Food Fight: Gingerbread

Feature by Nicole Patterson | Photos by Kate Greenawalt

Honey, molasses, ginger, sugar, cinnamon—it’s the holiday issue and the ingredient we challenged our chefs to use was gingerbread. Known for its sweet fragrant spice, these chefs showed us how to embrace the holiday season with flair.

We have a lot of new and exciting changes happening in the upcoming months with “Food Fight” and you won’t want to miss it. Stay tuned. Next round we will look to bartenders for their actual recipes so you can concoct at home.

THE CONTENDER:

Annie Bailey’s

IN THIS CORNER:

Kitchen Manager Jimmy Bennawit, Executive Sous Chef

Joe Finerty, and Bar Manager Kyle McLaughlin

THE VENUE:

28 East King Street • Lancaster, PA 17603

(717) 393-4000 • anniebailey.com

Annie Bailey’s joins us again in the ring, this time with new owners—brothers Joshua and Jake Funk. Don’t worry, Annie Bailey’s is still the same great place to dine and drink and your seasonal menu favorites won’t be changed.

Sous chef Joe Finerty and kitchen manager Jimmy Bennawit prepared a delicious seared duck breast with a cranberry orange duck demi and bacon and duck confit served with butternut squash and leek gingerbread pudding. Their autumn apple, fennel, arugula salad with gingersnap encrusted fried goat cheese and cranberry gastrique will keep you full —and that fried goat cheese is amazingly fresh.

Bar manager Kyle McLaughlin concocted an “Irish Gingersnap” made with Snap liqueur, butterscotch Schnapps, house-infused ginger syrup, brown sugar, and Magners. It’s my new favorite way to stay warm this winter. Annie Bailey’s is back, and better than ever. Well done!

 

THE CONTENDER:

Belvedere Inn

IN THIS CORNER:

Lunch Cook Josiah Gladfelter

THE VENUE:

402 North Queen Street • Lancaster, PA 17603

(717) 394-2422 • belvederelancaster.com

This was another dish I really enjoyed. Josiah’s gingerbread encrusted, grass-fed pork with an ah-maz-ing compote of roasted butternut squash with cinnamon, gingerbread, fennel, and apples is absolutely fabulous. His side salad with watermelon radish and gala apples is just the right texture and crunch. “A lot complements pork,” he said. And he recommends pairing it with UFO Pumpkin, a pumpkin ale. Imagine it as a spicy pumpkin pie with a sweet and smooth finish. This dish is a possibility on the menu, but one thing’s for certain: This is good.

After being with the Belvedere for almost a year, Josiah said his favorite thing about the holiday is getting warm. Do it with a delicious meal and a fine glass of wine or beer at the Belvedere this holiday season.

 

THE CONTENDER:

Federal Taphouse

IN THIS CORNER:

Executive Sous Chef Russell Skiles

THE VENUE:

201 North Queen Street • Lancaster, PA 17603

(717) 490-6932 • federaltaphouselanc.com

Please welcome Federal Taphouse to the ring! New to “Food Fight,” is one of Lancaster’s most talked about hotspots. Although a seasoned chef, and one of the friendliest, Russell Skiles slides back into the competition with ease. Together with bar manager, Emery Plaza, these two make for an entertaining and talented duo. This sausage (like an English banger) is seasoned with gingerbread spices and displayed with a gingerbread purée and fig and sherry vinaigrette.

Emery calls his cocktail “Christmas in Jamaica.” He said, “It’s a play on a Dark and Stormy and a Boston Cider. Imagine them having a gingerbread baby.” Made with vanilla bean ice cream, dark rum, amoretto, butterscotch Schnapps, ginger ale, and a few other secret spices, this drink is quite good. The beer is Ichtegams Flemish Red Ale.

Spanning almost 10,000 sq. ft. between the upstairs and downstairs, the Federal Taphouse is an experience. Co-owner Corey Fogarty has already experienced success at the Harrisburg location. Lancaster 102 is surely next.