““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
Haute Cuisine: Maple Farms Blueberry Duck
Every ingredient in this dish–duck, blueberries and Indian wild rice–comes from local sources, said Kristen Wasyliszyn, owner and chef at Atiki’s Flight Catering. Wasyliszyn lightly rubs the duck with hazelnut oil for a subtle, nutty flavor and broasts it in high heat to render the outside crisp while the inside remains tender and moist. The blueberries are reduced slowly and the chef adds drippings from the broasting pan, along with a touch of cognac.
The Indian wild rice is indigenous to the area and in great demand elsewhere. Wasyliszyn boils it until it’s tender, then sautées it in her grandmother’s great iron skillet, along with with salt, pepper, sage, finely chopped carrots and whole cranberries. Then she adds toasted almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts to bring out the flavor. Atiki’s serves the dish with the blueberry reduction sauce on the side.
“In everything we do, we try to use local ingredients and only the freshest and best, including herbs and vegetables from our own urban garden,” said Wasyliszyn, who learned her art “cooking my way around the world,” including a stint as chief cook aboard an Alaskan crabbing vessel.
Atii's Flight Catering, serving Minneapolis/St. Paul airports, www.atikiscatering.com, (651) 230-6149.