In this issue of Shore, meet Chef Hans Chery, the creative mastermind behind dishes like Woodfire Turkey infused with herbs and garlic, Cajun or Caribbean Jerk; Gamba Ristorante's EC Mike Rueth enlightened Italian cuisine and Stop 50's Chris Bardol, the godfather of NWI wood-fired pizza.
OK, now I have to admit it: I have been reading Michael Moss's bestselling book, Salt, Sugar, Fat, not because I'm going to learn about the causes of overeating or the dangers of processed foods. (I know.) I've been reading it because I figured it was the one bestseller out there that woud never make me hungry. In fact, it might discourage me from eating. But I am learning lots about the scientific realties that drive hunger and taste. One of the grades that big food producers always look for is the "mouth-feel" score of a new food. Along with sugar---which every human being loves from the minute they're born, stop the presses---fat---which makes you crave more fat as it acts like an intensifier to extend the satisfaction of flavors sweet or savory, think brownies---and salt---which is another mysterious urge that science can't explain, salt makes chocolate nd caramel even better---mouth-feel is the perfect combination of texture, taste and touchiness, that is difficult to describe in words.
So I will describe it in food---Stop 50's stuffed banana pepper apppetizers, grilled, with a glass of Italian red wine, that is mouth feel. Another of my personal favorites produced by Chef Mike Rueth is sauted foie gras with pear pairing with a sliver of lace nut candy, served atop a perfect triangle of butter-grilled toast. (Gamba Ristorante menu describes the Antipasti more delicately as Fagato D'Oca, Foie Gras Au Torchon, Toasted Brioche, Frisee, Poached Pear, Hazelnut Brittle, Red Wine Sauce.) Another appetizer with incredibly good mouth feel. And finally, Chef Hans Chery, now cooking at The Black-Eyed R and Sony Gardens in Michigan City, is encasing cornish hens in herb and garlic sauce and smoking them providing a total mouth feel experience.
You can read more about these three star chefs in Shore, but in the meantime, I suggest you stop reading right now and run to the treadmill to pre-burn calories before you start the Shore Spring culinary tour.