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North Salem Chef Dishes On Greenwich Wine And Food Festival

Chef Beck Bolender of Restaurant 121 in North Salem.
Chef Beck Bolender of Restaurant 121 in North Salem. Photo Credit: Submitted

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. --Beck Bolender, the chef at 121 Restaurant in North Salem is busy gearing up for the Greenwich WINE + FOOD Festival, Sept. 23-26 in Greenwich, Conn.

As one of the festival's "Most Innovative Chefs," he sat down with the Daily Voice for a "taste" of what participants can expect.

Daily Voice: What will you be showcasing at the WINE + FOOD Festival?

Beck Bolender: We will be serving an American twist (baked potato soup with butter foam and cheddar-bacon salt) and a little Asian fusion (tempura fried chicken, meatball with pickled Hudson Valley vegetables and kimchi mayo).

Daily Voice: What inspires you and your cooking?

Beck Bolender: I often cook at polar opposites. On one hand, I love to cook seasonal and simple, using as few ingredients as I can to showcase the natural flavors and characters of products.

On the other hand, I like to take classic dishes and turn them inside out using different textures and cooking techniques. I get inspired by the seasons. If it's hot outside, I want to cook something that feels like summer (fish tacos / lobster roll). If it's cold, what could be better than a hot bowl of chili verde?

Daily Voice: What are some of your favorite things to cook?

Beck Bolender: I love to cook wood-fired pizza. Something about stretching dough and cooking with a wood fired oven is very soothing. I also enjoy smoking meats and braising. Both of these techniques require patience but the finished product is more gratifying than grilling a steak.

Daily Voice: Anything else to say about what folks can expect?

Beck Bolender: Attendees should expect a punch of flavor and unique preparations they won’t find anywhere else from myself and Restaurant 121.

Go to www.greenwichwineandfood.com/ for more information on the festival.

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