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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Freaky Todd Fisher and Sweet KT

Given his Southern upbringing and latent foodie tendencies, Weekly and Special Edible contributor Stuart Thornton has an in-bred obsession for barbecue. So he drew the 'cue seminar assignment at Harvest Fest last weekend. He got something a little different than he expected:

Even before Chef Todd Fisher officially began his cooking demo at the Harvest Festival, a crowd that had assembled in the shade of the stage was eating up a spicy serving of his sex-driven double entendres. “My nuts are always organic,” he said as he got behind a grill wearing a black chef shirt, camo shorts and red plastic Birkenstocks. “I never put pesticide on my nuts.”

When the cooking demo began, Fisher started to describe how to make a dry rub for a flank steak using fresh ground coffee, fennel seeds, coriander, cumin seed, pink peppercorn, chili pepper, salt and smoked paprika, which he said could be found at Whole Foods.

While rubbing the meat with the ingredients that he threw together, the force behind Sand City’s
The Kitchen (206-8401) tossed out tasty scraps of knowledge—“flank steak is like a road map to cutting meat”—along with lots of playful banter with members of the audience, especially The Forge in the Forest Executive Chef Gene Moana.

Serious for a couple seconds, Chef Fisher said the rub should be on the meat for as little as 10 minutes and no longer than two hours before cooking it. As he began heating the steak in a pan, he noted that he was cooking the meat on direct heat for about three minutes per side. As the rub heated up, it began to add a roasted caramelized crust to the flank steak. Smoke wafted into the crowd causing a few people to cough and an audience member to joke that Fisher needed a fan onstage to suck up the smoke.

“All my fans are already turned on,” he said looking out over the audience before honking a horn.

Before samples of the extremely flavorful end product were passed out to the crowd, Fisher conducted a brief Q&A session. It all began with a woman right under the stage asking the Chef what kind of underwear he wears.

“I don’t wear any underwear at all,” Fisher said without missing a beat. “I’m a free spirit.”

I swung by Fisher's The Kitchen last week to pick up some PigWizard sausage and between the tempura scallops with broccoli rabe by Fisher and gourmet tamales from Hermosa Mexican Food (323-443-5092), tasted a lot of cool things going on. Some of the coolest came from his co-op partner-in-crime, Katie Martin (214-7465), who, like a number of local chefs, uses Fisher's kitchen space as a base for operations.

She does seductive sweets like a tiny strawberry cheesecake and a peanut-butter-cuppy cupcake I tried that night.

She also delivers fresh and healthy lunches for folks (the $3 delivery charge per location is waived when groups order at least eight):

Here's an example of what she does Wednesdays and Fridays, all complete, fittingly, "with a little treat," Martin says. The lunches range $6.50-$8.50. The menu changes each week. Click over to her website to join the e-mail blast that sends out the weekly lineup every Monday. Cool idea from KT:

Weekly Menu for Sept. 29 and Oct. 1

Sandwich/Wrap: Buffalo Chicken with Veggie Slaw & Red Onion on Whole Wheat Roll

Salad: Romaine, Grilled Red Peppers, Celery, Roasted Chicken with Creamy Pesto Dressing

Soup~Beef Stew with Butternut Squash

Give her a call. Great way to be the hero of the meeting/office.

Also: Fisher's doing a dinner as only he can money by bringing your own Bordeaux, enjoy some inventive and delicious grub in an informal and fun loft space there in the industrial streets of Sand City. I've been. It's a blast. Here are the details, direct from T.F. ( I like how he capitalizes "Foodie Friends"):

B.Y.O.W. Local French Dinner
WHEN: 6-10pm Friday October 1st
WHERE: THE KITCHEN 354 Orange Ave., Sand City, CA 93955
WHY: To celebrate great food & wine, meet new Foodie Friends.

Zucchini Blossom Beignets with Roast Fennel and Olive Tepenade

Frisee, Lardons and 1 hour egg with Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

Verte Saucisson with French Lentils and Pickled Onions

Loup De Mer A La Provencale

Steak Frite with Sauce Bernaise

Tarte Au Citron

Must RVSP. 206-8401 $65 per person. Seating is limited...