Our assistant food editor, Darcy Lenz, will be rubbing elbows with 3-star Michelin chef Curtis Duffy this weekend, September 18-20, at the Euphoria festival in Greenville SC. Duffy is one of three Michelin starred chefs (the other two are David Kinch and Sean Gray) who will play sous chef to kid finalists at Euphoria's first annual Kids in the Kitchen: Healthy Lunchtime Throwdown. The final contest, which will be held September 20, is modeled after First Lady Michelle Obama's Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. We are honored that Darcy will represent Cooking Light as one of the contest's judges. The event is free to the public so be sure to visit, say hello to Darcy, and watch the kids show the chefs how its done.

If you can’t get to the festival, Chef Duffy shared one of his pearls with us: Watermelon Radish, Ginger, Trout Roe & Fennel.

Like a little flower blooming on the plate, these pickled radish petals are filled with treasures

By Curtis Duffy

Pickled Watermelon Radish4 watermelon radish, sliced into1/8-inch thick rounds1/2 cup water1/2 cup sugar1/2 cup Champagne vinegar

1. In a small pot, bring the water, sugar, and vinegar to a boil. Chill in an ice bath until cold.

2. Place the radish into the pickling liquid for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft and pliable. Remove and reserve.

Ginger Puree1 cup half and half1/4 cup peeled, sliced ginger2 tablespoons sugarSalt to taste2 tablespoons agar powder

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot. Slowly bring to a boil. Strain and place in the refrigerator until cold and the mixture is firm. Place the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning and reserve.

Fennel Puree1 pound fennel fronds and green tops1 cup ice waterSalt to tasteSugar to taste

1. Blanch the fennel until tender in boiling salted water. Remove and place into an ice bath until cool.

2. Add the fennel and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with the salt and sugar. Reserve in the refrigerator.

Cucumber Juice1 large seedless cucumber, juicedSalt to tasteSugar to tasteCombine the cucumber with the salt and sugar. Strain and reserve in the refrigerator.

Additional Garnishes:

1/4 cup Green Strawberries, small diced1/4 cup apples, finely diced1/4 cup trout roe20 fennel fronds2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve: Bend radish slices to form small cones, Fill each with ginger puree, fennel puree, roe, and diced apples. Pour some cucumber juice on to the plate and garnish with fennel fronds and a few drops of oil.


Chef Curtis Duffy of Grace in Chicago. A Columbus, Ohio native, Duffy moved to Chicago after culinary school to learn from the late chef Charlie Trotter at his eponymous restaurant. After Charlie Trotter, Duffy moved on to Trio, was co-owner of Alinea with Chef Grant Achatz, and earned two Michelin stars at Avenue before opening Grace in late 2012. As the Executive Chef and owner of Grace, Duffy has garnered many accolades including Three Michelin Stars in the Chicago 2015 Guide, AAA's Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide's 5 Star Rating, Robb Report's Best Restaurant in the World 2013, Chicago Magazine's Best New Restaurant, and Eater National's Chef of the Year.

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