On a brisk December night in midtown Manhattan, The Daily Meal hosted its last celebrity chef event of 2016. Guests, who included influential members of the culinary community and friends of The Daily Meal, were treated to an elegant offering of Austrian-inspired appetizers from famed chef Edi Frauneder. Colman Andrews, The Daily Meal’s editorial director and an eight-time James Beard Award winning author, introduced Edi Frauneder to the guests. “Edi is one of many great chefs to have graced The Daily Meal kitchen," said Andrews, "and we’re glad to have him here following in the footsteps of other chefs like Bobby Flay, José Andrés, Daniel Boulud, and Masaharu Morimoto.”
The appetizers presented by Frauneder, who is the executive chef of Edi & The Wolf, Schilling, and Freud, included mini chicken schnitzel, smoked duck breast, smoked trout roulade crispy potato pancakes topped with spiced ricotta cheese, luxurious deviled eggs garnished with trout roe and pickled pearl onion, and Austrian petit fours. Frauneder describes his culinary style as a, “lighter and more accessible approach to Austrian cooking; with the same flare, but different attitude.”
But the evening wasn’t dedicated only to food. It is Daily Meal tradition for the featured chef to create a signature cocktail reflecting his or her personality and style. Chef Frauneder mixed St. Germain, a liqueur made with elder flowers (a signature Austrian flavor) with mint, lemon, lime, and the Cavit Winery’s Lunetta Prosecco — which uses grapes harvested by over 5,000 small growers in the mountainous Trentino region of Northern Italy — to make a refreshing (and dangerously drinkable) cocktail that paired perfectly with his selection of appetizers. Also served were Cavit's Selected Red Blend and their pinot grigio is still ranked as the number one imported wine imported into America. Cavit is celebrating 40 years of importing wine into the United States, and they attribute their success to their ability to combine the craft and artistry of their family of grape suppliers with modern technology and research that helps growers forecast weather patterns and preserve their vineyards.
After appetizers and drinks, chef Frauneder demonstrated his version of Austria’s national dish, wiener schnitzel. He first let the crowd know his secret to testing the temperature of frying oil, which is to simply dip a wet spoon handle into the oil, and if it bubbles, the oil is ready for frying. The chef proceeded to pound slabs of heritage pork into thin, perfectly even sheets with the back of his clever into scallops an eighth of an inch thick. He then dusted them with sifted flour (sifting is a key step to making light and airy schnitzel), dipped them in egg wash, coated them with bread crumbs, and fried the pork till it was golden-brown. He served the pork wiener schnitzel with potato salad, fresh mustard greens, olive oil, and lingonberries, which he referred to as “Austria’s ketchup.”