Chef Chris Lanza
Fife ‘n Drum
53 Main St.
Kent, CT 06757
Chef Chris Lanza has been at the Fife and Drum Restaurant in Kent for more than five years. Not unlike some other great chefs, Chris eschewed the culinary school path in favor of the more traditional learn-by-doing method of cooking. A former golf instructor, Chris left the fairway for the kitchen 11 years ago and began his slow, hard but steady climb up the ladder at the Wandering Moose in Cornwall, the Woods Pit BBQ in Bantam and then the Blu Grill in Kent. It was five years ago when Chris joined the staff at the Fire and Drum as a sous chef. The Fife and Drum’s Leon Bouteiller quickly saw his potential, and as Chris notes with pride “I’ve spent the last three years sharing the chef responsibility with partner and mentor.”
Chris, 38, lives in Cornwall with his wife Jennifer and their two dogs. As a family man, he has come to embrace “comfort and love” as his “food philosophy.” The “love” comes from “using only quality simple ingredients, prepared with care,” and the “comfort,” he says, “is found in traditional homestyle dishes, elevated to a new level.”
What is more about “comfort and love” on St. Patty’s Day than corned beef and cabbage? As many Americans do not like the second part of that dish, however, Chris explains that for his variation, “I’ve replaced the traditional cabbage with two of my favorite veggies, cauliflower and kale, to add a slightly different twist to this classic dish. They also are excellent browned up in the breakfast hash.”
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Corned Beef and Vegetables with a Guinness Honey Mustard
- 5-6 pounds raw corned beef
- 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 bunch curly kale with the stems removed
- 10-14 small Yukon Gold potatoes
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 cup spicy ground mustard
- 1/2 cup honey
- 12-oz. can of Guinness Stout reduced to 3 oz.
Place the beef, peppercorn, bay leaf and allspice in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours, until fork tender. Lift the beef out of the pot, and keep it covered until serving.
Add the potatoes to the cooking liquid and simmer until soft. Add the cauliflower and the kale and cook until both are tender, about 5 minutes. Combine the honey, mustard and Guinness reduction together in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Place the veggies in a large serving dish, with the sliced corned beef on top, and ladle a cup or two of the hot cooking broth over everything. Serve with the mustard on the side.
March 18th Breakfast Hash
- Leftover corned beef and veggies
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
Drain the corned beef and veggies and rough chop into 1-inch pieces. Place it in a large frying pan (cast iron works best) on medium high heat and melt the butter. Add the diced-up leftovers and lightly press the mixture down with a spatula until it forms a nice even layer. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes. Stir the mixture and press it down again, and let cook for another 5 minutes. Season everything with salt and pepper, serve it with two over easy eggs and enjoy.
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