Foodie Chap w/ Chef Michael Koenig Of Aurea

- Liam Mayclem, the KCBS Foodie Chap
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Foodie Chap w/ Chef Michael Koenig Of Aurea

Chef Michael Koenig & Liam Mayclem (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

 
KCBS radio “Foodie Chap” and CBS 5 television “Eye On The Bay” host Liam Mayclem introduces us to the culinary stars behind the food and wine loved by so many in the Bay Area.

KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:

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With nearly 15 years of involvement in the restaurant industry, Michael Koenig is no stranger to the kitchen. Koenig enters a new kitchen as Chef de Cuisine at the Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel’s Aurea, a restaurant located in Nob Hill San Francisco that offers a delicious menu celebrating Bay Area and California cuisine.

After completing a degree in Chemistry and Environmental Biology Studies at Michigan State University, Koenig began a love affair with food and was soon experimenting with different ingredients to create his own unique dishes. In 1999 he launched his career by leading the kitchen at Pasta Pomodoro as Manager and Corporate Chef Trainer. In 2001, Koenig became the Chef of Cafe Delluchi in San Francisco, running kitchen operations and developing new menu items and daily specials.

Foodie Chap w/ Chef Michael Koenig Of Aurea

Chef Michael Koenig (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

“Cooking to me is about teaching other people to make simple food taste better”
– Chef Michael Koenig

After moving to Kuleto’s Restaurant in 2002, Koenig expanded his repertoire, becoming Sous Chef of the San Francisco eatery where he maintained preparation, quality, and presentation with a daily volume of approximately 1,000 meals per day. Honing his ability to successfully create a fine-dining experience in large volume establishments, Koenig served as Executive Sous Chef at Scala’s Bistro for over two years, overseeing private dining and menu planning. Transitioning to the South Bay in 2008, Koenig acted as Sous Chef at Palo Alto’s Restaurant Zibibbo and then returned to San Francisco a year later where until most recently acted as Grand Cafe’s Executive Sous Chef.

New at the helm at AUREA Chef Michael is already making his mark. His bacon popcorn is a winner. However, the dish that really sings the Braised Beef Short Ribs. The beef melts like butter in your mouth. A knockout dish that makes Michael the champ to his diners at Aurea.

See the Aurea web site for a taste of the romantic offerings.

Cheers, Liam

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5 Tasty Questions With Chef Michael Koenig

1. Being a chef to you is about … ?
Expressing myself, teaching other people how to make simple food taste better.

2. In your fridge at home, a few things that are always there?
Water, beer, and bubbly.

3. One thing we’ll never, ever see on the menu here at Aurea?
One thing you’ll never, ever see on the menu at Aurea, smoked salmon hash for breakfast.

4. If not a chef, in a second life you come back as something else, what might you be?
A clydesdale horse, it’s the coolest horse there is. It’s a big horse, no one messes with a clydesdale.

5. Last supper, a couple of guests at the table. Who would they be and what will you eat?
If I had a last supper, a couple guests at the table it’d have to be my father, of course, Ernest Hemingway, and a firefighter – three people that’ll run into a burning building and ask questions later. And what would we eat? It would have to be some sort of braised meat like a braised lamb shank or braised pork shank, some big piece of meat with potatoes and vegetables.

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Foodie Chap w/ Chef Michael Koenig Of Aurea

Braised Short Ribs (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

 

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Ingredients:

5-6 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 6-7 ounce pieces
1 cup BIG red wine
2 carrots, 1/2 inch diced
3 stalks celery, 1/2 inch diced
1 large yellow onion, 1/2 inch diced
1 fennel bulb, 1/2 inch diced
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 quart veal stock or demi (I prefer to use fresh; you can purchase at most natural food stores or specialty grocery stores. {i.e. Whole Foods or Molly Stoneís})
1 can (12 ounce) whole, peeled tomatoes
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with edge of knife
salt and pepper to taste
80/20 blend oil for cooking

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Salt pepper the beef generously. In a large skillet, bring 4 tablespoons oil to light smoke. Sear the meat on all side, about 1 minute per side.
3. In a large Dutch Oven, over medium heat, saute the carrots, celery, onion and fennel until tender (about 15 minutes).
4. Add the garlic, cook an additional 2 minutes.
5. Deglaze with red wine.
6. Add the veal stock/canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
7. Place the short ribs in the Dutch Oven with space in between. Make sure liquid comes up just to the top of the meat, but not covering.
8. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, covered (all ovens cook differently, remember that the short ribs are finished when they gently pull apart with a fork)
9. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve. When cooling meat, cool in liquid and refrigerate covered.

This dish is great served with broccoli raab sauteed with a little garlic and chili flake. Or you may want to prepare it like I did here with butter roasted baby root vegetables and Community Grains ‘Red Flint’ polenta.

Bacon Popcorn

Ingredients:
4 ounces popcorn kernels
4 ounces bacon drippings from breakfast, strained trough a paper coffee filter
salt and pepper to taste
6-8 quart pot with lid for cooking
Two strips of well cooked bacon, minced

Instructions:
1. Soak the popcorn kernels in the bacon fat covered, for two days refrigerated.
2. In place the kernels and bacon fat in a large pot over high heat.
3. Add some salt (not too much, just enough to give it some flavor)
4. Cover. Cook until you hear popping, then start to move the pot back and forth until the popping stops.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Top with bacon bits.

AUREA

905 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 989-3500

 
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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