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Prime Meridian: Where The North Meets Southern Food Culture To Create Dishes Like 'Creole Butter Poached Atlantic Halibut'

"I don't think about whether people will remember me or not. I've been an okay person. I've learned a lot. I've taught people a thing or two. That's what's important. Sooner or later the public will forget you, the memory of you will fade. What's important is the individuals you've influenced along the way." ~ Julia Child


When I think about influencing others, the pathway always leads back to my kitchen. I love cooking for people. It's not just a hobby, it's passion infused with a desire to offer visitors a culinary experience. Sharing a meal is about creating a cultural connection, and feeding the ones I love.


Menu Planning A Four Course Meal


Gleaning inspiration from chefs, recipes, and foods that our families love is just the beginning. Once we have a solid brainstorm going, its all about the research with the matrix of flavors. Learning how to cook with flavor comes in time, and lots of research to boot. We are all students of cooking and pairing flavors that work for our palate. From making a cheeseburger to planning for a big batch of 'Sunday Sauce' it takes time to learn the science of pairing common ingredients that soothe our souls.


James Briscione, wrote The Flavor Matrix, and in his Forward he reminds us that flavors go beyond 'taste memory'. Bringing forth flavor can begin with a pot of your best "something", but bringing flavor forward could be as simple as using salt and your favorite hot sauce. But, cooking more complex dishes begins with how to pair tastes, a deeper knowledge.


The Foraging and Farming Family Meal

The Prep Behind Creole Butter Poached Atlantic Halibut


Both my sister and I married to southerners, with a taste for Creole, Carolina BBQ, and Granny's fluffy biscuits. Being the Connecticut Yankees we are, both my sister and I are native New Englander's and we love our lobster, Halibut', and shellfish.


This menu was drawn from an inspiration of walks through the French Quarter, tasting variations of creole, French Cultured Butters, and learning as much about the flour that makes the best country biscuits in cast iron. Years of tasting and changing flavor profiles, and reading The Flavor Matrix; has helped me marry a culturally infused menu.



The Foraging and Farming Family Meal


The Menu


We will begin with a Blackberry martini - lemon basil essence, and chilled Grey Goose vodka. Buttermilk biscuits with a French cultured butter flight: Bahamian Sea Salt, Fresh Herb Compound, and Earthen Maple Sweet. Bringing together a light biscuit, paired with fresh herbs, Carribean sea salt, and flavors of fresh maple syrup from New England.


We take a breath and open a bottle of Michael David's Earthquake Old Vine Zin, which will hold up well with a hearty fish. We'll indulge in Tomato Bisque with toasted cumin, fennel, and roasted eggplant. Flavor profiles of citrus and limonene layered in anise, sage, and olive oil are part of the template. A faint hint of summer, mixed with an early Fall harvest, and toasted spices in every bite.



The Foraging and Farming Family Meal

The Plat De Résistance, is Atlantic Halibut poached in creole butter, braised prosciutto collards, rough potato mash with gouda, and crème fraîche. Creole, a mixture of spices from Italian, French, Spanish, and Caribbean culinary tradition, founded in the deep South - in cities like New Orleans. The potatoes offer sweet creamy notes of caramel and even a bit of butterscotch. The collards offer a rich smokey taste, with dry aged crispy pork bringing forth a salty element.


We open the Okanagan Estate Wine Cellars Cabernet Franc Ice Wine, adding depth with citrus and sweet; and a bit of volcanic earth from the PNW. New England Apple Pie with earthen flavors of all spice, cinnamon, and lemon, along with French Cultured butter crust. 


Tasting Notes


Keeping a journal, I make notes of each dish, recollecting how well the sauces presented, the umami, and balance. Albeit a chaotic menu, the fusion really works. Maybe, I jot down what others tasted, and notes from their impression of the protein and how well it held up with the wine. Regardless, all the technique and flavor profiles, remember the importance of the exercise is offering up "The Family Meal". Salute'!


The Foraging and Farming Family Meal









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