Bringing his own unique edge to The Daily Meal Test Kitchen, Jesse Schenker hosted the sixth Celebrity Chef Series Event on Wednesday night, Oct. 30. Schenker, the executive chef and owner of Recette, a contemporary American restaurant in New York City's Greenwich Village, gave guests a taste of his distinctive culinary style.
When speaking about his first visit to Recette, The Daily Meal's editorial director, Colman Andrews, said, "I was blown away by the menu."
Schenker's ability to make unknown culinary combinations work so well together, awarded Recette not one, but two, two-star reviews from The New York Times and New York Magazine. Schenker, famous for his outlandish creations, likes to describe his epicurean philosophy by referencing The New York Times’ Sam Sifton’s review that called his food "a head-scratchingly good combination."
The menu for his chef series demonstration at The Daily Meal, which included roasted bone marrow and caramelized onions on toast, definitely exemplified this claim. "I’m always into mixing classic and modern flavor techniques," Schenker explained, speaking about his methods. "My big thing is that I like land and sea."
There are quite a few steps that go into preparing the small but delectable bone marrow dish. Schenker told guests that there are 200 pounds of bones to sort through when it is first delivered to the restaurant and it all must be washed thoroughly. Then he explained the significance of using a salty component to help fight through the rich taste of the marrow. The richness in the marrow, he told guests, comes from the fact that it is 99 percent fat, or "the good stuff," as he called it. Schenker then went through the process of scooping out the marrow little by little, and explaining the do’s and don’ts of preparation.
"Don’t cook it too much," he advised, "because if you do, you will see all the residual grease." He also shocked guests with the fact that cooking caramelized onions in Schenker’s kitchen can take up to three hours on a low simmer!
He told guests about his love of using Mediterranean flavors and the importance of using anything acidic, in this case lemons, to help cut through the bone marrow. "Bone marrow loves acid," he said, "and it becomes enhanced by the salt and lemon."
While it is definitely not an everyday ingredient for most people, marrow is up-and-coming in the food world and trending in top-quality dining. The dish symbolized Schenker’s passion to search for and present food options and combinations others may not think are possible.
"It’s up to the food media and bloggers to get it out there," he said. And that’s where The Daily Meal comes in!
Schenker wrapped up the demonstration by noting the importance of chef contribution to the food world, as they are the teachers of the craft through their professionalism and experience. "I think you can look at chefs as you look at doctors," he said, "and it’s through you guys [The Daily Meal] that that’s able to happen."