From Miami’s famous five-star, five-diamond Casa Casuarina (formerly known as the Versace Mansion) to Washington Harbor’s Old Hickory Steakhouse in The Gaylord, Chef Wolfgang Birk is working to see just how far he can take a guest’s experience! Among Chef Birk’s signature dishes at the uber-elegant (think beautiful Georgetown row house with an incredible view) Old Hickory are the almond-crusted jumbo lump crabcake on avocado mousseline and a tartare trio composed of Kobe beef, Ahi tuna and vegetable tartare – all served with a quail egg on a cold salt stone. If you haven’t ventured out to the Harbor yet, what are you waiting for?!
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Working with Nitrogen…
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
A European Mediterranean Bistro, working with only local Farmers.. bringing back classic Flavors of Food.
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Our local produce company, since they are connected to all smaller local farmers. Coastel Sunbelt.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
You can not make everyone happy and some of them don’t know what they want.
What do you drink/eat after work?
Wine and Champagne, sometimes Scotch.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home? Will you share the recipe with us?
Roasted Chicken with my wife – of course but not the Wife… (recipe after the jump)
Roasted Chicken Recipe:
- One 3 lb fresh Organic Chicken (Amish Market)/ remove Head and legs
- One spring of fresh Thyme
- Coarse Sea Salt to taste
- 1 finely chopped fresh Scotch Bonnet Pepper
- One small white Onion finely chopped and lightly sautéed, whipped with 8 oz of Vermont Butter or other (high fat butter) and seasoned with salt
- 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive oil
Most important is the freshness of the Chicken. I buy the Chicken whole with head and legs still on. It is butchered the day before. Organic or Amish Chicken are leaner and will give a nice roasted chicken or wonderful Chicken soup and the Meat can be used for Fricassee.
Marinate the chicken for not more then 12 hours with fresh Thyme leaves, Scotch Bonnet Pepper and half of the Olive Oil. The secret is to massage the chicken with the olive oil, pepper and thyme and go slightly under the skin and in the inside of the chicken.
Pre-heat the Baking Oven to 375. Remove so much as possible the thyme leaves and pepper from the chicken, use a piping bag that is filled with the room temperature butter/onion mix and pipe under the skin of the chicken and spread with your hands to assure that the butter mix covers the breast and legs.
Brush some of the remaining Olive oil over the skin and season very well the chicken on the inside and out side with the coarse sea salt.
Turn the oven up to 400 and place the chicken into the oven, bake for approximately 40-45 min or until the inside temperature has reached 150-155.
I personally prefer my Chicken Medium well.
Let the chicken rest for about 10 min this will assure the remaining temperature in the chicken will cook the meat all the way through and no blood will be there anymore.
My Wife and I like to eat the roasted Chicken with a fresh made Salad (Arugula, Frisée, Tomatoes wedges, roasted sweet Corn, Boiled String Beans) in light Balsamic Dressing.