Four Southern California chefs are sharing their award-winning recipes with the public as part of their participation in the L.A. County Fairís Chefs on the Rise competition held earlier this month. At-home epicureans can try their hands at such dishes as bacon-wrapped lamb loin with lentils, roasted vegetables and cabernet jus or pan-roasted Dungeness crab, crusted sea scallop with black truffle cauliflower custard and foie gras hollandaise.
Chefs on the Rise held its first competition May 14 at the Collins School of Hospitality Management on the campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. The Fair established the competition to recognize and honor up-and-coming chefs who are particularly skilled at pairing wine and food. Chefs on the Rise is a celebration of the role that fine wine and food plays in the enhancement of our lives. Judges looked for recipes that effectively blended flavor and textural elements of wine and food and featured ingredients and instructions that could easily be replicated by home cooks. The competition was open to professional chefs who work in public restaurants in Southern California and have not held an executive chef position for more than one year. The four semi-finalists will compete for the top award at the Fair, Sept. 10-11. They are:
Patrick Browne, the executive chef at Lasherís Restaurant in Long Beach. He is a graduate of Washington State University and worked for several restaurant companies in Arizona and California. He attended the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, graduating with honors. His winning dishes were salad of haricots verts, toasted hazelnuts and goat cheese, and bacon-wrapped lamb loin with lentils, roasted vegetables and cabernet jus.
Robert Harrison came away as a semi-finalist with his pan-roasted Dungeness crab, crusted sea scallop with black truffle cauliflower custard and a foie gras hollandaise, and porcini-crusted veal medallions with truffled orchetta pasta and a brandy cream sauce. He is executive sous chef at the Le Merigot Hotel and Spa in Santa Monica. Harrison attended the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, and graduated with an associate degree in occupational studies, culinary arts. Harrison has worked for the Russian Tea Room in New York and the Valencia Hotel in La Jolla.
Gregory Paul, who is currently a sous chef at líOrangerie in Los Angeles. Paul has been cooking since age 15. He attended the Ecole Hotelier Sacre Coeur, and then entered the professional world. He has worked at PreCatelan in Paris, Le Jardin des Sens and Hostellerie Berard. He has participated in numerous cooking competitions, including receiving first place at the La Ronde des Tables Gourmandes. His winning entry was prime beef filet and shitake mushrooms and scallop carpaccio.
Jennifer Shen is graduating this year from the Collins School of Hospitality Management. She currently works at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch at Cal Poly, Pomona. She will enter the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, in Napa Valley in July, where she will continue her education in baking and pastry. Her winning entry was curried shrimp served with avocado mousse on top of a wonton crisp and poached pears with pistachio nut blue cheese.
Recipes are available in full on the Web site, www.lacountyfair.com. All recipes were paired with a sauvignon blanc or a cabernet sauvignon. For more information, contact Fairplex at (909) 623-3111.