I've maintained, for years, that the secret to great food is to use the best possible ingredients and not to screw them up. To my delight, I heard Jacques Pépin, many years ago, say these very same words at an event at the French Culinary Institute. Escoffier's most well-known quote faites simple translates simply as make it simple. (I also love Elizabeth David's translation: the avoidance of all unnecessary elaboration and complication.) I suspect that complex haute cuisine, more often than not, evolved from having to make inferior products palatable. Ever in search of the best quality meat, fish, poultry, produce, chocolate, sugar, butter, and everything in between, you can imagine my joy when chef Suvir Saran introduced me to his favorite source for meat: Allen Brothers. Each item I have prepared from their catalogue has caused both my husband and me to exclaim: Wow-- This is the way beef used to taste, or this is the way pork used to taste. Elliott added that he hasn't tasted beefy beef like this in years. So far, I have tried the long bone Wagyu Ribeye pictured above, Wagyu Steak Burgers, Prime Sirloin Strip Steak, and Berkshire Pork Chops. I plan to spend the holidays trying lots more including a double rib roast, huge sea scallops, and Suvir's spicy meatloaf, which is also carried by Allen Brothers and includes a tamarind glaze (I can hardly wait). I'm so deeply impressed by the quality of what I've tried thus far and the ease in using their on line site that I am hoping someday Allen Brothers will carry one or two of my favorite cakes to add to their line! I'm posting this information now so that those of you who are planning special holiday dinners can have time to place their orders. Allen Brothers also has gift cards, which would make ideal holiday presents.
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