lowed by a traditional fritto misto de mare, a fried seafood platter of shrimp, scallops, calamari and baby smelts over field greens with a spicy chile vinaigrette. The soup course is a seafood bisque with brandy and herbed mascarpone crostini. Diners can choose one entrée from a selection of six—among them pignolicrusted Chilean sea bass fillet sautéed with cherry tomatoes, white wine and herbs atop asparagus risotto and Francese fillet of sole and colossal lump crabmeat simmered in lemon-caper sauce with fontina polenta. ’Tis the season for game Kelly Liken (www.kellyliken.com), chef/ owner of her namesake restaurant in Vail, Colo., and “Top Chef” season 7 contestant, is no stranger to game meat and birds, especially in winter months. “Holidays in the Rocky Mountains are all about hearty, delicious food that warms you up. ... You see a lot of roasts. Standing rib roast, rack of lamb, elk loin and bison tenderloin are some of my favorites,” she says. Liken will pair hearty game meat with fruit and aromatic herbs and spices because it marries well with their rich flavors. “One thing that is really fun about serving game meats and birds for the holidays is that game stands up to big flavors. Many game meats pair beautifully with fruit in a savory preparation, which is fun as a cook because it opens you up to a whole new group of ingredients to work with. Some examples are elk loin with juniper and black currants, lamb with blood orange and Meyer lemon chutney [and] bison tenderloin with thyme infused huckleberry sauce.” Given that the dining room at Kelly Liken is quite small, the staff will cater events and cook food to order off-site. In-house events are considered a buy- out, where the group has the whole restaurant to themselves. “In this case, we don’t have regular dining service to deal with so we can concentrate solely on the group, and the group can have a very custom experience,” Liken says. At The Lido Deck Restaurant & Wine Bar (www.thelidodeckrestaurant.com) in Newport Beach, Calif., fans of Charles Dickens novels will be pleased with what’s on the menu for dinner during the week leading up to Christmas. “For the last few years, we have done a traditional Christmas dinner. And my version of a traditional, storied Christmas dinner has always been a goose with plum pudding,” says chef/owner Don Schoenberg. He rubs the whole goose with spices and stuffs it with fennel, orange and onion before roasting it until the skin is crisp and the fat renders into the roasting pan, which he saves for gravy. He portions and serves it with all the trimmings including plum pudding and braised cabbage. The Lido Deck has been open just shy of a year, so this will be its first Christmas goose, but Schoenberg isn’t worried about leftovers. “At my last two restaurants, a couple miles from where we are now, the goose was always a best-selling item. Living in Orange County, the people who live here are already very open to game meat because of its health benefits, so it’s been very easy for me to sell it.” Each goose feeds approximately eight guests, and Schoenberg plans to purchase as many as 10 from Newport Meat Co. (www.newportmeat.com) for his 48-seat (including patio) restaurant. In the unlikely event there are leftovers, Schoenberg has a quick solution in mind. “Oh man, pot pies are great. You stuff them with all the leftovers, some stuffing, the goose meat, and cover it with puff pastry. It’s really good.” Hyatt chef Troy Knapp’s ciderbrined prime rib of pork with rosemary-apple chutney Chef Staggs says, “Meyer Natural Angus sous vide products can be used straight from the freezer, which keeps waste to a minimum and helps chefs prepare for the last-minute guest list changes.” Meyer Natural aNgus Beef OssO BucO with saffrON risOttO Monty Staggs, corporate chef, Meyer Natural Angus, www.meyernaturalangus.com/foodservice Yield: 4 servings 4 bags Meyer Natural Angus Chef-to-Chef Beef Hindshank Osso Buco (leave contents in bags) 3 1/2 c. chicken broth 1 T. olive oil 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped 1 c. arborio rice Salt, to taste 1 c. white wine 1 large pinch saffron 1 T. butter 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated Pepper, to taste 4 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish Method (1) For the osso buco, place unopened bags of Meyer Natural Angus Chef-to-Chef Beef Osso Buco into large pot of boiling water, and heat for 20 minutes if frozen, or 15 minutes if thawed. (2) Bring chicken broth to a low simmer in a medium pot. (3) Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot. Sauté onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add arborio rice and a pinch of salt. Stir until rice is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add wine and saffron, and bring to a simmer, stirring until rice has absorbed most of the wine. Add 1/2 c. of broth to rice and simmer, stirring constantly until rice has absorbed most of broth. Continue adding broth, 1/2 c. at a time, and stirring, allowing rice to absorb broth before adding more. Cook until rice is al dente and mixture is a little loose. (4) Stir in butter, turn off heat, and stir in grated Parmesan cheese. Check seasoning; adjust as needed. Cover, and let sit 2 minutes. Divide among 4 bowls. (5) For plating, remove the 4 bags of Meyer Natural Angus Osso Buco from the boiling water. Using scissors, cut off the top of each bag and carefully remove osso buco using tongs or slotted spoon. Place osso buco on top of saffron risotto. Spoon or pour demi-glaze sauce from bag onto osso buco. Garnish with fresh sprig of thyme, and serve. Wine pairing: Sea Smoke Pinot Noir “Southing” 2007 (California) is a ripe, smooth Pinot Noir with tantalizing flavors of caramelized red fruits, cherries and baking spice that have the stuffing to stand up to the osso buco and luscious risotto. www.chefmagazine.com September 2010 | 11