LESSONS IN THE ART OF PREPARING FOOD

Iridescence Chef de Cuisine Benjamin Meyer will be writing a column twice-monthly for the Detroit Free Press. To Chef Ben, food is an art form that should feed both body and soul. Check back often as we bring you write-ups and videos from one of the area's best chefs.

BIO

Chef Benjamin Meyer is fluent is a wide array of culinary styles. His wealth of experience and expertise in various facets of the culinary industry, coupled with his undeniable talent, make him a priceless asset inside Iridescence. Since his introduction, Chef Meyer has made several drastic changes to the already dynamic menu...see more...

November 9, 2014 - 3 ways to try pomegranate

The first time I came across a pomegranate, a lady friend of mine was eating it and I said, "What the *$%# is that?" She told me, and I tried it. It was delicious

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October 26, 2014 - Savor pumpkin's flavor in crème brûlée

Some ingredients are better known for the flavors they are paired with, rather than their own. Take pumpkin, for example...

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August 24, 2014 - Give farm market finds extra zest with homemade vinaigrette

Farmers markets, roadside markets, urban farming — now is the time you see Michigan produce in abundance. There are tomatoes, melons, summer squash, greens, lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. Read more...

August 17, 2014 - Fish and clams a healthy summer dish

I never considered myself a big fish eater — until I first tried salmon. That fillet was so moist, its flavor so clean. But what I probably liked most about that salmon was that I didn’t feel sluggish when I left the table. I felt great. Read more...

July 17, 2014 - When summer sizzles, break out some cool cocktails

Summertime presents so many opportunities to create that perfect moment with a beverage. Read more...

June 12, 2014 - Be the boss of your sauce on Father's Day

To fellow fathers everywhere ...Seems like just yesterday that we took our ladies out to eat, bought them flowers and thanked them for being great moms. Now, it’s our turn. Read more...

June 8, 2014 - For a top-notch steak, seasoning, temperature are key

With beef prices on the rise, steak is becoming quite the luxury for many of us. Investing good money in a nice piece of beef makes it all the more important to take the time to learn to cook it right. Read more...

June 1, 2014 - When grilling steak, don't cook it dry

When I was growing up, my parents couldn’t afford to buy beef often. When we did have it, however, I wasn’t very excited. It was always cooked all the way through, until it was dry and chewy. Not knowing any different, I assumed that was how beef was supposed to be served. Read more...

May 18, 2014 - Fresh rolls make nice light treat for spring

Springtime brings two words to mind: light and refreshing. Fresh rolls embody both. The perfect medium for fresh vegetables, sauces, colors and textures, fresh rolls are extremely versatile; the only limit will be your imagination. Read more...

May 1, 2014 - Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with ceviche

Cinco de Mayo! Historical and political rhetoric about the day aside, it’s pretty fun — especially in Mexicantown. Let's try something different. Try ceviche Read more...

April 17, 2014 - Brunchers' Delight: Don't let the menu get the better of you - keep it simple

Let’s be clear: Brunch should be fun — especially on Easter Sunday. Read more...

March 31, 2014 - Try fish in chips for a twist on an old favorite

For this dish, I recommend cod, but make sure it’s fresh. Halibut is fantastic but expensive. You also could use sea bass, haddock or grouper. If you want to stay local, try walleye or — even better — perch. Read more...

March 17, 2014 - Braising meat builds patience but it's well worth it

Can't get your braise to taste quite like it does at your favorite restaurant? This week I'll show you why. Read more...

March 2, 2014 - Warm up your winter with potato leek soup

The cold weather doesn't seem to have an end in sight, so we're going to bring some warmth (sun not included) to us with potato leek soup. Read more...

February 13, 2014 - Tempt your love with passion fruit

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do a dessert, but, as I confessed to you last year, dessert is my weak point. Read more...

January 26, 2014 - Risotto a creamy winter warmer

Risotto is one of those traditional dishes for which everyone has their own style and technique, their own secret. This week, I'm going to let you in on my secert to an indulging creamy risotto. Read more...

January 9, 2014 - Healthy new year: Quinoa's flavor, chewy texture make for a wholesome, tasty treat

We would never jeopardize your new year's resolution to eat healthier. This week we're going to show you how to make a quick, easy, and healthy meal with quiona. Read more...

December 29, 2013 - End 2013 with a simple, elegant steak dinner

I would love to have the pleasure of having you at Iridescence for New Year’s Eve. It’s quite a production — incredible energy, dynamic food and service, sparkling wine and dancing. Read more...

December 16, 2013 - Craft a cocktail to celebrate the season

Impress your guests with some tasty craft cocktails! Our special guest, Sandy Levine will guide you through his take on an old fashioned. Read more...

December 1, 2013 - Use turkey leftovers for a Hot Brown open-faced sandwich

This week, we're going to turn boring Thanksgiving leftovers into a delicious Hot Brown open-face sandwich! Read more...

