“Chris Leahy has worked with some of the world’s top culinary talents including Gordon Ramsey, Raymond Blanc, Daniel Boulud and Floyd Cardoz. He met Laurent Tourondel in 2004 and has led the kitchen atBLT Prime since the restaurant opened. Leahy’s cooking straddles the line between fine dining and innovative cuisine.”
Leahy produced a light and refreshing Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Thai Chili Vinaigrette and Arugula.
 
Here’s the recipe:
 
Candy Ginger Syrup
½ cup Ginger, julienne
1 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
 
-Bring water and sugar to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and add ginger. Cook the ginger in the simple syrup until tender. Cool and reserve.
 
Thai Chili Vinaigrette
 
¼ cup Rice wine vinegar

2 Thai chili brunoise

1 Tablespoon candy Ginger + 1 Tablespoon simple syrup

juice from 1 Lime

½ cup Olive oil

Salt and Pepper
 
Spicy Feta Cheese

½ c Feta cheese diced

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

pinch crushed Chili Flakes

¼ teaspoon Dry Oregano

¼ teaspoon fresh picked Thyme
½ cup large diced Yellow Watermelon

½ cup large diced Red Watermelon

3 medium size Heirloom Tomato’s sliced into rounds

½ cup peeled and seeded English Cucumber

1 large dice Avocado sliced

1 teaspoon chiffonade Thai basil

1 Tablespoon thinly sliced Red Onion inside ice water

1 cup Arugula leaves
1 Lime segmented
 
Combine feta cheese, watermelons, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, Thai basil, red onion, and lime segments with 3 Tablespoons of the Chili Vinaigrette. Garnish the dish with the arugula leaves.
 
To match this dish, Leahy suggests the:
 

Sighardt Donabaum Gruner Veltliner Federspiel