Dear John Rivers: please open an upscale steakhouse. Soon. I think everyone who attended last week’s Chef’s Night at Second Harvest would wholeheartedly agree with this plea to the barbecue master. Last week the 4 Rivers team took their talents to Mercy Drive to serve up an exquisite five course meal in support of Second Harvest Food Bank’s Culinary Training Program – an incredible course that teaches employable culinary and life skills to at-risk adults in our community.
The Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. Students enrolled in the program gain hands-on experience while learning valuable skills in Second Harvest’s production kitchen.
These culinary students along with John Rivers and team whipped up an incredible five course meal last week served along wine provided by The Capital Grille. Here’s what we tasted and thoroughly enjoyed:
Appetizer: Shrimp Stuffed Fried Green Tomato with Bread and Butter Pickles and Watermelon Rind Relish. I don’t know how you stuff a fried green tomato, but I’m still craving this delight. From the breading to the garnish, everything about this dish was perfection. I vote for this starter to make an appearance on The Coop’s menu!
First Course: Low Country Shrimp and Grits with Florida Rock Shrimp, Stone-Ground Grits and a Spicy Tasso Reduction. The delectable southern classic was even served alongside some Crystal hot sauce. 4 Rivers, you really did cover all your southern basis with this dish.
Second Course: Smokehouse Sideboard with Smoke Angus Brisket, Mangalitsa Baby Back Rib and Shoulder, Skillet Cornbread and Southern Collard Greens. A classic John Rivers plate and this version did not disappoint. This trio of meat was like a barbecue symphony parading around on my tastebuds!
Third Course: Coffee-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steak with Cabernet Reduction, Gruyere Mash and Maple-Glazed Brussels. Thinly slice and loaded with flavor thanks to the coffee rub, I sure hope this makes an appearance on the 4 Rivers menu soon!
Fourth Course: Double Chocolate Brioche Pudding with Bacon infused Creme Anglaise Salted Caramel and Bourbon-Infused Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Talk about the best combination of ingredients ever. This sweet, salty, savory final course was the perfect ending to an exceptional evening.
And in May, Chef Kevin Fonzo of K Restaurant, will serve up what is sure to be another incredible Chef’s Night at Second Harvest. Stay tuned for more details!