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No question, Benjamin Meyer has talent and creativity in droves. He loves to tell a story to his guests about his favorite creation — a dish called “The Evolution of Ants on a Log.” Yes, go ahead and think peanut butter, raisins and celery, but Meyer’s take, according to the chef himself, “Is represented in four different ways based off four phases of art. And it’s interactive.” Love Meyer’s outside-the-box thinking? Try his “A Tale of Two Chickens” (coq au vin + fried chicken) or “Filet of Beef – A Tribute to the Cheeseburger” at Iridescence. Both dishes will delight your palate as well as your sense of whimsy.
While these nuances are likely innate, Meyer earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University, graduating summa cum laude. He also studied at the Suan Dusit International Culinary School in Bangkok and the At-Sunrice Culinary Academy in Singapore, specializing in Thai and Pan-Asian cuisine.
Having honed his skills in metro Detroit, Meyer knows and appreciates the diversity of his patrons and aims to please. Those who prefer the glamorous, foodie vibe as well as those looking for more traditional meat-and-potato fare will find Meyer’s menus to their liking.
When not in his own kitchens, he likes to stop by Lou’s Deli for what he calls, “hands down, the best sandwiches.” He’s also been known to pop into Green Dot Stables for some Hendrick’s and a snack. And when food isn’t on his mind, Meyer’s interests are as diverse as his menus. He’s a fan of Detroit sports, and he loves to visit the city’s numerous museums. His all-time favorite event: the annual Detroit Jazz Festival.
Red Wine and Hoisin Braised Beef Short Rib
Prepared by Chef Benjamin Meyer, Iridescence
5 pounds bone-in beef short rib
1 bottle (750 ml) California Cabernet
4 each stalks of celery, chopped
3 each carrots, chopped
2 each Spanish onion, chopped
1 cup Hoisin sauce
1 quart chicken or veal stock
2 each cinnamon sticks
2 each star anise
3 each clove
16 each coriander seeds
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Should be made 1 day ahead.
Heat a pan with enough surface area to sear all of the short ribs. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add oil to pan and sear short rib on all sides. Remove from pan and pour off excess oil leaving about an ounce. Add the carrot, onion, and celery to the hot pan and let natural moisture of vegetables deglaze pan. When vegetables are fragrant and start to break down add bottle of red wine. Reduce by half scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon and add aromatics and hoisin. Bring to a simmer and stir. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Place short ribs back in and cover with lid or foil and place in preheated 350 degree oven until tender around 2.5-3 hours. At this point let the short ribs rest out of the oven for thirty minutes. Remove the ribs to a clean pan, strain the braising liquid, and add strained liquid back to pan with short ribs. Let the ribs cool in the braising liquid overnight. Short ribs will taste much more complex the second day. Once cool, you can remove the bone with a sharp knife for cleaner presentation but the bones are important in the cooking process because they add a lot of flavor.
CARROT GINGER PUREE
2 pounds carrots, peeled, chopped
2 cups carrot juice, 100%, or juice your own carrots
12 each coriander seeds
1 thumb ginger, peeled and sliced
2 ounces whole butter
salt to taste
Place carrots, ginger and coriander in a sauce pot and add the carrot juice. Gently simmer until the carrots are fork tender. Strain and reserve carrot juice. Add cooked carrots, coriander, and ginger to a blender and puree, adding just enough of the carrot juice to make the mixture process in the blender. When blended, pass mixture though a drum sieve or force through a fine mesh strainer. Whisk in the whole butter and season with salt. Hold warm for plating.
2 pounds mixed marble potatoes
2 ounces olive oil
8 cloves garlic
4 sprigs thyme, fresh
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic and fresh thyme. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and roast until light pressure causes an indentation on the potatoes. Hold warm for plating. Discard thyme and garlic cloves. Garlic can be kept or utilized in another application.
2 each leeks, tops and root trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and soaked in water
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon salt, kosher
1 tablespoon dry spices of your choice
Preheat deep fryer or sauce pan with candy thermometer and neutral oil to 325 degrees. Remove leeks and shake dry. Flatten sheets of leek and slice leeks into long thin strips. In a bowel, combine seasonings, salt, rice flour and cornstarch and mix. Dredge leeks in dry mix and shake off excess. Fry in small batches and drain on paper towel. As soon as they come out of oil, season lightly with salt. Leeks brown fast, so work quickly. Cooking time should be no longer than 30 seconds.
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