Sunday, September 28, 2008

Secrets of the Chefs - DuPont Country Club, September 2008

The Secrets of the Chefs session held this month was called "Bringing the Restaurant Home."  It was held at the Brantwyn Estate at the DuPont Country Club.

The chef for this event was Rob Jester.  Rob is the Executive Chef of the Harbor House Restaurant in Chestertown, Maryland.  Rob's parents own the Harbor House.  Rob also works as a chef for the DuPont Country Club.

The first dish we had was the Harbor House Tomato and Crab Chowder.  What can I say but yum, yum, yum!  It was rich and creamy and will be something to look forward to making this fall / winter.
Next up was the "Twisted" Vegetables - a mixture of chopped zucchini, yellow squash and onion in a tempura batter, fried and served with a Soy Aioli and an Orange Ginger Dipping Sauce.  I'm not a big zucchini and squash fan but this was quite tasty and different.
The main course was Tomato Fondu Tart with seared salmon and a Corn and Citrus Salad served with a Scallion Oil.   The first picture of this dish is the one Chef Rob prepared for the demo.  The second photo of this dish is what was served to us.   

The salmon - yum, love salmon.  The corn and citrus salad was tasty and different.  Not sure I liked the tomato fondu and the tart piece.  The tart piece was a flattened piece of puff pastry.  It looked like a piece of matzo but was actually puff pastry.  The tomato fondu made the tart a bit soggy.

Dessert was Root Beer Float Creme Brulee.  I just adore creme brulee.  The root beer float portion of this dessert is root beer soda left out to go flat then spun in an ice cream maker to make a sorbet or ice.  I didn't feel it added anything to the creme brulee.  I ate it quickly to get it out of the way so I could enjoy the creme brulee as it should be enjoyed.

Chef Rob also used fine sugar for the carmelization of the creme brulee.  I was taught to use the turbinado (or raw)  sugar.  The fine sugar made a thin carmelization where the raw sugar makes a thicker carmelization.  Not sure which one I prefer.  I'll have to give it some thought as there are pluses and minuses to each. 
All in all, it was a fine presentation and meal.  I give it 4 forks.

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