I can't decide on a favorite season but I do believe the change from summer to fall is my favorite transition. The coolness in the air, the smell of the leaves turning, smelling the burning wood from the fireplaces (in the suburbs...), I just love it. I love the feeling of wearing sweaters again...
The best part is the bounty of food to be had. Everyone thinks spring is a chef's favorite season, but the truth is that the spring produce doesn't' t really show up until mid to late April , the local produce anyway. But the summer produce lasts until the end of September or even early October, and then you start to see the fall produce - the apples, pears, chestnuts, concord grapes, pumpkins, root vegetables. I love all of these.
This summer I served Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the best American foie gras there is, with grilled peaches and a peach vinaigrette. The peaches are still around a little bit, I just went peach picking locally during Labor Day weekend. But it's time to change. I liked the fruit theme so I experimented with roasted apples and pears and chestnuts,
I halve and core lady apples and seckel pears, caramelize them on the plancha, then roast them in a combi oven to provide a little moisture. The concord grapes (one of my all time favorite foods) are stewed in their own juices, strained, then thickened with agar agar, which is kind of like gelatin but made from seaweed. The resulting gel is then blended in the blender, which results in a thickened puree.
The foie gras is seared on the plancha and served with the roasted fruits, some roasted chestnuts, the concord grape puree, a touch of mache salad and some grilled home-made bread that we dredge in the melted foe gras fat! Yum!