06 Sep 2010

Gourmet Sliders, Antipasto, Cheese & Crudite

Heavenly Chef Blog 28 Comments

To me, food is both art and science. The first step toward making any dish amazing is to imagine what it will look like. Then, I draw it out on paper and start my research. This past weekend I was shopping at Fairway Market when a woman stopped me and asked what my sketches were all about. I explained to her that I am a chef and that I always draw out how I want the dish to look first. I think she was impressed but she also might have thought I was a little nutty.

Anyway, the research part goes like this…whatever food I am about to make, I read and read and read…then I shop. I skim through my hundreds of food and cook books as well as a few trusty online sources. I collaborate with some food experts that I have befriended over the years and then it’s off to the market to shop. I buy many different variations of the same ingredient before I determine which is best. I drag it all back to the kitchen, throw on my lab coat…I mean chef coat…and start testing. I feel like there is no sense in doing what I do unless I can put out the absolute best product and the only way to do that is to start with superior ingredients. Therefore, anything you see on our menu went through this very rigorous process before it snagged its spot.

Here is an example…Our renowned sliders are popular because of all the details we took into consideration. I began by investigating what made a great burger and then I figured out how to miniaturize it without compromising it’s integrity. It’s basically the process I use for all of our bite-sized beauties but since we’re talking sliders, I will keep to those specific aspects. The quality of the meat is very important, I knew that just any ground beef wasn’t going to cut it. I also knew that how we handled it would affect it’s final state as well. Additionally, the percentage of fat was another key component to it’s juiciness and flavor. I like a meat with 20% fat.

Once we covered all this, it was time to apply some other important factors. Not only was it necessary to grind our own beef but we had to then be mindful of the temperature of the tools we were using. We learned that we needed to freeze every instrument for an hour before its use. To be more specific, the instruments we freeze are the grinding plate and other grinding parts. Then, after the beef was ground and lightly hand-formed, we chilled once again before they hit the hot grill. We season them generously with kosher salt and a good quality cracked black pepper. Finally we smothered it with Vermont Cheddar and rested it on a perfectly soft potato bun.

As if this weren’t enough we paired them with sautéed sweet Vidalia onions and even made our own rich and flavorful ketchup. For most cocktail parties, we pass these butler-style but for special occasions we offer a gourmet burger bar with mouth watering accoutrements. Most recently we have added lamb burgers with grilled eggplant and tzatziki as well as house-made veggie burgers to the bar. Check out our pictures of a mini burger bar we created for a tasting a few days ago. There are also some pictures of a vegetable arrangement with creamy herb dressing, antipasto platter and cheese platter.

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28 Responses to “Gourmet Sliders, Antipasto, Cheese & Crudite”

  1. Jacquelyn says:

    Gorgeous photos! I love the process, very creative. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jacquelyn

  2. Sandy Perri says:

    Wonderful — your art made me hungry!
    hugs

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  7. P. Arco says:

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  19. Gary says:

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  20. Devona Tolentino says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

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