Tuesday, September 16 10:20AM—11:30AMArt of Presentation Savory Workshop
BiographyAnthony Bombaci was raised in Wisconsin and credits his grandfather, who taught him to make fresh pizzas at a young age, with his interest in cooking. Determined to make his mark in the culinary world, Bombaci enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After graduation, Bombaci moved to Memphis to work as sous chef at Restaurant Chez Philippe under Chef Jose Gutierrez. He later went to New York to work at Restaurant La Adrienne in Hotel Maxim’s de Paris; while there, his creativity and style flourished while consulting with two Michelin star chef Jacques Chiboise. Through this experience in extensive training and experimentation, Bombaci discovered his passion for classic French cuisine, and went to work with Chef Jean Banchet at Restaurant le Français. Yearning to work with distinctive flavors from around the world, Bombaci became chef de cuisine at the Lasalle Grill where he specialized in flavors of the Mediterranean using wood-burning ovens, grills and rotisseries.
After three years, Bombaci left to work under Chef Gary Danko as sous chef of The Dining Room in The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. He left in 1995 for Barcelona to pursue his dream of developing an approach that would truly embody his personal cooking style. As chef de cuisine of Enoteca in The Hotel Arts, Bombaci specialized in creative Mediterranean cuisine, emphasizing the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula with high-concept technique.
He returned to the US 9 years later; now at Nana, perched on the 27th floor of a hotel overlooking the Dallas cityscape, Bombaci is clearly a global player in the food world. His stunning, artistic presentations at Nana promise a lot and deliver even more with their balanced flavors and textures. While his dishes may sound alternative (sweet tomato marmalade paired with yogurt sorbet and jellied olive oil) one never feels like a guinea pig at the hands of an experimental chef. His dishes, which draw from a global market of ingredients and spices, are polished and precise. Bombaci’s dishes are high-level in every sense, reflecting his nine years spent cooking in Barcelona with some of Spain’s most innovative chefs, including Ferran Adrià and Joan Roca. This eclectic style is reflected in the Nana menu in dishes that draw from both the sweet and savory world, like his use of caramelized bananas to garnish pork belly. Nana was recently named one of the Top 50 American Restaurants by Gourmet Magazine, and the restaurant has received a 5 star cuisine rating from The Dallas Morning News, 4 diamonds from AAA, 3 stars from the Mobil Travel Guide, and earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Bombaci was named a StarChefs.com Dallas Rising Star in early 2007.
Pork Belly with Orange, Pecans, Bananas and Foie Gras Bonbons
Chef Anthony Bombaci of Nana – Dallas, TX
Adapted by StarChefs.com
Yield: 8 -10 Servings
• 16 cloves garlic
• 900 grams fine sea salt
• 100 grams sugar
• 10 grams cracked black peppercorns
• 10 grams pimenton de la Vera
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 pork belly
• 1 sprig thyme
• 25 milliliters extra virgin olive oil
Bitter Orange Coulis:
• 4 thin-skinned sweet oranges
• 500 grams sugar
• 1 kilo water
• Mandarin orange juice as needed
Foie Gras-Cocoa Bonbons:
• 250 grams foie gras
• 6 grams brandy
• 6 grams Pedro Ximenez
• 6 grams white vermouth
• 25 grams unsalted butter
• 5 grams salt
• 1 gram freshly ground white pepper
• Cocoa powder, as needed
• 14 grams orange peel, free of pith and finest julienne
• 1 kilo Fuji apples
• 300 grams sugar
• 200 milliliters orange juice
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 200 grams orange sections, seeds and pith removed, cut into triangles
• Mint leaves, chiffonade
• 3 cups pecans
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 500 grams sugar
• 200 grams water
• 1½ bananas
• Pea-size unsalted butter
• 1 yellow plantain
• Fine sea salt
For the Pork Belly:
Lightly crush 15 cloves garlic leaving skin on; thinly slice remaining clove. Combine sea salt, sugar, peppercorns, pimenton, bay leaves, and crushed garlic cloves. Weigh pork belly and measure 22 grams of sea salt mixture per kilo; evenly sprinkle sea salt mixture onto pork. Cure in refrigerator for about 8 hours. Rinse off cure and put in a vacuum bag with sliced garlic, thyme, and olive oil; seal at 99.9%. Cook sous vide at 70°C/158°F until internal temperature reaches 70°C/158°F, 17 to 24 hours. Cool in ice water bath.
Bitter Orange Coulis:
Put oranges in a pot and cover with water; put a plate over oranges to keep them submerged. Bring to a gentle boil, cook for 3 minutes, and drain. Prick each orange about 20 times with a needle passing through skin to the pulp. Combine with sugar and water, weight with a plate, and cook at a very slow simmer for about 5 hours. Remove oranges from syrup and puree, adding Mandarin orange juice as needed to make a thick by very smooth and silky coulis. Cool quickly over an ice bath. Store excess in sealed in small vacuum bags.
For the Foie Gras-Cocoa Bonbons:
Cut foie into slices of even thickness, cover completely with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature – you want to be just soft enough to pass through tamis. Pass foie through tamis and add remaining ingredients. Mix with a rubber spatula and then whip with a whisk. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe into truffle “balls” on a parchment-lined sheet pan; freeze in a blast chiller. Remove 10 to 15 at a time from freezer and quickly roll in cocoa powder to coat; return to freezer as quickly as possible. Cover and store in freezer until needed.
For the Apple-Orange “Marmalade:”
Blanch orange peel 3 times, each time in fresh water. Peel, core, and cut apples into 1-centimeter cubes; tie peelings and cores in cheesecloth bag. Combine sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, apple and orange peel; cook slowly until liquid is almost completely evaporated. It is important that this cooks slowly. Be vigilant toward end of cooking process as it burns easily. Transfer approximately 10% of finished mixture and puree in a food processor or blender. Incorporate puree back into marmalade. Set aside and keep warm; just before serving, stir orange triangles and mint to taste into marmalade.
For the Dragee Pecans:
The ratio for this technique is 3 parts nuts to 1 part sugar by volume. Combine sugar with approximately 30% (1/3 cup) water. Cook sugar in a large pan to thread stage (118°C/244.4°F). Remove from heat and add nuts all at once. Stir vigorously to induce crystallization. Return nuts to medium heat and stir constantly until sugar melts and caramelizes. During this process you are also roasting nuts. Continue cooking until nuts are coated with a smooth, shiny, even caramel coating. Add butter and stir in. Pour onto an oiled marble slab and separate into individual pieces. Allow to cool to room temperature. Keep covered in a dry place.
For the Bananas:
Melt sugar, cooking until it reaches a blonde caramel. Add water and continue to cook over low heat to dissolve any lumps; then strain. Peel and cut bananas into 1½-inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons caramel to boiling and add bananas and glaze. Finish with a pea-sized piece of unsalted butter.
For the Plantain Chips:
Thinly slice plantain with skin on using a slicer; remove peel with sharp pairing knife. Deep fry at 176°C/350°F until golden and crisp. Drain on towels and liberally season with salt.
To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat plancha to 160°C/325°F. Regenerate pork belly at 60°C/140°F for 5 minutes. Remove from bag and cut pork belly into 100 grams squares with skin (reserve scraps for another use). Sear, skin-side down, on plancha until skin is crispy and has a red tinge to it, 5 to 10 minutes. Turn over and finish heating in a low oven. Drizzle coulis on plate; arrange pork belly, bananas, bonbons in an artistic line; place a small quenelle of marmalade to one side, and garnish with pecans and plantain chips.