Interview with Chef Ric Orlando of New World Bistro & New World Restaurant

Representing the Hudson Valley in the Mussle Tussle is Chef Ric Orlando of New World Bistro and New World Restaurant. Ric is no stranger to cooking competitions having twice won on Food Network’s Chopped. Ric has even provided us with one of his recipes for Mussels prepared with Rare Vos, so we are excited to see what Ric has in store.

Chef Ric Orlando

Ric Orlando
Executive Chef
New World Bistro & New World Restaurant
1411 Rt 212, Saugerties, NY
300 Delaware Av, Albany, NY
www.ricorlando.com
www.ricthechef.blogspot.com

Bio: We Want Clean Food. Guided by these words, Ric Orlando brings an inspired blend of lust for life, outspoken passion for the flavors and ingredients of the world community, and nationally renowned cooking prowess to his roles as chef, lecturer, author, and media source. 
Ric has been preparing and promoting both global and local food for over 20 years. 
New World Home Cooking Co. is a Hudson Valley landmark and the Albany Gastro-Pub he designed and manages, New World Bistro Bar, is a local BEST OF winner. His recipes and commentary are consistently in demand by the regional media. His tireless work in promoting the products, people, and beauty of the region has made him one of the Hudson Valley’s leading culinary spokespeople. A man with a colorful past, Ric’s cultural roots stem from the underground music and art scene through 1980s in New York, New Haven, and Boston where he also gathered his passion for Global flavors eating urban ethnic cheap eats. He developed in his culinary experience at groundbreaking restaurants such as the Elm City in New Haven, (the original) Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Wild Goose in Boston, Sugar Reef in Manhattan, and Yates Street and Justin’s in Albany. Ric has cooked in the kitchens widely of respected chefs Bob Kinkead, Jake Jabobus, and Emmett Fox.

New World Bistro

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? Food and Beverage Pairing, the essence of good eating!

What got you started on pairing food & beer? Going to Fenway Park when I was a teenager lol. Actually, I dear friend of mine, Duane Carrington was chef at the original Troy Pub and Brewery and we did a beer dinner together back in the ‘90s.

Who are the chefs you admire? Gabrielle Hamilton, Mario Batali, Floyd Cardoza, April Bloomfield

What are some of your favorite pairings? Lager and Charcuteries, Blonde and Pad Thai, Ale and Fish and Chips, Pilsner and Buttered Lobster, Triple and Soft, Stinky Cheese.

Favorite style / beer to pair with? Blonde

Favorite all time beer? Don’t Laugh—New Castle

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? Hurricane Kitty-Lemongrass Mussels, Ropa Vieja, Mother’s Milk Fish Fry, Cream of Lettuce Soup.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? I think fine dining as in FINE dining is played and has peaked for a while, but fine food paired with fine brews in an upscale casual atmosphere is where it is at. I see real, handmade beer increasing the upscale casual market to the point of overtaking the nationals.

Rare Vos and Lemon Grass Mussels
This concoction was refined over the years. My old friend, Johnny Levins, the electrifying chef of the Green Street Grill in Cambridge turned me on to beer and lemongrass harmony back in the 80’s.
Make this and your whole house will smell bewitched.
Serves 4
Ricter scale- 7

1 stem lemongrass, cut in 3” pices, bruised with a pan
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 medium shallots, minced
1 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
32 ounces quality bottled clam juice
4 chipotles in adobo, minced
2 tablespoons Texas tarragon a/k/a Mexican Marigold Mint or
(a combination of 1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, 1 teaspoon basil can be used to substitute Texas tarragon)
6 ounces Rare Vos
3 lbs scrubbed and debearded mussels
3 tablespoons butter (optional)
1 medium tomato, diced small
1 cup sliced scallions

In a large wok or pot with a tight fitting lid, sizzle garlic and shallots in oil for a minute and then add all clam juice and lemongrass.

Simmer briskly for 5 minutes then add the chipotles and herbs. Cook for two more minutes and then add the beer. Cook for 10 more minutes, add all of the mussels and cover. Cook over medium heat covered for 3-5 minutes, or until they just pop open.. Turn off the heat, add the butter and recover the pan, allowing the mussels to stream without boiling.

Ladle into big bowls, with plenty of broth. Sprinkle each bowl with the diced tomatoes and scallions.

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