Chef Justin Burdett, known for his farm-to-table cooking, became a part of the Ruka’s Table team in 2012. Chef Burdett’s cooking methodology utilizes local, seasonal ingredients, a perfect complement to his philosophy: to use every part of the product, from the root to the tip. Chef Burdett makes every item in house, including cheeses, breads, vinegars, sorbets and desserts. “I believe in using all elements of everything – the seed, the root, the flower, the stem – all of it,” states Chef Burdett. “Even the juice extracted from the vegetable can be used to enhance a sauce, a soup or to marinate another vegetable. All of these elements build upon each other to enhance and build the final flavor profile.”
Before becoming executive chef at Ruka’s Table, Burdett was sous chef at Miller Union, a nationally recognized and acclaimed restaurant in Atlanta, Ga. In March 2013, Chef Burdett was named one of the top ten chefs in the southeast region by Food & Wine magazine.
Chef Burdett loves to work with vegetables and a soup, while appearing simple, it showcases the depth of flavor in an elegant manner. This corn soup recipe is comforting and brings a warmth to a cooler fall evening. The brown butter adds a depth of flavor and the paprika cream brings a note of smokiness to the dish.
1 onion shaved
½ head garlic
2 quarts fresh corn, cut off the cob (cobs reserved)
½ pound butter, unsalted
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
5 quarts chicken stock
1) In a large stock pot, sweat the onion, garlic and shallots in some of the butter and olive oil until translucent.
2) Add the remaining butter and olive oil. Add the corn and cobs to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes stirring to insure the corn does not stick.
3) Add stock and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes. Remove the cobs and blend the soup until smooth. Pass soup through a strainer to catch any solids and adjust seasoning to desired taste.
½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ pound butter, unsalted
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
1) In a small bowl, whisk the heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold in smoked paprika to taste and set aside.
2) In a sauté pan, heat the butter until slightly golden and frothy. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to brown for another 30 seconds. Squeeze a little lemon juice in it to stop the cooking and pass thru a strainer to catch the butter solids that remain.
3) Top soup servings with paprika cream and brown butter and serve immediately.
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ruka’s Table is located at 163 Main St. Highlands, North Carolina 28741 (828) 526-3636
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun 5:00–10:00 pm