Oh, the thrill…The Southern Chefs Series‘ February guest chef was Anne Quatrano. I adore Anne, queen of Star Provisions, Bacchanalia, Abattoir, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Floataway Cafe, and Summerland Farms. Chef Anne graced this past weekend’s class with her wit, stories, tips and techniques, and infinite wisdom.
The 10 class participants held on her every word and eagerly tested their new or refined skills in the preparation of two sumptuous meals. Dinner featured a salad of winter citrus, radish, fennel, Caramont Farm Esmontonian cheese, and Summerland Farms microgreens; pan-seared halibut, green garlic, greens, fine herbs, and preserved Meyer lemon; quail with heirloom grains, roasted mushrooms, and preserved pears; chocolate souffle with chantilly cream; and madeleines. Lunch was a feast of celery root soup, pickled Vidalia onion, and pesto; peeky toe crab toast (see recipe below); winter lettuces with pecan, apple, lemon, and olive oil; and ginger cookies.
I am invigorated in the presence of Anne and always learn something new from her. By the buzz in my kitchen, I think the others felt the same. There was great energy and camaraderie among the group.
The beauty of the Southern Chefs Series classes is participants get to learn from the best of the South’s best in a casual, intimate setting. We work together to create delicious and memorable meals and leave knowing we can recreate these meals in our own kitchens. The featured chefs are down-to-earth people who make preparing great food approachable for every level of cook.
Chef Anne Quatrano’s Peeky Toe Crab Toast
4 thick slices sourdough bread
1/2 pound peeky toe crab meat (may substitute lobster for crab if desired)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for brushing bread
1 tablespoon spicy mayonnaise
Brush each side of the bread with olive oil and toast under the broiler or on a grill. Pick through the crab meat to ensure there are no shells; try to retain the large pieces of crab. Toss the crab with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Top each slice of toast with crab. Put small dots of spicy mayonnaise on top of the crab and garnish with the freshly picked herbs.