Fresh from the Farm
SUMMER'S OUTDOOR DINING DELIGHTS
If barbecuing every day of the summer is your idea of how to enjoy the warmest months of the year, Chef Kyle Fee agrees with you. This dedicated foodie instructs students in the ways of the professional kitchen at Fanshawe College’s culinary program at the downtown campus, as well as running a catering service and letting his creativity flow in his home kitchen.
Chef Kyle Fee
“I love the simple meals of summer, like barbecued chicken thighs, grilled zucchini and sweet potatoes,” he says. The latter are washed, with the skin left on, quartered (zucchini) or sliced (sweet potatoes) and tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled on the barbecue.
With the popularization of outdoor kitchens, eating and entertaining al fresco isn’t limited to barbecuing anymore. And the plethora of choices in fresh produce ensures that summer meals will be fresh, delicious and inventive every day.
While outdoor kitchens – fitted with refrigerators and cooktops – have widened the array of possibilities there are some cautionary notes from Chef Fee.
- Compound salads (those with a mayonnaise base) should be served in a bowl placed in a bowl of ice to ensure food safety.
- Net tents help keep food bug free.
- Charcuterie and cheese boards should be prepared, served and consumed fairly quickly. Left overs that have been sitting in the sun should be disposed of.
Pizza ovens are a fresh component being added to many outdoor kitchens, which is a great way to enjoy this homemade treat without heating up the kitchen.
If you don’t have an outdoor pizza oven, though, Chef Fee recommends using the barbecue to accomplish the task. Here are his tips for doing so:
- Place the base of your pizza on the barbecue to par cook for one or two minutes per side, until dough starts to crisp up.
- Build your pizza with cheeses, meats and veggies of your choice. Chef Fee prefers gorgonzola, salami, mushrooms, caramelized onions and roasted garlic.
- Turn off the burners on one side of the barbecue and the opposite side to high heat. Place the pizza on the non-flame side of the barbecue and cook until done “when the cheese is golden and bubbly,” he says.
Chef Fee enjoys creating prosecco cocktails to go with pizza and considers a caprese salad the perfect complement. This recipe highlights locally-sourced ingredients served at The Chef’s Table this summer. Make your own to enjoy at home or savour it in the restaurant’s dining room or newly-opened patio. Reservations are recommended.
CAPRESE SALAD FOR FOUR
100 g Your favourite salad greens
200 g Fresh mozzarella, sliced
20 ml Vinegar reduction
45 ml Extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch Torn basil leaves
4 pcs Candied bacon*
45 ml Basil emulsion*
20 g Pickled shallot*
*Fanshawe College culinary classes are technique-driven, so students create ingredients from scratch.
- Lightly toss your favourite greens in a mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper. Chef Fee recommends using high-quality extra virgin olive oil from The Pristine Olive. After, place greens on large platter.
- Slice or quarter the tomatoes and place on the greens with the sliced mozzarella. Add candied bacon. Can be eliminated, depending on your taste.
- Spread the torn basil over top. Garnish with the pickled shallots. Spoon basil emulsion over the salad.
- “I like to have the vinegar reduction in a small squeeze bottle, and haphazardly drizzle all over the salad,” says the chef.
- Top with some more incredible olive oil and freshly cracked pepper.