How is it that Rob and I have lived in Cincinnati for years and only just discovered 1 Night 12 Kitchens? This event raises scholarship funds for students at the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State, and it’s a fantastic culinary experience. It’s one of those charitable events that’s so much fun you almost feel guilty taking the tax deduction. Almost.
A dozen of the area’s top chefs participated, including Anne Kearney of Rue Dumaine (formerly of Peristyle in New Orleans), Jean-Robert de Cavel of his eponymous restaurant, Sean Daly of Southern-infused Hugo, and Stephan Skirtz and Andrew Johnston of our favorite Saturday-morning bakery, Skirtz & Johnson. The chefs worked with groups of students to prepare “dinner by the bite”—masterful, flavorful creations portioned perfectly for tasting.
We were inspired by a number of these preparations, and I hope to play around with re-creating them at home in the coming weeks:
- Renee Schuler of eat well celebrations prepared bite-sized fried chicken and waffles (quite the food trend), with crispy chicken pieces dabbed with maple cream and the most glorious slaw of shredded cabbage, apple and bacon in a coarse-mustard vinaigrette.
- Trio Bistro dished up enormous New England scallops over a hot brussels-sprout-and-bacon slaw with a Maker’s Mark beurre blanc. We were wowed by the flavors, even though both of us pretty much hate brussels sprouts. I think it was the whiskey-butter sauce.
- Shawn McCoy of Brown Dog Cafe did kebabs of ground lamb formed into meatballs and skewered on a cinnamon stick. Hello! The bed of couscous was fab, too, with grated carrot, peas and—wait for it: feta. We’ll be experimenting with that for sure as our interest in Moroccan-inspired tastes continues.
- Chef Chase Blowers of Boca prepped New York strip by searing it on the grill and then … and then … poaching it in clarified butter to finish cooking. Over white-truffle risotto? Just shoot me now.
- Local sushi hotspot Beluga featured quite possibly the best French macarons I’ve ever, ever had. I know, right? Wonder if we can get an order of those babies to go.
I’ve already marked early May 2012 on my calendar so we won’t ever miss this event again, ever.