Studio Gourmet returned last night with a live Q & A and cooking demonstration from Mark Dommen of One Market (1 Market Street).
The accomplished chef–recipient of a prestigious Michelin star–greeted attendees with a couple of tasty treats, including bite-size rock shrimp tacos and Berkshire ham sliders topped with melted Gruyere. In addition to being a delicious starter, the hors d’oeuvres were also incredibly playful, setting the tone for a casual and entertaining evening to follow.
In the elegant and private back bar of Circolo (500 Florida Street) Studio Gourmet host Brad Lev launched into an in-depth series of questions, seeking to highlight the personal journey of Chef Dommen that led to his eventual success. Unlike many other culinary demos that focus almost exclusively on the food, Studio Gourmet strives to humanize the incredible people bringing sensational meals to dining tables throughout the city.
Dommen spoke candidly with the intimate crowd of less than 100 about his start as a dishwasher in high school to his eventual rise as a line cook, until finally becoming a master of his trade–a virtue of which his parents had constantly stressed–as head chef at one of the city’s top restaurants. Afterwards, the Chef took questions from the audience, who frequently donned smiles produced by Dommen’s warm and jovial responses. When I asked him what rock star he would compare himself to, the acclaimed culinary personality laughingly landed on Eric Clapton–Slowhand. Behind the kitchen, Dommen was anything but–whipping up a bevy of tastings for everyone to enjoy, in mere minutes.
The first of two dishes was a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, pan fried before receiving a light baking in the oven. He then cut the loin into thick medallions and topped them over fried apple slices, smothered in a sweet yet savory reduction sauce. Next up were incredibly juicy and succulent Dungeness crab cakes surrounded by a saffron aoili that glistened with vibrant tones of citrus.