chefs at Fat Club

This week I, along with a few of my colleges, had a chance to think about our culinary careers.

I reevaluated years of working in kitchens in different countries and innumerable life changing experiences in order to accomplish one goal: a single dish that would represent me as a chef.

One dish?! How about a whole meal?! Maybe six to eight courses…maybe twenty tapa dishes? Nope, one dish!

My mind went blank for two days, and the next two days I felt like one of those old computers rebooting. Hundreds of old menus were scrolling in my mind’s eye while I stared into the wall.

When I finally gave up thinking, the ocean and the mountains–a large part of my life growing up–were a constant, so it had to be a Mediterranean “surf and turf” of sorts.

Salt pork became my base, because pork is the king of tasty, as many would agree. The next layer had to be something that would scream Spain–an almond, garlic and olive oil mousse then–and the perfect fish selection: sardines. I used a raspberry vinaigrette to help cut the fattiness of the dish, and to bring one more wild, sustainable element to my dish.

Mediterranean "surf & turf"
My Mediterranean "surf & turf"
Sam's pork belly and polenta
Sam's pork belly and polenta

This was a great exercise.

Dishes from the other chefs included pork belly, a tough menu item, but a favorite.

Simple but well executed dishes with gnocchi and a side of cold butternut squash soup topped with sage cream.

Raw, lightly seasoned, organic grass-fed beef made for delightful “cannibal burgers.”

Local deer meat was also featured in a tasty venison chili.

Basil lemonade served as a palate cleanser was a nice addition to the varied menu.

It was a great culinary peek into the souls of a few great local chefs.

cannibal burgers
Chef Dan and a cannibal burger

Mike's gnocchi
Mike's gnocchi

a peek behind the scenes at Vivo

Sam and I will be sharing a little behind the scenes action on Tuesday, April 27th at 7:00 p.m.

Come and be part of a hands-on experience in the kitchen!

Let us share the culinary philosophy we practice daily. Fresh and local will be the focus.

The Menu:

Appetizer: House Made Duck Prosciutto with Melon
Insalata: Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Entree: Black Angus Beef Tenderloin Rosemario with Baby Zucchini and Fingerling Potatoes
Dolci: Anisette Doughnuts with Vanilla Gelato & Caramel

For reservations, call 412-761-9500

565 Lincoln Avenue
Bellevue, PA 15202-3531

there is no Fat Club

Chefs cookin' up something mysterious at Fat Club
Chefs cookin' up something mysterious at Fat Club

We all have heard of the underground dinner sites in DC or the extravagant, secret foodie gatherings in Seattle. All these have the same thing in common–they are “by invitation only” and any other details are vague.

Pittsburgh is no different. Chefs around the city have always that favorite delicacy they want to share or those items that perhaps aren’t ready to serve to the public, and the place to do it is Fat Club.

What’s Fat Club?

Well…What’s the first rule of Fat Club?–You are correct! I can’t talk about it.

What I can tell you is that a few weeks ago when the last gathering occurred, beer pairings were in the minds of the chefs.

there is no Fat Club (*burp*)
there is no Fat Club (*burp*)

Maybe as a final farewell to winter many hearty dishes were featured at this event. Rabbit stew, lamb and pork all had a part in this feast. Chicken cooked in beer and even beef honeycomb (tripe) and pigs’ feet. Pretzels made from scratch shortly before dinner. Pickled, locally picked mushrooms and other veggies. And–of course–incredibly tempting desserts, such as a “car-bomb sundae” with Guinness ice cream and Jameson’s whiskey sauce, tiramisu…and much more. As I said, I really can’t talk about it. But I can’t wait until I get invited to the next one.