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Oct 04, 2013 - 06:28 AM
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Drivers Serve Up Native Cuisine
Posted by: newsla on Oct 04, 2013 - 06:27 AM
IndyCar News
Drivers Serve Up Native Cuisine

"I've found my winter internship," Simona De Silvestro said as she put the finishing touches on another layer of a Swiss Cremeschnitten during a culinary kickoff event Oct. 3 at Reliant Center for the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston.


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De Silvestro, of Switzerland, was joined by fellow IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Takuma Sato of Japan and Sebastien Bourdais of France in assisting in the creation of dishes representing their homelands.

Sato, of Tokyo, helped ground wasabi for the autumn-inspired appetizer of chef Hori of Kata Robata, which included Alaskan king crab and sea urchin with caviar; Japanese eggplant with sweet miso; hay-smoked Hamachi; and Matsutake mushrooms with duck breast tataki.

"Japan has four different seasons so these dishes are from the sea, the forest and the farm," Sato said. "Japan food is diverse."

Bourdais, who won the past two Indy car races in Houston in 2006 and '07, assisted chef Philippe Gaston of the Cove and Haven restaurant in preparing a French country style lunch of pan-seared veal sweet breads with wild mushroom sauce, roasted garlic potatoes and rocket salad.

"French cuisine is actually very diverse, very much owing its roots to its surroundings," said Bourdais, of Le Mans. "So you have influences from Spain and Italy and Germany, among other countries, and their traditional dishes. With the sea, the forests and the grazing lands, you get a lot of different dishes that are very flavorful."

De Silvestro and chef Gerhard Schaefer of Roland's Swiss Bakery handled dessert.

"Most people when they think of Switzerland think of chocolate and other sweets, but we do have pretty normal food, too," De Silvestro said. "The problem, as a race car driver, when I go home it's kind of difficult not to go crazy (on the sweets). My go-to thing is a tart or a slice of black forest cake.

"If I wasn't a race car driver, I definitely could see myself as a pastry chef."

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