Connecticut is home to legendary seaside inns, dynamic bistros and captivating country restaurants. The quality and variety of fresh food here is unsurpassed — as is the creativity of our local chefs. Read on as some of these brilliant minds share the recipes for their unforgettable selections— from exciting interpretations of traditional dishes to the pleasures of new pairings.
Chef Wilson Castaneda and Sous Chef Alex Leigh head the kitchen at Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook.
Chef Wilson is 35 and hails from Sevilla De Oro, Ecuador. He was raised in a small mountain farming town, high up in the Andes. His family was self-sustaining, and he started cooking at age 6. He moved to the United States at 18 and found work in the restaurant industry; his first cooking job was at the Griswold Inn. He has been with Penny Lane Pub since 2006, working his way up from line cook.
Sous Chef Alex is 30 and a Mystic native. He attended the Connecticut Culinary Institute at Hartford, graduating in the top 5% of his class in 2009. He has worked at several notable eateries, including 22 Bowen’s in Newport, Union League Café in New Haven, and Gracie’s Fine Dining in Providence.
Dry Aged New York Strip with Pomme Dauphines and Black Garlic Bordelaise
Dry Aged New York Strip steak
6 Idaho potatoes
½ pound pâte à choux dough
Small amount truffle oil
1 oz butter
¼ cup chopped shallot
½ cup Bordeaux red wine
1 sprig thyme
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup demi glace
4 oz diced beef bone marrow
2 heads black garlic
For the steak:
1. Cook steak to desired doneness.
For the pomme dauphines:
1. Bake potatoes in oven at 375° F.
2. Rice the potatoes.
3. Add equal weight of pâte à choux to riced potatoes
4. Roll into balls and freeze for at least an hour.
5. Fry at 350 degrees for 3 minutes.
For the black garlic Bordelaise:
1. Caramelize shallots in a saucepan; reduce heat to low; add marrow and wine and cook until juices are slightly syrupy. Add veal demi glace, return to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half and sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain sauce and season with pepper.
2. Cook 2 heads of black garlic with 2 quarts of Bordelaise. Reduce by ½ and blend.