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How Chefs Like Their Eggs

Submitted by on April 11, 2011 – 9:53 pmNo Comment

Eggs.  So basic and fundamental, they’re often overlooked as the main event on a menu.  But with Easter just around the corner and spring in the air, let’s talk about eggs on the menu at restaurants across North America.

Chris Clime: PassionFish, chef de cuisine
My favorite egg dish is Eggs Benedict, ever since I had it with my family at Brennan’s when I was 6 years old.  After that, my parents made it for every holiday or special occasion.  We still have it every Christmas morning or Christmas Eve, but now I’m the one making it.

John Engle: Brasserie Beck, chef de cuisine
I’ve always loved poached eggs. While living in the South, I came up with a favorite combination that has stayed with me ever since: beautifully made grits with crispy pork belly and a poached duck egg. The combination was smooth and rich, and liquid and crispy, salty and smoky, all at once. Just one bite brings me right back to that time and place – and I still love it.

Chip Flanagan: Ralph’s on the Park, chef de cuisine
I’ve been running a great frisée salad with a poached egg on top, lately, my take on the classic French bistro salad that is served with bacon lardons.  In my salad, I sous vide beef short ribs [to medium rare] and pork belly [fully cooked.]  The two meats are diced and then fried to order. The egg is sous vide in the shell.  The salad is plated, and the egg, shelled, is placed on top.  This dish showcases our sous vide techniques, but it’s damn good, too.

David Guas: Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, owner and chef
Eggs Sardou is something we had at home for Sunday dinner. My mother made it with Spinach Madeleine, which is a creamed spinach dish made with Kraft jalapeno cheese and a bit of cream cheese. Get a toasted English muffin, a layer of spinach Madeleine, followed by a poached egg, and liquid gold, Hollandaise.  For breakfast, I love deviled egg sandwiches, which is simply deviled egg filling on white bread.  That was a favorite childhood breakfast, and still one of my guilty pleasures.

Matt Hagan: Mussel Bar, chef de cuisine
My grandmother and I used to prepare a southern egg dish every Sunday morning called Strata, a layered breakfast casserole – a lot like a savory bread pudding.  In our version, we used red pepper, Virginia country ham, spinach, and cheddar cheese, and in most bites, you got a little bit of everything.  It’s still my favorite.

Brian Katz:  Ralph Brennan’s Red Fish Grill, chef de cuisine
My favorite is an egg dish that we run on occasion as a special here at the restaurant: Jumbo Lump Crabmeat with a Slow Poached Egg, Frisée, Boudin croutons and a Champagne Dijon Vinaigrette.  I really enjoy the way this combination of flavors works — the richness of the crabmeat is accented by the creaminess of the slow poached egg, and by the spiciness and crispy crunch of the boudin croutons.  The slight bite of the vinaigrette-dressed frisée adds a nice counter punch to the richness.

Baruch Rabasa: Mesón 923, executive chef
My favorite egg dish is Huevos Rancheros.  It consists of sunny side up eggs, a fried tortilla, tomatillo salsa, refried black beans, queso fresco and crema. It’s what we ate Sunday mornings when I was growing up in Mexico – a sentimental favorite, but I’d love it anyway, it’s that good.

Peter Smith: PS 7’s, owner and chef
My favorite egg is on a burger, the Chef’s Choice Burger.  Farm fresh organic fried egg (over easy) substitutes as sauce, with Gruyère, house smoked bacon, and heirloom tomatoes – all on a large brioche bun.  It’s very simple, but that egg imparts a smooth, rich, satisfying flavor throughout the dish.

Paul Stearman: Marcel’s, chef de cuisine
One of my favorite egg dishes is Soft Scrambled Eggs served in the shell with Maine Lobster Cauliflower Purée and Osetra Caviar.  As an elegant egg dish, it is guaranteed to blow you away: you start with the caviar then move into the soft eggs — the texture makes your eyes roll back — then finish with creamy lobster and cauliflower.  Nice starter on Easter, or for any occasion!

Jeff Tunks: Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, PassionFish, TenPenh, owner and chef
I am not usually a big fan of eggs, deviled being one of my least favorite things overall to eat.  That said, the best egg dish I had cannot be reproduced, because it was about the experience (much like the hotdog you eat at the World Series). In the Piedmont region of Italy, I went to enjoy white truffle season and did.. The combination of eggs and white truffle is incredible, and one that stands out was a lion’s head white ceramic soup dish bubbling with a fontina cheese Fonduta with a fresh farm egg yolk baked inside. The waiter then sliced an obscene amount of white truffle on top, to the point that I was afraid to make eye contact with him.  I’ll admit it: THAT was an egg I liked – a lot.

Robert Wiedmaier: Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck, Mussel Bar, owner and chef
Definitely a Fresh Sautéed Spinach, Garlic, Gruyere Omelet made with three farm eggs. This was one of the very first dishes I ever cooked at home, long before culinary school and restaurant apprenticing.  It became a family staple, and was my father’s favorite breakfast dish.  It’s on the menu at Beck and Mussel Bar.

Tucker Yoder: The Clifton Inn, executive chef
There are very few egg dishes I don’t like.  When we were growing kale at our house in Lexington, we used to sauté kale in bacon fat and serve it over sourdough English muffins with white cheddar, a fried local farm egg, and [of course] hot sauce.  It’s a very comforting dish.  Steak and eggs are another favorite.  You really can’t miss with pretty much any steak with soft scrambled eggs, fried eggs, or slow cooked eggs.

Eggs, the ancient symbol of spring and rebirth are versatile, delicious, a sentimental favorite – and, clearly, all they’re cracked up to be.

(Photo by Teoman Yuksel)

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