Friday, February 20, 2015
The Three Kings of Winter
There is a triumvirate of chefs I've been watching lately. Obviously, they are on most people's radars but I've been watching them on YouTube religiously. They are: Eric Ripert, Jamie Oliver and Marcus Samuelsson. I've had a big crush on Marcus Samuelsson for a long time. Now owner of the Red Rooster in Harlem, he got his start in the U.S. at Aquavit, a Michelin starred restaurant in Manhattan. It was through Aquavit that I became reacquainted with a chef that I loved for so long (not that I met him or visited the restaurant-this is strictly a one-sided relationship). I went to visit the Aquavit restaurant (online) to view their menu. I can't remember where but I had previously come across information on Swedish cuisine which noted the long tradition of foraging and pickling as a way to find and preserve food during long winters. Not remembering this original source of information, I looked at the aforementioned menu to get some ideas for cooking during the American winter months. Aquavit now has a new chef, Emma Bengtsson, but I continued watching Marcus Samuelsson on the Food Network - call it a high/low combination. One place I was pleased to see Marcus Samuelsson was on Eric Ripert's YouTube show, Avec Eric. On the show, Eric Ripert interviews and cooks with a number of famous chefs and Samuelsson happened to be on the first episode I watched. Later on, Ripert showcased an amazing dish which seemed to carry traditional Swedish roots. Co-owner of Le Bernadin in New York, Ripert is generally known for his work with seafood which is, coincidentally, a staple of Swedish cuisine. On another YouTube episode featuring Sweden, Jamie Oliver, points out how it's capital, Stockholm, is basically a patchwork of fourteen islands, delivering the bounty of the sea to many a doorstep. Therefore, in Avec Eric's episode, "A Dream Dinner with Chef O'Connell," showcases a recipe for black bass with mushroom. A delicious dish which would make any good Swede blush.