Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recipe's from Boulder's Top Chef

Top Chef Season 5 concludes tonight. Who will it be?
Carla, Stefan or Hosea?

I am rooting for Hosea because I know from past experience that he has what it takes to win tonight.

Before he made it to Top Chef Season 5 fame, Chef Hosea Rosenberg of Jax Fishouse in Boulder, was a two time "Best Chef" at the Denver International Wine Festival. In 2007, Chef Rosenberg won the Taste of Elegance Chef's Food and Wine Competition.

Here are the recipe's for his winning dishes:

Thai Marinated Scallops with Trout Roe and Pineapple Syrup

(serves 4)
4, large, fresh scallops (about 2oz each)
2 oz lime juice
2 oz orange juice
1 large knob ginger
1 stalk lemongrass
4 oz coconut milk
2 oz rice wine
2 C fresh pineapple juice
½ jalapeno, seeded
1 T corn starch
1 oz trout roe
1 large English cucumber, sliced into think disks

Slice scallops into thin disks. Chop ginger into very small pieces and then squeeze with kitchen towel to extract juices. Combine ginger juice, lime juice, orange juice, lemongrass, coconut milk, rice wine and a little salt. Pour marinade over sliced scallops and set in refrigerator for 3 hours. While scallops are marinating, put pineapple juice in blender with jalapeno and puree. Add juice to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce by ¾. Whisk in cornstarch and strain. To serve, lay cucumber slices on plate. Lay scallops on cucumber and top with caviar. Drizzle a little pineapple syrup over top and serve cold.

Wine Pairing: Brassfield Estate Winery, Serenity 2006, High Valley, CA

Venison Tenderloin with Celery Root, King Oyster Mushrooms, Foie Gras and Huckleberry Demi
(serves 4)

4, 6oz medallions of venison tenderloin
1 large celery root, peeled and chopped
1 large Yukon, peeled and chopped
2 cloves roasted garlic
4 oz butter
4 oz cream
½ # king oyster mushrooms
1 T chopped garlic
1 T chopped shallots
1 T chopped fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano)
4 oz foie gras, cut into 4 equal portions
8 oz demi glace
4 T fresh huckleberries
Salt and pepper

Season venison with salt and pepper and grill to desired temperature. Boil potatoes and celery root together until soft. Mill mixture and add roast garlic, cream and half the butter. Season with salt. Slice the mushrooms and place in very hot pan with remaining butter, shallots, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Season foie gras with salt and pepper and sear in very hot pan until just browned on each side. Puree half of the huckleberries and add to demi. To serve, place a mound of celery root puree in center of plate. Slice venison and fan over half of the puree. Place pile of mushrooms next to venison. Pour demi around plate and garnish with remaining huckleberries.

Wine Pairing: Galante Vineyards, Red Rose Hill, Cabernet Sauvignon 2003, Carmel Valley, CA

Recipes by Hosea Rosenberg
Story and photos by Christopher J Davies (C) 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs- A Foodies Enchanted Delight

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Every Foodies Enchanted Dream!

Story and Photos by Christopher J Davies, except where noted.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of taking our annual foodie pilgrimage to the fabulous Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The resort is set on 3000 beautiful acres, with four award-wining championship golf courses (that will play host to the 2011 U.S Women's Open) , 593 guest rooms, 107 suites, gargantuan 185,000 square feet of meeting space, 6 tennis courts, a full service spa, 18 restaurants, café's and lounges.

Photo (C) The Broadmoor

Guest rooms are lavishly appointed and opulent. Ours was located in the original main building with a birds eye view of Cheyenne Mountain and the resort’s own Cheyenne Lake. Our bathroom was totally renovated with marble tile, modern glass enclosed shower and a large five-fixture bath.

Three of the Broadmoor restaurants are Mobil Star rated, In 2007, Penrose Room became the first Colorado restaurant to receive the AAA Five-Diamond Award. Both Charles Court and Summit are AAA Four-Diamond Winners. The Broadmoor's reputation for "raising the culinary bar" spans way beyond the Rocky Mountains. This allows them to attract culinary students from around the globe for their apprentice programs.

The Broadmoor's 7Th Annual "A Salute to Escoffier" honored legendary French Chef of Paris' Savoy and Ritz Hotels, Auguste Escoffier. Escoffier's most noted career achievements are revolutionizing and modernizing the menu, the art of cooking and the organization of the professional kitchen. He also developed a system that simplified the menu as it had been, writing the dishes down in the order in which they would be served (Service à la Russe).(Take note all you Top Chef wanabee's!) He also developed the first à la Carte menu. Many of these achievements are taken for granted today.

