As Harvest on the Harbor is approaching the end of October, we are featuring various chefs taking part. This time, we have a team, with Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, chefs and owners of Arrows Restaurant. These James Beard Award Winners will be cooking at The Perfect Pairings.
First we’ll cover their bios, then their answers to questions and finally the two recipes they have been kind enough to include:
Butter Poached Maine Lobster and Mark’s Shortcake
Clark Frasier grew up in fresh produce heaven. His family lived in Carmel, California, where vegetables and fruit were available all year round. It wasn’t until he went to China to study Chinese that he learned about the seasons and the wonder of produce in its season. During the harsh winters in Beijing, the people dried, salted and pickled cabbage, which became the only vegetable available during three months of the year. “So that by the end of winter, we students were ravenous for vegetables, and would go anywhere and pay anything to get them.” It was while living there, that Clark developed expertise in the great cuisine of China.
When Clark came back from China, he moved to San Francisco. He wound up working his way up to chef tournant in the famous kitchen of Stars Restaurant where he developed his unique cooking style working “on the culinary edge” with Jeremiah Tower.
In the spring of 1988, Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier acquired Arrows Restaurant. They have created a classic country restaurant which has continually garnered national and international accolades for its outstanding cuisine, flawless service, beautiful setting and award-winning wine list; In 2006, the restaurant was named by Gourmet magazine the 14th best restaurant in America.
Chefs Frasier and Gaier have extended their culinary talents into a new restaurant – MC Perkins Cove opened in 2005 to rave reviews.
Mark Gaier grew up in a big family near Dayton, Ohio. His mother, a homemaker, was a wonderful cook who inspired Mark to begin cooking and even baking bread by the time he was fourteen. Later as a young man working in publishing in Blue Hill, Maine, his favorite work was putting on the dinner parties for the staff and advertisers. Later he was given the opportunity to work at the Whistling Oyster ender Michael Allen who had been chef for Madeline Kamman at her cooking school in Boston.
In the mid-eighties, feeling he needed exposure to more innovative cooking, Mark went to San Francisco and joined the staff at Stars Restaurant under Jeremiah Tower as chef tournant. This is where he met Clark Frasier and at first they brought a lot of California and Jeremiah Tower with them to Arrows which they acquired in 1988. Now they have grown into a style all their own. And the garden, as well as their world travels each winter when the restaurant is closed, has helped dictate how that style keeps changing and growing.
With the success of Arrows, Gaier and Frasier decided to expand their reach and in 2005 they opened MC Perkins Cove also in Ogunquit, Maine. MC Perkins Cove has made a name of its own with spectacular ocean views and food to match. As Bon Appétit wrote Gaier and Frasier “…have taken the simple to the sublime.” And while their restaurants have been honored with many awards and accolades, Chefs Gaier and Frasier have also been honored by their fourth nomination as Best Chefs of the Northeast by The James Beard Foundation in 2007.
Let us see how this exceptional combination responds to our interview questions:
Maralyn: Do you have a favorite recipe?
Mark & Clark: One of our favorite recipes is Lobster shortcake. It’s just a fantastic combination of flavors and it’s fun to make.
Maralyn: Is there a favorite spice in your kitchen?
Mark & Clark: We love Sichuan peppercorns they have an intense flavor that is great in sauces and marinades.
Maralyn: What is your favorite cooking utensil?
Mark & Clark: Old fashioned Chef’s tongs. They are just about the most useful and cheapest thing you can buy for the kitchen.
Maralyn: Do you have any tips for those desiring to be chefs?
Mark & Clark: Work for a long time in restaurants in all types of jobs including washing dishes, and then and only then, if you still want to be a Chef, consider a cooking school.
Maralyn: Do you have a preference for which station you prefer to work?
Mark & Clark: We enjoy all different kinds of stations. They’re all fun!
BUTTER POACHED MAINE LOBSTER
6- 1 1/4 pound lobsters, cooked and picked from the shell
1/2 pound unsalted butter
Cooking the lobsters:
Bring a very large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Drop the live lobsters into the water and cook for nine minutes.
Drain into a sink and cool with ice and running cold water.
Pick off the tails and the claws and knuckles, discard the bodies. Crack the shells gently with a heavy knife or cleaver and remove the meat from the shell. (Using scissors will help remove the knuckle meat easier).
Squeezing the tail firmly until it cracks will also allow you to then remove the tail meat by pulling the shell apart. Split the tails in half lengthwise.
Be certain the cartilage inside the claw is removed by making a small slit and sliding it out. This can be done the morning of the dinner and refrigerated until ready for dinner.
Reheating and serving the lobster:
Melt one pound butter in a small stainless steel pot and have it hot, but not so warm that it is boiling or turning color, medium heat should work well on most stoves.
Using a basket or a slotted spoon place the lobster in the butter for a minute or until it feels warm to the touch. Do not overheat the lobster as the tails will begin to curl and become tough.
Remove the lobster from the butter and place in a warm bowl with just enough rum sauce to coat it lightly.
Assemble shortcakes with curried shallots, butter poached lobster and lime vanilla rum sauce. Garnish with small sprigs of cilantro, basil, and mint finish with a brunoise of shaved green papaya, mango and pineapple.
1½ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoons salt
1 ½ sticks butter cubed then frozen
¾ to 1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp ground clove
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add buttermilk until a soft dough is formed. Roll out to a ½ inch thickness and cut with a 3 inch cutter. Brush with cream and bake at 325F.
8 shallots thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
1 serrano chili
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
Put all ingredients into a stainless pot and bring to a boil, turn off and allow to cool.
LIME VANILLA RUM SAUCE
½ cup lime juice
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup dark rum
1 serrano chili
½ vanilla bean split
¼ cup shallots
1 tablespoon ginger peeled and thinly sliced
½ pound unsalted butter
Fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon rum
Place the first seven ingredients into a stainless sauce pan over medium heat and reduce the liquids by 2/3 rd.
Then whisk in softened butter, season with salt and pepper, add lime juice and rum. Strain through a fine sieve discarding solid ingredients.
Serve at once or hold in a warm place for up to one hour.
You can discover more about Mark Gaier & Clark Frasier on their website.
Cooking At: The Perfect Pairing
Restaurant Website: http://www.arrowsrestaurant.com/index.cfm
If you want to check out more details for Harvest on the Harbor go tohttp://www.harvestontheharbor.com/. Norm and I hope to meet you there.