Twin City Cooks!

There is more than one area in the US known as “the Twin Cities,” but in this case, I am referring to my hometown of Winston Salem, North Carolina.  Winston and Salem used to be 2 different towns but merged to create one larger city in 1913, creating a city of diversity filled with history, art, culture and some of the country’s best restaurants!  Winston Salem is also home to Texas Pete, a culinary delight in and of itself and also the secret ingredient in the dishes prepared for Twin City Cooks!

Twin City Cooks was a cooking demonstration featuring four of Winston Salem’s top chefs and then winding up with a demonstration from Jon Ashton, chef for Parade Magazine and Dash Recipes.  (I attended the event as a guest blogger for the Winston Salem Journal.)

The first chef up was Christian Froelich from WS Prime preparing seared scallops served with fried onion straws served over a bed of radicchio.  Texas Pete was used in the batter for the onion straws.  It was really interesting to see how little oil was needed to deep fry the onion straws.  They were prepared in a dutch oven with just enough oil to cover the onions.

Next up was Chef Will Kingery from King’s Crab Shack and Willow’s Bistro.  Not only did Chef Kingery give awesome kitchen/cooking tips, he prepared a luscious Mahi Mahi and crab cakes seasoned with Texas Pete.  (Side bar:  Willow’s Bistro has a really NICE wine menu!)

Chef Mark Grohman from Meridian threw together a fish stew in just a matter of minutes and made it look so easy.  To spice it up and add some real kick, he seasoned the stew with Texas Pete Chipotle sauce.  One girl was so impressed that she asked to try some.  Of course Chef Grohman gladly obliged – after all, what greater compliment can you give a chef except to eat the food he has skillfully prepared.

The last local chef up was Tim Grandinetti from The Spring House.  Chef Grandinetti prepared a succulent duck breast wrapped in bacon by searing it until it was almost done then putting it in the oven to finish cooking while he prepared the rest of the entrée, a sweet potato bisque.  The sweet potatoes were diced for cooking and then covered with a good dose of the Chipotle Texas Pete.  Just think about this, sweet potatoes seasoned with brown sugar and cinnamon then blended with Chipotle Texas Pete!  Hopefully your mouth is watering now!

The cooking demonstrations wrapped up with Chef Jon Ashton cooking and entertaining us for two full hours.  The guy is hilarious and so full of cooking tips and little tricks for the kitchen.  He prepared everything from bread, to homemade pizza crust, to butternut squash bisque.  All of his recipes can be found at Dash Recipes.  Chef Ashton was so accommodating with the crowd.  He opened the session up to questions so he could help people figure out their own personal dilemmas in the kitchen.  He pulled people from the audience to help him with each dish he prepared and to taste the food afterward; and when he caught one lady texting during his demonstration, he stopped and went to sit beside her then made her come up on stage with him.  The crowd loved him!

This was a fun event and the first of its kind in Winston Salem but hopefully it won’t be the last!  All the recipes demonstrated for the show are available on the Winston Salem Journal’s website.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. divasbabysis
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 20:23:22

    I love this article!!! Going to check out the recipes!! It sounds like you had an awesome time!!!


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