Sunkist has always been a brand of deep emotional resonance for me. As a child, it meant sunny Sunday mornings, where a cool glass of freshly squeezed orange juice accompanied a languid breakfast of turkey bacon, baked beans and sunny-side-ups.

As a youth, it was a fantastic addition to Absolut Vodka. (it still is, kids!)

Now, in my burgeoning adulthood, Sunkist represents a dietary paradigm shift as they propose giving citruses a more central role in our cuisines. It is a worthy cause – fruits, let alone citruses, have always been sidelined to the peripherals of our meals. Such practices limit the benefits of citruses in our cooking – not only are they rich in Vitamin C, orange and lemon zest lend a fresh, vibrant flavour to your mains, and are perhaps the best-tasting meat tenderizers out there. Leading this culinary revolution is none other than Chef Robert Danhi.

Chef Robert Danhi is the brains behind James Beard-nominated cookbook Southeast Asian Flavours – Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, and is a leading culinary researcher and consultant in R&D centers throughout Malaysia and Los Angeles. He is, however, not Dean Pelton from Community.

deanpelton-robertdanhi
We had to make this absolutely clear, ever since Ken Jeong was discovered to be an actual doctor.

On 9th March 2013, Chef Robert Danhi teams up with Sunkist to come up with 3 mouth-watering citrus-based recipes combining Asian flavours with Western sensibilities and techniques. The result is a healthy repertoire of dishes that appeal to a wide variety of palates. The execution of these recipes were demonstrated by Chef Danhi himself to a team of writers and bloggers (including yours truly) at quaint, off-the-beaten-road restaurant, Morsels.

My personal favourite was the Grilled Sunkist Lemon With Spiced Beef Tenderloin, a zesty reinterpretation of a dish that would otherwise be rather mild, and rather limited in its range of tastes. The medium rare slab of brilliant beef was succulent, tender, juicy – the kind that deserves meandering poetry written about it.

Sunkist Grilled Lemon and Spiced Beef Tenderloin
Sunkist Grilled Lemon and Spiced Beef Tenderloin

The other dishes prepared by Chef Danhi are pictured in the gallery below, and they include an Orange-Ginger Cheesecake with Spiced Coconut Caramel and a Lemon-Coriander Salsa With Seared Scallops. The good Chef was also kind enough to share his recipes with us, which I shall try to recreate. Watch this space! (Mom, we may need to get extra kitchen insurance.)

Gallery

Chef Robert Danhi’s latest book, Easy Thai Cooking – 75 Family-Style Dishes You Can Prepare at Home in Minutes, is available at selected bookstores. I would strongly recommend for him to read Shorter Titles For Your Book. For more information on Chef Robert Danhi, visit www.chefrobertdanhi.com

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