A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, cookbook author and working chef Bradley Ogden earned his toque under the watchful eyes of legendary restaurateurs Joe Baum and Barbara Kafka at The American Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. From Kansas City he moved on to San Francisco, running the kitchen at the Campton Place Hotel, and where, in 1989, he opened The Lark Creek Inn, the first of eight restaurants that comprise The Lark Creek Restaurant Group. Chef Ogden is the recipient of numerous culinary and restaurant awards, including the CIA 2000 Chef of the Year Award, the 2004 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant, and the Nevada Restaurant Association’s 2010 Restaurant of the Year Award. His Las Vegas restaurant at Caesars Palace, Bradley Ogden, has been recognized as the “Best of the Best” by the Robb Report and honored among “America’s Best Restaurants” by Gourmet magazine.
Chef Ogden presents one of his favorite dishes, which he notes “transcends all holidays because depending on what you pair it with—strawberries, rhubarb, pear, quince—it’s perfectly seasonal and foolproof.”
Yield: 6 servings
Unsalted butter, softened, divided 3 Tbsp
All purpose flour 3 Tbsp
Cold milk 1 Cup
Maytag blue cheese, crumbled 6 oz
Eggs, yolks and whites separated 3 large
Kosher salt 1 tsp
Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 tsp
Heavy cream 3/4 cup
1. Preheat oven to 280–300 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. If using a convection oven, preheat to 250 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
3. Grease six 4-ounce soufflé ramekins with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
4. In a 1-quart stainless steel saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of butter and place over a moderate heat to melt the butter.
5. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 6 minutes, stirring often
6. Incorporate the cold milk, whisking very slowly to make a thick cream sauce. Once the milk is added, continue to cook for 8 minutes over a low heat.
7. Pour the cream sauce into an electric mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, add the blue cheese. Turn the machine on low to blend the sauce and cheese. Let the mixture cool slightly, turn to a high speed and add one egg yolk at a time.
8. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the mixture to another bowl and let cool completely.
9. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the cheese.
10. Fill molds to the top with the mixture.
11. Bake in a water bath at 280 degrees for 35–40 minutes, or until set.
12. Remove from the oven; let cool almost completely. Remove from mold and place onto buttered parchment paper, with top side up. Refrigerate until needed.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pour the heavy cream into a noncorrosive 10-inch sauté pan. Add the soufflés, top side up, and place over a high heat.
3. Bring cream to a boil, then place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until the soufflés have absorbed most of the cream.
4. Remove from the oven. With a metal spatula gently remove the soufflés from the sauté pan and serve.
Note: The soufflés may be prepared several days in advance and finished in the oven when ready to serve.