By Richard L. Gaw
Jack Mavraj, executive chef at La Verona Restaurant on State Street in Kennett Square, recently donated five of his mushroom dishes to the Mushroom Council's list of top mushroom recipes, which the council has published on its web site.
The council's recipe website includes Mavraj's house-made mushroom pita, made with cremini and shiitake mushrooms; his mushroom and spinach ravioli, made with spinach and pesto; and his mushroom gratin made with maitake and shiitake mushrooms, smoked bacon and blended cheese and served with mushroom demi glace and mushroom reduction. Mavraj has also give the council his mushroom his short rib angliotti, made with Italian mushrooms, Portabello oysters, maitake and shiitake mushrooms and served in a mushroom and beef broth demi glace sauce. Finally, the council is also providing Mavraj's mushroom meatballs on its website, made with 80 percent mushrooms and 20 percent meat.
La Verona, named after the town in Italy where Mavraj was born, has become a fixture on the Kennett Square dining circuit, and its menu is a gracious nod to the foods of Northern Italy, and to the mushroom growers of Chester County. Raised in Germany by parents who were in the restaurant business, Mavraj took what he learned and attended culinary school in both Munich and Belgium. He moved to the United States in 1997 and established himself at top restaurants in northern New Jersey, as well as at Il Mulino in New York City, before opening La Verona in Nov. 2011.
For a complete list of the Mushroom Council's recipes, visit www.mushroomcouncil.org.