Serenbe Style and Soul

with Marie Nygren



June 2012



Chef Kevin Gillespie – 2012 Southern Chef Series Continues

Written by , Posted in Kevin Gillespie, Recipe Articles, Southern Chefs Series

On March 25 and 26, the second installment in the Southern Chef Series took place, featuring Season 6 Top Chef finalist Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill.  Kevin instructed 10 eager home chefs in my kitchen.  By lunch on the 26th, his protégés had refined their dicing skills, perfected the slow sauté to bring out the rich flavors of root vegetables, marinated and grilled flank steak to perfection, and mastered the once intimidating Crepes Suzette with an oh-so-dreamy citrus butter sauce. 

New and returning “students” enjoyed Kevin’s easygoing manner and hands-on approach.  Within minutes of starting the class, Kevin had the participants at the cutting boards. By lunch on day 2, they left class empowered to recreate this talented chef’s menu, utilizing new or improved skills.  

Kevin Gillespie’s Asparagus Salad

Serves 8

Olive oil – about 2 cups

Garlic – 2 cloves, sliced thin

Basil – 1 bunch

Lemon – 1

Asparagus – 1 pound, trimmed of woody ends


Feta cheese – 4-ounce block (about 1/2 cup), grated or crumbled

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Pour the oil into a loaf pan or one quart casserole dish.  Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of small leaves from the basil to the oil.  Wrap the remaining basil in a damp paper towel, cover, and refrigerate until time for serving.  Using a fine microplane grater, zest 1/2 of the lemon directly into the oil.  Using a vegetable peeler, strip two large pieces of the peel into the oil; make sure you have a little peel left on the lemon.  Drop the asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute.  Using tongs, remove the asparagus from the water, tap the tongs on the side of the pot, shaking off any excess water, and lay the asparagus into the dish with the oil.   The asparagus should be completely submerged; add a little more oil if needed.  Wrap the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 4 hours. 

Remove the asparagus from the oil and place in a single layer on a serving platter.  Sprinkle with salt and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice.  Grate or crumble the feta over the asparagus and garnish with a few basil leaves and a grate of lemon zest.   


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