prawns Overnighted to us From Honolulu Fish Company

I am allergic to shrimp. With that being said, I eat them from time to time when I know that if I don’t that I am going to be missing something great. These prawns are that good! I wear a pair of gloves when cleaning them so my hands don’t itch. You can cook them many ways but in this preparation I gently sear them on the plancha grill.

                             

In my last post I stated that I was going to try to share some more recipes in the new year. Some of the recipes that I give will be hard to replicate without a restaurant full of ingredients or equipment. The two that I have given in this post can be easily duplicated and used to complement a variety of dishes. If you have any questions feel free to start a dialog in the comments section. The internet is a great tool for sourcing ingredients. I think that ratio’s are the keys to making a recipe work. Use the highest quality ingredients that you can find or you can afford.

Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

150 g. Sherry vinegar

75 g. honey

4.27 g. xanthan gum (0.85%)

150 g. extra virgin olive oil

25 g. spanish smoked paprika

100 g. orange juice

2.5 g. salt (.5%)

Toast smoked paprika lightly in a saute pan over medium until it becomes more fragrant. Put sherry vinegar, orange juice, and honey into a high-speed blender. Blend to incorporate. Add salt, paprika and slowly add xanthan to shear into mixture. Blend for 30 seconds. While blender is running slowly add olive oil to emulsify mixture.

A traditional vinaigrette has a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. This recipe uses less oil. The sherry vinegar is balanced with the honey and orange juice. The xanthan gum keeps this mixture together and gives the sauce body.

Poached Black Mustard Seeds

2 c. black mustard seed

2 oz. ginger

3 Toasted Black cardamom pods

4 oz. Maple syrup

1 t. cayenne

2 lemons juice (1/2 cup)

water to cover

salt to taste

Add all ingredients and simmer for 20 minuets. discard ginger and cardamom.

These seeds add texture and flavor

Put prawns on plate and garnish with smoked paprika vinaigrette, pickled mustard seeds, sliced kumquat, and pickled red onion.

Chips and Dip For All My Friends

Today we went back to Rehoboth Elementary School during the students lunch and handed out white bean hummus with baked lavash chips. All of the kids loved the crispy baked flatbread and most of them enjoyed the white bean hummus. When many people think of hummus they immediately think of garbanzo beans, but hummus can be made with a large variety of beans and vegetables. Fresh or dried fava beans, peas, black beans, soybeans, eggplant, sweet potato, pumpkin, nuts, sun-dried tomato, and spinach to name a few. I was so busy handing out hummus and lavash I didn’t have time to take pictures of the kids smiling faces.

WHITE BEAN HUMMUS

1/5 cup tahini

2 cups white beans if canned drain and rince, if using dried soak overnight and cook for 45 min. to 1 hour until tender

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin powder

dash cayenne

2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

warm water

Method
Combine beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and cayenne in the food processor. Blend and gradually add oil and warm water until the mixture has a creamy consistency. Refrigerate overnight for the best flavor.
Top with cracked coriander or smoked paprika

Serving Ideas – Serve with warm pita triangles, raw vegetables, or baked lavash flatbread