Thanks for joining the continuing series on our Teen-Chef Alumni and discover Where Are They Now?
I invite you to catch up on Nora, Elijah, Maya, Jonathan, Cary, and Grace
As well as learn more about my son, Erick, co-leader and instructor of our very talented Summer Taste Team!
Please meet another member of the C'est si Bon! Team of whom we are very fond, Jeremy Salamon!
You can follow him on Instagram @jeremycooks of @agiscafe
|Jeremy in 2008
Between 2007 and 2012 in June and July, Jeremy Salamon would fly up from Boca Raton to the cool climate of North Carolina to assist with kid-chef classes. Jeremy was fond of contemplating the day with a cup of coffee sitting at the cherry wood kitchen table in the house at C’est si Bon! He loved watching the birds fly to and from the feeder and likened them to the kid-chefs who would be arriving in less than an hour. And as I write this post on this morning in April, there’s a tweeting and fluttering at the front door. A bright red male and dusty brown female cardinal perch on the straw wreath building a nest. They fly back to the bird feeder at the white oak tree. And just like the parents driving to Brace Lane to drop off their of kids for feeding at the summer classes, so I feel a pang of gratitude not only for the generations of yellow finches, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and simple wrens who have raised their babies around the cooking school in the last 20 years, but for Jeremy, who returned and returned and who I felt honored that C'est si Bon! and this kitchen and garden could nourish him a little, and in the same way as my own two sons, Erick and Jaryd. But like in the best of all life, the tables turn, and so it is that he nourishes me and the continuing work at C'est si Bon!
Twelve years ago on a Sunday in late June I pulled into the long driveway at Fickle Creek Farm. There were cars already lining the driveway and I saw Jeremy calmly pulling his suitcase. We said hello. I had talked at length with his Momma, Robin, on the phone from Boca Raton about the week and how much Jeremy was looking forward to it. His Poppa, Jeff, smiled when we toured the barn. The teens claimed their spaces and got settled. I saw concern and doubt on Robin’s face all rolled up in a hush puppy moment. I wouldn’t see them again until Friday night and the Gumbo Mumbo Feast when parents returned.
Jeremy wrote this essay as part of the application process. He was twelve at the time.
“I have loved cooking for as long as I can remember and my dream is to one day become a chef. My mom and Nana are great cooks and have learned a lot from them. I have created dishes with mussels and clams as well as Rack of Lamb among many other dishes. I even baked a 3-layer anniversary cake for my parents made with fondant.
I enjoy eating at fine restaurants and trying new dishes. Each time I eat out I imagine one day owning my own restaurant and creating my own dishes.
I have taken classes at the Florida Culinary Institute and Rivets Gastronomic cooking school and camp. My hope is to attend West Boca High School, which is a magnet school for students with culinary interest.
My grandparents have a summer home in Banner Elk, N.C. and I have been visiting them almost every summer. I like the mountains and the cooler temperatures. I look forward to staying on a farm as it will be a great experience. I hope to learn new things about the whole culinary process. Not just cooking but how to get fresh ingredients, how to buy and maybe how to have my own business. Thank you for this opportunity.”
And Jeremy has realized his dream of becoming a chef, and is now pursuing another dream with fond
, his very special series of pop-up dinners in NYC in April and May. Dinners with compelling & revisioned food of his Hungarian ancestry.
That year, 2007, at Carolina On My Plate when we returned to Fickle Creek, sometimes there was a stray chicken on the second floor of the barn. We giggled at owls and ghost stories as the stars came out. The temps were unheard of cool for that time of year. Our alarm clock was the pink sherbet light streaking across the sky and the sound of the feeder banging open and closed as the pigs went about getting breakfast.
Jeremy was good company during all of the weeks adventures, and became curiouser and curiouser. At the end of our program he stood up at the Gumbo Mumbo Feast, and thanked me for braving the same conditions they did. I was like, what? Who’s kidding who? I felt incredibly lucky and grateful to have witnessed all the movements and changes of the week. How we had all grown from being nervous and scared to being at home with each other, and cooked up a week of amazing memories and mousse. And without air conditioning.
