San Francisco is, and always will be, a major influencer for food and wine trends. It is a community rich with farmers, writers, winemakers, spirits distillers, artisans, and vibrant independent chef owned restaurants.
SF Chefs 2011 is a food and wine event celebrating the unique flavor, diversity and bounty of Northern California. The Grand Tasting Tent, set on San Francisco’s legendary Union Square, will feature over 200 of San Francisco’s finest restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, and wineries displaying their finest creations.
We’ve also partnered with some SF Chefs of our own, who will be serving up FIJI Water-inspired treats from our signature FIJI kitchen. On Friday, August 5, Chef Paul Piscopo of Trace, the soon-to-be launched new restaurant at W San Francisco, will be serving corn panna cotta with crispy polenta and pickled watermelon. Two days later, Chef Daniel Corey of Luce will serve compressed summer melons with cucumber cream and tomato jus. We’ve got a sneak peek at the recipes for these culinary creations below. Enjoy!
FIJI Polenta with Corn Panna Cotta and House Pickled Watermelon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart FIJI Water
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmesan, grated
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large, oven-safe saucepan heat the olive oil over low heat.
- Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.
- Add the FIJI Water, whisk in the cornmeal and turn the heat up to high.
- Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place it in the oven.
- Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent lumps.
- Once the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper and gradually add the Parmesan.
- Pour the polenta into a 1/2 sheet pan lined with plastic wrap.
- Place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Once set, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut into small squares.
Corn Panna Cotta
8 ounces. sweet corn kernels
1 cup FIJI Water
1 cup cream
1 sheet gelatin
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
- In a pan add the corn kernels, FIJI Water, and olive oil.
- Gently simmer until tender and sweet and all of the FIJI Water has been reduced.
- Add the cream and bring to a simmer.
- Add the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Soak the gelatin sheet in cold FIJI Water until soft.
- Add the warm corn liquid.
- Pour this liquid through a fine mesh strainer, season the corn puree to taste, and pour into small serving bowls to set.
House Pickled Watermelon
1.5 quart FIJI Water
1 quart watermelon rind (white only, no skin), finely diced
1 cup unsweetened rice vinegar
1/3 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 jalapenos, split
5 garlic cloves
1 large piece fresh ginger, sliced
1/2 red onion, julienned
mustard seed, coriander, celery seed, black peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves
- Combine all ingredients except for the watermelon rind in a large pot and bring to a simmer, dissolve all sugar and salt.
- Allow to cool, then add the small diced rind from the watermelon.
- Refrigerate a minimum of overnight.
- Dust the polenta squares with flour and pan fry in oil until crispy.
- Transfer to paper towels, season with salt and pepper.
- Top the set panna cotta with a small amount of the pickled watermelon, the crispy polenta and chives.
Compressed Summer Melons With Cucumber Cream, Tomato “Jus”
3 each Galia melon
1 cup white verjus (fusion)
1/4 cup FIJI Water
- Clean and dice melon into large dice or use medium melon baller.
- Toss in bowl with verjus and FIJI Water.
- Place melon in vacuum bag and compress on highest setting.
- Let sit for 4 hours or overnite in cooler.
2 cup of yogurt, Greek “Fage” preferably
1 cup cucumber juice, fresh
1 lemon, juiced
kosher salt, to taste
- Whisk together all ingredients in mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste.
- Transfer to siphon and charge with two cartridges if you have it, otherwise cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
6 pounds canned San Marzano tomato
3 quarts FIJI Water
5 crushed cardamom pods
1 fresh bay leaf
2 strips of orange zest
4 pieces fresh thyme
- Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Run everything a food mill then pass through strainer.
- Freeze overnite.
- Remove from freezer and let drain/thaw over cheesecloth. Liquid should come out completely clear.
- Pool the bottom of bowl/cup with tomato “jus.”
- Place compressed melon in the “jus”and season with espelette and sea salt.
- Top with cucumber cream and garnish with sea salt, a bit more espelette and small leaf of lemon basil.