‘Hell’s Kitchen’ chef cooking up local enthusiasm

June 25th, 2015 12:01 am

First Posted: 4/26/2013

PLAINS TWP. – “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant Michael Langdon will spend more time in local kitchens in coming weeks.

The 33-year-old executive chef at the Huntsville Golf Club in Lehman Township, one of 20 chefs picked to compete on the popular Fox television network show, will prepare a three-course prix fixe, or fixed price, tasting menu at 279 Bar & Grill in Plains Township on Monday.

The restaurant was formerly the OverPour Sports Bar. Michael Holcomb, majority owner of OverPour, is primary owner and president of 279 Bar & Grill.

The special tasting, for which 279 Bar & Grill was booked within seven hours, is part of an informal grand opening, said General Manager and Executive Chef Jim Guasto.

“We’re going to have another grand opening, but we’re going to roll with this for now,” he said.

The owner noted he has 50 people reserved for 6 p.m. and another 50 for 8 p.m.

Langdon plans to make his signature dish, which he made for “Hell’s Kitchen” — pan-seared East Coast striped bass with garden vegetables and ratatouille nuevo style with a saffron tomato jusand micro rainbow greens. The first course will be steak tartare with pickled red onion, heirloom tomato, olives, crumbled feta cheese, croutons and basil oil, served in the style of panzanella, or bread salad. For dessert, he is planning toasted pignoli cookies, served with Meyer lemon sabayon.

Langdon also will employ what he calls a little molecular gastronomy and turn