Modenus’ Editor Tim Bogan had the opportunity to speak to chef Hurley about his work, passions and collaboration with Zephyr Hoods. He was also able to get the chef to share a recipe so be sure to scroll to the bottom.
The expression ‘cooking with gasoline’ has two meanings to Chef Tom Hurley; as one of the top chefs in the Northwest, he is no stranger to unleashing rich, elaborate flavors in producing glorious meals. Formerly the owner and executive chef of award-winning restaurants Hurley’s and Coupage, Hurley takes pride in his passion for blending tastes, textures and unique experiences. In a previous life, he was a firefighter; a job and culture he continues to support.
Recently, Hurley began heating things up with his collaboration with Zephyr, the innovative range hood manufacturer. As proof, he has offered himself up as a judge AND a prize for their most recent contest: Inspire My Kitchen Design Contest (IMKDC)
Given that Modenus celebrates the best in home design, a chat with Chef Hurley about his work, association with Zephyr Hoods and love of food seemed timely. “When I’m home I think about food, when I’m at work I think about food – flavor profiles, visualizing dishes,” he says. The proof is clear: the depth of his knowledge, the easy-going enthusiasm are evident from a man who has found what he knows to be special and is generous enough to share it.
His enthusiasm is infectious; ask him about food and he proclaims his devotion “I love standing next to the stove – figuring out aroma, texture and taste to produce something excellent. When you are cooking with your heart, what comes out is love.”
He contrasts this with fast food. “People eat in their cars and go to drive-thru’s. You never hear them say ‘that made my mouth water’. People don’t realize how important that is, salivary glands are our bodies barometer.”
We talk about the North American habit of rushing meals and a shared disappointment with restaurants that present the bill while you are still eating in contrast to dining in Europe where two and a half hours at the table is not uncommon. He describes the undue haste as “let’s turn them and burn them.”
Chicken is one of Hurley’s favorite foods; though he bemoans the lack of great free range chicken in North America. The conversation then turned to equipment: the need for a really good sharp knife is, as Jane Austen might have said, a truth universally acknowledged. What else does he value: a Highspeed Vita-Prep blender, wonderful for emulsions, a favorite chef technique. He is also a big fan of Zephyr Hoods and now represents the firm that makes them.
He tells me that wherever he lived, a beautiful kitchen was a must, but somehow a great range hood wasn’t in the equation. “At times it sounded like I had a B52 in my kitchen.” He visited a friend who had a Zephyr hood and when he turned it on “it just hummed”. He praised Zephyr some more, “the way they move the air, the motors they use, they are just great and I really believe they have set the bar quite high.” He also appreciates that Zephyr products can be positioned high enough to “avoid bashing your head on the edges.” Obviously spoken from experience and let’s just say I share his pain.
We ended our chat with talk about Labor Day plans, which included friends, aged beef the color of Burgundy (his recipe for Beef Bourguignon below) and the prospect of grilling. Suddenly I wished I was living a lot closer!
Click here to see Zephyr’s profile on Modenus
Chef Hurley’s Beef Bourguignon
Beef flat Iron cut 2”x 2” 8 oz
Carrot 2 oz
Onion 2 oz
Celery 1 oz
Bay leave fresh one
Thyme ¼ bunch
Black pepper corn 4 each
Red wine 2cup
Garlic clove slivered 4 each
Fingerling potatoes boiled in salted water 3 each
Baby round French carrot blanched in salted water 2 each
Baby button mushrooms clean and sauté in blend olive oil 5 each
Lardon blanched in water 5 each
Pearl onion large cook in white wine, olive oil, bay leafs and garlic 4 each
Parsley chopped ½ tsp
Olive oil blend 1 tsp
Veal demi 4 oz
- Make a sachet with the thyme, parsley, pepper, bay leaves.
- Marinate cut flat iron for in red wine with the sachet, vegetables, half of the olive oil for 48 hours
- Remove the beef and strain the vegetables, reserve the wine.
- Pat the meat dry, season and sear in a hot pan with olive oil and set aside in slow temperature in rondeau or braisière pots
- Cook the carrots, onion, celery and garlic in the same pan that you sauté the meat, and deglaze with the reserved wine. Poor over the meat
- Slow simmer for about 2 hours (don’t over cook!).
- Remove the meat and vegetables, check for seasoning. Reduce the liquid by half and add veal demi reduce and check for consistency and seasoning
- Strain the sauce in fine mesh strainer.
- Store the beef in the braising liquid.
Blanch vegetables cool in cold water bed and reserve for service
- In a large sauté pan with raw butter, sauté mushrooms, bacon, pearl onions, carrot and fingerling potatoes until nice brown color.
- Warm up meat with the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes
- display meat in a large deep plate garnish with vegetables, lardon and freshly chopped parsley
Makes us look forward to the next really chilly weekend. Enjoy!