ChefSteps Forum | The Salad Days of Summer

Culinary Challenge 12 — The Art of the Composed Salad

Chris Young issued our 12th culinary challenge with the directive to take inspiration from the Salade Pastorale aux Herbes by Joël Robuchon and Michel Bras’ Gargouillou de Jeunes Légumes and elevate the composed salad to its rightful place.

Our forum members stepped up to the challenge and wow, did they deliver! The entries were fantastic—varied, innovative, creative, well-plated, delicious looking and with such great participation, made picking favorites very difficult. Suffice it to say, we were thrilled with everyone’s effort.

Here are the picks:
Chris Young chose Corey’s Baby Squash and Cherry Tomato Salad noting its nice composition, great combination of summer flavors, good use of technique, and that he shared the building of the dish step-by-step.

Corey-Composed-Salad-ChefSteps

Grant Crilly picked Chris Cordeiro’s very pretty Textures of Winter Citrus Salad (on the left) due to its nice detail, color, and arrangement. It’s hard to make something look this good with so much going on. Ryan Matthew Smith liked the beautiful colors in Derrick Teh’s Beet Carpaccio with Red Quinoa and Ricotta Salad (on the right).

Chris-Cordeiro-Derrick-Teh-Composed-Salad-ChefSteps

A special shout out goes to Brendan Lee for his take on Michel Bras’ gargouillou. The prickly pear juice was a big hit and we really appreciated the use of your photos on our facebook page and in our email.

Photos of the favorite dishes have been pinned on our Pinterest board.

Thank you to everyone on the ChefSteps forum for your participation and support. Spread the word and keep us growing.

Cheers,
Grant, Chris, Ryan, and the rest of the ChefSteps team.

ChefSteps Forum | Around the World in 8 Days

Chris Young issued last week’s Culinary Challenge 5 on the ChefSteps forum. The objective was to embrace the spirit of being a novice by trying to cook another culture’s cuisine using both traditional and modernist techniques.

Our forum members took up the challenge to push their skills and posted some compelling dishes. Chris, Grant and Ryan each picked their favorite dish to feature on our Pinterest board.

Chris Young: My favorite entry this week is Chris Koller’s Spanakopita with Homemade Sous Vide Tzatziki. I wouldn’t have thought of doing a Greek entry and now that I’ve seen it, I think it’s brilliant. Looks absolutely delicious; contemporary and nostalgic at the same time. Well done, Chris!

Grant Crilly: I also chose Chris Koller’s Spanakopita. That sh*t looks bomb! Super beautiful filo, as a chef I like the way he pulled from existing tried and true recipes so he could focus on his newer technique alone. Smart. It rarely works out to try ten new things at once. it’s very difficult to learn that way. One focused step at a time is the way to go!

 

Ryan Matthew Smith: I chose Brian Douglas’ Groudnut Porridge with Plum and Kashata this week. I like his composition and clean presentation, plus it looks delicious.

We were all really impressed with the dishes that were submitted. Honorable mentions go out to Nor’Eastern for taking on the challenge of spherification with Soy Caviar and to Jim for making us drool with his Sous Vide Octopus Salad.

Chris Young has posted Culinary Challenge 6 on the ChefSteps forum. This week’s challenge was offered up by Johan Edstrom, one of our most active forum members. The objective is to cook something that your grandmother would have cooked, but give it an update. Take advantage of new tools and techniques, juxtapose something old with something new, or simply plate your grandmother’s cooking in a contemporary way. Johan will be choosing one of the top three posts this week along with the usual suspects at ChefSteps.

Take the challenge in your own kitchen, then share your results via the ChefSteps forum. Describe the dish you have chosen and techniques used to make it. Describe where your idea or inspiration came from and what your plan of attack was, and finally, post your pictures.

The top 3 picks (sometimes we have a tie) will get their photos posted on ChefSteps’ Pinterest board. Please have your entry posted by Sunday. We’re looking forward to seeing some updated blasts from the past!

Cheers,
Grant, Chris, Ryan, and the rest of the ChefSteps team.

ChefSteps Forum | We Do Like Greens, Eggs and Ham

Ben Johnson, development chef extraordinaire, issued the Culinary Challenge 4 on our forum last week. The objective was to use sous vide and other modernist techniques to recreate and update a dish from your childhood that you despised.

There were some really creative dishes posted and some great stories regarding childhood food preferences. Ben, Chris, and Ryan each picked their favorite dish to feature on our Pinterest board.

Ben Johnson: My favorite entry is Brian Douglas’ Prunesco Sauce with Cod and Vegetables. I like the cleanliness of the plate and his think outside the box approach. I also like that he used a different technique, i.e. blowtorching.

 

Chris Young: My pick of the week is Nor’Eastern’s Microwaved Rind of Brie. Ingenious and something I haven’t seen before.

 

Ryan Matthew Smith: I chose Chris Koller’s Edible Dirt Salad this week. Nice use of depth of field in the photo and beautiful presentation overall!

 

Chris Young has posted Culinary Challenge 5 on the ChefSteps forum. This week’s challenge is to try to cook another culture’s cuisine, but do it as a mash-up of the traditional with the modernist.

Take the challenge in your own kitchen, then share your results via the ChefSteps forum. Describe the dish you have chosen and techniques used to make it. Describe where your idea or inspiration came from and what your plan of attack was, and finally, post your pictures.

The top 3 posts will get their photos posted on ChefSteps’ Pinterest board. Please have your entry posted by Sunday. We look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

Cheers,
Grant, Chris, Ryan, and the rest of the ChefSteps team.