Up-and-coming Twin Cities chef cooking for North Shore eventPrepare your palates, foodies. Your fine dining experience is about to include Velveeta.
By: Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune
Prepare your palates, foodies. Your fine dining experience is about to include Velveeta.
Jamie Malone, the chef at Sea Change at the Guthrie, will present a four-course meal Thursday at Ledge Rock Grille. Malone, a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star award, will offer a glimpse of the seasonal fare at the Minneapolis restaurant: a mix of chicken, seafood —and a gratin made with the smooth Kraft signature cheese.
“My biggest focus is on being as refined and elegant as possible,” she said. “No matter what we’re doing, I want to be modern. I also want to be playful. Hence, the Velveeta, I guess.”
A pre-dinner social hour will start at 6 p.m., followed by the meal served by Malone and a social hour. The dinner is $65 per person, or $85 with chef-selected wine pairings. Reserve a spot by calling (218) 595-7510.
The menu includes langoustine with hot rosemary, garlic and chili oil, porcini crusted ahi tuna, chicken roulade with country ham, Velveeta gratin and collard greens.
Sea Change pastry chef Niki Edwards is contributing hazelnut semifreddo with chilled hibiscus and croissant croutons.
Malone put herself into the diner’s seat when considering the menu.
“It’s worked well to cook what I want to eat and what I want to experience at a particular event,” she said.
She said she also wanted dishes that were texturally and aromatically different.
Malone grew up in St. Paul and studied at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Mendota Heights, Minn. This past year she was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine. Food writer Tina Ujlaki described Malone’s version of chawan mushi for the magazine:
“The super-silky, just-set custard with its hint of porky smokiness and aromatic yuzu, topped with barely cooked scallop slices, is a Japanese classic reimagined with confidence and sophistication.”
Cooking Light gave her the 2013 Sustainability Award, and said of her style:
“Close your eyes and take a bite and you’ll think you’re eating in San Francisco or New York: Malone’s cooking is a startling mix of traditional and forward-leaning.”
Malone said she is a visual person who takes inspiration from what she sees around her. She also reads a lot. And, most importantly, she dines out regularly.
“Ethnic restaurants,” she said. “It’s really cool to learn about different techniques and different styles. In fine dining cooking, we get caught up in: ‘This is how it should be. This is how a plate should look.’ You can discover new and interesting ways of experiencing food.”
Ledge Rock Grille brings in award-winning and buzz-worthy chefs from Minneapolis about once a month, according to executive chef Uriah Hefter. It’s a sort of working vacation for the visiting chefs, who get a weekend on Lake Superior after the event.
“We have a fair amount of folks in Duluth that really like to try something different,” he said. “They don’t have to drive two hours to the (Twin) Cities, they can just drive 20 minutes up the shore.”
Hefter said Malone’s commitment to sustainable foods matches that of his restaurant.
“We enjoy having someone come up the shore who has the same passion for food from local farmers and fishmongers,” he said.