This year’s StarChefs ICC 2012 was a short one for me personally, as I was only able to attend to the first day of this fun food symposium. That said, I still learned quite a bit from the several hours watching prominent chefs lecturing and demonstrating their ideas and techniques and it’s still an honor to cover their event.
Chef Hooni Kim of Danji demonstrated his dish Yook Hwe, essentially a Korean-style beef tartare except made with exceptionally silky Australian wagyu beef instead of locally raised beef he normally uses in his restaurant. When get to taste this dish, I thought it was wonderful. Musky, pungent flavors of Gochujang paste, nutty sesame oil and soy mingled with the sublime beef.
Chef Seamus Mullen of Tertulia demonstrated and talked a bit about the Ibérico pig, specifically, the Ibérico secreto, a special cut between the shoulder and loin. It’s cooked it with various Spanish olive oils, olive oil poached fingerling potatoes and a refreshing vegetable relish. A great way to start the morning.
Toward the afternoon, Chef Masahary Morimoto of Morimoto and his Chef de Cuisine of Morimoto NY break down a whole Japanese farm-raised tuna. Even though he seems like an intense person, he has an incredible sense of humor that can lighten up an entire room’s mood.
It was pretty darn awe-inspiring to see the beautiful whole fish cut into large cuts by the master sushi chef himself.
Pastry Chef and Associate Professor of the Culinary Institute of America Francisco Migoya show us his innovative techniques with chocolate.
He demonstrated his chocolate lollipops by using ganache that’s tempered chocolate and adding water. If you work with chocolate, generally water and chocolate are not best friends and the melted chocolate would seize. But Migoya did make a valid point that you can try to control the amount of water and replace the traditional heavy cream, you can make a ganache by virtue of texture.
The other techniques he demonstrated were making emulsified red velvet cake center inside a chocolate truffle (essentially, he puréed red velvet cake cubes with corn syrup and water then fill the hollow chocolate shell) and infusing scent to chocolate bars with the Volcano vaporizer machine.
The following evening, StarChefs collaborated with PromPeru, Peru’s tourism board for dinner at Raymi restaurant in Chelsea. This evening is an extension of sorts to StarChefs except focusing on Peruvian food and expertly made, potent Pisco Sours. I had the wonderful opportunity to have company like StarChefs’s co-founder and CEO Antoinette Bruno and a few Rising Star chefs such as Chef/Co-Owner Dana Tough and Brian McCracken (latter not in photograph) of Spurs (Seattle, WA) to talk to throughout the evening.
Raymi‘s Executive Chef Jaime Pesaque started us with an amuse of sunchoke soup that has a piquant spicy kick at the end and I loved the toasted corn kernels that’s served on the side for texture – either to mix or eat on the side.
Diver Scallop Tiradito by Chef Virgilio Martinez was quite innovative. Silky ceviche scallops made with leche de tigre and the acidic sauce. The use of toasted quinoa sprinkled there for the needed crunchy texture.
The wild striped bass en costra de quinoa roja was quite tasty. The firm fish worked well with the crunchy, earthy red quinoa and the creamy yellow Peruvian mashed potato.
The dessert was created by Chef Jaime Pesaque (he started and ended the meal) were caramel ice cream, salted chocolate cake, banana brulee with banana cream. Not necessarily a Peruvian dessert but I did enjoy the flavorful, salted caramel ice cream the most.
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StarChefs ICC 2012
StarChefs/PromPeru Dinner at Raymi
PromPeru’s English site: http://www.peru.travel/en/
Raymi; Spanish site: http://www.promperu.gob.pe/
43 West 24th Street (between 5th & 6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10010
Telephone: (212) 929-1200