Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sometimes you just need "a guy"...

It is not uncommon for people to have their preferred vendors and professionals. Many have a cleaning lady, a hair person, a favorite wine maker or chosen coffee roaster.  The creative crew at Coastal Kitchen is no different…or I should say, not that different. 
Our culinary artists and cocktail wizards do unmeasurable amounts of research on each featured coastal region.  Authenticity is crucial and, of course, quality is incomparable. They find the people, stores, producers and distillers from, wherever they may be, in order to not only get the BEST ingredients, but the EXACT ones that they need to bring their visions to life. 
Whenever I start prodding our head chef, Zephyr,or bar manager, Darren, for hints about the new menu, the response I get to my question about specialty ingredients is usually, “oh…I have a guy.” 
The Basque Country is a country of dedicated mycologists, or mushroom experts, as well as mushroom eaters. Knowing this, it is no surprise that Zephyr would have Mac* the Mushroom Guy.  
The most common spice in Basque cuisine is paprikas from Lekeitio, a town in the province of Biscay. The perfect opportunity to introduce Sabastian* the Spice Guy (NOT a member of the 5-member British Pop group). 

During the historic celebration known as Quina San Clemente, Basque villagers would prepare a feast, dance and drink plenty of cider and sweet wine made from Muscatel grapes and Quinine. Darren needed Bonal apertif and Napolean Amontillado, bottles that were obtained with the help of  Wade* the Wine Guy.
Cocktail shakers are shaking, grills are grilling and excitement is brewing in anticipation for the launch of Coastal Kitchen’s next featured region, Basque! 
*All of the names are Basque aliases to protect anonymity and, of course, maintain secrecy! ;)