Dos Caminos' Executive Chef Ivy Stark in Fort Lauderdale Tonight for Book Signing
Ivy Stark, executive chef for Dos Caminos.
Last night, Dos Caminos, located inside the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, hosted a free dinner for the media with executive chef Ivy Stark at the helm. Stark is responsible for the menu at all six Dos Caminos locations (four are in New York and the other is in Las Vegas) and spends most of her time in NYC. She is in Fort Lauderdale this week promoting her cookbook, Dos Caminos: Mexican Street Food.
Local media were given gratis tastings of some of Stark's favorite food and drink recipes from the book, and an opportunity to talk to the chef about the recently released tome. Stark will host a reception and book signing from 5 to 7 tonight at the restaurant. Photos of the food and details about the recipes after the jump:
The first course was guacamole, three kinds of salsa, and freshly made tortilla chips. In addition to avocados, Stark's version includes cilantro leaves, white onion, two teaspoons of minced jalapeno chiles, salt, plum tomatoes, and lime juice.
Street Salad with Honey-Citrus-Jalapeno Vinaigrette with baby romaine lettuce, navel oranges, jicama, mango, cucumber, red papaya, pineapple, and cilantro leaves.
Plantain-stuffed Chipotle Chiles with goat cheese and chipotle morita chiles. Stark picked up this recipe in Mexico City at El Centro Culinario Ambrosia.
Cachetes en Vino Rojo-Cazuela Style con Elote de la Calle y Frijoles Borrachos. Otherwise known as beef cheeks with Mexican street corn and drunken beans. "They tend to use all parts of the cow in Mexico," Stark said of her choice to include beef cheeks on the menu. A veggie quesadilla was the vegetarian alternative for this course.
Stark (center) visited the table between courses to check on diners.
Dessert was Helado de Rosas y Bizcochos, or rose petal ice cream with rose petal cookies. "Another favorite (in Mexico) is ice cream," Stark said, adding that ice cream gets made from everything, including cactus, mezcal, cheese, and rose petals. "Anything goes."
After the meal -- which also included cocktail pairings of a classic margarita, and a hibiscus margarita to temper some of the spicier dishes -- Stark took a minute to chat about her advice for novice chefs attempting to cook authentic Mexican street food for the first time.
"Don't go for the mole first. Start with things like the salads or breakfast dishes," Stark said. "Then move on to the tortillas and mole."
She said the book is written with the intention that the average homecook could prepare the dishes.
"I wanted people to try different things they might not have tried," Stark said.
As a quick tip for Thanksgiving cooking: Stark suggests adding orange zest and fresh or dried jalapeno chilies to cranberry sauce.
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