Last week I joined chef Scott Youklis of Maverick restaurant as he checked items off his shopping list and sampled some early stone fruit varieties. Maverick is one of over a dozen local restaurants that will be participating in a nation-wide campaign called “Dine Out for the Gulf” next week. It’s an event spearheaded by Jimmy Galle, owner of Gulfish, a local company that supplies restaurants with crawfish, blue crab and shrimp from the Gulf region. From June 10–12, Maverick will donate 10 percent of all sales to communities impacted by the oil spill. Scott is definitely a busy guy with the opening of his new restaurant the highly anticipated, Hog and Rocks, scheduled for later this month, a baby on the way and participation in events like “Dine Out For The Gulf” but he always finds time to come to the market and hand select produce for his menu.
Maverick Restaurant is named for Samuel Maverick, a Texas cattleman who was considered to be an independent and radical thinker. Scott himself is something of a maverick—especially when it comes to transporting produce from market to restaurant. He is the only chef that shows up to the market each week and loads his purchases on the back of his motor-scooter. It may be an unorthodox approach but he never has to worry and about finding parking and so far he’s managed to get everything to the restaurant safe and sound. Maverick’s menu is also a reflection of Scott’s personality as he takes traditional American fare and—ith the help of some great locally grown produce—turns it into anything but ordinary. Dishes on the Maverick menu like the duck hash with medjool dates and fresh herbs, the fried green tomatoes with mizuna and buttermilk dressing, and his take on ‘Southern Fried Chicken’ served with mustard greens and smashed fingerling potatoes just happen to be some of the best in town.
Here’s what Scott was shopping for this week:
• Chinese broccoli from Chue’s Farm
• Black Spanish radishes from Heirloom Organic
• May crest peaches from Tory Farms
• Avocados from Brokaw Nursery
• “DGC” cherries from K & J Orchards (a new Brooks and Bing variety hybrid they are calling Damn Good Cherries or DGC for short)