Brent Moore, Executive Chef at the Naples, Fla., festival, held February 27-28, created Nueske bacon sliders made with Wisconsin Applewood smoked bacon for the event.
The 2015 Southwest Florida Wine and Food Festival on February 27-28 featured Brent Moore, Executive Chef of Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., among its specially selected professionals, the Naples (Fla.) Daily News reported.
Hosted by Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc., the $3.35 million raised will benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and also support the music therapy and pediatric nursing programs of two local colleges, the Daily News reported.
On the first day of the event, Chef Andrew Hunter of The Bay House was among 10 chefs who prepared vintner dinners at private homes and locations hosted by trustees and supporters. For the dinner, Hunter tapped into his creative side and recreated the Claw Bar at the Bay House for a spectacular start for pre-dinner cocktails, which included whole king crab, raw oysters, marinated blue crab fingers and smoked cocktail shrimp, the Daily News reported.
“To develop a menu, I sat down with the hosts and we chatted about their food likes and dislikes and then I visited the kitchen I would cook in. Since the hosts wanted to do a Parisian-themed party, I leaned toward French preparations when writing the menu taking into consideration the wines I tasted,” Hunter explained.
His vintner dinner menu included tuna tartare, cornbread gnudi, cauliflower custard, Gulf fish, a duo of chocolate—mousse and profiteroles—to a finish of the parting gifts, macaroons and gooey butter bites, the Daily News reported.
Attendees gathered February 28 for the wine and food festival’s Grand Tasting and auction, at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club, indulging in wines and an array of tapas and desserts prepared by 18 area chefs, the Daily News reported.
Moore’s station featured Nueske bacon sliders made with Wisconsin Applewood smoked bacon (see recipe below). “We buy an entire slab of bacon, 7 to 8 pounds, roast it, cut fairly thick slices to the size of a brioche slider bun, cook it in a pan, to order and serve them with a spicy tomato aioli,” Moore said.
“Everyone loves bacon, and in my opinion, Nueske is the best bacon you can buy. The smell draws folks to a great slider.”
While for Moore, smell is a vital part of the total gastronomic experience, stimulating the visual senses is also important, the Daily News reported.
“People also like to see visual presentations and see chefs cook. At Tiburon, we do a stir-fry station and get the chefs out in front of customers, and they really enjoy watching the chef at work,” he said.
Moore’s philosophy of cooking and the use of properly paired wines is uncomplicated, the Daily News reported.
“The more I cook, the simpler I cook; and the simpler I cook, the better the ingredients I use. It can be more difficult at times to cook simple, and I don’t let too many things get in the way of the natural ingredients. Cooking simpler is all about the ingredients,” he explained.
“My best tip for the home cook is to set up your mise en place. When you take the extra five minutes and set up everything—spatulas, ingredients—it’s so much easier. (And) then you can enjoy a glass of wine.”
10 Roma tomatoes (quartered lengthwise)
1 tsp. fresh thyme (chopped)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (or to taste)
1.5 pound slab of Nueske bacon
12 slider rolls
1 head heart of romaine lettuce (shredded)
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2. Toss quartered tomatoes in chopped thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil.
3. Place tomatoes skin side down on a baking sheet with a roasting rack.
4. Slow roast tomatoes for two hours (or until dehydrated and sweet)
5. Once tomatoes are finished roasting, allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.
6. Roughly chop the roasted tomatoes then fold into mayonnaise and Sriracha.
1. Slice the bacon into thickly cut cubes (approximately the size of the slider roll).
2. Brown cubed bacon in a skillet or bake in the oven until crisp.
3. If desired, griddle slider buns in whole butter (or leftover bacon fat) until golden brown.
4. On the bottom piece of the slider roll, add your roasted tomato sauce then shredded lettuce, then the hot Nueske bacon. Finish with the top piece of the slider roll.