Johnson & Wales University culinary arts program graduate Lindsay Autry returned to her Alma mater last evening to teach budding chefs and create a fantastic meal as part of the school's Distinguished Visiting Chef dinner series.
Autry, a 2004 JWU graduate, spent the day with students, who volunteered their time to learn from the chef who has amassed quite a resume in the relatively short time since she was in the very same classrooms. "I keep thinking there's going to be an exam or someone's going to yell at me," Autry quipped when introduced by JWU's Dean of Culinary Arts Education, Bruce Ozga.
Autry, a protege of Miami's own reigning queen of the kitchen Michelle Bernstein and Top Chef alumna, prepared a menu consisting of mostly local products, going so far as to bring her own baskets from Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee for the dinner. Autry is currently hosting a series of pop-up dinners throughout South Florida, working with various chefs and culinary themes. Her next events, held on May 20 & 21 with chef Roy Villacrusis, will have a Sunday Supper/Monday Leftover theme.
The Distinguished Visiting Chef series raises scholarship money for
culinary arts students. Junior Benjamin Blodgett of Jacksonville was the recipient of the
evening's $2,000 award, presented in Autry's name.
Local greens from Swank farms paired with grapefruit and pickled shrimp, served with green goddess vinaigrette.
Pan seared Florida snapper served over a fiery faro risotto with chorizo and grilled avocado.
Hand-rolled ricotta gnocchi with braised lamb shank, pickled carrots, and upland cress. Autry joked that at first she was concerned that first-year culinary students were assigned to roll the gnocchi, but that both the students and dish exceeded expectations.
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Sumac scented genoise with mangoes, served with coconut ice cream. Autry, by the way, is an old hand at making ice cream. The chef made and sold her own peach ice cream at the age of eleven, using the bruised fruit from her father's farm.
Short Order spent the morning with chef Autry and JWU students, where they talked candidly about their expectations for the future. Read about the day in the life of a culinary arts student on Monday.