Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Boston Homegrown"

Some great news today...

I was asked to participate in a new book called "Boston Homegrown" published by Quayside Publishing, a company based in Minneapolis and written by Leigh Belanger whom I have the pleasure of working with through Chefs Collaborative. Leigh is the Program Director for Chefs Collaborative, where she develops and directs educational initiatives aimed at making sustainability second nature for every chef in the U.S.
The format of the book is a series of profiles of chefs and artisan food producers in the Boston area who work with local farmers and whose menus or products reflect New England's regional flavors.

I'm thrilled to have been asked to participate in this project and will keep you informed about the release of the book which is scheduled for a 2011 release.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Me its A Special Earth Dinner 2010

Tonight's Earth Day Celebration dinner at Tastings is a special one for me.For the past two years I have focused my efforts on making sure Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro was a leader in the New England Region for not only supporting a sustainable lifestyle, supporting local farmers, fisherman and ranchers and making decisions that support the local economy and the preservation of our planet. I don't consider myself "crunchy" or a "tree hugger" and many will  tell you I'm the furthest thing from that stereotype, I'm human and I cant deny that I enjoy the occasional fast food burger, a banh mi sandwich from Chinatown which certainly doesn't practice using local and sustainable products or a batch of greasy Buffalo style chicken wings from the local pub paired with the most current vintage of Bud Light and the cool taste of a menthol cancer stick to follow.....

But I do care about the future of my kids and the future of the world they will grow up to live in. I care about the choices they make when it comes to buying food from reliable sources ad sources that practice sustainable agriculture. I care about being a roll model to aspiring chefs and kids and being able to practice what I preach. I care about making sure my dollar stays within the local economic structure of the area I live in and I care about the relationships I make with the people growing, raising and catching my food. At the end of the day.....I care about giving you a meal that I can trace from farm to fork and be confident that I prepared that dish using my skills as a chef to assure you a memorable dining experience.

As some of you already know, this is my last week at Tastings and tonight's Earth Dinner is in my mind a fitting way to leave you with my beliefs of what I consider to be the perfect meal. A meal sourced locally, prepared beautifully and am able to cook with some of my best friends.

Thank you to my Tastings family and especially to my loyal guests for allowing me to cook alongside you and for you.  I am honored to announce my right hand man Chef Matt Maue(whom has worked with me for the past 5 years) will be moving into the executive chefs role as I embark on a new journey that will continue to challenge and move me forward in my professional career.

Buen Provecho!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poached Island Creek Oysters

Photo:Tom Kirkman

 One of my favorite native Massachusetts grown oysters are Island Creek Oysters from Duxbury MA. Skip Bennett (and the entire crew) is one of the most passionate people when it comes to oysters. And for good reason, his oysters are plainly just bad ass oysters, or in native tongue "wikked pissa".

Clearly amazing when served on the half shell with nothing else but the oyster liquor and a dash of hot sauce.

But we have been taking the Island Creek oyster and poaching it in is liquor mixed with a little vino, not by any means ground breaking, but less and less poached oysters are making it on menus these days....

In this photo above we poached the Island Creek oysters in a dashi made with green apples and a crisp Spanish godello then shocked them in the reserved liqour that we chilled over an ice bath in the freezer. We then served the dish with green apple fluid gel, meyer lemon oil and the hot dashi poured over the chilled oysters . The dashi stock does not have enough time to heat the oyster through, so a great burst of cool oyster juice blended with the rest of the compnents made this one of the best oyster preperations to date.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Divas Uncorked Vineyard Harvest Vintners Reception & Dinner August 13, 2010 7pm

This summer come and spend a weekend with me and my favorite Divas, the Divas Uncorked.

Enjoy excellent wines and exquisite cuisine as you explore this summer island paradise. Vacation 'via the vine' with me and the Divas Uncorked and escape to the Vineyard's sun-splashed beaches and laid-back living in picturesque towns.

