Sautéed Asparagus with Wild Mushroom Sauce
As a boy, Dominique Filoni of Savona in Gulph Mills, outside Philadelphia, often spent Sundays foraging in the woods with his mother and uncle near his home in St. Tropez, France, for asparagus, leeks and mushrooms--anything enticing for the kitchen. His grandmother would create meals of rabbit with polenta, fresh cannelloni and mushroom sauces like the one here. Filoni (an F&W Best New Chef 2004) recalls crawling under bushes, hunting for orange carpets of chanterelles, but admits his uncle was the real mushroom hunter in the family. "He had the nose for mushrooms, and he knew where to go," Filoni says. "He would find porcini, black trumpets, even morels, though morels are not common in the south of France."