Spring entertaining — eating, cooking, drinking and home decor — was the topic of Wednesday night’s first in-person Dish and Design event since 2019.
Guests at the Great Lakes Culinary Center in Southfield were treated to not only demonstrations from area chefs and hosting experts, but also food, beverages and plenty of super giveaways.
“It’s been a long winter … we are ready for the entertaining season to begin,” said presenter Laurie Bolach of Olive’s Bloombox in Ferndale. She shared ideas for floral arrangements and talked about 2022 decor trends like table gardens, moss and spring wreaths using fresh florals and greens.
Hosted by Homestyle columnist Maureen Feighan and presented by Busch’s Fresh Food Market, Dish and Design started with wine, beer and a hearty spread from the center’s chef Reva Constantine with roasted tomato tarts, chili-glazed chicken quesadillas, beef yakitori and loads of chips, dips and spreads.
In addition to Bolach, the evening’s lineup included chef and caterer Cat Shapiro of Thyme & Honey presenting a quick charcuterie class, Ivy Kitchen and Cocktails owner Nya Marshall with a cocktail demo and an informative cooking presentation from executive chef Lloyd Roberts of Adachi restaurant in Birmingham.
Filippa Schultz of Washington Township, who was one of 100 or so audience members at Dish and Design, said she prefers the in-person event. Through the pandemic, The Detroit News held several virtual Dish and Design events that offered a unique look at some of the presenters’ homes and stores. Nothing beats the buzz of a live event with food samples and beverages, though.
“I just think it’s a well-rounded program,” she said. “They’ve got some food, they’ve got cocktails and florals, I like that. I think people are really excited to get back out there.”
In addition to chef Constantine’s spread, the audience was also treated to mini charcuterie samples from Shapiro’s Thyme & Honey. She built a small version of one of her charcuterie boards and gave tips on making your own at home. Also called cheese boards or grazing boards, she recommends starting with “a food-safe vessel” like wood or marble, and avoid using metal.
As for cheeses, she says mix it up and explained what she calls “the three cheese rule.”
“You’re going to pick one cheese that you love, a new cheese that you’ve never tried before and then you’re going to pick a fan favorite, so there’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” she said.
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Marshall from Ivy Kitchen also passed out samples for the audience. She prepared drinks from her restaurant’s menu, which also offers a number of nonalcoholic cocktails. The Dish and Design audience got to taste the Jefferson Boulevard, which Marshall made with Woodford Reserve, Aperol, Amaro, some lemon juice and honey syrup. She garnished it with a stem of rosemary.
While making drinks Wednesday night, Marshall talked about Ivy Kitchen’s commitment to being an eco-friendly restaurant, offering great food in her east side Detroit neighborhood and setting a good example for the area.
“We are one of the only restaurants that recycle our food waste,” she said. “We have a partnership with the largest Black-owned composter around, Detroit Dirt … we recycle all of our food waste and then in turn buy it in the spring and turn it into great compost that we use in our gardens and our flower beds.”
Besides armfuls of books — including “Iconic Images of Detroit’s Past: History through the lens of The Detroit News” — other Dish and Design giveaways were gift certificates to the presenters’ businesses, including $300 for Adachi in Birmingham.
The restaurant’s executive chef Roberts, who has learned from world-renowned masters like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Nobu Matsuhisa, treated the audience with a cooking demonstration of Adachi’s King Salmon Newstyle with kizami wasabi, Asian pear and soy ginger dressing.
He and his team prepared samples for the audience of a bright seaweed salad and the delicately prepared sushi-grade salmon dressed with freshly made soy ginger dressing.
Roberts said the dressing had a variety of uses.
“This one you can use on a cold dish, you can use it on a salad, or on a meat, it’s very versatile,” he said. Among the cooking tips he shared was to use grapeseed oil, which he said is flavorless, when you make homemade dressing to let other flavors shine.
For ingredients like pickled ginger or Kizami wasabi, he recommends going to local specialty shops like 168 Asian Mart or H Mart.
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