Shannon OvermillerOvermiller began her professional career as a bartender and waitress at Proximo Restaurant Group's Austin Grill in Washington, DC. Realizing she craved more experience in the kitchen, she then made the shift to Cafe Atlantico, also part of Proximo, where she worked as a line cook while attending the esteemed L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. In 2002, she graduated and accepted a position at Ristorante Tosca under the direction of Chef/Owner Cesare Lafranconi. At Tosca, she quickly moved her way up from Line Cook to Pastry Chef to Sous Chef. With a desire to broaden her experience after spending three years at Tosca, Lanfranconi made a phone call to Chef/Owner Cathal Armstrong on Overmiller's behalf, which brought her to Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Chef Armstrong�s leadership taught Overmiller about the importance of local vendors and sourcing from local farms, along with honing in on her technical culinary skills. Armstrong added French techniques to Overmiller's Italian preparation, and soon she found a balance between both of her mentors� skills. As a 2004 Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation award recipient, Overmiller had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Italy and learn about ingredients and cooking techniques. She has proven herself in many kitchens and now, as the Executive Chef at the latest addition to the Armstrong's projects, which opened in May 2007, Overmiller continues to use the skills she has developed throughout the years.
Shannon Overmiller: Hello! My name is Shannon Overmiller. I am a Chef at The Majestic in Old Town Alexandria. I will be preparing for you now garlic aioli, which is basically a garlic Mayonnaise. This is one of the garnishes to the fried green tomatoes. The texture is nice because it balances out the warm fried texture of the tomato with a nice creamy counterpart. Its a natural dish and its a natural flavoring enhancer for fried items in a mayonnaise based sauce.
So, today to begin I have a mixer here and I am going to start with separating two yokes always reserving your whites for future use placing into the mixer; simply separating by either using the two shells or even through your fingers. At this step what you would like to do is turn the mixer on high for a period of ten minutes or almost until fluffy and white. You also want to add in the equivalent of three or four cloves of garlic finally chopped and minced.
This is the stage where you want to beat your eggs and your garlic into fluffy and white, its very imperative when you do that.
So, at this stage you have to let the aioli go for ten minutes then you slowly begin emulsify your olive oil. So, once your eggs reach the fluffy white soft point and the garlic mixture this is when you want to start to slowly add your oil, very slowly because you dont want the emulsification to break. This process is called Emulsification.
You can start out with your olive oil and youll notice I do it slow steady stream of the olive oil; two cups olive oil.
This is lengthy process, but you have to take your time to do this correctly or your mixer will break and you wanted to maintain consistency that you want.
Once youve added all your olive oil then you go in with the Canola oil. This is three cups of Canola oil. Same process, slow emulsification. Altogether, this process will take you about 15 minutes.
Now that you have reached the mayonnaise consistency what you want to do is seasoning your aioli. We have the garlic inside, but we also need to add in the Italian pepper a pinch, salt to taste, and your lemon juice for your acid. If these things vary there is no exact recipe for this. It has to be a right balance of acid, heat not too hot, but just in the back of your throat and salt. These are personal preferences whatever you prefer.
The important thing is that you add the lemon and the salt in the last because at the end this can break your mixture. So, you dont want to add this to the very end after all of oil is going emulsify into the mixture.
Now, the pinch of Cayenne, generous with the salt; approximately two teaspoons, plus or minus then the juice of two lemons approximately, careful of the seeds.