January 2015

Food and Wine: Rediscover Food

Author: Clayton Rollison

A new year, a new beginning, new resolutions, new promises, new thinking, new leaf, new everything. We all swear at the start of the year to be better at something that we felt we let slip the previous year. I don’t know about you, but every year I tell myself I’m going to do something better, but somewhere around the end of January, I have already forgotten what seemed so important that I had to make a resolution to change. My friends, I am setting my goals low this year—no empty promises, no resolutions to get thin, no lowering my handicap (really that’s just because I’m horrible at golf). This year, I’m going to do nothing but dine out without preconceived expectation of what I am going to order or how I want it prepared. I have not dined like this in many years, probably since moving away from New York City.

I am looking forward to tasting food again and getting the message the restaurant or chef is trying to convey to the diner. I want to open myself up to as many new flavors, ideas, techniques, and ingredients as possible without being critical of them. My goal is to enjoy the positive and negative experience with friends and family while dining.

Sometimes dishes fail, but if there are not failures then is the chef really pushing himself? Is he or she playing it too safe? In those failures, is there some idea I can incorporate back into Lucky Rooster? In the successful dishes, is there an ingredient that I want to learn how to use? This year I am approaching every meal as an opportunity rediscover food.

Most nights I am able to interact with guests and watch how they dine. I am always amazed by people ordering the same thing everywhere they go. I get it that you like what you like, and there is nothing wrong with that. But this year I am choosing to surrender my choice of what I am eating to the chef or restaurant. I want my opinion removed from the experience. My goal is to eat what is in the moment, I am going to eat what the restaurant or chef is excited about, whether it is a special or new menu item, whatever. New year, new perspective, new food, anyone with me?

Clayton Rollison is the chef/owner of Lucky Rooster Restaurant in South Island Square.


RECIPE
Sgroppino (Italian Cocktail)
Recipe compliments of The Food Network

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup chilled Prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine)
2 tablespoons chilled vodka
1/3 cup frozen lemon sorbet
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves

PREPARATION: Pour the Prosecco and vodka into 2 Champagne flutes, dviding equally. Spoon a scoop of sorbet into each flute. Sprinkle with mint and serve immediately

Total Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Level: Easy


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