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Chef Roundtable: Summertime Delicacies

What is your favorite ingredient to use in the summer?

Nobu Kobayashi, Executive Chef at Kamehachi

Years cooking: 30

“Japanese cuisine is very focused on using fresh, seasonal ingredients.  The Japanese culture pays respect to nature, down to the smallest detail and ingredient. In the summer, I like to use a special imported ginger called Myoga. When I eat the fresh flavor, I always think that summer is here.  I especially like to pair Myoga with seared bonito, or chilled, whole tofu. In the restaurant, I like to use Myoga in more traditional Japanese dishes.  The flavor is less spicy and more aromatic than regular ginger root.”

Mindy Gohr, Chef/Co-Owner at Bittersweet Pastry

Years cooking: 14

Door County sour cherries are grown in Wisconsin where I grew up, and working with them instantly brings me back to my childhood summers. As a family, we would pick cherries every summer, and sour cherry pie was always my favorite warm weather dessert.”

Derek Rylon Executive Chef at Frances’ Deli & Brunchery

Years cooking: 35

“I like to use blood oranges in the summer because not only are they high in vitamin C and antioxidants, but they also add a very unique flavor to my dishes. They have an unusual sweetness that borders the line between lemon and orange that is unexpected, but refreshing. They can also add a needed pop of color to a dish that is flat.”

Cory Morris, Executive Chef at Nacional 27

Years cooking: 18

“My favorite summer ingredient is corn. Besides the fact that it grows abundantly in the Midwest, it has been cultivated by almost every Latin American culture that my cooking focuses on.”