Photo (C) The Ritz, Paris

As a food writer, I have immense respect for Escoffier, as he was the author of numerous cooking books and articles over the years. His most famous book "Le Guide Culinaire: A Guide to Modern Cookery" by Auguste Escoffier is considered the "chef's bible" and original copies have auctioned on Ebay for thousands.

Over the years Escoffier received many awards and honors. The most famous was granted by Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II when he told Escoffier, “I am the Emperor of Germany, but you are the emperor of chefs.”

•Peach Melba
•Melba Toast
•Cuisses de Nymphe Aurore:
a dish of frogs legs created for the Prince of Wales
•Tournedos Rossini:
Named after the great Italian composer, Gioacchino Rossini

In his later years, Escoffier became a consultant to many resorts and cruise lines. One of his most infamous menus was a 10-course dinner created for the First Class Passengers on the RMS Titanic. The menu was served on it's ill fated final night. (At least they ate well!)

For Escoffier's Titanic Menu & Recipe's click here:

Today, there are several organizations dedicated to the memory and traditions of Escoffier, in a similar fashion as The James Beard Foundation honors it's namesake chef. The most famous, Les Dames d'Escoffier International, is an organization for women with careers in the food industry, made up of chapters in cities across North America. In 1977, the organization named Julia Child as their first recipient of their Grande Dame award.

When asked about this event, the Broadmoor's Director of Food & Beverage, Craig Reed, remarked "A Salute to Escoffier was so honored to Georges Auguste Escoffier as we thought would be unique as he was considered the "king of chefs and chef of kings"---we also knew that we were uniquely able to host such a grand event because of the rich culinary talent we have at the Broadmoor. Be it our garde manager, sauce & roast department, butcher shop, pastry & bakery department, the culinary diversity of our many restaurants and their chef's. All of our chef's are lead by Executive Chef "Sigi" Eisenberger, only the 4th Executive Chef of the Broadmoor over it's 90 year history.

We also wanted the event to raise money for something we thought special, The Broadmoor Culinary Apprenticeship and The Colorado Restaurant Associations ProStart Program."

The Broadmoor's 7Th Annual "A Salute to Escoffier" took place over a unusually warm January weekend. On Friday evening, guests enjoyed a welcome reception that showcased International wines paired with culinary creations from The Broadmoor's celebrated restaurants. Wines were generously poured by representatives of Republic National Distributors,event sponsor and Colorado's largest distributor of wine.

Chef Bouquin, Photo (C) The Broadmoor

After enjoying this feast, we moseyed over to the Broadmoor's newest restaurant Summit, which was designed by haute restaurant architect Adam Tihany. When you walk through Summit's doors it easy to be awestruck by the glass-enclosed 14-foot,rotating wine turret. French born Executive Chef Bertrand Bouquin greeted us before we were seated. I believe that his American Brasserie/French Bistro styled creations are on level with Thomas Keller's Bouchon, sans the touristy price tag. Chef Bouquin's version of Keller's "Mac and Cheese" was heaven! It's a rich but subtle combination of perfectly cooked noodles assembled with Lobster, Chanterelle, Bacon and Goat Cheese. We also loved the Colorado Lamb Chops with creamy polenta. Our neighboring guests ordered Summit's signature "Angry Trout" with Braised Swiss Chard, Lardons, Pine Nuts and Grenobloise sauce. Why is it called angry? The trout’s tail is inserted through its mouth just before it is fried. The final dish looks as if the trout is gritting it's teeth!

Place setting at Charles Court

Trio of Seafood at Charles Court Luncheon

Cheese Course

On Saturday we enjoyed a cooking demonstration by Chef Bouquin as well as a fun wine paired Luncheon at Charles Court, showcasing wines from Sonoma Cutrer and Bonterra organic wines. Guests enjoyed a rare tasting of three Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay's, pairings were "spot on" with the Chef's Trio of Seafood Appetizers; Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Shrimp Fritters and Diver Scallops with Pear Risotto. Our second course was Colorado Buffalo Tenderloin in Blue Cheese Crust and Wagyu Shortribs, paired with Bonterra Syrah. For dessert, everyone loved the Colorado Artisan Cheeses(5) paired with Sonoma Cutrer Pinot Noir. This Luncheon was a steal at $45 per person.

