Food and Drink

A Talk with Chef Jeff Balfour

A Talk with Chef Jeff Balfour

The Culinaria Cupcake Wine Dinner will be held Wednesday, May 13 at the newly-opened Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery in the Historic Pearl. Puro Pinche’s Kim O. sat down with head chef Jeff Balfour to see what he had to say about the sweet seven course meal.



Chef Balfour in Fiesta Folks, a photo exhibit by Josh Huskin.


Set to be outside on the patio at Southerleigh, the beer-loving Chef Jeff Balfour is pairing a different Cupcake Vineyards wine with each course of his coastal-inspired fare during the special event Wednesday evening. The dinner is part of San Antonio’s Culinaria Festival Week and one of the stops for the Cupcake Vineyards truck. Dinner will be served family-style to give guests a true taste of everything being prepared. Chef Balfour said he used his long history with Rick Groomer of Groomer’s Seafood to use what’s in season and includes new items that are coming in straight from the Gulf to his restaurant.

For starters, chef’s choice hors d’oeuvres will be paired with the very “in” Prosecco.

Course two is a poached snapper collar that demonstrates Chef Balfour’s coastal upbringing by utilizing “by catch products” that wouldn’t normally be used but are still really “good” and will be served with a Sauvignon Blanc. The snapper collar will be grilled and butter poached keeping the fish on the lighter side.

The third course features a light and airy Topo Chico battered first of the season soft-shell crab topped with a light herby dressing paired with a Pinot Grigio. This dish was specially designed for this pairing menu but will be featured on the regular menu as well, while the crab is in season.

Starting from lighter fares and moving to the heavier, course four is a richer and heavier Shrimp Bisque made in a classic bisque style thickened with rice with Gulf shrimp fried croquette that will add a “textural difference,” giving the smooth bisque a “little crunch” paired with a Chardonnay.

Course five is a Long Cook Peaceful Pork Shank that is sourced locally from Loncito Cartwright at Twin Oaks ranch, and will be braised so it is nice and tender then topped with a mustard gravy that Chef Balfour describes as an “almost chicken fried steak gravy with mustard infused” and paired with Cabernet.

The main course of Tri-Tip, which Chef calls a not overly fatty piece of meat that is not too heavy  is paired with Cupcake Red Velvet and topped with crab butter, which is essentially just mixing crab and butter with herbs and spices, and melted down over the steak.

Chef Balfour calls the featured dessert a favorite of his, made of really beautiful croissants that will be toasted with butter until they are super saturated, crispy, topped with more cinnamon and sugar, then start to make a bread pudding out of the airy, buttery croissants that will become one with milk, cream and egg and topped with caramel and bourbon. Chef has always made bread pudding with croissants and now says he can’t go back to regular bread.

Sure to showcase Chef Balfour’s newly-opened Southerleigh, along with the various Cupcake Vineyard wines, the dinner sounds like a delicious match in food pairing heaven.

For more info about the dinner, click here.

Follow Kim for more Culinaria fun on Instagram and Twitter @Kimmy486




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May 11th, 2015

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