Who is Tony Maws?

Super pimpin-Cured Duck Breast courtesy of Chef Tony Maws

Tony Maws, you’ve inspired me.  So much so, that on a very rainy Boston morning this fall, I took one bus, two T-lines, and walked 1.5 miles in an epic deluge to apply for a job at your restaurant.

Hmm, after reviewing this last sentence, I feel like a celeb stalker minus the “dangerous” part.

Anyways, I showed up sopping wet at Craigie on Main, resumé in hand, the excitement of being part of your team to create badass dishes turned me into a babbling mess.  I thought that this would be a match aligned in the stars.  You cooked in Lyon, France.  I cooked in France.  You are a graduate from the University of Michigan.  My parents raised me on “Oh how I hate Ohio State”!  I even brought winter storage crops I grew on the farm to give to you.  How could this go wrong?  Well, you weren’t there when I showed up nor the subsequent times I harassed your barkeep for a job.

Regardless, this post is an homage to the myth, the man, the legendary burger-maestro, Tony Maws.  Tony Maws is the chef/proprietor of the original Craigie Street Bistro turned Craigie on Main in Cambridge.  Chef Maws has garnered many accolades from the the likes of Wine Spectator, the Boston Globe, Best of Boston, Food and Wine Magazine etc.  For me, however, the awards are secondary to Chef Maws whole ethos of cooking.  He emphasizes low to zero waste cooking, using every part of an animal from head to tail, and actually championing local food, not just pretending to.  This dude walks the walk.  Respect.

I recently saw a video of Mr. Maws curing a duck breast and I immediately thought “I need that in my life”.  So I gave it my best shot.  Making Duck Prosciutto Take 1.  Here is a pictorial essay of my try at making Maws’ Banyuls Cured Duck Breast.  Enjoy!

Start with a Moulard Duck Breast of the infamous foie gras variety

Coarse Sea Salt-Alot of it. About 1 lb. or 2 cups

Cut off tenderloin, trim excess fat, season with peppercorns, a dab of red wine vinegar, red wine, bury in salt

Refrigerate for 24 hours, skin side up, fat side down

Remove from fridge, wrap in thin cheesecloth, tie up like a shoe lace, and hang in the back of the fridge for 7-10 days much to the chagrin of your girlfriend

Finished product! Look at the beautiful fat layer and the richness of color provided by the red wine vinegar and red wine! Tastes buttery, melts in your mouth, slightly gamey, pepper to finish it off. Perfect with cheese and crackers. I have my own recipe in the works to really highlight the duck.

Oh and Chef Maws, I’m still waiting.  Still waiting.

Sources: StarChefs, Craigie on Main, How2Heroes, Grub Street Boston


4 responses to “Who is Tony Maws?

  1. Looks phenomenal! I think eating it would also make me feel better about the ducks that quack to me every morning as an alarm. Vengeance of the tastiest kind.

  2. Albert Sampson

    This looks incredible Scott! I want in…

  3. I hope that Mr. Maws at least noticed and used the fresh, organic produce that you gave to his kitchen, and that it did not just end up in his compost heap. This is pretty bad-ass, I might add.

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