On November 14, 2015, an eclectic group of people gathered in a warehouse tucked away in a quiet neighborhood bordering downtown San Jose for a truly unique artistic and culinary experience at Content Magazine’s third LAB: “Iron Chefs.”
After entering the warehouse, people quickly realized that this was no ordinary space. The School of Visual Philosophy, founded by Yori and Dana Seeger, is a creative work space crafted for people across the community who are interested in creating art.
As guests poured into the space, they were greeted by the smell of roasted chilies and other delectabile foods crafted by chefs Stacey Clinesmith of Your Beeting Heart and Lisa Ahmad of Mirchi Cafe. Guests began to dine on delicious tapas-style hors d’oeuvres, including: lamb meatballs with yogurt and cucumber; tortilla espanola; chicken in mustard cream sauce; pan con tomate; Spanish olives; gato d’ametlla (almond cake); and manchego and membrillo. The food was plentiful, drinks were flowing, and people were buzzing with excitement around workbenches set up as dining tables.
Yori began by walking through the process of creating a green sand mold for iron casting. Once the mold was finished, guests were asked to join him outside near a smoldering furnace. With guests at a safe distance and Yori armored for iron casting, he poured the molten iron into the cast created moments before. Part one, making the iron skillet, was complete.
Part two was learning to use the skillet. Guests moved back inside to the culinary stage where Stacey had prepared a cooking demonstration of her favorite tapas. To begin, she created an aioli sauce for patatas bravas (fried potatoes). Next, she prepared gambas alijo (garlic shrimp) utilizing the iron skillet and explaining the process of seasoning and treating a new cast iron skillet. Guests were encouraged to taste and ask as many questions as they liked.
Then, it was time to reveal Yori’s freshly casted iron skillet. Having cooled from 2800° to about 1000°, the iron was set, but still too hot to touch. Yori, with protective gloves, crashed the mold away from the iron skillet, revealing a fully formed iron skillet, ready to fry an egg—and since the skillet was so hot, that’s just what was done!
Guests were also able to design their own logo to be branded onto the personalized skillets they would be receiving as a memento of the night. In the end, “Iron Chefs” was cast into the memories of all who attended.
Content is grateful for the partnership and support of Knight Foundation, School of Visual Philosophy, Your Beeting Heart, Mirchi Cafe, Regale Winery, Liquid Bread, Lagunitas, Mach 7 Sound, and Whole Foods Market on The Alameda.
Stay tuned for more information on the next Content LAB:
Sushi & Style
January 21, 2016