Russell Mark - Russell, Mark

Mark Russell

Biography

As the executive chef de cuisine for New York City’s premiere food service and events company Great Performances (GP) – the official caterer of the NYCWFF – Mark Russell oversees seasonal menu and recipe development for the broad spectrum of events hosted by GP’s social, corporate and nonprofit clients. He executes off-premise events and leads the training and development of the culinary team.

As an ingredient-driven chef who believes in the sanctity of simple, honest food which preserve s the natural flavor integrity of its components, it’s no wonder his personal interests lean toward foraging,... READ MORE

As the executive chef de cuisine for New York City’s premiere food service and events company Great Performances (GP) – the official caterer of the NYCWFF – Mark Russell oversees seasonal menu and recipe development for the broad spectrum of events hosted by GP’s social, corporate and nonprofit clients. He executes off-premise events and leads the training and development of the culinary team.

As an ingredient-driven chef who believes in the sanctity of simple, honest food which preserve s the natural flavor integrity of its components, it’s no wonder his personal interests lean toward foraging, fishing and gardening,

Russell has more than 20 years of high end catering and food service experience. His background includes a stints as chef de cuisine at New York’s Creative Edge Parties and as the executive chef for Dean & Deluca. He was also a member of Restaurant Associates’ culinary team, for which he focused on menu research and development for the Guggenheim Museum and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? I love simplicity, so Prune remains one of my favorite dinner spots, especialy on a cool summer evening with the front windows open to the street. Always straight forward delicious and nurturing menu.What is your ultimate meal? A great meal for me is as much about the people as the food... so I'd say most anything could be my ultimate meal as long as good friends and wine are part of it!What three things are always in your pantry? Canned Italian tomatoes, sardine and olive oilIf you weren't a chef, what would you be? Nothing, I would be lost. I've always wanted to be a chef - that' my connection to people.If you could cook with anyone, who would that be? Richard OlneyWhat’s your favorite NYCWFF memory? Burgers on the roof at night washed down with ice cold beer.

Clam “Shell” Chowder

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients:
For the Clams:
1 oz. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove crushed
½ oz. each sliced carrot, sliced celery, sliced shallot
1.5lb Manila clams
1lb quahog clams
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
14 fluid ounces white wine

For the Chowder:
1 oz. unsalted butter
¼ oz. finely chopped garlic
¼ oz. finely diced shallot
1 oz. finely diced celery (3mm)
1/4 tsp chopped thyme
1 oz. diced Yukon potato
3.5 fluid ounces cream
8 fluid ounces clam juice (reserved from the cooked clams)
½ tsp chopped parsley
Shelled clams from above

For the Potato Foam:
9 oz. peeled fingerling potatoes
4 fluid ounces milk
½ fluid ounce potato water (reserved from cooking potatoes)
½ fluid ounce clam Juice (from the reserved cooking juice from the clams)
3.5 oz. melted butter
1 fluid ounce grapeseed oil
¼ tsp salt

For the Bacon Crumble:
2 oz. sliced bacon
1 slice brioche (crust removed)
¼ tsp chopped chives

 

Directions:

 

For the Clams:
First purge the clams in salted water to clean.

Cooking the Clams:
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, carrot, celery and shallots. Cook the mixture until tan in color. Be careful not to burn the garlic or vegetables. If burned, throw out both the fat and the vegetables, wipe out the pan and start over.

Place manila and quahog clams into the saucepan, add the thyme and bay leaf, and stir until clam shells are coated to evenly distribute the heat within shells.

Once the clams have been coated, add the white wine and cover with a lid. This creates the steam required to open the shells and will increase the overall heat within the pan.

After approximately 4 minutes, the manila clams should be open and cooked. Remove manila clams with a slotted spoon and cover for an additional 10 minutes. One the quahog clams are cooked, remove and set aside to chill with manila clams.

Strain the cooking juice through a chinois strainer and reserve the cooking liquid. Once clams are chilled, remove from shells and reserve the quahog clam shells for the serving vessel. Cut quahog clams into pieces similar in size to manila clams.

Making the Chowder:

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, shallot, celery and thyme; sweat for 4 minutes until tender.

Add the reserved clam juice (reserving ½ oz. for the potato foam), and diced potato; simmer until the potato is tender and the juice has reduced by half. Next add the cream and cook for 10 minutes. Finish by adding the chopped parsley and clams.

Potato Foam:

Add potatoes to a large pan of salted water, place over a medium heat and bring to a boil; simmer gently for 15–20 minutes until potatoes are soft.

Once potatoes are cooked through, drain reserving ½ oz. of the cooking liquid and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the milk in a separate small pan over a gentle heat to warm through. When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel and roughly mash with a fork or masher.

Transfer roughly mashed potatoes to a blender with the melted butter and blitz together briefly. Continue to blend while slowly adding the warm milk, grapeseed oil, clam juice and reserved cooking liquid from the potatoes seasoned to taste.

Add blended mixture to the iSi whipping dispenser with 2 crème chargers, shaking well between each charge. Store in a warm place until needed.

For the Bacon Crumble:
Add bacon to a sauté pan and allow to crisp, slowly turning over while cooking to crisp both sides. Once crisp, remove from the pan and reserve the fat. Dry the bacon between paper towels and allow to cool.
Roughly dice the brioche and toss with the reserved bacon fat; toast the brioche in a 350˚F oven for 5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove and allow to cool.

Add the brioche and bacon to the food processer (or blender) and blend until it resembles a fine crumble. Remove and mix in chives.

To Serve:

Place half a quahog shell on a plate and spoon in the chowder, making sure there are about 8 pieces of clam and that the shell is ¾ full with the chowder. Slowly dispense the foam from the iSi whipping dispenser on top of the chowder and finish with a sprinkling of the bacon crumble.