Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Anne Kearney to open new eatery in Cincy area?

I was excited to see Polly Campbell's article, Kearney could open restaurant here, in today's morning Enquirer. Although I never had the pleasure of eating Chef Kearney's creations way back when she worked at Arnold's Bar & Grill downtown, I remember reading of her great success with Peristyle, the New Orleans' French Quarter restaurant known for its refined, French-inflected American bistro food, she opened back in the 1990s after working with Emeril for several years. She was named one of the Top 10 young chefs in the country by Food and Wine magazine in 1998 and Best Chef, Southeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2002.

After suffering from some health problems, Ms. Kearney returned to Ohio to recuperate. Meanwhile, Katrina visited N.O. and returning there became became more problematic.

In the meanwhile, she and her husband, Tom Sand, found an outlet for their culinary interests by growing produce for the past two years on their small organic farm, Two Small Tomatoes, north of Lebanon. "Every Thursday and Saturday, she sells what she grows at the Lebanon and West Chester Township farmers markets, along with soups, salsas and focaccia she makes from her produce and fresh herbs."
So now, an Anne Kearney restaurant in the Ohio Valley is very likely. She's been scouting locations that would allow her to stay close to family, and learning that getting a liquor license in Ohio is harder than in Louisiana.

"I think a small French bistro, using local produce," she says of her restaurant plans. "Some of the products I used to use: Louisiana crab, shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico."...

And Kearney's been itching to cook. She's been selling prepared foods at her farmers market stall - breakfast bars, soups, salsa, her mother's oatmeal-crusted brownies.

She teaches at Midwest Culinary Institute and other cooking schools, and does some catering.

"Gardening is harder than cooking," Kearney says. "Cooking is immediate. You get to make your customers happy, wipe it all down, start again the next night. You don't have to wait six months to find out if you did it right."

Here's a gem of an autumn soup recipe from Chef Kearney - and if the air in your neighborhood is anything like mine is today, you'll want to rush right into your kitchen and put a big pot on the stove to make this for dinner.


3 strips hickory-smoked bacon, cut into thin strips
1 cup small-dice leek, whites only
1 cup small-dice apple (Granny Smith works nicely)
1½ teaspoons chopped garlic
1 cup medium-dice butternut squash
1 cup medium-dice sweet potato
2 cups pumpkin puree (see note)
1 sprig sage
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons honey
4 cups chicken stock (water may be substituted)
½ cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Render the bacon in a 4-quart stock pot until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and allow it to drain on paper towels. Gently cook the leeks, apples and garlic in the bacon fat for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add the squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin puree, sage, bay leaf, honey and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and sage. Add the heavy cream and season with the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Makes 2 quarts. Serve with the crispy bacon as garnish. Toasted pumpkin seeds are a lovely garnish as well.

Note: Use either canned pumpkin or roast your own: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut small pumpkins into thick slices, remove seeds and strings. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, bake until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Scrape flesh off peel.


Blogger Garrett said...

Holy crap, I think i have all this at home!

7:13 PM  
Blogger Willa Frank said...

ooooooo, rilly? let me book that plane ticket right now and i'll meet you at your shibbilicious abode! ;-)) ROTFL...
p.s. anything i could bring from my TJ list--or should i make a pitstop on my way from the airport?

7:21 PM  

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