“What we need to do is always lean into the future. When the world changes around you and when it changes against you—what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind—you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy. ”
Haute Cuisine: Maple Farms Blueberry Duck
Every ingredient in this dish–duck, blueberries and Indian wild rice–comes from local sources, said Kristen Wasyliszyn, owner and chef at Atiki’s Flight Catering. Wasyliszyn lightly rubs the duck with hazelnut oil for a subtle, nutty flavor and broasts it in high heat to render the outside crisp while the inside remains tender and moist. The blueberries are reduced slowly and the chef adds drippings from the broasting pan, along with a touch of cognac.
The Indian wild rice is indigenous to the area and in great demand elsewhere. Wasyliszyn boils it until it’s tender, then sautées it in her grandmother’s great iron skillet, along with with salt, pepper, sage, finely chopped carrots and whole cranberries. Then she adds toasted almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts to bring out the flavor. Atiki’s serves the dish with the blueberry reduction sauce on the side.
“In everything we do, we try to use local ingredients and only the freshest and best, including herbs and vegetables from our own urban garden,” said Wasyliszyn, who learned her art “cooking my way around the world,” including a stint as chief cook aboard an Alaskan crabbing vessel.
Atii's Flight Catering, serving Minneapolis/St. Paul airports, www.atikiscatering.com, (651) 230-6149.