entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: harold dieterle’s creamed corn

by Grace Bonney

despite being on its seventh season, top chef will always have one true “top chef” winner to me: chef harold dieterle. talented, funny, humble, and hard-working, harold was the clear choice (to me at least) from the get-go, and has since gone on to prove that he has the cooking chops to take his success beyond the top chef kitchen into the cut-throat world of the new york restaurants. since he opened his restaurant perilla in 2007, ac and i have visited as often as possible to enjoy the simple, no-fuss, but amazingly delicious food harold serves. so it made my day to hear from kristina that harold was going to join us for our top chef series here at d*s. normally kristina does these posts, but because i was a harold über-fan, she graciously let me handle this one.

last month i visited perilla with my favorite photographer partner-in-crime, johnny miller, to shoot harold’s recipe for today: an amazing creamed corn with garlic chives side dish that is a favorite among perilla guests. last week amy and i went to perilla after a meeting and i practically scraped the serving dish clean trying to get the leftovers to bring home to ac. normally when i think of creamed corn i’m reminded of my grandmother, but this is the freshest, most delicious summer dish that’s bound to become a part of your weekly dinner repertoire. it’s shockingly simple, easy, and quick- so i hope you’ll give it a try this weekend if you want to impress your family and friends. i promise there won’t be a clean plate in the house. thanks again to harold and everyone at perilla for sharing this recipe with us, and thank you to johnny miller for his beautiful photographs.

*ps: the photo above is of harold’s phone. he and his chef friends send each other pictures of finished plates during service to try to win bragging rights for best looking dish. it was too cute not to share.

CLICK HERE for the full recipe (and more about Harold) after the jump!

About Harold: Harold Dieterle’s strong Italian-American upbringing is what first inspired him to be a chef. Raised on Long Island and his mother’s Sicilian cooking, Harold was destined to cook. His middle school home economics class (where he admits to studying the girls more than the recipes) and his first job as a dishwasher at The Marina on Fire Island also had a hand in fostering his love of the kitchen. At The Marina, Harold soon became a cook. He thrived in the unique fraternal atmosphere of the back of the restaurant, and he found he loved the sense of satisfaction that cooking provided.

In the kitchen, Harold learned to appreciate the various cultural cuisines of the kitchen crew. Whether it was Chinese, Mexican or Salvadoran, Harold embraced all types of food. This appreciation for other cultures took Harold to Spain in the summer of 1995, where he worked his way through some of the country’s top kitchens. Upon his return, he was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York, where he continued to surround himself with a diverse group of friends, each of whom had a different influence on his cooking. During his time at CIA, Harold accepted an internship at The Island Mermaid on Fire Island, where he demonstrated a strong work ethic and a willingness to learn everything he possibly could about being a chef.

After graduating from CIA, Harold moved to the Hamptons, where he cooked at Della Femina. In the summer of 1997, he was instrumental in launching Della Femina’s Manhattan restaurant, before moving on to a three-year stint as a chef at Red Bar on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Following his time at Red Bar, Harold was offered a position at the New York Times two-star 1770 House. After a mutual friend introduced him to Jimmy Bradley in 2002, it appeared Harold’s seemingly endless search for just the right restaurant had ended. The kitchen at The Harrison was where Harold refined his skills, under the tutelage of chefs Joey Campanaro and Brian Bistrong.

In early 2004, Harold went on sabbatical to Thailand to immerse himself in Southeast Asian cuisine and culture. While there, he studied with some of Thailand’s top chefs, and learned how best to cook with rare and exotic ingredients, such as mamay (a sweet fruit similar to a sweet potato) and dragonfruit. It was this trip, coupled with all he had learned to that point, which began to round out Harold’s culinary education. Harold opened Perilla in May 2007 with business partner Alicia Nosenzo, and they have had wonderful success there.

Perilla’s Creamed Corn w/ garlic chives


-Olive Oil, 1T
-Jersey Bi-Colored Corn, 6 husks
-Shallots-sliced, 1 ea
-Garlic cloves-sliced, 2 ea
-Heavy Cream, 2 cups
-Garlic Chives-minced, 2T


1. Remove the corn from the husks.

2. Add the shallots, garlic and half the corn to a saucepot. Sweat for 2 minutes.

3. Add the heavy cream and slowly simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Place the mixture in a blender and puree till smooth.

5. Place the pureed corn into a sauce pot and add the remaining raw corn.

6. Cook slowly together for 30 minutes.

7. Add minced garlic chives and serve

Why Harold Chose This Recipe: “I love the creamed corn recipe, because it uses very simple seasonal ingredients to make something delicious that brings me back to my childhood.”

Suggested For You


  • Wow wow wowee! I will definitely have to try this recipe for sure… And I need to travel to the restaurant too since it comes so highly recommended!

  • I ate this at Perilla, almost two years ago, and I’m still talking about that meal. This and his duck meatballs are AMAZING!

  • I was pulling for Harold from episode 1 & was so glad when he won. I totally love Perilla, though have never tried the creamed corn, so I can’t wait to make this recipe – sounds delicious!!!

  • Yum! The picture of the creamed corn is making my mouth water. It looks so beautiful framed in the wide rimmed bowl. And the green chives really look nice against the yellow corn.

    • leslie

      it depends on the serving size. if you make it as a side, i’d say it would serve 4-6, depending on how big the serving is.


  • I ate at Perilla on a visit to New York in December 2007. The restaurant was beautiful and the food was fabulous. Sadly, Harold wasn’t in that night, because I wanted to meet him. He certainly deserves all his success.

  • I am a huge fan of Harold and planned a trip to New York in the summer of 2008 for my birthday simply to dine at Perilla. Everything that was we tasted was incredible. Ever since I have been recommending the place to anyone I know visiting NYC.

  • o my gosh – thanks for sharing that photo of the phone, what a funny thing! (& the corn looks good too)

  • That looks so good! What would you eat along with this? Creamed corn isn’t very common in Scotland but we’re really keen to try it!

  • Sounds delicious, but you might want to update your recipe a little:

    For step one, you probably mean to say “cob,” not husk, unless you add another step of removing the corn from the cob.

    You also might want to change the ingredients list to 6 “ears” of corn, rather than husks.

  • i do a vegan thai version of this ( i live in the tropics) using chilli, ginger, palm sugar, curry paste and coconut milk but as its “winter” here now i will try this more trad version out using soymilk.

  • Looks delicious! Does the olive oil go in the pot at the beginning, with the shallots, garlic and half the corn? I assume it would, but just want to be sure.

  • This does sound yummy — at least once a week (in the summer) I make “corn off the cob” that is a quicker and lower-cal version. I just cut the corn off of about 6-8 ears, being sure to scrape all the milky goodness off the cobs, and saute it in my big skillet with a couple of Tbsp of butter, salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar. In about 10 minutes you have the essence of creamy fresh corn — my family would eat this every night!

  • I have never heard of anything like that, but I must try it, it looks and sounds amazing and I love corn so, so much!

  • This is the season for eating corn! and good sweet corn cooks in minutes. You can skip the cream part and just saute the corn with onions for a super simple side. Gayle – love the Asian inspired substitutions – especially the coconut milk!

  • I recall those Victorian white ceiling lamps. Most of the original ones are long gone. The corn soup looks mighty tempting. When is the best time to choose and pick the corn for this sort of soup? Early in the morning or just before sundown perhaps. Any particular variety of corn?