Courtesy Pegasus News
Famed chef René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s Noma restaurant told Bon Appétit recently that large ants he found while “digging into the soil” tasted like a wonderful blend of lemongrass, ginger, and lovage. As any foodie will tell you, braised, broiled, and baked ants are a gastronomic delicacy.
But Savor Dallas attendees need not cringe or fret when they arrive at the eighth annual food and wine event. None of the more than 60 Dallas and Fort Worth chefs — nor the posh restaurants they will represent — spice up their savory cuisine with ants.
Instead, some of the country’s most outstanding master and executive chefs will use seafood and sauces in their delectable creations at the International Grand Tasting, the culmination of the two-day event that starts Friday, March 30, with the Dallas Arts District Wine Stroll.
“I’m very excited to be part of Savor Dallas this year. In my opinion, it is always fun to cook for people who have a passion for food and drink,” said Andre Natera, executive chef of the AAA rated Four Diamond Fairmont Hotel Pyramid Restaurant & Bar.
Natera, a member of the prestigious World Master Chefs Society, plans to prepare a Thai Seafood Ceviche for the Savor Dallas International Grand Tasting event at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas on Saturday, March 31.
“I know that may seem like a contradiction, however, it is basically a seafood salad marinated in Thai flavors like lemongrass and kefir lime,” said Natera, who revealed the secret behind his attention-getting Caesar salad at the 2011 American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) Caesar Salad Competition.
“I use white anchovies. I love the flavor that they provide. And I think they add the perfect amount of acidity to the dressing,” said Natera, a resident of a Dallas suburb who enjoys sampling ethnic foods when he’s not cooking.
Christof Syre, chef of Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas for the past 11 years, has not participated in Savor Dallas before. But he’s excited about showcasing local and seasonal choices in his spicy, Sangria-marinated watermelon, Texas red fish, and arugula.
“I’m a great fan of seasonal and local products. So I selected my ingredients to reflect that. Spring is great for watermelon. Texas has great red fish, sustainable and local,” exclaimed Syre, a native of Bendorf in Germany’s Rhine-Mosel region.
“Just for the fun of it, I will have the watermelon vacuum-packed together with the flavors of the Sangria. It will help the texture and definitely the flavor; it will all be sealed in. there’s no secret in creating a fresh, delicious, and sexy spring dish,” said Syre, whose family owned a fine-dining restaurant that inspired his love of cooking.
Cesar Gallegos, executive chef at Bolla, an upscale restaurant at the historic Stoneleigh Hotel in Dallas, is a graduate of the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin. The native Texan is also an experienced food and wine aficionado.
Cesar Gallegos, Executive Chef at Bolla
“I’ve been to a lot of food and wine events or show. But I think that this is the best food and wine event. I know that this is the best Dallas has to offer,” said Gallegos, who attended Savor Dallas for the first time last year.