As Executive Chef of Ansley GC, J. Kevin Walker, CMC, is always dreaming up clever ways to reinvent classic dishes.
If ever there were a perfect example of a reinvented classic, it would be the grilled steak and spinach salad by J. Kevin Walker, CMC, Executive Chef of Ansley Golf Club (Atlanta, Ga.).
In his iteration, the filet and scallions are grilled. The spinach is creamed. The Maytag Bleu is served as a cold wedge. The tomatoes are pickled, and the truffle vinaigrette is replaced with truffled whipped potatoes.
Reinventing classics isn’t Walker’s only source of inspiration. Often, he draws on fond memories to create new best sellers, like Paccheri Giovanna, a riff on a dish his Aunt cooked when he was a kid.
“Paccheri is a type of pasta in the shape of a very large tube that originates from Campania,” says Walker. “Giovanna is the Italian name for Joan, who is my aunt.”
Instead of a meat sauce, the dish features fresh ground Italian sausage, shaved elephant garlic, white wine, San Marzano tomatoes and basil, and is topped with house-made sage ricotta. It’s simple, but the key is the quality of the ingredients.