Executive Chef Aishling Stevens Recipes – Crystal Springs Resort, Hamburg, NJ, USA
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Executive Chef Aishling Stevens
Executive Chef Aishling Stevens at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, New Jersey takes time out from the kitchen to speak with Luxury Experience about her inspired culinary approach, foraging, and her favorite items on the menu. She also graciously shares her recipe for Bison Short Rib, Sassafras, and Sunchoke.

 

 

Executive Chef Aishling Stevens
Executive Chef Aishling Stevens

Luxury Experience: After staying at the Crystal Springs Resort in March 2022 and dining at the Crystal Tavern, one of the resorts 12 dining outlets, we were intrigued to learn more about Executive Chef Aishling Stevens. 

Chef Aishling, thank you for taking time to speak with Luxury Experience. What is the culinary focus at Crystal Springs Resort? 

Chef Aishling: Crystal Springs Resort offers one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences in the Northeast. This epicurean oasis invites discerning diners to savor the flavors of locally grown and produced cuisine with a myriad of tantalizing choices. The Resort boasts 12 seasonal dining outlets, including the highly acclaimed 4-star Restaurant Latour, showcasing one of New Jersey's most stellar menus which includes ingredients procured by our foraging team, plus one of the country's only all-foraged bar botanical programs. 

Luxury Experience: Are there any special events held during the year? 

Chef Aishling: The Resort offers annual culinary events such as the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival, the New Jersey Beer & Food Festival and more. 

We also offer a Wine Dinner series. The most recent one was the Far Niente Family Vineyards Wine Dinner on March 2, 2022. 
 

Check their website for a full list of upcoming events at:
https://www.crystalgolfresort.com/activities/365-things-to-do/special-events
https://www.crystalgolfresort.com/group-packages/far-niente-family-wines 

Luxury Experience: What are a few of your favorite items on the menu? 

Chef Aishling: My current favorites are the Burnt onion raviolo with caramelized cauliflower, and farm egg yolk; Pork jowl with black lentil, braised celery, wild Windsor pear, and crispy pig ear; and Rabbit roulade with kohlrabi top velouté, and root vegetables. I have a tendency to fall in love with dishes that utilize a product which usually carries a negative stigma but is presented in a beautiful and tasty way.  (Examples: beef tongue, pig ear, etc.) 

Luxury Experience: Did you go to Culinary School? If so, where?  Who inspired you to become a chef? 

Chef Aishling: My career path started here in New Jersey, where I was born and raised.  As the daughter of a nutritionist, I learned early in life to pay attention to the impact that high quality, seasonal ingredients have on the body. I first started working in restaurants at the age of 12, which was the beginning of my industry experience including every back, and most front of house, positions. 

After graduating with a degree in Commercial Recreation & Hotel Management, I took a marketing role with The Atlantic Club, but found that the mostly office job was not a fit for my interests. Always seeking a good adventure, I then headed off on a backpacking trip to Australia, which turned into over a decade living and working down under. There, I found myself attracted to what was happening in the kitchen and committed to training to be a chef. 

I spent a lot of time on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. It was a beautiful resort destination well known for its dining scene and offered the opportunity to get to know the local farmers and anglers supplying the restaurants, which is a practice continued to this day.  After my stay in Australia, I moved to the United Kingdom for a year and worked as a Sous Chef at The Walpole Arms, a Michelin Bib Gourmand farm-to-table country pub. The restaurant was owned by a farmer and hunter who would bring their hunted game back to the restaurant each night. Working with such fresh products was exciting for me and gave me the love for promoting underutilized proteins and different cuts of animals.  I reveled in the preparation possibilities. 

While planning my return to Australia, I stopped in the U.S. to visit with family. Although I was not actively looking to work here, the Americana Hospitality Group offered me a job. It was my first chef/management position overseeing more than 20 employees and I was able to introduce my culinary philosophies to the team while developing farm partnerships, catering, and operational initiatives. 

This role provided the perfect opportunity for me to join the Crystal Springs Resort team as the Resort Sous Chef, overseeing the popular Crystal Tavern and outdoor Chef's Garden. I was then promoted to Executive Chef in February 2018, with the responsibility of running all Resort culinary operations as well as head Chef for Restaurant Latour. 

Luxury Experience: When not working in the kitchen, how do you like to spend your time? 

Chef Aisling: I love the outdoors and being active, so depending on the season, I am generally doing something outside.  I have two dogs and live very close to the beach, so I can be found almost every day going walking with them along the shore.  Aside from that, I enjoy yoga, surfing and of course, eating.  I have a very demanding work schedule, but if it allows, I love to travel - which is where I tend to get quite a bit of food inspiration from. 

Bison short Rib - Restaurant Latour

Executive Chef Aishling Stevens - Bison Short Rib, Sassafras, and Sunchoke Recipe 

Chef Aishling Stevens graciously provides her delicious recipe for Bison Short Rib, Sassafras, and Sunchoke to tempt your palate into making a trip to Crystal Springs Resort. 

Chef Notes: One of the most popular items on our current menu items is our Bison Short Rib, Sassafras, and Sunchoke. Served with roasted sunchokes, crispy shallots and Brussels sprouts, this dish is very popular with our guests during these colder months. 

Ingredients:

Bison Short Rib
Sassafras Cure
Fennel Seed
Juniper Berries
Salt
Sugar
Sunchokes
Shallots
Brussels sprouts 

Method: The short rib is cured for 24 hours in a sassafras cure with fennel seed, juniper berries, salt, and sugar.  Then, it is slow cooked until tender.  A sauce is also made with the sassafras which is rich with flavors of birch beer. Served with roasted sunchokes, crispy shallots and Brussels sprouts, this dish is very popular with our guests during these colder months. 

Bison short Rib - Restaurant Latour

Chef Notes: I find that the sassafras flavoring makes this dish interesting.  Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a native tree to North America with leaves and root/stem bark that contain the compound safrole, which has a flavor profile much like root beer. Safrole is also found in nutmeg, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, and basil. The leaves are best harvested young and green in the spring, and when dried and powdered, it is referred to as "filé" and most famously used in gumbo as a replacement for okra. The root is best dug in the fall and through early spring when the flavor is more concentrated in this part. It is an interesting ingredient for this time of year. 

Read more about Crystal Springs Resort in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Wine Cellar, and Adventures  sections. 

For more information or to make a reservation at Crystal Springs Resort, please visit their website: www.CrystalGolfResort.com or call them at: +1-973-862-4351. 

Crystal Springs Resorts, NJ

Crystal Springs Resort
1 Wild Turkey Way
Hamburg, New Jersey 07419
United States
Telephone: +1-973-862-4351
Website: www.CrystalGolfResort.com
Facebook: @CrystalSpringsResort
Instagram: @CrystalSpringResort
YouTube: Crystal Springs Resort
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