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The Home Plate - Life and Lamb

Meet the Chef: Renee Scharoff, Blonde on the Run catering

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 Renee Scharoff

We met Chef Renee  of Blonde on the Run catering during our True Aussie beef & lamb campaign in the Boston area earlier this year, and were struck right away by her fun personality, her talent and passion for great food. We were able to partner up with her for a special event we called the Great Aussie Steak Out  in Cambridge last month. Renee’s dish was judged the best by the tasting audience, beating out fellow star chefs from Boloco, Catalyst, Boston Chops, and West Bridge restaurant.


The winning dish was “Herbs-de-Provence-crusted ribeye with housemade Boursin, spicy pickled lemons and arugula oil .” We caught up with Renee to get the secrets of her dish, and her thoughts on Aussie meat.


TA: What was the inspiration for your dish?


Renee: I work part of every year in the South of France, and it’s inspired a lot of my cooking. I wanted to showcase the Aussie grassfed beef, and the preserved lemon, the cheese, arugula oil all have that fresh, simple, Mediterranean appeal to them. The arugula oil adds a splash of color and a little bitterness to balance the dish, and it’s really simple to make.


TA: Did you really make the “Boursin” from scratch?


Renee: Yes! I used a grassfed milk, churned it and made the cheese from the cream. Home chefs don’t need to go that far – Boursin off the shelf is fine –I just loved how those floral, herbal notes came through in both the beef and the cheese. I made my own herbs de provence (again, off-the-shelf works fine) mix to crust the beef overnight, which amplified the effect. The richness of the cheese complements the grassfed beef nicely too, which is naturally quite lean.


TA: What did you like about cooking with Aussie grassfed beef?


Renee: First just looking at it, the color on the ribeye was incredible - deep burgundy, rich, beautiful color. And the flavor of the meat was amazing. My clients are always asking for the best products, and especially with beef that means grassfed and organic. As a chef I don’t have to manipulate it, just let the product shine and the natural flavors come through.


TA: I understand that you use a lot of lamb in your catered events, what’s the key to getting Americans to try lamb, and especially Aussie lamb?


Renee: When you are working with a great product like Aussie lamb, it’s a really clean, mild, natural flavor. With anyone who’s hesitant, I joke with them that it’s not 1979 and their grandmother’s overcooked lamb leg with mint jelly! Once I explain that, folks are usually willing to give it a try, and that’s all it takes.

Steaking it Out in Boston

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Last month, we kicked off grilling season in Boston in True Aussie style with an event dubbed the “Great Aussie Steakout” outside Catalyst in Cambridge. It was an evening of great food, games and beer, with Chefs William Kovel from Catalyst, Ryan Marcoux from Boston Chops, Matthew Gaudet from West Bridge, Renee Scharoff from Blonde on the Run Catering, and Eric Kinniburgh from Boloco on the grills. Ticket proceeds benefited ALS Therapy Development Institute the world’s largest drug development organization dedicated to ending ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.

Chef Renee “ran” home with the $500 prize for being voted fan favorite for her dish, Herbs de Provence Crusted Aussie Grassfed Ribeye with Housemade Boursin and Spicy Pickled Lemon s. Yum! One lucky voter in the audience, Laura Graziano, won a Boston staycation valued at $600.  

Here’s a rundown of the other chefs’ dishes:

Chef William Kovel, Catalyst
Grilled Australian ribeye, kimchee slaw, hoisin BBQ sauce, lotus root chips.

Chef Ryan Marcoux, Boston Chops
Grilled Australian flank steak, guajillo marinade, pickled watermelon rind, compressed watermelon, whipped maytag blue, sorrel.

Chef Matthew Gaudet, West Bridge
Grilled Australian flat iron with chermoula, clams, cloumage

Chef Eric Kinniburgh, Boloco
Grilled Australian flap steak, chimichurri, fermented ramp salsa, smoked potatoes, ramp leaf aioli, fresno chips

And for an interview with Renee about her winning dish, follow this link .