Sunday, October 29, 2006

Inside the Kitchen--Gerald Hirigoyen

Inside the Kitchen presents so many great chefs and classes, it can be hard to choose, but one of my first choices was to take the class called "Secrets of Basque Cuisine" with Gerald Hirigoyen. I am a big fan of his two current restaurants, Bocadillos and Piperade (I also used to love both Fringale and Pastis, his former restaurants).

Basque cusine has both French and Spanish influences, but is unique and not well-known in the US. Hirigoyen gave us a bit of the flavor of the region with his description of eating outside under an umbrella and drinking a glass of rose. In his recipe booklet he also gave us a suggestion for his favorite restaurant near Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the town where the seafood stew originates. He also did a little Emeril impression to keep us amused.

Today's dishes were an elegant yet spicy and satisfying fish and seafood stew with langoustines, called "Ttoro". An interesting technique was demonstrated, pureeing the stock, vegetables and fish bones in a blender before straining it to create the broth. The other dish was a seasonal dish of squab in red wine. The mahogany roasted squab was succulent and delicious, perfect for this time of year.

Gerald Hirigoyen is one half of the other team competing this afternoon against Elizabeth Falkner and Melissa Perello. Who am I rooting for? I'll never tell!