During the Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit, chefs from member companies throughout the U.S. took the afternoon to explore the varied cuisine and history of the Historic Pearl District, a walkable area replete with restaurants and boutique hotels, anchored by the Culinary Institute of America. With temperatures in the 70s, the short strolls between venues made for a pleasant day of exploration, conversation, and learning.
Seen at Cured: employing unique vessels for keeping beverages cold are undoubtedly eye-catching.
Lovingly crafted cured foods, from pickles to charcuterie, command the menu at Cured. Chefs were treated to a Reserve Charcuterie Board featuring smoked duck ham, apple sage sausage, lamb & citrus terrine, 30 day cured Coppa, and pickled watermelon among other tastes. Trends in food preservation are at a high in 2021 and into 2022.
Fried red snapper throats have a long culinary history, dating back to the 1930s, a leftover part that was typically used as a staff meal. But, they have a lot of flavorful meat and are now a popular item on Southern menus, including the menu at Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. Served with Crystal aioli and celery root remoulade.
An event space at Southerleigh, tucked into a former early 1900s grain elevator, comfortably seats about 16 for private dining. This unique event space coupled with the almost “speakeasy” feel of a secret entrance was a hit with all the chefs in attendance.
A Veracruzano ceviche from Chef Johnny Hernandez’ restaurant, La Gloria, was a vibrant pop of fresh flavors. Served cold and “cooked” in lime juice, ceviche is most often seen in Peruvian or Mexican forward cuisine but could be a delicious starter for an elegant plated dinner event in lieu of the more traditional salad.
Venison tartare with saltines, egg, and candied jalapeno from Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery. Also (not shown) on the tasting menu was a small urn of French Onion soup from sister property Brasserie Mon Chou Chou. A French restaurant in the heart of Texas? The residents say, “oui, oui!” Reservations are hard to book.
A tour through the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus included a pop into the pastry and baking kitchen, with Chef Alain Dubernard, CMB, CHE leading students. Beyond baking and pastry arts, the San Antonio campus offers degree programs in culinary arts and specialties Latin cuisine.