A fun demo by the friendly and in-fashion chef JJ Johnson, great drinks, good conversation, and jazz from The Potash Twins – that’s about all you need to have a full house in The Daily Meal’s kitchen. And that was the scene this week, when chef Johnson came and conquered the crowd with a delicious and savory menu.
The chef prepared Portuguese dumplings with strawberry curry; cucamelon fries with onion marmalade; fresh Montauk scallops with chili oil, lychee, and micro cilantro; and deviled eggs with smoked trout. All the hors d’oeuvres tasted divine, but the one thing that everyone kept asking about? The lamb ribs with jerk goat yogurt. Forget etiquette! It’s the kind of dish that makes you want to lick your fingers.
“The lamb ribs gets braised in some sake overnight, and then, I add my great aunt’s Bajan jerk sauce, and mix it with some goat yogurt,” Johnson explained. We’re going to need to get our hands on a bottle or two of his great aunt’s jerk seasoning.
All of that delicious food needed a delightful pairing, so Antoine Hodge, Beverage Director at The Cecil and Minton's served some terrific accompanying drinks. “The Adeev” was a bourbon cocktail featuring baobab fruit juice (a West African fruit similar to tamarind), molasses, and lemon juice. It was a spicy and earthy drink that went especially well with chef Johnson’s deviled eggs.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own end-of-summer cocktails Hodge had some advice. “Use seasonal ingredients: strawberries, rhubarb, and peaches at the end of summer. Also, using light preparations, like muddling to get the fresh essences of the fruits is definitely key.”
After everyone was stuffed chef Johnson and his sous chefs, the Potash Twins, showed us how to make the secret batter that he uses for his okra fries at The Cecil It was an amazing night. If you missed it (we’re sorry), and you’ve never been to Cecil’s or Minton’s, you need to visit. Trust us. You won’t be disappointed.
Fresh Montauk scallops with chili oil, lychee, and micro cilantro.
Drinks at the Bar
Antoine Hodge making drinks at The Daily Meal’s bar.