In the afternoon, mixologist's from Summit demonstrated the "Art of the Cocktail”. Bartenders treated guests to samplings of Summit's signature cocktails "Sparkling Summit", "Woodford Smash" and Latin inspired "Cosmolito".

1.5 ounces Herradura Reposado
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce lime
1 ounce cranberry

Pour all ingredients into mixing glass and shake for about 15-20 seconds pour over rocks or into a martini glass.

Saturday evening's big event was the "Salute to Escoffier Grand Buffet" a six hour, free-flowing dining and entertainment extravaganza with a live auction benefiting The Broadmoor Culinary Apprenticeship Fund. The Grand Buffet would make Escoffier proud.

On Sunday, seasoned, well-rested Foodie's went medieval over The Broadmoor’s "Traditional" (I say colossal!) Sunday Brunch with a selection of more than 70 items. Thank god we managed to fit in time for the Broadmoor's spa and fitness center during our stay!

Mark your calendar...the dates for The Broadmoor's 8Th Annual " A Salute to Escoffier are February 5 to 7, 2010. Two night packages begin at approx $449 per person, based on double occupancy. (Limited to 250 guests).Call(800) 634-7711, ext 5775.

You do not have to wait until next year to "Salute Escoffier" and enjoy The Broadmoor's rich culinary offerings. For special celebrations, enhancing the Penrose Room’s romantic charm is a glass-enclosed 24-seat private dining room, affording guests a breathtaking mountain view.

Colorado's only 5 Star restaurant also offers special tasting menus.

Tasting Menus:
Three course $62
Four course $72
Chef’s tasting menu $95, with wine parings $150

For additional information visit or call (866)381-8432 or (719)577-5733


Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Oyster and Caviar
Serves 6

Panna Cotta:
14 oz Cauliflower
2/3 oz Butter
1 4/5 Cream
2 ea. Gelatin sheet
To taste Salt and white pepper
12 each Oyster
Caviar – for garnish

Dice cauliflower and put into a small pot. Add butter and water to barely cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered, until tender and most of the water has evaporated. Add cream and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. Blend to a fine purée, stir in pre-soaked gelatin and pass the cream to a fine-mesh sieve. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the Panna Cotta into small dishes and allow to cool.

Open the oyster and remove them from shell.

Place the oyster on top of the Panna Cotta and decorate with caviar and dill.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hungary’s Epochal Food & Wine Culture

Statues at Heroes Square, Budapest

Dio Restaurant

Mysterious fountain of wine!

Budapest (pronounced/ Buda-Pesht), capital of Hungary, is in my opinion one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. During the cold war it had a reputation for being “the Paris” of Eastern Europe. The city is actually a combination of two cities Buda and Pest that are separated by the Duna (Hungarian) or Danube River.

When I first visited Budapest in 1992, the inhabitants were still trying to grasp with their newly obtained freedom. The Soviet Union was officially dissolved. While this was mainly positive, some locals resented the jump in expenses that they incurred with freedom.

When I dined in traditional popular restaurants, I experienced old world cuisine that was comprised of a great amount of heavily fried foods such as chicken and goose, doused in paprika & cream. The wine list’s consisted of 90 percent sweet local white varietals and classic Tokay and Aszu, sweet wines made in a similar style as Sauternes. Many were great pairs for cutting through fatty, fried, spicy foods.

During my first visit, I found the Budapest’s hotel accommodations minimalistic. With the exception of The Hotel Gellart, with Turkish baths and spa, most other hotels featured Soviet influenced, prefab architecture.

Today, the city is home to more than 70 hotels, including the luxury masterpiece Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. This Art Nouveau landmark has been painstakingly restored/ transformed (at a cost of $500 million) with ultra-modern comforts, luxury and impeccable service with water views of the Danube and Buda Castle District. Its restaurant is well worth a visit.

The Four Seasons Restaurant Gresham Kávéház
Modeled after a café long frequented by Budapest's intelligentsia from the nearby Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Gresham Kávéház. The restaurant overlooks the Danube and the Chain Bridge.

