It may be hot outside, but this week we have such a cool treat to share with you: Chef Lawrence Kocurek, Chef de Cuisine at the W Austin’s deliciously stylish restaurant Trace, invited us back into his kitchen for a quick cooking lesson. We asked for something we could all whip up at home without so much as turning on a burner, and he proposed a beautiful composed salad, bursting with the flavors of juicy tomatoes, berries, and salty feta… perfect for entertaining poolside, tucking into a picnic basket, or enjoying al fresco with a glass of French rose. But first, we met up with Forager (hello, dream job!) Valerie Broussard for an early morning trip to the farmers market, where we picked up the juiciest, still-warm-from the-sun tomatoes, just-picked tart strawberries, fresh feta from Swede farm, and gorgeous, fragrant herbs for our cooking lesson!
*photography by Thomas Winslow
Tell us what you do in a few short sentences.
LK: I am the Chef de Cuisine of Trace at the W. I oversee the daily culinary operations
VB: As buyer and forager, I serve as a liaison between our culinary team and the farmers, artisans and other purveyors we work with. I research and report back about sustainability of seasonal produce, meats, etc. And sometimes it’s just as simple as letting Chefs Lawrence or Janina know that an ingredient won’t be around much longer so they can change the menu accordingly, or informing them of new discoveries.