Tag Archives: Festivities Catering

Maple Reigns Supreme @ Maple Sugar Weekend at Stamford Museum + Nature Center

3 Mar

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Giovanni Gentile waited intently by Chef Massimo Stecchi at the Bar Rosso table.   While you have probably seen owner Giovanni at Bar Rosso, Volta, and Capriccio, you might not have seen Massimo in action.  They were there as first time competitors at the First County Bank Chef’s Challenge where local restaurants must craftily use Stamford Museum & Nature Center Maple Syrup.  Joining them as newbies was Nicole Straight from Festivities Catering.  While they have always been very popular, their food has gained a bigger audience since opening a spot at the SoNo Marketplace.  Joining them were two veterans:  first we had EOS of Stamford who always puts together some nice Greek food, and we had defending champions David’s Soundview Catering.  David’s has always “broughten it” and was definitely a force to be reckoned with this year.

So what mapely goodness did this team of all-stars serve up?

Orange panna cotta from Bar Rosso

Orange panna cotta from Bar Rosso

Bar Rosso created an Orange Panna Cotta prepared with candied oranges and maple syrup.  The orange flavor was great with this panna cotta and we enjoyed how a little pool of syrup was at the top.  We took a little bite of panna cotta and made sure we had some of that luscious syrup, too.  The flavor was right on, but the texture was just a bit too watery.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try their Eggplant Relish Crostini with whipped ricotta and maple syrup because they went very quickly!

Chef Erik plates maple glazed shrimp and grits

Chef Erik plates maple glazed shrimp and grits

Next up was David’s Soundview Catering who first offered us a Butternut and Apple Bisque with maple baked chopped pecans.  So many great contrasts going on here between the rich, sweet, tart, and nutty and with textures.  An excellent bisque that we really enjoyed.  We talked with Chef Erik Anderson who was eagerly confident about retaining the crown this year, but was still a bit unsure because the other competitors had put out some great food.  And, of course, we talked with Melissa DeSousa and David Cingari himself.  From the pic you can tell how much fun they have doing their jobs!  Then we tried their Maple Glazed Jumbo Shrimp with white cheddar grits (and bacon, yay).  This was a killer dish and was one of our favorites of the day.  The shrimp was cooked nicely and had a slightly sweet taste from the maple glaze, bits of bacon added saltiness, and the grits were cheesy and silky.  Again, great contrasts in flavor and texture. Our favorite of the day!

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