“Chopped Challenge” Heats Up City Kitchen

Three Reading Terminal chefs faced off for some friendly, food-network-style competition on Saturday, May 21.  Guests were lucky enough to sample dishes from Chef Bobby Fisher of Molly Malloy’s, Chef Jason LeDee of Pearls Oyster Bar and Chef Careda Matthews of Kevin Parker Soul Food Cafe.

The mystery basket was filled with a dragon fruit from Iovine Brothers Produce, fresh duck from Guinta’s Prime Shop and a chocolate covered onion from Chocolate by Mueller.

Once things got cooking, the smells brought in the crowd.

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The chefs had 30 minutes to prepare the entree, meaning guests had 30 minutes to salivate in anticipation.

 

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“Careda’s Caribbean Cabbage” waiting to be plated

 

 

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Jason LeDee plating up beautifully

At the end of the day, judges scored the dishes on plating, taste and the use of mystery ingredients. Careda’s creative, Caribbean flavors won her the challenge.

Careda said at first she was fine with the duck, but the chocolate covered onion and dragon fruit, “threw me off.” She admitted that dragon fruit can often be bland and it takes some effort to bring out any flavor. She used sherry and some of the caramelized chocolate covered onion to enhance the dragon fruit’s sweetness.

She used thyme, allspice and turmeric to season the duck and she used the onion in the cabbage slaw. She said, “cabbage is a go-to vegetable in the islands.”

Careda will be back in City Kitchen on September 24, 2016, to cook a Caribbean-American fusion brunch. Tickets are available now.

 

 

Notes on Recipes & Cookbooks

Recipes & Cookbooks

Cookbooks are collections of recipes. But what makes a good cookbook? Here are some of our tips when it comes to identifying a valuable cookbook.

A good cookbook is one you aren’t afraid to use. 

While high-quality pictures and glossy paper are ideal for coffee table books, a cookbook needs to be able to take some heat. Literally.

A good cookbook includes different cuisines and flavors.

A go-to Italian or French or Chinese cookbook certainly has its place, but every home needs a cookbook that incorporates different styles of food. Novelty plays a big part in being excited to cook and to eat.

A good cookbook accounts for access. 

Today, we have access to more ingredients than ever before. Still, a cookbook should account for regional and seasonal changes. A really good cookbook will help you find specialty ingredients not available in basic supermarkets.

A good cookbook has a narrative. 

A cookbook can read more like a novel when the author connects the recipe to a time or place. When creating new recipes, with new flavors and ingredients, you get the opportunity to be part of the storytelling.

And of course, a good cookbook has yummy recipes. 

The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook has all of these elements. It is easy to use and read. It incorporates different flavors and cuisines and tells the story of the historic Reading Terminal Market.

An amazing cookbook comes with a live demonstration class. 

On June 2, join authors Ann Hazan and Irina Smith in City Kitchen to learn how to prepare Market favorites from their new edition of The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook.

Samples include appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert. Whether for a family dinner or entertaining friends, Ann and Irina will take you step by step in preparing an impressive and delicious menu. An autographed Reading Terminal Market Cookbook is included in class price.

Tickets are available now