Shop With A Chef: Andrey Durbach

Andrey Durbach’s take on classic European dishes? “When you have the best ingredients, there’s no need to overcomplicate stuff.” The unpretentious result is beautifully seasoned proteins, like his veal chop.    


Don’t be cheap. “With this piece of meat, it’s not the time to save money.” Scrutinize both the colour and the texture: “I prefer a grain-fed veal which is a light rose-pink. If the colour is too dark, red like beef, you don’t have proper veal. The outside fat should be white and smooth, not yellowed in any way. When you touch the meat you want it to spring back a little bit.” For his Main Street joint, Chef Durbach buys his veal from Rino Cioffi (Cioffi’s, E. 4156 Hastings St., Burnaby, 604-291-9373). “Rino and his family have had that store for over 20 years. They’re not just the best Italian butcher in town, they’re the best butcher, period.”


“Let the raw chop come to room temperature, season with salt and pepper, rub on your best olive oil, then throw it onto a hot barbecue at medium-high heat.” Simplicity matters. “Veal chop is already so tender and decadent that if you hit it with too much sauce, or if you complicate the prep, then you end up disguising its lovely inherent qualities.” Four minutes per side with a two minute resting period should take the veal to a perfect medium. Unlike other cuts you don’t want medium rare: “It results in flabby flesh that’s a bit on the chewy side. Press it and it should feel like the little space on your hand between your thumb and your forefinger.” Durbach finishes the chop with a sauce of trumpet and chanterelle mushrooms, Italian parsley, chicken stock, soy sauce, lemon vinegar, shallots, butter, and olive oil.


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