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Top Chef's Tiffany Derry's 5 course dinner kicked off the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience. From a diver scallop surf and turf to a sashimi style ceviche! featured post *tasteologie

Top Chef's Tiffany Derry's 5 course dinner kicked off the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience. From a diver scallop surf and turf to a sashimi style ceviche!

April 27th, 2011

The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism brought Tasteologie out to for the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience, and upon arrival was dinner by Chef Tiffany Derry, amazing dishes, each paired with a great wine from Rudy von Strasser.  This was the kick off of the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience, the annual week long celebration founded by island restauranteurs Kelly Odom and Katherine Pugliese.  A series of tastings, farms visits, dinners and events, it serves to bring together the local food scene and help join it with the national one.  Celebrity chefs and vintners arrived on the island with an astonishing amount of food and began, with the help of local chefs and restaurants, to cook up a storm.  All proceeds benefit the St. Croix Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening this close knit community.

Amazing food and amazing conversation.... I was lucky enough to be seated next to some long time residents and as the night wore on I started to get the inside scoop on life on St. Croix.
And now, let's dive in to the actual food of this experience!
Chef Derry started the night off with a Mahi Mahi and Radicchio Ceviche that she calls more of an “Asian-style sashimi”. The fish was delicately cut on the bias, the citrus flavors were perfectly balanced, and the raddichio slaw along with the tortilla strips gave it a satisfying crunch. Check out the recipe at The Daily Meal.
To create all this wonderful food she worked with the regular staff of Tutto Bene, the restaurant hosting this event. The owners, Smokey and Kelly Odom, were gracious enough to allow me to sneak into the kitchen to snap some pictures of the chefs in action.
The next course was chicken liver over a black truffle risotto. This dish was fun... the chicken livers on top had a certain earthiness to them and that earthiness was echoed in the black truffles in the risotto below. The risotto was made with crème fraiche which served to provide a nice contrasting tang.
Chef Derry's playfulness continued onto the next plate with this surf and turf. The dish consisted of a beautifully seared scallop stacked atop an oxtail croquette, which in turn rested on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes. She blends Southern soul food and her Texas influence into fine dinning.
The dessert, a chocolate cake covered in a chocolate mouse surrounded by a raspberry port sauce, was described by a neighboring diner as a "chocolate explosion in your mouth"
Wine stand outs of the night were the 2008 Zinfandel and the 2006 Von Strasser Petit Verdot Port. The port was amazing... big full flavor and sweet, but not cloying... the perfect end to my first night in the Caribbean.
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