I have been invited to be the featured guest chef at the Festivals 2010 Vineyard Harvest: Vintners Reception and Dinner on Friday August 13, 2010 at the sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs. Reception starts at 7pm with dinner at 8pm.

I have the amazing task of featuring a multi course feast using ONLY Marthas Vineyard Island Grown products and the honor of having Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery as my sole partner for this amazing dinner.

In the next few weeks I will have the "tough" task of sitting with the Westport Rivers Winemakers and tasting their amazing lineup of Massachusetts grown wines. The cool seaside climates create the most dramatic sparkling, whites and roses which many wine directors & sommeliers have said are some of the most perfect food wines coming out of New England and the sparkling is arguably one of the finest sparkling wines this country has to offer.

I hope I'm giving you enough time to clear your schedule and book a weekend trip to the Vineyard. The festivities begin on Thursday August 12 and run through the weekend. For a full lineup and schedule of events and to buy your tickets and make travel arrangements click here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Menu 2010

Tomorrow marks the release of the new spring menu at Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro. One of the best menus to date....(everyone tells me I say that before every new menu release..what else would I say? it is!)

Salads & Soups

Seasonal salad ... 7
organic greens, vegetables, herbs, house vinaigrette

Shaved asparagus salad ... 10
Jamon Serrano, red ribbon sorrel,Landaff cheese, caper vinaigrette

Spring Vegetable Plate ... 11
asparagus, baby beets, fiddleheads, baby turnips,carrots, black garlic ranch dressing

Spring Pea & Serrano Soup ... 9
lavender gremolata, yogurt

Small Plates

Organic 9 year Popcorn ... 3
brown butter, Spring garlic

Point Judith Calamari ... 10
romesco sauce, ramps, black olives,Basque peppers

Blue Hill Bay Mussels ... 10
leek, mint, chili, young garlic baguette

Crudo ... 13
French breakfast radish, sea beans, lime, extra virgin olive oil

Rabbit Leg bruschetta ... 12
crushed fava beans, citrus aioli


Roasted Organic Amish 1/2 chicken ... 21
whipped potatoes, carrots, fiddleheads

Painted Hills Sirloin ... 28
roasted white asparagus, glazed shallots, sunchoke puree

Black Tagliatelle ... 19
Hill Farm pork stuffed squid tubes, spring onion, preserved lemon

Magret Duck Breast ... 26
smoked spring dug parsnip risotto, morels, horseradish, chervil

Stinging Nettle & Ricotta Ravioli ... 17
garlic scape and vermouth emulsion

House Made Lamb Sausage ... 19
white beans, artichokes, green harissa, picholine olives

Summer Flounder ... 24
organic mushrooms, peas, watermelon radish, sorrel broth

Monday, April 5, 2010

Down 2 Earth Sustainable Living Expo: April 9,10,11 2010

This weekend come down and say hello as I participate in the Down 2 Earth Sustainable Living Expo in Boston at the Boston Convention Center.
My schedule of appearances is below and the whole weekend is filled with great exhibitors, chefs, and keynote speakers.

2010 Local Bites: Preview Party Friday April 9 2010

Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Local Bites will bring together local sustainable chefs, food producers, green restaurants and sustainable wine to celebrate the thriving local food culture in Boston. Come after work to browse the expo, talk to all of the exhibitors and be entertained ... all while sampling local bites and enjoying wine from Root: 1 and locally brewed beer. Join us for this fun and tasty event! Check out our growing list of participating restaurants below.
Tickets are $20 and include food and wine sampling. (Limited number available. Tickets are $25 at the door). Ticket stubs are valid for re-entry into D2E all weekend. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the New England Aquarium Sustainable Seafood Program and The Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets

Saturday April 10, 2010
Cooking Demo - Soy Cured Salmon Chef Richard Garcia

Time: 4:00pm
Location: Electrolux Kitchen Theater
Join Me for a demo on soy cured salmon, served with local Rhode Island apples and Vermont creme fraiche.

For more information click here