Feasting at Home: A Culinary Journey with Our Chefs
By Great Performances
One of the hallmarks of great chefs is that they don’t leave their talent, skills, and passion in the office; but rather, it’s something that is an integral part of who they are and is carried into their daily lives and the meals they create for friends and family. We saw this over the winter holidays as they shared the meals they created for their families for Christmas.
Chris Harkness, COO at Great Performances, shares the meal he created for his family, multi-course affairs that allowed him to enjoy his family as they all enjoyed the food together.
Daniel Sokolov, R&D Chef at Great Performances, created a “clean your pantry” meal for he and his wife, taking pleasure in the precision of culinary techniques and crafting a variety of small plates they enjoyed together.
The holiday season holds a special place in my heart, particularly when it comes to cooking. Bringing my family together and sharing quality time is of utmost importance to me. My approach to holiday meals involves fish on Christmas Eve and meat on Christmas Day. I prefer a straightforward plan, focusing more on sourcing high-quality ingredients than on deciding what to make.
My children—Grace (27), Chris (24), and Nick (22)—have grown up savoring my meals and experiencing various meal structures. In the past, we used to go all out with a single elaborate meal, but this left me with little time to truly connect with my loved ones. Last year, I tried a different approach by inviting Olta and her mom over for Christmas Eve. To avoid overwhelming them, I opted for a coursed-out experience with small plates throughout the evening. I fell in love with this concept and decided to repeat it this year.
My trip to the market involved selecting the freshest ingredients across all categories. Once home, I meticulously logged every item, connecting them based on what made sense to me. This process led to the creation of a menu with each course prepared on the spot. The result was an evening filled with delightful conversations, excellent wine, and five courses of festive, quick, and easy-to-prepare dishes.
While I thoroughly enjoy the art of cooking, there’s something truly special about witnessing the pleasure people derive from eating my creations. The shift from an overwhelming feast to a more relaxed, thoughtful dining experience has allowed us to focus on what truly matters—meaningful connections and shared enjoyment of good food. I look forward to continuing this tradition in future holiday celebrations, creating lasting memories for my family and guests.
My approach for Christmas dinner was to explore what we had in the fridge and pantry and clean it out rather than going shopping for new ingredients. I really enjoy culinary precision and employing a variety of culinary techniques to transform and combine ingredients into something beautiful and delicious to my highest standards.
I drew from French culinary technique and Korean and Asian-inspired meals to create a an array of dishes that we enjoy along with some cocktails that my wife created.
- Sweet Potato Pave herbed crème fraiche, black caviar, tonburi (dried seeds of the summer cypress)
- Potato and Leek Bisque smoked trout roe, hemp seeds, and la tia to (Vietnamese Perilla)
- 48-hour Sous-Vide Short Rib black garlic and dark chocolate glaze, dashi blanched napa cabbage, kimchi, radish kimchi, pickled daikon
- Homemade Mandu (Korean Dumplings) shrimp paste, spicy dashi vinegar
- Spicy and Sweet Eggplant and Scallion passion fruit wine