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Something Nordic

Seared Halibut Demo

Recently, I attended a few events at the NORTH Nordic food festival hosted by Honest Cooking. It was a practical exposure to Scandinavian food. Prior to this festival, my experience has been limited to restaurants in New York like Aquavit and S'morgas Chef, which are great outposts of the cuisine. But, I was excited to partake in real Nordic chefs cooking real home cooking adapted to this soil. But I am running away with the story. Let me start again.

First, there was a demo; With Norwegian Salmon and Halibut. Chefs Neal Fraser and Greg from LA showed us how to gut a whole fish and fillet into the fatty and searing pieces. It was interesting to see how the technique is similar yet different for the two as the latter is a flat fish. It is also an ugly fish! But, true to the idiom, it is rather tasty. For a flat fish, unlike a regular side swimmer like salmon, you fish comes apart in four section rather than two whole sides. Very informative. I don't know when I am likely to break down a whole fish in the near future but I am armed and ready! I plan to go fishing off the

coast of Brooklyn

soon. So, perhaps...! ;-)

Next we used that freshly gutted fish to prepare an array of crudos, tartare, seared bites and risotto. It was a fun evening, the chefs were friendly, my group of four was cool to hang out with and we ate a lot of good food. We snacked on a basket of grapes along the way. Watching food cook is very hunger inducing, I say!

The other event I attended was a wonderful dinner cooked by

Chef Sasu Laukkonen

at a pop-up restaurant in LES. He brought with him his signature hay smoked onion rings. Borne out of serendipity and a kitchen accident, in his native country, he stumbled upon a way to make the humble white onion taste like bacon. It wasn't quite porky tasting with the NY hay but it definitely lent a meaty punch. The entire dinner was wonderful of course but I was most impressed by the effortless elegance of clean plating that we have come to expect from Nordic styling. I watched him and his team plate about 100 plates for each course; their efficiency, exaction and perfection was indeed remarkable! And, this was all done amidst friendly banter, co-mingling with the guests crossing into the kitchen space on the excuse of taking photos {me..hehe} and in general fairly more chaos than in a regular kitchen.

I also met another Sacndinavian chef at the dinner, whose restaurant


, I plant to visit sometime soon. Will keep you posted on that. For now, I leave you with my memories of the festival.

Filleting Halibut
Norwegian Farmed Salmon
Grapes- Demo
Filleting Salmon
Halibut Crudo
Hay smoked onion rings
Hay smoked onion rings
Chef Sasu Laukkonen Plating
Seared Halibut
Plating 2
Halibut dish - Sasu dinner
Dessert plates set up

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