During the years Jeremy was at C'est si Bon!, I got to see him transform. Like a recipe or a dish that was shared, he worked with a synchronicity to feed our turkey poults, turkey and lurkey, and also to glaze the gargantuan turkey legs from Cliff’s meat market for the welcoming dinner and the food styling workshop the first night of Carolina On My Plate, now transformed into Taste the Adventure in North Carolina.
Since 2012 Jeremy has attended the CIA and worked in NYC restaurants such as Prune, Loconda Verde, Buvette, and most recently was Executive Sous at the Eddy in the East Village.
During the years before he graduated high school he competed for Junior Chef with the ACF in Atlanta. He interviewed Giada and Jamie for his blog. Then the day of his graduation flew out to Arkansas to be a guest teen chef on the Great Food Truck race with Tyler.
|Jeremy is still Hungary. Hungary for change.
A few weeks ago he called me one morning from Paris burbling about his very much long awaited visit to his homeland, Hungary, where he foraged with family, explored his heritage cuisine and ate a wealth of salami and pickles, and discovered that the essence of Hungarian cuisine comes from the very challenges it has endured; war and poverty and is on the verge of some very cool explosions that may not be entirely goulash. But they are based on his love of simplicity and vegetables.
“If my family came to this dinner they might not recognize the dishes. I’m trying to follow what the younger generation of Hungarians are doing.”
And so was born his latest project, fond
, but which has been in the works for some time. Probably centuries! Jeremy is recrafting his family legacy into dishes utilizing NY’s bounty of spring produce. You can learn more by visiting his website, fond.
He is working with Chef Daniel Storck to launch these dinners.
“Announcing our first Pop-Up date: Monday, April 24th 2017 – at Brooklyn dessert bar, Butter & Scotch will be our home for the evening. Join us for New Hungarian fare, plus inspired desserts and cocktails courtesy of @drunkbakers . Further details will be posted as we get closer. Stay tuned. Artwork by the wickedly talented Emma Louthan.
The charming West Village bistro, Wall Flower NYC, will be our home for the evening of Tuesday, May 9th 2017. Expect new Hungarian fare including wild mushroom goulash & rose sugared Lángos! Tickets and full menu to be announced. This tasteful garden is brought to you by Emma Louthan
Mark your calendars! Our trilogy of dinners ends with a feast - Saturday, May 20th 2017: We'll be offering up a ticketed prix fixe menu in this intimate and rustic East Williamsburg spot @fitzbk . Athena Bochanis of @palinkerie wines will also be joining us for a unique Hungarian wine paired option. Further details to be announced! Plus check out our newly refurbished site by the brilliant Emma Louthan.”
Just in! Kerry Drew interviewed Jeremy for the next installment of #TheDish
If you are in NY you do not want to miss this!! Visit fond soon for the menus! You can follow him on Instagram @jeremycooks of @fondnyc
But if you do, you can visit Jeremy when he returns to teach kid-chefs this summer at C'est si Bon! We are thrilled to have him return, and to again spend a quiet moment at the cherry kitchen table.
Jeremys Langos, Fried Potato Bread with Garlic and Honey
(yield 20 small fritters)
- 490 grams Yukon - Gold Potato, peeled / cubed
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups 00 flour
- 1 quart canola oil, for frying
- Salt, for seasoning
Submerge the potato in a small pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potato is fork tender (about 10 minutes). Drain the water and while still hot puree ( or mash ) the potato until smooth. Let cool.
In the meantime, stir the yeast and sugar into the warmed milk. Let the yeast bubble and foam. Preferably in a food processor (or by hand), stream the milk mixture, olive oil, and salt into the cooled potato. Pulse the flour in 1 cup at a time until the mixture has formed a semi-sticky ball. Let rest in a large oiled bowl in a warm area of the kitchen (about 1-2 hours).
In a medium heavy bottomed pot, begin to heat the oil until it registers 350F on a candy/oil thermometer.
By now the dough will be big and fluffy. Punch it down and with oiled hands scoop out on to a floured surface. Knead the dough ever so gently until it comes together once more. To form the Langos, pinch a tablespoon sized ball from the dough. Working from the center pinch with your finger tips to the edges. You want a thin tiny saucer (there’s no right or wrong here).
Working in batches, carefully fry each piece until golden brown. 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on a paper bag or towel and immediately season with salt.
Langos is typically brushed with garlic oil and topped with grated cheese. Be creative! Try tossing in flavored sugar and serving alongside jam!