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Miami Chef Brad Kilgore Stays Local With Oranges, Mushrooms, and Scotch

This feature was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and Pernod Ricard USA. Vox Media editorial staff was not involved in the creation or production of this content.

The Glenlivet Founders Reserve is a pale gold color and has a sweet taste, with fruit notes of zesty oranges and pears. We've asked some notable chefs to prepare dishes that complement different versions of The Glenlivet. Here, chef Brad Kilgore works with the orange notes in The Glenlivet Founders Reserve.

Miami chef Brad Kilgore often sees potential in things others overlook. While scotch is often pigeonholed as a staple of traditional steakhouses, Kilgore finds it an inviting, drinkable spirit, ripe for pairing with a range of food, with notes of citrus and sweet hints like vanilla and maple. "It's really smooth on the palate and doesn't have that spicy bite aftertaste," he says of The Glenlivet. "Its got notes of bark from the wooden barrel and a hint of citrus, especially of orange."

Kilgore is known for working with local ingredients. Perhaps no other crop is as closely associated with Florida as oranges. So the Sunshine State's citrus mascot became an inspiration for a dish he wanted to pair with the scotch that would highlight its orange flavors. But because he also isn't one to approach things in the expected way, he also decided to base his citrus dish around another local ingredient: Okeechobee oyster mushrooms.

"The citrus industry is iconic in Florida, and it's something that people are very proud of here," says Kilgore. "All parts of the citrus can be used, from the peel to the fruit to even the leaves of the trees."

He used four different methods to develop the dish's flavor, transforming the earthy mushrooms into meaty, rich bites, with layers from savory to citrus. A contrasting sauce with sharp gouda with a touch of chili adds creamy richness and tartness that enriches the depth of the mushrooms. "You don't have to have a steak," Kilgore says.

Kilgore first steamed the mushrooms and then smoked them with hickory wood. Then he glazed them with soy, orange zest, and a beef reduction, and he roasted them to get a caramelized finish. "I designed it around the light smokiness of the scotch—it doesn't overwhelm the food. It's a good balance of flavors," Kilgore says. "A little goes a long way for the citrus accent."

Tasting The Glenlivet, the orange notes are suddenly more pronounced,. The presence of citrus changes preconceived notions of what scotch tastes like and when and how to drink it, yet the mushroom draws on familiar ideas of the earthy complexity of the spirit. "I wanted to show it doesn't have to be an end-of-the-meal drink," Kilgore says. Miami will toast to that.

To learn more about The Glenlivet portfolio, visit theglenlivetcask.com.  Remember to enjoy responsibly.

This feature was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and Pernod Ricard USA. Vox Media editorial staff was not involved in the creation or production of this content.


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