Walter Benedict - Chef and Cookbook Author
March BLiCher Creature
Walter Benedict is a Chef and Cookbook Author based in Grand Rapids, Mi. A student of the New Orleans Culinary Institute, Walter is currently cooking at the Ada Pour House Gastropub, and has a strong passion for Pub Food.
During his career, Walter spent two years as an Apprentice Butcher and Sausage Maker. During this time he developed a Passion for Offal utilizing every part of the animal. Each week he would take a new part of the animal home, and would spend hours studying the best ways to prepare that ingredients. “It really drove me to look at ingredients differently, and taught me to really think about how to properly use every part of the animal to yield the best possible result. It’s this respect for the ingredients that first drew me to BLiS Products. The care that goes into their ingredients, matches the care I put into using them. I use them every day in my kitchen at work, and at home.”
St. Patrick’s Day marks the release of Walter’s first Book, Bar Food: America. It will feature upscale takes on classic American Bar Food. “I have always been fascinated by the pairing of food and alcohol, and this book is the result of that fascination. It’s my attempt to prove that bar food can be classy. “The book can be found at www.thepubchef.com or on Walter’s Instagram Account: @the_pub_chef.
About the Recipe:
This recipe combines some of my greatest passions. My Irish heritage, Offal, and cooking with Whiskey.
Colcannon Cakes: Colcannon is a traditional Irish potato dish, where potatoes are simmered in ham and cabbage. In the traditional dish, the cabbage is cooked in with the potatoes, but I’ve found that cabbage often becomes soft and blends in with the potatoes too much. I wanted this dish to have some crisp and acidity, so instead I decided to do a fried cake topped with a crispy/sharp slaw to contrast the richness of the Sauce and fattiness of the pork cheek.
Pork Cheek: Hands down Pork cheek is my favorite ingredient. It’s rich, fatty and so full of flavor. On its own it’s very tough, but if properly braised it becomes incredibly tender and delicate. For this dish, we braise the pork for 2.5-3 hours to make it tender, then finish it by flash frying. The end result is an incredibly tender, flavorful piece of pork, with a nice crispy exterior. It really is the best of both worlds
Don’t be intimidated by all the steps in this recipe. Every step is very simple, and with some simple planning, even a novice can execute a beautiful dish by following the steps.