Daniel Bruce is a longtime Friend of the Facts. He’s the executive chef at the luxurious Boston Harbor Hotel and the creative force behind the Boston Wine Festival, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary here in 2014.
Bruce knows his wine and his food as well as anybody. But he’s no hoity-toity food snob. He grew up in rural northern New England, and those humble origins and the rustic food of his frosty youth still influence his cuisine today.
He is in fact one of the world's great experts on regional New England cuisine.
His story and his food are highlighted in the new book, “Chef Daniel Bruce Simply New England: Seasonal Recipes That Celebrate Land and Sea” (Lyons Press, $35, 2013), co-authored with former Boston Herald restaurant critic Mat Schaffer, the food-writing mentor of the Mighty CHFF.
Naturally, no New England cookbook would be complete without a recipe for classic New England clam chowder – the perfect addition to a Patriots-themed tailgate.
Daniel Bruce’s New England Clam Chowder
2 Tabelspoons butter
2 celery stalks, trimmed, chopped small
1 large yellow onion, peeled, chopped small
½ cup dry white wine
1½ cup clam juice
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, ¼-inch cubes
2 cup heavy cream
2 cup chopped fresh clams
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
Melt butter in large saucepot over medium-low heat. Slowly sauté celery and onion until they soften, about 8 minutes, being careful not to let onion color. Add wine. Raise heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Add clam juice, bring to boil, cover pan, then lower heat to simmer. Add potatoes and cream and simmer until potatoes are tender and chowder thickens, about 25 minutes. Stir in clams, season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chives with crackers on side. Serves 8.