After rapidly rising through the ranks of some of the world’s finest restaurants, Chef Kent Rathbun continues to demonstrate his culinary skills not only with the expansion of restaurant concepts but also with his full-service catering company and newly launched line of products, Kent Rathbun Elements (Read Chef Rathbuns complete bio)
One the best things about writing Embers & Flame is the chance I get to talk with lots of interesting and talented chefs. I recently got the opportunity to speak with Chef Kent Rathbun about a few recipes he has for Labor Day and any other day you want to light the grill.
The interview was arranged by Coyote Outdoor Living, a Dallas based manufacturer of outdoor cooking equipment. I hope to be seeing and writing about their new Centaur Hybrid Grill soon.
I asked Chef Rathbun if he had a favorite tip for making Labor Day and any other holiday cook-out special and he responded, “The tip is slowdown and enjoy the day. Make it about the whole day and not just a meal.”
“The biggest mistake I see people make is trying to rush good barbecue,” he continued. “Be patient, make the meal an event of the day and not something you are just trying to throw together.”
Coyote Outdoor and Chef Rathbun provide four great recipes and I discussed a few of the finer points in making these great recipes. I love grilled potatoes and Halloumi is a great cheese that is often overlooked. One of the most asked questions I get is if there is an adequate substitution for the Pimenton the recipe calls for. “Pimenton is just smoked spanish paprika. Just understand there is definitely a flavor profile changed by not using the smoked paprika,” he explained.
Pork is my favorite thing to cook on the grill or barbecue pit so I spent the most time talking with Chef Rathbun about the Rotisserie Garlic Studded Pork Loin with Whole Grain Mustard Glaze. “Mustard is really just a classic accompiniament to pork, ” he said in response to my question about why a mustard glaze in the dish. “Think about all the great hot dogs you’ve had with mustard on them. Pork and mustard is really a great combination.”
“Mustard has that spice, but it also has the vinegar flavor going on,” he continued. “There’s some thing to be said about the nice richness of pork with a good full-flavored mustard.”
The rotisserie may be one of the most under utilized cooking device in outdoor cooking. Chef Rathbun explained why the grill or smoker isn’t the only way to cook. “Grilling takes place quick, because you’re over direct heat and it’s usually a much heat than a rotisserie,” he said. “Rotisserie is obviously a slower roast as opposed to a grill. When you use a rotisserie you get a rendering of the fat and that gives you a crispier edge. And best of all when you use a rotisserie, especially when over wood you get more time in the smoke so you get a deeper, richer smoke flavor.”
Talking with Chef Rathbun was a great opportunity to pick the brain of a great chef, especially around a grill. If Chef Rathbun was good enough to take down Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America I figured I could learn a thing or two from him. Enjoy the recipes by Chef Kent Rathbun, courtesy of Coyote Outdoor Living