The Daily Meal invited guests for a special treat for lunch on Wednesday, Dec. 11, hosting the seventh Celebrity Chef event in The Daily Meal Kitchen. As the man who kicked it all off by hosting a press event that revealed the Test Kitchen on May 8, renowned chef David Burke returned to fill the kitchen with the wafting aromas of some new seafood delicacies.
"The world of food and drink is huge and constantly growing," said The Daily Meal's president, JP Kyrillos, as he introduced the chef, "and David Burke is an example of our first-grade talent."
"It’s nice to be here again," Burke started off. "I remember when I opened this kitchen." The leading man of David Burke Group — an organization consisting of restaurants, catering, and consulting businesses — Burke really displayed his love for the culinary world and of the entrepreneurial aspect of it.
With only two hours to entertain and satisfy eager guests before they would have to return to their regular work routine, Burke presented an animated demonstration on how to serve a loin of tuna in not one, not two, but three different and unique ways.
"Utilization is something I’ve always done," Burke said, and he ran with that as the theme of his demonstration. He explained that his signature dishes are created out of byproducts of an initial item, showing that one type of meat can be cut and prepared differently to, as Burke said, "believe it or not, turn it into something else — a dish that people fight for."
The tuna tartare was the first to be prepared, as Burke explained that he always cuts the main course first. He cut the tuna into portions and, in his playful, wisenheimer way, told guests that there’s really no proper way to do it. "Tartare is like meatloaf," he said. "You have your recipe, we have ours. Do what you like."
He went onto prepare a nori-crusted tuna as well as a hot salt block cooked tuna, and he really emphasized the crucial need for presentation when it comes to showcasing such entrées. The block, he said is used as an "underliner" while a garnish is an important add-on.
He explained that different kinds of tuna have different grade levels and quality, mentioning that sashimi could be considered an A+ type of tuna. "You are eating something that’s special," he said, "and in order for us to get $18 for it, we gotta make it look good."
Though he may have put it bluntly, it shows the honesty and upfront part of Burke, who clearly strives to make his customers happy and give them a well-rounded dining experience. He talked about the beauty of creating really unique products and of never wasting anything that could be used to create something else. As an example, Burke told guests that a great way to incorporate a nice and easy sauce is to use tomato, miso, and some olive oil. "Put it on the fish, add the little bit of miso… home run!"
Burke even let guests in on a personal favorite marinade to use for wings, a little-known concoction called "Door Sauce." "Door sauce is everything you have on your refrigerator mixed together," Burke said, showing guests that combining and utilizing all that they can in the kitchen is the way to go.