After a night with Spanish cider, tapas and a full day of travel behind me I was ready to start my culinary journey at work - and that I did! I started my day chopping fish heads and gutting in the freezer. I think being Canadian they thought it would be good idea to throw me in the cold! Ha!
Casa Gerardo was everything I had imagined, refined, modern, traditional, Spanish food. I spent most of my day in the background observing and trying to get a hold of what was what. I was pleased to sit down with the staff for lunch before going into service - a delicious lentil and potato soup with chorizo and blood sausage. I was also lucky enough to sample the traditional Spanish dish of ‘faba’ and even some Asturias cheeses.
I am extremely tired from the last few days, but extremely excited to see what I will get my hands on next.
It’s nice to have a cute old Spanish flat in the heart of the city to settle down in at night. Not to mention a well deserved Estrella Cerveza which reminds me of my first trip to Spain and where my infatuation began with this amazing country….
At the Discovered Culinary Competition, the ingredients the chefs were required to use in each dish were revealed only when they opened the mystery box on the cooking stage. With the clock ticking, they had only a few seconds to come up with a recipe that would "wow" the judges.
Here's what Chef Nash served up:
Appetizer round ingredients: Blood orange, Camembert, prosciutto and white wine.
Nash wrapped the prosciutto around asparagus and stuffed it with the Camembert cheese, then served it with a blood orange and white wine butter sauce.
Entrée round ingredients: Cilantro, flat iron steak, fresh corn and instant coffee.
Nash rubbed instant coffee and grainy mustard into the flat iron steak and created a boiled corn salsa with cilantro, red onion, green pepper, vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh garlic. To go alongside, she made a hash with caramelized onions, potatoes and prosciutto, and added poached asparagus with butter, salt and pepper.
Dessert round ingredients: Buttermilk, dried apricots, ground clove and mint.
Chef Nash pureed buttermilk with boiled apricots, strawberries, honey and a pinch of the ground cloves. She marinated strawberries, blueberries and sliced dried apricots with honey and ground cloves, and served the whole dessert with a whipped mint and honey cream.
Other finalists and judges Other competitors in the final round were Dan Craig, chef at Ebo at the Delta in Burnaby, BC; William Serre, cook at Acadia Restaurant in Toronto; and Alejandro Winzer, chef at Ristorante Verdicchio in Sudbury.