When Peter Spear, WCMC, CEC, CCA, PCII, Executive Chef of MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, N.C., was tasked with creating a menu for a wine dinner that showcases two distinct ways to prepare the same item, he knew he wanted to work with duck.
“I love to cook duck, and I wanted to have the duck leg as a part of the dish,” says Spear, “but I didn’t want it to be in just a leg quarter form or mixed into a hash.”
The end result was a crispy duck breast with duck leg croquettes, drunken cherries, Marcona almonds, spiced butternut squash purée and duck jus—one of Spear’s favorite dishes he created this past year.
“It’s a great balance of sweetness from the cherries, saltiness from the duck breast and crispness from the croquettes,” he says. “[I’m proud that I was able] to conceive this dish in my mind and create exactly what I was envisioning.”