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Getting Connected to Food and Its Source

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Chef Seamus Mullen’s mission to get back to the basics.

Text by Leigh Anne Winger/ Photos By Collin Clark and Leigh Anne Winger

Hero Food cover Photo by: Collin Clark

 

Throughout the course of a day, you answer a million e-mails, your phone rings nonstop and the pile on your desk seems to never lessen. What you will eat for your next meal could be the last thing on your mind. New York chef and owner of Tertulia restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village, Seamus Mullen, came to Austin Aug. 3 to teach a cooking class hosted by Central Market.

Using recipes from his newly released book, Hero Foods (Andrews McMeel Publishing), Mullen explained how important it is to eat foods that come from their original source. During the class, Mullen used his personal testimony and adept cooking ability to educate the class as to why you should eat foods that are good for you and taste good.

Mullen shared his story about his battle with rheumatoid arthritis, explaining that living with the disease is difficult.

 

[Photo by Leigh Anne Winger: Chef Seamus Mullen with his cooking team at Central Market preparing for Friday night’s cooking class]

 

“Food is the one thing where I can be in control and say, ‘I got you!’ ” he explained.

Because food is such an important factor in how we feel and perform, Mullen reiterated throughout the class that you should never “make food an afterthought.

Hero Foods includes a collection of recipes and explanations of when and why you should eat certain food. Mullen also suggests the use of fresh food at all times. He explained that if you make food a priority, it will be easier to run by a farm stand or other fresh-food source in the morning or after work instead of when you’re down to the wire and eating is the last thing on your mind.

At the full-day event, Mullen signed copies of his book earlier in the day at Central Market Westgate, followed by hosting the cooking class at Central Market North Lamar from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The class was interactive, as Mullen conversed with his guests about different foods, oils and spices, and how they work for or against your body. The menu for the class included a four-course meal of flatbreads with king oyster and shiitake mushrooms; chilled carrot soup with yogurt and tarragon; corn and crab salad; gently roasted brown trout with summer squash; and white peaches, pistachios, honey and ricotta.

 

Photo by Leigh Anne Winger: Chef Seamus Mullen sampling the fresh produce used in his cooking class

 

White Peaches, Pistachios, Honey and Ricotta

Serves 4
2 or 3 firm white peaches, plus a yellow one
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted in a dry, hot pan for 30 seconds
2 tablespoons fruity olive oil

Quarter and pit the peaches, then slice into thin curls on a mandoline. Toss with the lemon juice in a bowl. Divide the ricotta among four dessert bowls, drizzle a tablespoon of honey on each and toss on a handful of toasted pistachios. Top each with a few curls of the peach slices and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve.

Central Market will host different cooking classes throughout September. For more details, visit centralmarket.com/cooking-school.aspx.

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