Every two years, some of the finest chefs representing the créme de la créme of restaurants around the world gather in a quest for gold. This year, Andre Garrett, head chef at London’s acclaimed Galvin at Windows, was among the culinary artists invited to compete for the coveted Bocuse d’Or.
During a career spanning two decades, Garrett has earned a reputation as an innovative and creative talent. In 2001, he represented the United Kingdom in the Prix Culinaire International Pierre Taittinger. Established by Claude Taittinger in 1967 to honor his father, the Prix Culinaire International Pierre Taittinger is designed to recognize the talents of young professional chefs dedicated to the innovative expression of French cuisine.
In January, Garrett was among 24 chefs from across the globe who qualified to compete for Bocuse d’Or. The contest, founded by and named for Chef Paul Bocuse in association with Albert Romain, the organizer of the International Food Trade Exhibition, brings together some of the greatest chefs in the world. To qualify, chefs go through an intensive selection process. Once accepted, chefs have five-and-a-half hours to prepare a prearranged menu. The winner brings home the gold in the form of the coveted Bocuse d’Or. Check newgtsite.wpengine.com/chef to see how Garrett fared in the contest which took place Jan. 23-24 in Lyon, France.
Foie gras with salsify, molleaux raisins and sauterne sauce Serves 4
For the foie gras:
1 pound extra grade fresh foie gras
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the foie gras into four 4-ounce portions. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick pan. Sear the foie gras for two to three minutes on each side. Remove foie gras to drain on a paper surface. Hold in a warm oven until ready to assemble.
For the salsify:
5 sticks of salsify
Juice from 2 lemons
4 cups ice water
Sea salt, to taste
1 3/4 sticks salted butter
In a saucepan, combine ice water and lemon juice. Wash and peel the salsify, then add it to the ice water and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil. Season with sea salt and slowly poach the salsify until tender. Remove from heat and let the salsify cool in the water before draining. When ready to assemble, heat olive oil in a saute pan. Cut the salsify into finger-length pieces and fry in oil until browned. Lower heat and add the salted butter, allowing butter to foam and color the salsify.
For the raisins:
1 cup large molleaux raisins
2 cups water
Place raisins in a bowl. In a saucepan,
bring two cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour water over the raisins. Let steep. Cool.
For the sauterne sauce:
1 1/4 cups sauterne wine
3/4 cup veal stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a saucepan, bring the sauterne wine to a boil and cook until it has the consistency of syrup. Add the veal stock and reduce by half. Holding pan above heat, slowly whisk in unsalted butter. Season to taste.
PRESENTATION: Place one portion of foie gras on each of four plates. Add the salsify. Garnish with raisins and sauterne sauce. Finish with a bit of sea salt.
Pacific wild salmon with vegetables and verbena vinaigrette Serves 4
For the vegetables:
20 spears asparagus
20 stalks marsh samphire (also known as glasswort)
1/2 pound small Jersey royal potatoes
1/2 pound purple sprouting broccoli
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Wash and peel all vegetables. Place each type of vegetable in a separate pot of boiling salted water and cook to al dente. Plunge cooked vegetables into ice water and set aside.
For the verbena vinaigrette:
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup still mineral water
1/2 cup chardonnay vinegar
3/4 ounce fresh verbena
In a saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil. Place the verbena in a bowl and add boiled vinegar. Add olive oil and mineral water. Refrigerate overnight. Pass infused mixture through a strainer.
For the salmon:
4 5-ounce portions of Pacific wild salmon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Season fish on the flesh side with salt and pepper. Place fish in a heated nonstick fry pan and cook on each side for two to three minutes, maintaining a pink color.
PRESENTATION: Reheat vegetables in boiling water for one minute. Season with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. Arrange vegetables on each of four plates. Top vegetables with salmon and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Vanilla panna cotta with poached cherries Serves 4
For the vanilla panna cotta:
2 cups heavy cream
2 bourbon vanilla pods
3/4 cup sugar
1 envelope granulated gelatin
4 small stainless steel timbale moulds
Cut the vanilla in half, lengthwise. Using the back of a knife, scrape out the seeds. Combine seeds, pods and heavy cream in a saucepan and heat the mixture to 175 degrees. Add the sugar and mix until dissolved. Remove the pods. Set mixture aside to cool and infuse. Mix gelatin according to package instructions. Add the cream and heat to dissolve. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Divide mixture among four small stainless steel timbale moulds. Refrigerate.
For the poached cherries:
1 bottle red wine
1 cup sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 black peppercorns, crushed
2 1/4 pounds fresh black cherries, pitted
Chopped pistachios, for garnish
In a saucepan, bring the wine to a boil. Add the sugar and spices. Slowly reduce by half. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve and return to stove-top. Heat the mixture to 175 degrees. Add the cherries and poach slowly, being careful not to overcook. Let cool.
PRESENTATION: Remove panna cottas from moulds by dipping bottom of mould into hot water, then giving each a good shake. Place cherries and poaching liquid into individual bowls. Top with panna cotta. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.
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Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.
Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.
For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.