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.”