WASHINGTON, DC – Five spunky chefs reveal secrets to creating a spectacular meals to a sold-out crowd of food enthusiasts, Tuesday, April 7th, at the National Press Club, Washington. The evening event, sponsored by the Wine Dinner Committee at the National Press Club, headlined five prominent cooking school chefs featured in Joe David’s latest book Gourmet Getaways, a culinary tour of America’s top recreational cooking schools.
During the three-hour meal, the chefs shared with diners their culinary tips and techniques that would lead to success in the kitchen.
Former Actress and NBC-TV Cooking Hostess (“Cooking with Class – Just for the Health of It) Sheelah Kaye Stepkin (Hawley, PA) told her secret for creating the perfect Alaskan Lump Crab Cake, “The trick is to avoid fillers,” she said. “And after adding the dressing and lightly tossing it, you must let it rest overnight in the refrigerator without removing the moisture. This will guarantee that the crab cake will hold together tightly.”
Award-winning Chef Joe Randall (Savannah, GA), a 2008 Ebony magazine top ten African-American chef, excited taste buds with the authentic low-country flavors of his Sweet Potato and Smoked Sausage Bisque. “To maintain the sweetness and integrity of the sweet potato,” he told diners, “you must bake, not boil, the potatoes in their jackets.”
Gourmet Getaways Cover Girl and Greenbrier Chef Sue Moats (White Sulphur Springs, WV) cleared the palate and prepared diners for the entrée with her elegant and tasty salad made withBaby Arugula, Frisée, Fresh Fennel, Roasted Beets, and Chèvre in an Orange Hazelnut Vinaigrette. “A good salad,” she said, “begins with crisp, not wilted, fresh greens that have been soaked in cold water (with a few ice cubes for about 15 minutes) before being spun dry.”
Jekyll Island Club Hotel Executive Chef Abigail Hutchinson (Jekyll Island, GA) recaptured the glamorous dining style of the past with her contemporary version of Beef Wellington. “The art to creating my Molten Beef Wellington is to use thick, large center cut pieces of beef tenderloin hollowed out in the center to hold a tablespoon or two of my cheese and mushroom stuffing.”
Cookbook Author and Former PBS Cooking Hostess Jill Prescott (Asheville, NC) proved what she is always telling her students. “Preparing perfect French pastries requires using the finest and purest ingredients available (and avoiding ‘swill’ – chemically altered foods),” she said. “But most importantly, by following measurements and directions exactly. Pastry making,” she told the packed dining room, “is an exact science and deviation from the formula only sabotages your creation.”
The five chefs and their programs and recipes are all featured in Gourmet Getaways, Joe David’s fifth book. The book covers over 50 top recreational culinary programs throughout America, many in spectacular areas of the country suited for quiet and comfortable getaways. Other prominent chefs featured in the book includes John Ash (Culinary Institute of America – Greystone), Patrick O’Connell (Inn of Little Washington), Joanne Weir (Joanne Weir Cooking School), and Frank Brigtsen (New Orleans Cooking Experience.)