The Cobb Galleria Centre provides a venue and catering services for various events ranging from trade shows to shareholders meetings to Bar mitzvahs.
At a chef’s table presentation, executive Chef Nick Walker aimed to show us that large venues could have flare, too. His approach to preparing unique menus may raise an eyebrow at his combination of ingredients and techniques, but it’s all a result of an everyday question he asks himself, “How do we make it interesting?”
By incorporating fresh meats and seasonal components, 80% of which are sourced locally in Georgia or regionally in the southeast, Chef Walker prepared a seven-course meal to recognize non-traditional flavors and combinations, local markets and worldly wines.
When we were greeted with champagne upon entering the kitchen, I knew it was sure to be a great lunch. Let’s begin.
Warning: photos may cause mouth-watering.
Shrimp and Grits Fritters, Spicy Red Pepper Jelly, Spring Onion
Zonin Processo – Italy
It was hard to resist a second go-around with these sweet and tangy bite-size fritters.
Charred Octopus, Shaved Asparagus, Roasted Beets, Country Ham, Arugula Vinaigrette
Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand
For a handcrafted flavor, the ham is aged for 400 days at a meat shop in Alabama.
Braised Rabbit Tortellini, Morels, Smoked Walnuts, Parmesan Foam, Mache
Esteban Martin Joven – Spain
Tip for braising: use duck fat! It was used to braise the rabbit to achieve a high smoke point and is also, a go-to cooking oil for Chef Walker. The tortellini was freshly prepared for the occasion and as guilty as I am to admit, rabbit is delicious! Coated with walnut dust and Parmesan sauce, it fully earned its place on the menu.
Seared Halibut, Sweet Corn, Andouille, Green Tomato Chow Chow, Shrimp Broth
Leyda Pinot Noir – Chile
For Halibut, I will throw out my conditional circumstances when eating seafood. It was cooked to perfection! I enjoyed the sweet corn puree and the additions brought by the broth using pure pepper juice.
This is exactly what Chef Walker meant when he said to keep it interesting – a carbonated blood orange! He accomplished this piece of art by injecting Co2 in the blood orange and allowing it to chill for 48 hours. Think of eating soda versus drinking it.
Chicago Cut Lamb Chop, Orange Coriander Crust, Spring Pea Puree, White Asparagus, Parsnip
Musso “Pora” Barbaresco – Italy
Here is a spring Chicago style lamb with a mint green pea puree. The wine worked well to contrast the sweetness in the pear and spice in the wine.
Lemon Mousse, Almond Crisp, Espresso Granita, Poppy Seed Crouton
Dessert – What I was secretly and patiently waiting for. Chef Walker called this “spring on a plate”. He used reserved raspberries and candy orange zest to top a poppy seed play on angel cake. Amazing!
To describe the presentation as interesting is an understatement. Hats off to Chef Walker and his team! Find out for yourself by visiting www.cobbgalleria.com for upcoming events at the Cobb Galleria Centre.
~ By guest blogger, Senait Chrisostomo. Senait s currently a Go Eat Give volunteer and is working toward a career in international education. She is a Seattle native who enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. Senait has traveled to 8 different countries and recently spent two months in Germany and Eritrea.