- Northfield Golf Club
- (507) 645-4026
- 707 Prairie Street
Northfield, MN 55057
The premise is to have two chef teams throw down-like Iron Chef-and prepare four dishes each, with potatoes being the focus food served simply and elegantly. Then, we, the twenty customers/tasters, were given a score sheet with presentation, originality, and taste being the headings used to score each dish.
First of all, I must say, it was an amazing and very interesting evening. I tried many foods I have never tried before and I ate several things that I have never tasted before in very original combinations of flavors, that we like to call recipes. It was two hours of delicious fare and good conversations.
Could I cook any of these dishes at home? Ahhh, let me see, no, a resounding no! Well, there was a salad made of herbs that I might be able to put together if I had some truffles on hand, and at $500-$1,000 per pound, I doubt that I would have any truffles on hand. I could make the salad without the truffles, but as my proper speaking British friend says, “It wouldn’t be the same now, would it?”
Was the $60 per person an outrageous sum, with an additional tip and tax added on? You betcha. Spendy, very spendy. But, you know what, if you can’t try some delicious, artfully created food once or twice in your
life, you haven’t really done it all, now have you? I like food a lot, and I like great food a whole lot more. So, for me, the answer is give up Subway and Culver’s for two months, and hit the big time and go for
the big deal, even if it’s once a year. Scoop up that spare change or cut out those Cuban cigars for a week or two, but, do try it sometime, for a special day, and perhaps a memory of a lifetime. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, two large glasses of very nice wine were included.
I drank half of a glass of each wine…a lovely light sweet Gervais, and pinot grigio. As most of you know by now, we don’t really drink, but we will allow for wine served as part of the meal, as a compliment to the dishes, as wine can help balance or bring out flavors of the food. We did get a bit tipsy as well.
Not only was our evening filled with scrumptious food and delicious wine, but we met some new people and ran into some we already knew. We all talked about food and learned from each other, so we can put our feelings about the food we tasted into words and scores. Plus Chef Raphael, the head man and really great guy, sat and ate with us and discussed the food with us as we asked questions all through the night. We met the chefs and asked them questions and got some insight there. So the next part of my blog
will be some more technical stuff about the food we experienced last night.
While I won’t include every last detail, I will hit what I thought were the highlights. Me and Doug, my dh, cuz he is the red meat expert, of which there was plenty to report about.
For the red meat portion of the offerings, the first group served elk loin, which was pan seared, rare and with a blackberry reduction. It was berry, berry good. The elk was not gamey tasting, but a very mild
meat. It should be served rare to avoid toughness. There was also lamb loin wrapped in potato pesto. It too, was delicious. and served very rare. This is the my hubby’s portion of the report. He loves meat and
knows the difference between the good, the bad and the ugly.
The seafood portion we were served the most delicious lobster with the best texture I have ever eaten on this planet. And I have had fresh Maine lobster, went on the boat offshore Atlantic City for our fresh
lobster venture, and eaten at numerous fine restaurants where the lobster was flown in fresh daily…this was the best. Right here in Northfield. Whoda thunk it? I was pleasantly surprized, to say the least. We also had warm sushi, mahi-mahi, wrapped in plantain. It was fine. It was served in a tempura potato basket with all sorts of hearts of palm, Thai chiles, orange zest, lemon grass and a braised fumet reduction. I didn’t get the last thing, but you could tell they went all out on making this dish and it was very good. Didn’t miss a
We also had a potato pizza, which used potatoes for the pizza dough, topped with herbed ricotta cheese and French sausage somewhat like pepperoni, only classier. It was good. I liked that potatoes could be
used for dough. I have had potato bread, so this wasn’t much of a stretch, but nonetheless, as one lady named Nalli said, “unexpected.” The flavors filled my taste buds up. I like that.
The second potato dish was Potato Pave. It was delicious, it reminded me of Eggs Benedict, as it has hollandaise sauce and a quail egg, but added some foie gras as duck liver, and a hint of truffle. It was so rich, and because it was my fourth dish, I just couldn’t eat all of the portion, which was equivalent in size and shape to three stacked Oreo cookies.
The dessert portion of the first group was a sweet potato quesadilla with lavender honey, apricot salsa and brie. Sounds really strange, doesn’t it? It was, but it was strangely good. I thought I’d like a little splash of lemon or something more citrusy with it. Others thought it was very good, but wondered how it could be made better with a different kind of cheese or fruit for the salsa. Maybe peach, or perhaps apples? They are all coming into season now…seasonal eating is a very in thing to do…environmentally speaking, because you can eat more locally grown produce that way and that saves on transportation costs and reduces the use of gasoline and thereby cools the planet and on and on and on! Just Food loves me now.
The dessert portion of the second group was really startling. A sweet potato creme brulee’, which I thought was quite good. Others found theirs too thin…but the crust was too thick perhaps. I thought it was very good. But then, they served cinnamon ice cream with a caramelized pecan. Well, honestly, it was very good, too, but in combination, several of us thought it didn’t quite go together with the brulee’. Either one would have been nice alone…there was a lot of flavor in each one. That means to me that they used high quality
cinnamon and dairy products, and perhaps even several types of cinnamon for layers of flavor.
I have found that each country, like India, Mexico, USA, all offer different tasting cinnamon, and actually all spices and herbs taste different, like wine, depending on where they are grown, what are the climatic conditions, what type of soil, is it rich or poor, is it clay or sand, or rich, deep fertile loam. It all
counts. Cool nights, warm days, or any combination, it all counts toward the flavor, texture and quality of the food we eat. That’s why we shouldn’t build on black gold farmland, it takes centuries to get
this stuff back, you know. I don’t know how I made that last leap, but it sure felt good.
Call and ask them what’s up…have your email put on their list. They promised me they’d have another throw down. I hope they do keep their word…
Okay, it’s the next day. This is the real test for me. How do I feel the morning after. WOW! I feel really good, strong and not hungry at all. This is a real tribute to those young and upcoming chefs. To prepare eight different dishes plus those two glasses of wine, and some ice coffee I threw in the mix for myself, and still feel good the next day. Hey, I think we might have gotten the best deal in town.
So much for my meanderings and wanderings. You may believe that your mom’s bbq ribs are the best food on the planet, and you don’t want anyone telling you different. I am with you on that. No one makes
meat loaf like my mom, or chili, either. But mom’s repetoire of recipes was somewhat limited and I am a big girl now, and I like trying new things. If you do, too, let me encourage you to dine fine. That
reminds me, I haven’t been to Fermentations yet, but that’s just because we keep going to the Golf Club. With Chef Raphael there, who btw is the hubby of Ashley of Ole Store, you can’t beat it. And you
don’t have to drive into the cities! Save more gas!
If you stuck with this this long, let’s go do the math. $60 for the throw down, if you charge $5.00 for a glass of wine, then you have $50 left for the food portion, at 8 dishes, that’s $6.25 per dish. Incredible. You can’t eat at White Castle for that anymore. Haha, well, that was fun. See ya!
One more thing-hail to the chefs!