Saturday, August 31, 2013
Cellar and Loft in the River Market to watch our new chef Kelli make her debut on Anne Burrell's Food Network show Chef Wanted.
Executive Chef Kelli Daniels has been bringing an upscale Southern influence to our food and beverage program at the Elms Hotel and Spa, nurtured by a lifetime of professional cooking that started under her own father's tutelage and was most recently featured in her red-hot popular food truck and catering business called the Good You before taking on the Elms post. During a recent MOD shift, I finally had the opportunity to sample some of Chef Kelli's cuisine and it's certainly safe to say I was duly impressed. Among the items I tried were light and lively pan-roasted
Barham Farm chicken topped with a peppered pan sauce with collard greens and some awesomely smoked and fork-mashed Kennebec potatoes. Chef Kelli sat with us while I tried some of the chicken and revealed some of the secrets to the delectably crispy skin on that chicken and indeed they are her secrets to reveal. Probably most beloved (by me) of these dishes we tried were called Flora Daniels' Deviled Eggs, named after the woman whose recipe they belong to; Kelli's beloved grandmother. I love that Kelli pays homage to her family through her food and that these deviled lovelies are on every menu she creates throughout her career. Lovely indeed they are, and as I have an eternally strange relationship with huevos, I am somewhat picky where deviled eggs are concerned. This version combines much of my favorite things: Dijon mustard, chopped capers, smoked salmon, pickled okra and hot sauce among other ingredients. These are some righteous deviled eggs and needless to say, Flora Daniels has a new fan in me.
Along with those eggs was an array of cheeses, phyllo cups filled with a cream cheese and chicken mixture topped with blueberries and some of Bobkorn's gourmet popcorn with flavors ranging from coconut to smoked cheddar. After a brief wine tasting, I went back to the brews, and sipped on a brilliant Founder's Breakfast Stout while we settled into one of the darkly lit locker rooms to watch the premiere of Kelli's debut on Chef Wanted.
Posted by Confounded Cook at 4:09 PM