Chef Chat, Part 3: Ozzie Rogers of III Forks

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EOW has spent the past two days chatting with Chef Ozzie Rogers of III Forks about his customer-centered approach with an emphasis on a well-made steak. Today we sample his excellent culinary gems.

On the lighter side, the meal started with an award-winning III Forks salad which was a refreshing blend of mixed field greens, Granny Smith apples, toasted pecans, and Maytag Bleu Cheese all tossed together in a walnut-molasses vinaigrette. It was a truly lovely salad with the tartness of the apples complementing the sweetness of the dressing and the creamy sharpness of the bleu cheese. It even made an excellent midnight snack later that evening.

Next up was a clever seafood sampler appetizer. There was one jumbo shrimp smothered in a zesty cocktail sauce next to a second shrimp coated in the heavenly remoulade sauce, an itty-bitty crab cake that was thankfully almost all crab and few breadcrumbs, and a bacon-wrapped scallop seared to perfection.

But you don't want to hear about the salad and seafood. You want to know if the steak was as good as we had hoped.

In a word: yes. Ozzie showed me some of the richly marbled cuts of beef in the kitchen, including the enormous Tomahawk steak. But it was the simple six-ounce filet that was accompanied by a six-ounce lobster tail that truly blew me away. The crisp char was in stark contrast to the medium -rare, tender center, and the textural difference was fantastic. The 12-ounce filet mignon topped with jumbo lump crabmeat and braised asparagus was divine. It's a decadent dish perfect for any celebratory occasion, and I cannot wait to eat it again.

Being a carbaholic, I would be sadly remiss if I did not share with you the wonder that is the six-cheese potatoes accompanying these luscious steaks -- scalloped potatoes in a béchamel sauce with six types of cheese melted in and a sprinkling of chives. There are not enough Weight Watcher points in the world for this dish, but they were worth every creamy calorie. The popular Cinnamon Bread Pudding rounded things off with a decadent dessert that luckily wasn't overly sweet. Adorned with strawberries, cinnamon ice cream, and Maker's Mark Bourbon sauce, this was an excellent take on a New Orleans Classic. It was a wonderful finish to an exquisite meal.

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