Thursday, December 12, 2013

Episode 11: Chef Felix Barron, KTCHN DTLA and KTCHN 105, Los Angeles CA

Val and Eddie with Chef Felix Barron
Felix Barron built KTCHN 105 as a home chef culinary school in an industrial space in downtown Los Angeles from scratch, incorporating a gorgeous professional kitchen with a landscaped garden retreat reminiscent of Giverny. Chef Barron had initially opened as a Sunday brunch pop-up to garner attention for the school and promote his catering services, but the venture took on a life of its own and blossomed into a hugely popular underground dining spot almost by demand, Chef Barron created KTCHN DTLA as the go-to spot for week-end brunch in downtown Los Angeles.  underground dining spot. KTCHN DTLA is a roaming brunch, popping up in Downtown's under-utilized restaurants every weekend, with its home currently at The Gorbals inside The Hotel Alexandria.

Chef Barron measures for gloves
Based on his triumphant battle in Esquire's "Knife Fight", Eddie and Val were confident that Felix would be able to hit out of the park anything that was thrown at him, and so Kamikaze Kitchen's Episode 11 documents one of our toughest challenges to date. Under pressure to fashion and edible dish from alligator feet from Exotic Meat, Chef Barron pulled out the heavy artillery, cooking the meat down to the consistency of carnitas and incorporating it into a corn cake topped with fresh corn, shredded cactus, cheese and onions caramelized with maple, resulting in an outstanding dish that left its footprint on Val and Eddie's taste buds. You can follow Chef Barron's recipe here if you dare - wrestling alligator into a delicious dish is no small feat.

Gator Cornmeal Pancakes

Gator Cornmeal Pancakes

  • One or two alligator feet
  • orange juice as needed
  • milk as needed
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put gator feet in a presser cooker and cover with half orange juice and milk
  2. Add spices and cook until tender, about one hour (the meat is done when the meat falls out of the skin)
  3. Pull out the bones and reserve the meat for later
Maple Onions:
  • 1 onion, julienned
  • 1 cup maple
  • 2 oz. butter
  1. Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes
  2. Turn off heat and let set on the stove to allow the flavors to come together
  3. Reserve for later
  • 10.5 oz. flour
  • 10.5 oz. corn meal
  • 1 oz. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 oz. sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 32 oz. buttermilk
  • 4 oz. melted butter
  1. Sift the flour with the corn meal, baking powder and salt together
  2. Mix the eggs and buttermilk into the dry ingredients
  3. Slowly add the butter (NOTE: DO NOT OVER MIX)
  4. Cook pancake on a cast iron pan with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil
  5. Pour batter in hot pan and sprinkle the gator meat on top of the batter, letting it cook until bubbles come through
  6. Flip the pancake and cook the other side until light brown
Once cooked, plate and garnish with maple onions and optional garnishes (shaved nopales, cotija cheese, greens and brown butter)

Follow Chef Felix Barron on Twitter at  @KTCHNDTLA
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