Just over a month ago, the Department of Agriculture announced that it will allow American farmers to plant genetically engineered alfalfa, which is widely used as feed for dairy cows and horses.
Friday, Mar 02, 2012...
Chris Crary – Executive Chef Jack’s La Jolla – Viaggio Dining Room Chris Crary learned how to cook before he could drive. Hours before the sun came up Chef Crary climbed out of his warm bed to cook breakfast at a well established restaurant in Bucyrus, Ohio. Chris became fascinated with the infinite variety of ways to prepare food and the endless possibilities of combining fresh ingredients to create a multitude of innovative dishes and exciting new flavors. He decided to turn his passion for cooking into a career and attended culinary school at Johnson and Wales University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree. After graduation Chef Crary was hired by a large hotel in Key West, Florida. While growing up Chris learned how to prepare family recipes passed down over many generations. A smile crept across as he spoke of his grandmother, “She made the best Lasagna Bolognese I have ever tasted. Her father brought the recipe from Modena, just north of Bologna, Italy when he came to the United States through Ellis Island, around the turn of the century.” Chris’s sage advice to young aspiring chefs is, “Attend a good Culinary Arts school, obtain a wide foundation of knowledge of foods, basic kitchen and preparation skills. It is also important to work hard and seek out a good chef to mentor you.” Chef Crary’s mentor over the last four years was Jack’s former Chef, Tony DiSalvo, who also learned from a great chef, Jean George Vongerichen, at Jean George in New York. What is new in Jack’s Viaggio Dining Room is Chef Crary’s food, and the change is extraordinary. Crary’s cooking seems liberated, free, and drowning in a tantalizing blend of creativity, innovation, and a knack for showcasing the inherent qualities of ingredients. A blend of homey and haute, Chef Crary’s dishes stun the senses and awaken the palate, encouraging guests to relish in every forkful of the meal. Viaggio is a place where quality reigns, where attention to detail is tantamount, and where, despite Crary’s intentions to return to a more rooted, down-to-earth cooking style, the dishes are stunning and sensational. Chris explains “Food is my art, and you must start with a clean, fresh canvas to create stunning masterpieces.” He insists on only the best produce, and products blended precisely to create the perfect balanced dish. Jack’s Viaggio Dining Room is an intimate Italian restaurant where Chef Crary demonstrates a mastery of pairing diverse, yet accommodating flavors. Composing a plate with components that together prove greater than they could ever appear on their own. Crary’s tasting menus cater to the indecisive, offering both five- and seven-course meals, with or without wine pairings. For a la carte diners, the pasta dishes are offered in two sizes, a tasting portion and an appetizer portion, allowing even those with the smallest of appetites to indulge in a pasta interlude between courses. And please indulge the pasta course is the highlight of the meal. But before wooing guests with his house-made pastas, Crary sets out to entertain them with antipasti. Starters are precise and calculated, a collection of dishes that plant a seed of desire for the courses to follow. All of the pasta selections at Viaggio are made in-house and crafted fresh daily. The Sweet Corn Ravioli is a clear contender, plump, fresh ravioli squares filled with creamy goat cheese and sweet corn. Tossed with a medley of crisp corn kernels, fresno chilies, baby leeks, and heirloom cherry tomatoes in a rich, buttery mascarpone broth. Each bite is a harmonious experience silky, tender, and crisp textures singing a chorus of rich, decadent flavors. Chef Crary’s texture, color, and flavor combinations demonstrate that he is a master of his craft, a man in tune to texture and flavor. Someone who isn't afraid to veer into uncharted territory, to show guests the wondrous possibilities of the plate. His new concept allows him to be both comfortable and daring, and holds limitless possibility as the menu evolves. Whether you go for the pasta alone or subject yourself to the wonders of a tasting menu, you're in for a stunning and exquisite treat, an unrivaled memorable journey of the senses.