Sky Canyon Wine Bar

Texas cooking is about to sail down some unchartered waters.  Get ready for some real surprises on Texas classic dishes! Didn’t think there was anywhere else to go with Frito Chili Pie? Just wait!

Anyone remember Helen Corbitt? She was handpicked by Stanley Marcus in 1955 to be Director of Food Services and became the “celebrity chef” of her day. The LA Times called her “Julia Child with a Texas twang”. Under her stewardship, the Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus became a food Mecca and I, for one, think her famous Popovers and Poppy Seed Dressing demand some homage paid on our Stampede 66 menu.

We just returned from the weekly construction meeting and things are progressing nicely. We have been visualizing the Stampede 66 concept in fruition. Below are some of the images from this past week’s construction progress.

You’re going to love the black and white images that appear in projection on the wall!

From the screened porch with fire pit looking into the hostess stand.

The shed is getting closer for your “picnics” and honey fried chicken.

Sparks will soon be flying at Stampede 66!

While the creation and development of Stampede 66 is moving along, so is my new concept with Puente Enterprises at DFW in Terminal D. The old Bodega Winery at gate 14 is about to become Sky Canyon Wine Bar. And yes, it’s a take-off of Star Canyon, but very casual, inexpensive and with lots of great wines by the glass.

Because the space was the “world’s only airport winery”, there was no real menu and therefore never built to house a kitchen.So how does a chef develop a menu with any depth without using stoves for sautéing, grills, fryers or even hoods? Not easy, but I’ve made it work.

Immersion circulators and Cvaps are the future of cooking, not only in airports but in 5 star kitchens around the world. Foods that are traditionally long roasted and braised can be beautifully executed by long cooking at low temperatures in air-tight compression bags. But even with sous vide cooking, we still had a major piece of the menu execution missing. How do we find an alternative method for achieving the Maillard Reaction (caramelizing meats and fish) with ventless cooking?

The Turbo Chef was the answer.  It has a recirculating convertor that makes ventless circulation possible. Because of its “Airspeed Technology” it circulates currents of heated air from the top and bottom of the oven cavity to brown, sear and caramelize food. Precision microwave assists in the cooking process. The high-speed air passes through a stirring mechanism, concealed in the top of the cavity, to ensure even cooking.

Next time you’re in Terminal D headed out of the city, you’ll be able to stop by for a bite. Tell ‘em Chef Stephan sent you!

Be sure and read this Sunday’s Dallas Morning News which will feature me in an article in the business section by the brilliant writer Cheryl Hall.

(edited: February 11, 2013 at 10:50am)