savor pittsburgh

On Thursday, September 2, 2010, Savor Pittsburgh will host its annual culinary competition for “Dish of the Year” to benefit the American Respiratory Alliance of Western Pennsylvania. I’ll be there–and this time I won’t be cooking! I’ll be part of the panel of judges. It’s an honor to be chosen and it will be a lot of fun. Some of the participants are: Bella Frutteto, Bistecca, Bistro 19, The Capital Grille, Cassis, Church Brew Works, Cioppino Restaurant and Cigar Bar, Donato’s Fox Chapel, Elements, Grand Concourse Restaurant, India Palace, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Mitchells Fish Market, Savoy, The Sonoma Grille, Spoon Restaurant, Steelhead Brasserie & Wine Bar, Tamari, Tree Tops Restaurant, Tusca Global Tapas, Walnut Grove Restaurant and Bar, and Willow. I look forward to a long relationship with Savor Pittsburgh. I can’t wait to try all these great chefs’ creations.

Savor Pittsburgh’s annual “Dish of the Year” competition
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant in SouthSide Works
Thursday, September 2, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

Buen provecho!

cherries on the bone

grilled cherries
grilled pound cake with "cherries on the bone" (photos courtesy of Christian Kahle)

It’s grilling time again and here at Vivo we take grilling very seriously–OK, so maybe seriously is not the word, but grilling is a way of life for us. In our latest event here at Vivo we grilled everything, even the dessert.

The dessert, cherries on pound cake–or as Christian Kahle, one of the event’s attendees called it, “cherries on the bone”–was a big hit.

We all have seen the fruit and grilled pound cake desserts before, nothing new here. What was so great about this dessert is that I used all the elements of the cherry–not just the cherries, but the branches of the tree and leaves were used in the making of this dish.

I blanched the leaves and shocked them in preparation for the grill. The cherries were pitted and skewered on the cherry brunches, and this is why Christian called them “cherries on the bone”. Then I made a simple syrup (same amount water and sugar) and reduced it with a shot of cherry liquor.

I put the cherries on the grill for a quick caramelization and to give them that “grilled” flavor. And I slid them off the branch and into the cherry liquor syrup.

While the cherries were resting in the syrup I put the pound cake on the grill. As the pound cake caramelized on the grill it smelled like smores; everyone wondered if that was what they were getting for dessert. I placed the cherry leaves on top of the pound cake, flipped it on to the leaf side for a quick sear, and it was done.

I placed the pound cake leaf side down on the plate. I arranged a couple cherries on top of the pound cake and then drizzled a little of the by now grilled cherry liquor syrup, and there it was. A great grilling out dessert.

Buen provecho!