Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 81 of 100

s p r i n g 2 0 1 7 | 8 1 apa Valley's bur- geoning culinary scene attracts tal- ented young chefs like honey attracts bears, and that's part of the reason it's so dynamic. They're drawn from diverse backgrounds and take different roads to get here, but the best ones—the ones you hope will stay forever—have some traits in common. Take these three talented chefs involved in the most exciting Napa Valley culinary proj- ects happening today: Chef Sean Streete is Sous Chef at the prestigious, Michelin three- star Meadowood Napa Valley; Pastry Chef Curtis Cameron left Aspen's Little Nell to join the team at Las Alcobas Hotel, the up- valley luxury property; JCB Culinary Direc- tor Victor Scargle is the maestro orchestrat- ing the numerous new culinary adventures at the ever-innovative Boisset Collection winery. Despite their impressive resumés, these three chefs are humility incarnate. They're not the pot-throwing, belittling chefs of televi- sion—although all three say they've worked in kitchens like that. But now that their careers have put the clogs on the other foot and they're in positions to help younger cooks, they're mod- eling their own leadership styles differently. Some of the ingredients to their successes are a given; some might surprise you. The recipe begins: DNA hardwired for creativity. Add passion: The measure must be strong enough to offset years of hard work and long hours. Mix with motivation: a desire to bring pleasure through their creative efforts. Garnish: humility with a dollop of humor. The Crossover: CURTIS CAMERON, Executive Pastry Chef, Las Alcobas Napa Valley Curtis Cameron, who won a spot to compete for the Savour Patissier of the Year award in Melbourne this May, found his way to pastry via his years as a sushi chef. "Precision is required in both," he explains. His desserts steer clear "as much as possible" from refined sugars, and he thinks it's a pity to end a savory meal with an overdose of sweetness. Cameron is looking forward to showcasing that viewpoint at Las Alcobas, and the respect is evident in his voice when he talks about the team there. The opening of the luxury hotel, located next door to the historic Beringer Winery, was one of the most anticipated in recent memory, but it encountered weather delays, plus the staffing challenges typical of high-rent locales like Napa. "It's a tough industry. To recruit and keep good staff, we have to show our staff that we care about them, he says. That's why Cameron recalls what it felt like working under one of his mentors: "He put so much of himself into helping you learn and advance in your career, you didn't want to disappoint him." PHOTO COURTESY OF LAS ALCOBAS NAPA VALLEY "The inspiration for this dessert—white chocolate en nogada—is from my time in Mexico City during Mexico's Independence Day and having the opportunity to try the traditional dish of that holiday called chili en nogada," Cameron says. "With the roots of Las Alcobas being from Mexico, I really wanted to take that traditional dish and put my spin on it in dessert form." The dessert includes white chocolate mousse, walnut and white chocolate glaze, toasted buckwheat cake, pomegranate and citrus. PHOTO COURTESY OF CURTIS CAMERON PHOTO COURTESY OF CURTIS CAMERON Guests at Acacia House at Las Alcobas Napa Valley can enjoy Chef Curtis Cameron's pain au chocolat, also featured in the 2017 Valrhona Cercle V calendar.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CleverRoot - CleverRootSpring2017