Exceptional Appetizer! Trio of Foie Gras

•Foie Gras Au Torchon with Strawberry Jam
•Foie Gras Scallop with Cinnamon Roasted Peach, Tokay Reduction
•Foie Gras Mille-Feuille with Red Currant

Notable Entrees

•Slowly Cooked Pike Perch with Spring Vegetables, Saffron Sauce
•Roast Sea Bream Fillet with Green Asparagus and Romaine Lettuce, Tomato and Green Olive Tartar
•Grain Mustard Crusted Salmon with Fennel and Beetroot Carpaccio, Pink Pepper Corn Dressing
•Tagliatelle with Scallop, Squid, Mussels and Shrimps, Spicy Fresh Tomato Sauce
•Roast Baby Chicken with Leek and Potato Cake, Preserved Lemon Jus

Roosevelt Tér 5-6.
1051 Budapest
Tel. 36 (1) 268-6000

Hilton Budapest hotel
The Hilton Budapest hotel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the heart of The Buda Castle District, next to the Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church. The hotel offers great Danube and city views.

Enjoy the best of Hungarian and International cuisine in the Hilton Budapest hotel's Dominican restaurant or view the ruins of a medieval monastery from the Lobby Bar. What makes this hotel really unique is that it is constructed around medieval ruins. You pass through the ruins walking from the lobby to guest rooms.

The Hilton Budapest hotel has 24 meeting rooms for 4-660, exclusive open-air venues in historical settings, a 24-hour business center and wireless Internet access all around the hotel. Step up to a Guest Room Plus for a Danube view or choose an Executive Room with Executive Lounge access.

Hilton Budapest Hotel
Hess A. ter 1-3, Budapest, Hungary H-1014
Tel: 36-1-889-6600 Fax: 36-1-889-6644

Nearby you may choose to visit the Labyrinth of Buda Castle.
This maze of tunnels (which literally goes on for miles) is located beneath Castle Hill. The tunnels were first intended as wine cellars, then as bomb shelters. But cave drawings have also been found, indicating a more ancient history, which will also be part of your experience. Tours are self-guided and spooky. You might wish to bring a flashlight or matches. One highlight is the mysterious fountain of wine. If you visit after 6pm, the main lights are turned off and you must tour with lanterns. Cost 1500 HUF/1200 with Budapest Discount Card.
Labyrinth of Buda Castle
Castle District
Budapest 1014 Hungary
+36 1 212 0207
Open Hours Daily 9:30am-7: 30pm

The House of Hungarian Wines
Another must stop for wine lovers is The Hungarian House of Wines, which is located across the street from The Hilton Budapest Hotel. They are run by the Hungarian Academy of wine and feature an array of wines from Hungary’s 13 major wine regions, giving you a one-stop location for tasting a kaleidoscope of delicious wines from Hungary’s top regions. Approximately 50 bottles are open for tasting. Cost is 3500 HUF/ $15 USD for one hour tasting.

The House of Hungarian Wines
1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 6.
Tel 36-1-212-1030

DIÓ Restaurant & Bar
H-1051, Budapest Sas u. 4.
Tel. 36 1 328 0360

DIÓ offers a modern day interpretation of Hungarian cuisine with International ingredients. The restaurant is boldly decorated in its own sleek style that combines 21st century form, with natural weaves fused in spectacular color and dramatically illuminated.

Worthy bites include Deer Sausages, Goose Liver Praline in stuffed Maize, Vegetable Fritters and Pigs Cracklings Pate. New twists include traditional Goulash Soup made from Grey Cat
Linktle. Fish lovers will enjoy the Roasted Pike Perch with Bacon and Mustard Sauce!

The wine list is dominated with boutique Hungarian wines and a spot of Italian reds. This is Budapest's newest dining hotspot. It is well worth the visit.

Fausto's Osteria Restaurant
Szekely Mihaly utca 2., Budapest, Hungary
Tel: +36 1 331 87 11

After several days in Hungary, you may get the urge to take a break from the local cuisine. I found Fausto's Osteria by searching Italian restaurant Budapest. My cab dropped us off at the street, but it took 15 minutes to find the restaurant, because they had no sign! It was well worth the work.

Fausto's produces authentic down home Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. My wife and I enjoyed a bottle of Collavini Cabernet 2004 for (5.000 HUF)$21.65 USD. Their menu contains a great selection of Meat, Fish and Home-made Pasta dishes.

Monarchia Wine Shop, Budapest
Address: 1092 Budapest, Kinizsi Street 30-36.
Phone: +36 1 456 9898
Opening hours: Mo-Fr: 10-18; Sat.: 10-18

The Monarchia company is a consortium of Hungary's best wineries. The Monarchia wine shop offers a broad selection of Monarchia wines as well as International selections, books and wine accessories. The store is near the Hungarian Museum of Art.

Story and photos © 2009 by Christopher J Davies