I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
On Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending an immersion dinner (courtesy of Hood Cream) at Deuxave, a phenomenal contemporary French restaurant on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. What an amazing culinary experience! After reading a bit about Chef Chris Coombs, I couldn’t wait to try out the menu he created for us. I will start by saying that it most certainly did not disappoint!
HP Hood has been in the Boston area since 1846, when it was founded by Harvey Perley (HP) Hood in Charlestown, MA. In the 160+ years since it was founded, the company has grown to become a national dairy distributor with 14 manufacturing plants located throughout the U.S. Hood dairy products have always been known for their high quality and fresh taste and you can find them in grocery stores throughout New England. Many of the dairy cows that produce Hood products are located on farms here in Massachusetts!
Our immersion menu at Deuxave featured courses made by Chef/Owner Chris Coombs and delicious Hood cream. Chef Coombs showcased beautifully prepared and presented dishes that paired locally sourced foods (including Hood Cream) that were fresh and seasonal, and not too heavy– as evidenced by the fact that I finished all 5 of my tasting courses! 🙂 While the dishes were elegant and definitely worthy of a fine dining restaurant, they were also meals that you could cook in your own home.
As soon as I read the menu I found tucked gingerly into my napkin, I knew I was in for a true culinary experience. From start to finish, the courses made my mouth water.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
We started with an heirloom tomato gazpacho–perfect for the summer season. While Chef Coombs usually serves his version of the dish heated, we dined on a chilled version which was perfect for the warmer outside temps.The gazpacho was followed by a second course of spring pea carbonara.
We had just the right portion of this delectable dish, dotted with spring peas and served with a quail yoke. I loved the slight hint of lemon zest, and I know that this is one of the many dishes I will be making for my family for dinner. I’m certain it would be a favorite for both adults and children!
Pan Seared Cod with Tomato Clam Nage
The third course was a pan seared cod with tomato clam nage, and it was out of this world! Growing up on Cape Cod, I have certainly had my fair share of cod (it’s one of my favorite kinds of fish because it’s so light). I would be lying if I didn’t say that I consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to this white fish.
The keys to preparing cod well are getting the absolute freshest catch and cooking it perfectly, so that it flakes apart. This particular cod was locally caught and cooked to perfection. I could have eaten at least two more servings! The dish was artfully displayed in a pool of nage and cockles–absolutely delicious and my favorite course of the evening.
Niman Ranch Prime New York Strip with Madeira Cream Sauce
I was so sad that my husband wasn’t with me to enjoy this course, because he loves steak, and the combination of the New York Strip and the Madeira cream sauce was fabulous. The sauce was such a wonderful compliment to the excellent cut of steak–not too heavy. Anyone who sat down to a dish like this wouldn’t get up until they had licked their plate clean! 😉 The steak was served with delicious family-style sides of asparagus gratin and potato and carmelized onion gratin (my favorite!).
Peach Melba Dessert
I love the way Chef Coombs presented the peach melba dessert. Serving it in a stemmed wine glass gave a touch of elegance to this casual summer dessert. I could immediately envision myself serving this dessert on my patio in my stemless wine glasses. The pairing of peaches and raspberries is such a good flavor combination, and the cream just brings it all together! It was so appealing that I dug in while everyone else was still taking pictures! Luckily I managed to snap a few before it was all gone! 😉
Chef Coombs and Deuxave
I had done a little background research on Chef Chris Coombs and Deuxave before I arrived for our Hood Cream immersion dinner, and I was quite impressed with what he has accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. Chef Coombs started working in restaurants around age 11, washing dishes on the North Shore (of Boston). He always loved the restaurant business, and he has parlayed that into 3 restaurants (with his business partner) grossing over $10 million annually.
Coombs attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked at several restaurants including the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, where he had the opportunity to cook for the executive chefs or heads of state via Le Club des Chefs de Chefs.
Our immersion dinner was held at Coombs’ contemporary French restaurant Deuxave (pronounced Doo-aahve), located in Back Bay on Commonwealth Avenue. At Deuxave you can dine on high class contemporary French cuisine, without the stuffiness. The staff is impeccably trained and clearly love what they do as well–our server was incredibly experienced and had a VERY extensive knowledge of the wine menu (it was quite impressive!).
Chef Coombs and Hood Cream
With each course, Chef Coombs arrived at the table to tell us a bit about his inspiration for each dish and how he utilized Hood cream in the recipe (usually light or heavy cream). He explained that he has always used Hood because it’s a quality cream that can stay together when heated to high temperatures:
“I use Hood Cream at my restaurants and it’s what I use at home. My family has a long history with the brand-my grandfather worked there for more than 50 years -so I’m honored to be carrying on the tradition.”
Chef Coombs talked with us about his personal desire for lighter dishes and how using cream in a recipe doesn’t make a recipe heavy or too filling–it’s all about how you use it! If you are headed out for dinner in Beantown, don’t miss Deuxave–I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!