On Nov. 13, K & L Media partnered with Judd & Black Appliance to host Executive Chef Michael Buholz from The Loft at Latitude 48.5. Buholz welcomed the small audience gathered in the showroom’s test kitchen and shared his philosophy on sourcing the best ingredients and serving only made-from-scratch sauces and dressings. As he prepared the four-course meal, Buholz entertained guests with stories from his lifelong love for cooking. Memorable childhood visits to his grandmother’s home in Wyoming inspired his commitment to freshness. His grandmother used to give him a bucket and a shovel and send him out to the garden to gather ingredients for dinner. Similarly, Buholz took pride in telling guests about each dish’s fresh ingredients.
Buholz’s first course delighted guests as he served up pan-seared sea scallops wrapped in hickory bacon on a salad of organic greens, julienne pear, and supreme-cut grapefruit, dressed with a pear vinaigrette. As a special treat, he ordered weathervane scallops, which were overnighted from the east coast, where they were hand picked by divers for their quality, rather than dredged in nets.
Next, he processed green and red bell peppers through a spiral cutter to garnish the Dungeness crab cakes, made with crab from Port Townsend and served on a bed of cilantro with a tasty rémoulade. The spiral cutter proved to be the gadget of the night, as many guests admired the delicate pepper slices and looked forward to purchasing the tool for their home kitchens. Buholz reminded guests that crab becomes saltier in the fall as seawater grows colder, which is something to keep in mind when seasoning the recipe at home. He also pointed out that the lemon slice was not just for garnish, but invited guests to squeeze the juice over the cake to brighten the flavors. Several guests mentioned the dish was so good that Buholz had succeeded in ruining them on crab cakes.
Pictured Above: Dungeness Crab Cakes
The main course featured impressive cuts of Wagyu ribeye roast, which is a close relative of Japan’s famous Kobe beef and is known for its marbling and intense flavor. He served the steaks medium-rare with a delectable demi-glaze atop Yukon gold potatoes mashed with garlic and a blend of Asiago, Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano cheeses, along with perfectly cooked asparagus spears and a garnish of crunchy potato frizzle (also made with the spiral cutter).
As he prepared the Malbec pots de crème, Buholz drew laughs from the audience when he admitted that working in a pancake house during his early teens left him with an aversion to the smell of maple syrup. He reduced an entire bottle of Malbec to just two tablespoons before blending it with hazelnut butter and chocolate and making the custard. He garnished the dessert with Black Hawaiian sea salt and a Malbec-infused whip cream. Tulip Valley Winery provided the Malbec, which is made from thirty-year-old vines and available in limited production, along with the other delicious wine pairings. This decadent treat was the perfect way to finish an evening of food and fun.
Click these links for Recipes by Chef Michael Buholz:
First Course: Seared Scallops and Pear Salad
Second Course: Dungeness Crab Cakes
Entree: Wagyu Ribeye The Steak
Dessert: Malbec Pots De Creme