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Chef Spotlight

chef michele baldacci

Chef Name: Michele Baldacci
Title: Co-Owner / Executive Chef
Restaurant Name: Locanda Vini e Olii
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Restaurant Website: locandany.com

Locanda Vini e Olii

"Locanda Vini e Olii began using Fossil Farms over 15 years ago, when we first opened. We chose Fossil Farms because it was the only purveyor of Piedmontese beef, a particular breed of cattle originally imported from Northern Italy. Fossil Farms is also our first choice for quality duck, rabbit, wild boar, and other game. Thank you for your commitment to always providing excellent products!"

– Michele Baldacci / Co-Owner & Executive Chef / Locanda Vini e Olii

Chef MICHELE BALDACCI Bio

As a child growing up in Florence, Michele was constantly in the kitchen. His entire family would have lunch and dinner together every day, and Michele was always there, helping his mom cook and plan the menu for the next day. He started his professional career at La Tenda Rossa, a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of the Florentine countryside. However, wanting to focus more on the traditional rustic food of his childhood rather than formal fine-dining, Michele soon started working at Buca Lapi, the oldest and most well regarded restaurant in Florence.

After opening Locanda and working there for 5 years, Michele returned to Buca Lapi in 2006 to re-immerse himself in the culture and cuisine of his native Tuscany. Now back in New York City, Michele is focused on bringing his love of rustic Florentine cooking to the heart of his menu. From tripe to chicken livers, seasonal produce to simply grilled and braised meats, Michele's re-inspired menu proudly displays the food and culture he knows and loves.

Grilled Duck with Figs and Shallots by Michele Baldacci

Grilled Duck with Figs and Shallots

Download printable .pdf file here.

This dish is as delicious as it is messy in preparation. As forewarning, be sure not to cook this dish inside your house or you could get smoked out very quickly. I prefer to eat my grilled duck with a side of chick peas, but it’s also fantastic with roasted potatoes.

Ingredients
2 Fossil Farms Magret Duck Breasts
2 pinches of salt
2 tsp honey
2 dry figs

Shallot Marmalade
40 large cloves of shallots, peeled and sliced
4 tbsp. sugar
6 dry figs
1 tbsp. plus 1 cup water
1 lemon, juiced

Directions
Clean the Duck Breasts so that they are free of any cartilage. Score the fat in a crisscross diagonal across the skin of the birds. We do this because it allows the heat to reach the meat more easily.

In a small pot, add sugar and water. Stir quickly until the water is fully absorbed. Turn on the stove to medium heat. Add the sliced shallots and stir them into the sugar solution, then pour in the lemon juice and cover the pan. Blend the figs in a blender or food processor until they are almost pureed. Add figs to the marmalade with one cup of water. Let it cook on low heat for about an hour. The result should be a dense marmalade. Add more water while it’s cooking if needed.

Preheat the grill. Cook the duck breast for about 12 minutes on both sides. Three minutes, divided into four parts: the first three minutes on the skin, then flip it over. Pour the honey and salt on the cooked skin and cook for three more minutes. Repeat this twice. The fat of the breast will drip into the flame and produce a lot of flame. This helps create a crispy skin. When you’re done, set the breasts aside and cover them with aluminum foil. Let them rest for one minute. Slice them thinly on their shorter, horizontal side. Display the slices onto a plate and add a pinch of salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with the shallot marmalade and two whole dry figs.

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