Saturday, July 26, 2008

Going to Gilroy to Gorge on Garlic

Michele and I are headed south, to the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Festival. The festival is celebrating its 30th year of fragrant foodie fun. An incredible two tons of fresh garlic will be used in everything from garlic bread to free garlic ice cream…yes, free garlic ice cream.

Sporting press passes (yes, legitimate ones), we'll be strolling the festival's Gourmet Alley, to cover the event for About.com. Of course, I'll also try to capture some the event's flavor, literally and figuratively, to share on this blog.

I'll leave you with a short clip of the beloved Pyro-Chefs, one the festival's most popular draws. They entertain the masses with their famous flame-ups, as they cook huge pans of garlic-drenched calamari, scampi, steak, mushrooms, chicken, pasta, and, well, you get the idea. That they probably all lose their eyebrows seems like a small price to pay for getting to cook all that amazing food. Go garlic!


Photo (c) Naotakem

9 comments:

Birder said...

Ok, this video elucidates a question in me:

I know you chefs always stress not to cook garlic over too high a heat because it will burn and turn bitter. So what gives with literally torching it? Wouldn't this have a similar burning effect?

I'm garlic infused and confused :)

noble pig said...

I am so jealous!

Anonymous said...

John,

Have wonderful time at the GARLIC festival - Tom and I wish we could join Michele and you. Looking forward to hearing about your Gilroy Garlic get a way.

Go GREEN & eat Garlic!
ENJOY!

Anonymous said...

John,

Have wonderful time at the GARLIC festival - Tom and I wish we could join Michele and you. Looking forward to hearing about your Gilroy Garlic get a way.

Go GREEN & eat Garlic!
ENJOY!

Chef John said...

Thanks! We'll let you guys know how it goes. You'll see some pictures hopefully. Ciao, Chow.

Chef John said...

Yes, you are correct, dark burning garlic is a bad thing, very bad.

BUT, the flame up you're seeing is actually the oil vapor. When they dump the chopped garlic, into the hot oil, the moisture in the garlic mixes with the oil and forms a brief and very flammable cloud.

As soon as the flame up is over (a few seconds) they toss in the calamari, sauce, etc. or whatever, and finish cooking. The garlic itself is not burnt.

Birder said...

Very interesting stuff! Thanks for the reply and have a great time at the stinkfest. I am envious!

Granny said...

Am I the only one who was like afraid someone was going to catch on fire? Holy crap. Too many people flaming at the same time. I'm probably too old to totally enjoy the flaming of such magnatude. I still warn the kids about not running with a lollypop in their mouth.

Connie said...

I went to the garlic festival once. The whole town smelled like garlic.