Macy’s Great American Chefs Tour is embarking on a cross-country road trip, pairing the celebrity chefs of Macy’s Culinary Council with live cooking demonstrations, food tastings and a celebration of local culinary talent. Chef Rick Bayless hosted in San Francisco as part of the more than 15-city tour.
And I got invited to attend *claps hands wildly*
Rick Bayless! Most people know him from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master with his authentic Mexican cuisine. But he also has a highly rated Public Television Series, seven award-winning cookbooks, Daytime Emmy nominee, winner of the Julia Childs IACP cookbook of the year award, and his cookbook Mexico—One Plate at a Time won the James Beard Best International Cookbook of the Year award in 2001. He’s owner of the award-winning restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, plus he has a line of products which include salsas, grilling sauces, and organic chips.
And if that isn’t enough, in 2007 he was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his work with local farmers. Rick and his staff began the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to attract support for small Midwestern farms. Each year, grants are given to local farmers for capital improvements to their family farms.
Hello. That’s some resume.
And? He’s so friendly, personable, and genuine! It was an absolute pleasure to be around him, truly.
However, because this cooking demo was being taped for a brand new show coming this fall to public television, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures. Boooo. But I did get a few take-aways I wanted to share with you all.
Rumor has it that he never travels without this lime juicer.
I need to get one.
When buying avocados, make sure they have the “button”…
…it prevents air from getting in and turning the flesh brown.
And have you ever eaten a lemon cucumber?
He loves them. I’ll be at my local Farmer’s Market this Thursday searching…
He prepared for us an Herb Green Ceviche with Cucumber. Below is the recipe for the sauce, which he calls Mexican chimichurri. Isn’t it gorgeous?! Smear it on chicken before grilling or roasting, stir it into scrambled eggs, or add it to salad dressing and cream sauces. It can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator up to a month.
Makes approx. 1 cup
Prep time: 20 minutes
• 1/2 head garlic, cloves broken apart
• 2-3 fresh serrano chiles
• 1 medium bunch cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off
• 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, thick bottom stems cut off
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
Set a dry skillet over medium heat. Lay in the unpeeled garlic cloves and chiles. Roast, turning frequently, until soft and blotchy brown in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until handleable, then slip the skins off the garlic, pull stems off the chiles and roughly chop (no need to remove the seeds.)
Place garlic and chiles in a food processor along with the cilantro (about 1 cup if packed), parsley (about 1 cup if packed), oil, and 2 generous teaspoons of salt. Process until nearly smooth (it will be pasty.) Scrape into a storage container and refrigerate until serving time.
(courtesy of Rick Bayless and Macy’s Culinary Council)