CHEF'S BLOG

Rodman Ride for Kids 2014

Last Saturday night marked the 12th annual Rodman Celebration for Kids at Seaport Hotel in Boston.  The fundraiser  benefits at- risk children in need throughout the greater Boston area during the holiday season and throughout the year.  The event gathered over 30 of the Boston areas most esteemed chefs, showcasing signature dishes for the fundraising guests.  LaVallees was a participant, as we have been for the last several years, and we displayed our incredible artisan bread, as well as sampled out a sinfully delicious chocolate mint chip cookie that were a big hit.

            The best part of the night for me, was getting to sample some amazing dishes from the restaurants that gave their time and culinary skill to help such a worthy cause.  The highlights for me were The Pork Rillette from Chef Matt Drummond at Temple Bar in Cambridge, Commonwealth’s pork belly banh mi from Chef Nookie Postal, and the Lobster Roll from Chef Ron Abel at Fenway Park.  A unique touch to the event was parking about 6 of Boston’s popular food trucks inside the event.  Sheherazad, a truck that offers updated takes on ancient middle eastern street food, was my favorite of the mobile offerings with its spiced cauliflower pita sandwich.

            Guests had an absolute blast bidding on some amazing items in the silent and live auctions, as well as enjoying entertainment from an acapella group from Tufts University, all while tasting some of the best dishes from the top chefs in the city.  Every year this is my personal favorite event, and this year it did not disappoint!

Customer Feature: Naumkeag Salem, MA

This week I brought a video camera and an appetite to Downtown Salem's newest rising star restaurant Naumkeag Ordinary.  Chefs Scott Jensen and Todd Bekesha are cranking out a phenomenal menu that is never short on flavor or imagination.  Scott was kind enough to demonstrate a new item to the menu, the Naumkeag Burger, or to the staff and regulars, the "Keag Burger".

This burger behemoth boasts a ten ounce custom-grind patty, cave aged cheddar, whole grain mustard and bacon aioli, house made pulled pork, and a fried egg.  This sinfully decadent creation is all housed inside a TomCat Onion Brioche Bun and served alongside their house-made poutine fries.  Click the video to see Chef Scott Jensen demonstrate.  Enjoy.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

This week I wanted to highlight a century old classic American dish and attempt to update it, creating a hearty fall friendly sandwich.  The Waldorf Salad dates back to the late 1800's and pairs many different flavors such as apple, grapes, walnuts, and sometimes a pungent cheese such as gorgonzola.  I thought it would be nice to incorporate these flavors into a standard chicken salad recipe, transforming the traditional and mundane into something a little more exciting.  This sandwich has multiple textures, is brimming with fresh flavors, and is the perfect partner for a rainy afternoon lunch.

I folded in small-diced crispy apple for the crunch element, added sliced red grapes for a nice hint of sweetness, and layered on some soft boston lettuce for  freshness.  Finally, I melted some pungent gorgonzola on the inside of the sandwich to really take the flavors over the top.  It all gets built on our Boulart Raisin-Walnut Miche Loaf that i cut slices out of and built the hearty sandwich on. The nutty, fruity and almost malty flavors of the dense ciabatta sets this sandwich apart.

Enjoy!

-Matt

Octoberfest

In an month when pumpkin flavored everything has signaled the start of autumn, I decided to highlight a lesser celebrated seasonal custom: Octoberfest

Read More

Cranberry Baguettine

There is no denying that fall is here now.  Schools are in full swing, football has taken over our sundays, and both the temperature and leaves are dropping at a rapid pace.

Read More

Italian Stuffed Peppers

I recently came across a recipe that caught my eye.  An old school offering done slightly different.  Everyone knows stuffed peppers, but this one boasts updated ingredients with an Italian flair.

Read More

Panzanella

My favorite time of summer is upon us.  Mid-August is when the native bounty of produce is readily available at every farmers market and fruit stand. 

Read More

Pulled Pork

This week, lets talk pulled pork.  Although this isn't something you may reach for when your trying to figure out what to cook for dinner tonight, with proper planning, this can be a real crowd pleaser.

Read More

Romesco

You are probably heading to some sort of barbeque or gathering this weekend for the Fourth of July, and most likely you are wracking your brain for what to bring.  

Read More

Barbeque Hawaiian Flatbread

Coming into Memorial Day weekend, I thought it would be cool to blog about the upcoming grilling season and provide a few outside the box ideas different from your typical backyard barbeque fare. 

Read More

Dinner at home with Nicole

Hi everyone! Nicole here subbing in for Matt today. While he has been in and out of several kitchens over the past few weeks, he’s been very busy and successful in the sales department. 

Read More