Joanne Chang's mother used to make hard-boiled eggs for dinner: She would add them to the beef or chicken she was braising in soy. This is Joanne's riff on those eggs, made spicy with hot sauce and wasabi.
Growing up in Italy's Marche region, Fabio Trabocchi roasted chestnuts in the fireplace to eat as a snack while playing cards with his family. At culinary school, he first transformed those chestnuts into this luscious soup. Incredibly creamy, it's best served in small cups as an hors d'oeuvre.
While unpacking rarely used bottles of booze the day before the lounge opened, co-owner and bartender of The Violet Hour in Chicago, Toby Maloney took time to concoct this drink with Cherry Heering in what fellow owner Jason Cott calls "a mad flash of inspiration."
Roasted Blue Foot Chickens with Glazed Parsnips and Carrots
Team: University of North Carolina Tar Heels
Chef David Myers of Sona in Los Angeles puts brown butter to ingenious use in this showcase for California's succulent Blue Foot chicken. First he drizzles the supermoist bird with brown butter, then sautés root vegetables in the remaining brown butter until they are glazed.
Wolfgang Puck of Spago may be the ultimate L.A. chef, but he grew up in Vienna, and the food there is one of his touchstones. These sausages, called Wiener Würstchen, are a favorite from his childhood. He splits the dogs, fills them with cheese and wraps them in bacon. Once they've been roasted, he serves them on a bun with a spicy horseradish mustard. Although they may seem over the top, they're irresistible.
Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches with Pancetta and Remoulade
Team: University of Richmond Spiders
Bruce Sherman places crabs and pancetta on small rounds of brioche slathered with homemade remoulade (mayonnaise mixed with mustard, capers, cornichons and herbs). He then sprinkles them with bits of hard-boiled egg and dresses the plate with a caper-brown butter sauce. Simplify the recipe by layering salty slices of pancetta, slabs of tomato and a remoulade made with store-bought mayonnaise. Skip the fancy plating, omitting the eggs and the butter sauce.
At his grandparents' ranch in Leyda, Chile, Agustin Huneeus Sr. and his family celebrated the holidays with an asado (barbecue). They slaughtered a lamb, crusted it with herbs that grew wild on the property, and cooked it over an open fire. The lamb here, coated in a mixture of herbs, mustard and bread crumbs, is a simpler, oven-roasted take on that dish.
The "Rum Daisy" appeared in a 1930s book from the famed bar La Florida in Havana. The original recipe called for Bacardi rum, but Jeff Berry recommends Cruzan Aged Light Rum from the Virgin Islands, Flor de Caña Extra Dry from Nicaragua or Mount Gay Special Reserve from Barbados.
Strawberry-and-Wild-Fennel Compote with Pound Cake
Team: University of Arizona Wildcats
Pastry chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco harvests his own fennel pollen for this dessert by hanging wild fennel flowers upside down; as they dry, the pollen falls into a container below.
David Ansel makes this stew with venison and venison stock, but it's equally delicious prepared with beef chuck. The meat is slowly braised in Madeira to bring out its rich flavor, then it's combined with beef-based broth and nutty, slightly crunchy wild rice.