November 17, 2013 - Don't be intimidated by béarnaise sauce

Variations of béarnaise are endless, not to mention its color is gorgeous! That yellow really pops on grilled steak, poached fish or, dare I say, Thanksgiving turkey. You know how much I love sauce, so let’s get right into this. Read more...

November 3, 2013 - Go savory with spaghetti squash

What would winter be without some of Michigan’s locally grown squash? This week we'll teach you how to make the perfect spaghetti squash for an app or side dish at your next dinner party. Read more...

October 20, 2013 - Cracking lobsters is a snap

Ever wondered how to crack open and break down a lobster? This week we're taking the mystery out of breaking down a lobster! Read more...

September 29, 2013 - Try breakfast for dessert with panna cotta flavored with sweet cereal

My editor wants a dessert column.

I guess it's time to come clean and unveil my flaw: I don't like dessert. I don't like to eat it, and I really don't like to make it. I love sour, salty, bitter, spicy and pungent. I respect sweetness and use it quite often in balancing flavor profiles. Read more...

September 22, 2013 - Go big and bold with roast chicken and tomatillo sauce

When big and bold are combined with texture and simplicity, the result is beautiful. To show that we'll use a roasted tomatillo sauce with roasted chicken breast and avocado cream. Read more...

September 8, 2013 - Use cobs to create luscious creamed corn

Corn is awesome, especially when it is local.

Whether it's at a stand on the side of the road or on a display table at Kroger with a big sign that says "Michigan Product." I think we like it so much because it's so easy. You can eat it right off the cob, dribbling with butter and seasoned with crunchy salt. Read more...

August 25, 2013 - Fried green tomatoes a perfect summer appetizer

It's tomato time in Michigan, and I absolutely love it.

One of my favorite tomato dishes is fried green tomatoes. (Hey, didn't they make a movie with that name?) I love the Southern-style (using cornmeal); I love the Northern-style (using seasoned flour), and I also love the tempura versions I've seen lately. This week, however, we are going blend both Southern and Northern styles, using rice flour instead for our gluten-free friends. Read more...

August 12, 2013 - Learn how to make a bold olive, mozzarella and eggplant appetizer

In an effort to show anyone can do it, Iridescence chef de cuisine Benjamin Meyer recruits friend Pamela Harris to learn how to make his Stuffed Eggplant recipe. The result? read more...

JULY 28, 2013 - Summer scallop dish is peachy-keen

If there is one ingredient that is questioned more than any other, it would seem to be scallops. How do you cook them to get them that way? How do you get that color? read more...

JULY 14, 2013 - Sauce up summer with chilled soup

I love soup ... and it's probably because I love sauce. Soup is a socially acceptable way to consume massive amounts of delicious sauce. Think about it: If I ate two cups of lobster béarnaise (sauce) in front of you, you might call me a glutton...read more...

JUNE 30, 2013 - Veal chop offers new twist on holiday fare

Ah, summer. There is something special about the sun, blue skies, the aroma of fresh cut grass, children screaming as they run through the sprinkler, and the smell of the grill. read more...

JUNE 9, 2013 - Green goddess dressing reigns over multitude of foods

I remember the first time I saw her. I wasn't that impressed. Her color stood out, but not much else. Then, I got a taste.

Wow. So much flavor — the herbs, the acid, the texture. She'd pair well with vegetables, greens, poached fish or maybe even chicken. She was incredible. She was a goddess — green goddess... read more...

MAY 22, 2013 - How to make cocktail sauce, crème fraîche

Chef Benjamin Meyer of Iridescence restaurant in MotorCity Casino Hotel demonstrates how to make crème fraîche and cocktail sauce to accompany poached shrimp. Note: Because crème fraîche is made by letting buttermilk and heavy cream solidify at room temperature for 36-48 hours, there is a risk of food-borne illness. However, the bacteria is essential to culture the cream. Meyer suggests following these four rules if you make it at home: read more...

MAY 12, 2013 - It takes a gentle touch to poach shrimp

Remember, a recipe is a guide, not an absolute. Our first topic to illustrate this point is poaching shrimp.

I chose this because poached shrimp is extremely popular, yet rarely done correctly. In fact, most of us purchase the plastic ring in the supermarket with the cocktail sauce in the middle. That's OK, but I will show you a better way. read more...

APRIL 28, 2013

A couple of years ago, a woman asked me how to make a soup she had had the night before. I asked for her e-mail address and spent a good hour going over step-by-step instructions so she could reproduce it. The next day, she responded, saying, "Thanks but that is too long and complicated. I thought it was going to be simple."

I remember the time my sister said she was making pulled pork from a recipe she got out of a magazine. I walked in the kitchen and saw her with a fork and a cooked pork tenderloin. Puzzled, she wanted to know why it wasn't moist and pulling apart.

Just last month, a man stopped me and asked, "Chef, I bought some nice N.Y. strip steaks. How long do I cook them to get them medium rare?" I started to ask him questions. How thick are they? Are you searing them, grilling or roasting? Did you marinade? What grade are they? He said, "Wait, wait, wait, chef, can't you just tell me the time it takes?" read more...

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