The kitchen plates Fish N' Chips "Sticks" with Malt Vinegar Sauce
The kitchen plates Fish N' Chips "Sticks" with Malt Vinegar Sauce

On Monday, March 8th, 2010 Gracie’s restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island held their first Star Chefs dinner of the year. For the dinner that evening Gracie’s invited Chef Celina Tio of Julian in Kansas City, Missouri to collaborate with Gracie’s Executive Chef Matthew Varga on a menu they called American Classics. The dishes lived up to the theme of American Classics, tasting as you’d expect, but also changing your expectations. Two of my favorites are pictured below. The Chicken and Waffles hors d’oeuvres was a delicious bite of fried chicken liver on a tiny round of waffle. It just exploded in your mouth in a very good way. The Ribs and Grits—Braised Beef Short Ribs with Anson Mills White Corn Grits—was also wonderful, beautifully cooked short ribs, with an amazing glaze and ultra-creamy grits. Thank you to Gracie’s, Chef Varga and Chef Tio. I know where to head when I’m in Kansas City.

Chef Celina Tio breaks down fish for Fish N' Chips "Sticks"
Chef Celina Tio breaks down fish for Fish N' Chips "Sticks"
Meticulously wrapping fish "sticks" in fine strings of potato that were soaked in melted butter
Meticulously wrapping fish "sticks" in fine strings of potato that were soaked in melted butter
Chef Tio salts Popcorn Sweatbreads straight out of the deep fryer
Chef Tio salts Popcorn Sweatbreads straight out of the deep fryer
Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and Waffles
Chefs Tio and Varga separating eggs for the One Eyed Jack
Chefs Tio and Varga separating eggs for the One Eyed Jack
Chef Varga in mid-cooking-thought
Chef Varga in mid-cooking-thought
Chef Varga plating grits
Chef Varga plating grits
Ribs with Grits—Braised Beef Short Ribs, Anson Mills White Corn Grits
Ribs with Grits—Braised Beef Short Ribs, Anson Mills White Corn Grits
Preparing the Evan Williams Black Bourbon Root Beer Float (the ice cream was made with Evan Williams Bourbon too)
Preparing the Evan Williams Black Bourbon Root Beer Float (the ice cream was made with Evan Williams Bourbon too)
Chef Matthew Varga and Chef Celina Tio
Chef Matthew Varga and Chef Celina Tio

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