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Chef Kerry Heffernan - Oysters A - Z at the NYCE 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Edward F. Nesta   
Chef Kerry Heffernan and Edward F Nesta New York Culinary Experience - Photo by Luxury ExperienceFor an oyster fan, Oysters A - Z with Chef Kerry Heffernan during the New York Culinary Experience (NYCE) 2016 hosted by New York magazine and The International Culinary Center (ICC) in New York City was a fantasy of a cooking class. During the class I shucked my fair share of oysters to make East and West Raw Oysters with Two Mignonettes, Fried Oysters with Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema, and Oyster Pan Roast, with Oysteroot (Salsify) Celeriac, Bacon and Kale, and although all of the recipes were delicious, alas there were no pearls in any of my oysters. Chef Kerry Heffernan graciously shares his recipes for East and West Raw Oysters with Two Mignonettes, and Fried Oysters with Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema.

Gillian Duffy, Chef Jacques Torres, Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Eveyone Loves Oysters
Gilian Duffy, Chef Jacques Torres,
and Chef Kerry Hefferman

American chef Kerry Heffernan grew up in New England in Connecticut and balances his love of travel, the outdoors, fishing, seafood, and cooking. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and went on to hone his culinary skills working at Montrachet, Le Régence, Restaurant Bouley and Mondrian with Tom Colicchio, One Fifth Avenue, the Westbury Hotel's famed Polo Restaurant, Union Square and Hospitality Group's Eleven Madison Park.

He brings his love of oysters to his latest endeavor, Grand Banks, a seasonal oyster restaurant he created onboard a historic schooner at Pier 25 in New York. Passionate about all things culinary he is active in the restaurant philanthropic community, and when not working on the boat, he spends time writing his upcoming cookbook.

Oysters A - Z, Chef Kerry Hefferman walked the class through some history with regards to steamed oysters and the integral part that oyster schooners once played as floating restaurants to service guests. The 100+ miles of underground steam pipes that run under New York City not only provide steam into hospitals for sterilization and buildings for heating, but also to restaurants to feed specially designed steam ovens. The famous Steamed Crema Oyster stew was created by tapping in to the steam pipes and utilizing the endless flow of steam from the world's largest underground steam lines.

With regards to the oyster schooners, Chef Hefferman spoke about how over 100 years ago the oyster schooners were turned into floating restaurants and they cruised up and down the waters around New York serving guests fresh oysters. A few years ago Chef Hefferman found an old wooden oyster schooner and restored the vessel (Sherman Zwicker) and opened up the seasonal restaurant Grand Banks so guests could experience oysters as they did at the turn of the 20th century.

Oyster Tips and Techniques

During the 2-hour and 15-minute class Chef Kerry Heffernan instructed us in making East and West Raw Oysters with Two Mignonettes, Fried Oysters with Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema, and Oyster Pan Roast with Oysteroot (Salsify) Celeriac, Bacon and Kale.

oysters - Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Oysters to be shucked

The most important technique we learned is how to shuck (open) oysters as you cannot eat them until you open them. First, partially wrap the oyster in a kitchen towel to protect your hand from the sharp edges of the shell.

Next, you need to insert the tip of the special oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster, twist your wrist to pry the shell open with the knife, and then run the knife along the edge to loosen the meat from the shell. It is all about leverage, and once mastered, it is very easy.

I love raw oysters with the addition of a mignonette, which is the finishing touch that brings out the elegance and complements the characteristics of the oysters that take their flavor from their environment and vary from place to place, and coast to coast. Water temperature, salinity of the water, and nutrients in the water all factor into the taste. When creating a mignonette, it is helpful to know what the raw oyster tastes like in order to complement, but not overpower, its delicate taste.

Chef Kerry Hefferman, Edward F. Nesta - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Chef Kerry Hefferman and Edward F. Nesta

We learned to make fried oysters with a cornichon, tangerine, and coriander crema, which were really delicious. We placed the oysters in herb-infused buttermilk, dredged them in a potato flour and Old Bay Seasoning mixture, and then deep fried them. Together with the crema, they were a standout.

Another tasty dish we learned to make was the Oyster Pan Roast with Oysteroot (Salsify) Celeriac, Bacon and Kale. Oysters A - Z with Chef Kerry Heffernan provided me with several outstanding oyster recipes, which I cannot wait to make at home.

Pan Roasted Oysters - Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Oysters Pan Roasted

Chef Kerry Heffernan graciously shares his recipes for mignonettes, as well as Fried Oysters with Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema.

Chef Kerry Heffernan Menu - NYCE 2016

East and West Raw Oysters with Two Mignonettes
Fried Oysters, Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema
Oyster Pan Roast, Oysteroot (Salsify) Celeriac, Bacon and Kale

Suggested wine pairing: Excelsior Principessa Gavia Gavi

Chef Kerry Heffernan graciously shares his recipes for mignonettes, as well as Fried Oysters with Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema.

2 Mignonettes: Garlic Chive Mignonette and Sherry Vinegar and Fresh Bay Leaf Mignonette

Raw Oysters -Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Raw Oysters

Garlic Chive Mignonette

Garlic Chive Mignonette Ingredients

1
Bunch
Garlic Chives
4
Ounces
Champagne Vinegar
8
 
Black Peppercorns, cracked

Method: Trim bottom half and extreme tops of garlic chives, mince into rough cut, warm vinegar to just below boiling, pour over chive scraps, cool and allow to infuse overnight. Strain and finish with finely minced remaining chives and add with cracked black pepper.

Sherry Vinegar and Fresh Bay Leaf Mignonette

Sherry Vinegar and Fresh Bay Leaf Mignonette Ingredients

Fresh Bay Leaves
Sherry Wine Vinegar
Black Peppercorns
Shallots
Roasted Beets

Method: Warm vinegar to just below boiling, pour over beets and 2 of the bay leaves, infuse overnight. Strain and finish with remaining ingredients.

Fried Oysters, Cornichon, Tangerine and Coriander Crema
Serves 8 as passed hors d'oeuvre (2 each)

Edward F. Nesta mixing crema -  NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Edward F. Nesta mixing Crema

1
Cup
Buttermilk
2
Sprigs
Thyme
2
 
Bay Leaves

Method: Mix together.

2
Cups
Potato Flour
4
Tablespoons
Old Bay Seasoning

Method: Combine in small bowl.

Oysters in milk bath - Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Milk Bath

Crema Ingredients

0.5
Cup
Whole Milk Greek Yogurt (Face works well)
0.5
Cup
Crème Fraîche
1
 
Tangerine, zested, orange part only
0.25
Cup
Cornichon, minched
1
 
Shallot, minced
5
Sprigs
Dill, minced
2
Tablespoons
Lemon Juice
   
Salt to Taste
16
Large
Oysters, shucked

Fried Oysters - Chef Kerry Hefferman - NYCE - photo by Luxury Experience
Fried Oysters

Method: Place oysters, 6 at a time, in buttermilk, drain, toss in potato flour mixture, drop into hot oil and remove when lightly browned.

Presentation: Serve with the crema.

New York magazineWant more information on the next NYCE? For more information about the New York Culinary Experience, contact Stephanie Fray at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or +1-646-314-4413.

For information on taking classes throughout the year with the excellent chef instructors at The International Culinary Center at their New York, California, or Italian Campuses, please visit the website: www.InternationalCulinaryCenter.com

Location and Information

The International Culinary Center - NYC, USA

The International Culinary Center
462 Broadway
New York, New York 10013
United States
Toll-Free Telephone:    +1-888-324-2433
Email:                         
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Website:                    
www.internationalculinarycenter.com

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© September 2016. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved. 

 
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