During a wildly popular cooking demonstration at the WG Annual Meeting, wine country chef Louis Maldonado influenced and entertained the crowd with his vegetables-first philosophy.
Maldonado explained that he likes vegetables to command center spot on the plates in his two Healdsburg, CA, restaurants with the protein taking a junior role. To accomplish this task, the former finalist on a recent season of Bravo’s Top Chef, said vegetables have to be prepared in a manner similar to protein if they are to deserve that top spot on the plate. He is a big user of the grill and in fact demonstrated the grilling of several different vegetables during his demonstration, including a braised butter lettuce salad.
Maldonado also is big on vinegar sauces and the liberal use of salt…”and then a little more,” he said, obviously believing that it is hard to overuse salt.
He demonstrated how to make a handful of items in front of the crowd, while cooks behind the scenes prepared and plated the same dishes for the well over 150 people in the crowd. The result was some great take-home knowledge and fabulous on-the-spot tastings.
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