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posts tagged ‘aaron sanchez’

Aaron Sanchez debuts Crossroads at House of Blues

Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:07 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

“What’s cool about the menu is that it’s all the stuff I want to eat.” chef Aaron Sanchez revealed about the fare at new Atlantic City restaurant, Crossroads at House of Blues.

Sanchez, of Food Network’s Chopped, Chefs Vs. City and Heat Seekers fame, has become the newest addition to AC’s star-studded lineup of celebrity chefs. Aaron recently reinvented the Showboat Hotel’s casual signature eatery, and debuted Crossroads at House of Blues with its eclectic, dynamic menu — blending spicy Tex-Mex, Southern comfort and updated American classics.

 “They needed to give the food portion of House of Blues a new identity and name. Crossroads is the meeting place of spirituality, music, food and art,” Aaron shared. “I was excited at the opportunity to create a menu influenced by other facets of art. Because for me, music, art and other creative outlets are extremely important because they give me ideas and inspire my food.”

  1. Chargrilled skirt steak and cotija street tacos with pico de gallo & roasted tomatillo salsa
  2.  Slow-braised beef short rib meatballs sandwiched with fresh tomato sauce & cotija cheese
  3. \"Shrimp and grits\" — plump shrimp over crispy fried grit cakes in chipotle garlic cream
  4. Pasilla glazed short ribs on sweet andouille corn pudding with cherry tomatoes & snap peas
  5. Chef Aaron enthusiastically describing his dishes and cooking techniques to a table of diners
  6. Spicy jambalaya of marinated chicken, andouille sausage, sweet peppers & roasted green onion
  7. The casual, laid-back atmosphere in the main dining room of Crossroads at House of Blues
  8. Crisp grilled flatbread layered with basil pesto, oven-dried tomatoes & sharp blended cheese
  9. Citrus chipotle grilled chicken breasts served with white hominy & fresh vegetables

My exploration of Crossroads cuisine began with juicy, slow-braised beef short rib meatball sliders simmered in fresh tomato sauce and sprinkled with cotija cheese, and a crisp hand stretched grilled flatbread layered with basil pesto, oven-dried tomatoes and sharp blended cheese. Next up were the street tacos, which packed chargrilled citrus marinated skirt steak and cotija into soft, palm-sized corn tortillas, served alongside pico de gallo and roasted tomatillo salsa. These were intensely tasty tacos — I could’ve eaten them all night.

Sanchez’s mains showcased a variety of regional influences, from the Big Easy to the Deep South. Spicy chicken and andouille sausage jambalaya with sweet peppers and green onions brought a gratifying kick of heat, while shrimp and grits offered a modified interpretation of the Southern staple. Instead of resting atop a pool of corn meal, plump shrimp sat on a base of crunchy fried grit cake and were smothered in luscious chipotle garlic cream. Other entrées included skin-on citrus chipotle grilled chicken breasts served with soft white hominy and fresh vegetables, and fork-tender chile braised short ribs on top of sweet andouille corn pudding with cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas — another standout of the night.

The inspired dishes at Crossroads are as diverse as the musicians that take the stage at House of Blues. And after this impressive meal, it was clear that the menu includes all the stuff I want to eat, too.

Next time you’re down the shore, catching a show at House of Blues or just in the mood for flavorful, satisfying food, be sure to check out the new Crossroads. Or you can belly up to the boardwalk beach bar for a sampling of casual eats off the regular dining room menu.

Many thanks to chef Aaron & team for an incredible evening!

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Bobby Flay’s The Art of the Taco | NYCWFF 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 04:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (1) comment

“Tacos, Yo!” exclaimed host Bobby Flay as he manned the mic at his Saturday night soiree, Patron Tequila’s The Art of the Taco. Presented by Creekstone Farms, the event featured nearly 30 of the country’s hottest chefs who put their own unique spin on the South of the Border staple—with styles ranging from traditional, Mexican-inspired to elevated with French flair.

  1. Gotham Bar and Grill\'s veggie version with wild mushroom, white truffle & queso fresco
  2. The evening\'s host, chef Bobby Flay, spices up the taco throwdown. \"Tacos, Yo!\"
  3. Guests packed into 82 Mercer to sip tequila and crunch on the best tacos around
  4. Pampano Taqueria\'s charred tuna wonton taco with mango salsa & guacamole
  5. Buddakan topped a moo shu pancake with savory Peking duck glazed in chili hoisin
  6. Chefs Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron Sanchez and Geoffrey Zakarian were all smiles
  7. Laurent Tourondel brought the heat with his green chili braised pork shoulder taco
  8. Michael Psilakis dished out his Cretan spiced lamb
  9. Slow-roasted pork shoulder with salsa roja from La Esquina\'s Akhtar Nawab
  10. Chilaquiles with Mexican chocolate chili sauce drizzle over organic vanilla ice cream

This time at 82 MercerPatron and Corona flowed as taco-lovers bounced from station to station sampling tortillas stuffed with creative combos of steak, lamb, shrimp, tuna, beef tongue, duck, pastrami, lobster, bone marrow, oysters and foie gras.

Tender braised pork carnitas from Mercadito, a Cretan spiced lamb pocket from Kefi’s Michael Psilakis, and Scarpetta chef Scott Conant’s spice crusted lamb neck tacos all made me swoon, while versions with oysters from Riverpark and foie gras from Recette palatably expanded my taco horizons.

Dozens of celebrated chefs and TV personalities (including Aaron Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Forgione, Claire Robinson, Marcela Valladolid, Debi Mazar, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian) were seen doling out their taco creations, mingling with the crowd and even belting out Bon Jovi. Awesome.

After taking in tons of savory tacos, sweet relief was welcomed by ice cream chilaquiles drizzled with Mexican chocolate chili sauce and Gramercy Tavern’s salted chocolate hazelnut tacos. And after many of Bobby’s margaritas were had by all (hello, Sunday hangover!), the event turned into a late night dance party and guests and chefs alike let loose and had a grand ol’ time.

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