The Floating Island Workshops

A travelling series of writers' workshops with Kim Sunee

Archive for the ‘chef’ tag

Chapel Hill 2010: What a lunch at Crook’s Corner

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Chapel Hill 2010: The Many Faces of Bill SmithIt was an unseasonably warm October afternoon when The Floating Island arrived in Chapel Hill. We all hit the ground running and kicked off the 2010 Chapel Hill Workshop with a fabulous lunch at Crook’s Corner with Chef Bill Smith. He regaled attendees–including recipe editor Sheri Castle, cookbook author Sandra Gutierrez, and Publisher’s Weekly senior editor Lynn Andriani–with stories about the dishes and his time at the restaurant.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Rice Porrage with Fried OystersHe started off the meal with rice porridge with fried oysters instead of crackers, using Carolina Gold rice from Anson Mills. This porridge is typical fair in China but this was one of the first times Chef Smith has served it at Crook’s Corner. With this bowl of warming, delicious goodness, we were served a slightly-sweet, slightly-spicy Pineapple-Tequila Sparkler. Along with the eponymous ingredients, the light, refreshing drink featured jalapeno and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Rosy's Banana Leaf TomalesFor our main course, Chef Smith produced tender, bone-in chicken tamales steamed with plantains and wrapped with big banana leaves, which he paired with fresh papaya. The recipe was inspired by (and ultimately assembled by) Rosy, a local Tamale legend, who served them curbside (before meddling health inspectors intervened).

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Almond Safron CakeAnd for dessert, Chef Smith presented a perennial favorite from Kim Sunee’s Trail of Crumbs: Almond-Saffron Cake (recipe). He paired the tender, subtle cake with homemade orange sorbet and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Sign with Pig 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Lunch Menu 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Lunch 2010 FIW Chapel Hill - Crook's Corner Rice Porrage with Fried Oysters

Written by Dan

October 13th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Seaside 2010: Cooking with Chef Suvir Saran

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Attendee Rose cooking with chef Suvir Saran

Attendee Rose cooking with chef Suvir Saran

We were lucky to have chef Suvir Saran on hand over Memorial Day weekend to provide cooking demonstrations and world-class cuisine for our attendees. Suvir hails from New Delhi and won U.S. acclaim as the co-executive chef at New York City’s Devi restaurant and as the author of two incredible cookbooks: Indian Home Cooking and American Masala. He cooks with the ease and grace of a Michelin-starred chef (2007 and 2008 Michelin Guide to New York City) and instructs students with a a master’s precision and patience.

Floating Island Workshop: Cooking with Korin knives

The beautiful (and Sharp!) Korin knife with jalapeno

Suvir arrived prepared with some of his favorite equipment and products in tow. Japanese knife and tableware purveyor Korin provided beautiful knives and a traditional wok that Suvir used to cook a batch of Chivda (Indian trail mix). Kim Sunee described Chivda on her website, but it is a snack mix based on stir-fried thin poha (flattened rice), fresh curry leaves, spices, raisins and peanuts. The result is a crunchy, sweet and spicy treat that stays fresh for weeks (if you can keep yourself from eating it all in one go). Read the rest of this entry »

Seaside 2010: Off and Writing (and Cooking)

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Seaside 2010: Writers Workshopping with Kim Sunee

Seaside 2010: Writers Workshopping with Kim Sunee

The 2010 Seaside Floating Island Writers’ Workshop started off in delicious fashion when attendees began arriving Saturday, May 29. Among them, chef Suvir Saran of New York City’s restaurant Devi and his partner Charlie Burd came to run cooking demonstrations and sign his fabulous cookbooks (Indian Home Cooking and American Masala) at Sundog Books.

Kim Sunee and Chef Suvir Saran at Sundog Books

Kim Sunee and Chef Suvir Saran at Sundog Books

A few hours after arriving, Charlie and I headed off to find some fresh Gulf shrimp from Goatfeather’s Seafood. Soon Kim, Suvir, and a few other attendees (particularly Rose) began toasting, grinding, zesting, chopping, juicing and sauteing a beautiful supper of Goan shrimp, basmati rice, and a mixed yogurt raita. Read the rest of this entry »