Exclusive Recipe: Chef David Raines' Bananas Foster
Foreword from Joe Dera
For almost a decade, Michelin-trained Chef David Raines has been leaving his culinary mark on Mississippi. After an international cooking tour in Japan, Australia, Italy, Denmark and New Orleans, Raines settled in Madison, Mississippi. Initially, he launched Seafood R’evolution as Executive Chef with the understanding that he would do it for one year. Seafood R’evolution’s loss was Madison’s gain. After a year of planning, Raines opened the now legendary Flora Butcher in 2016, a farm-to-table old-world butcher shop specializing in prized Japanese Wagyu and Prime Angus beef. In 2018, his access to great beef resulted in the creation of Dave’s Triple B: Barbecue, Beer & Blues, also on Main Street in Flora.
This spring, Chef Raines opened his third Flora business, Raines Cellars: Fine Wines & Rare Spirits, next to his Main Street butcher shop. As with his other two establishments, there is nothing ordinary about Raines Cellars. David has already lined his shelves with vintage wines, small-batch spirits and exclusive bourbon barrel picks only available at Raines Cellars.
Customer service remains a priority with Raines, and one of the establishment’s more unique features is his shop's popular tasting bar. Here, one will have the opportunity to sample certain vintages before buying. Chef David Raines is a registered sommelier, so you know a marriage with his culinary skills was inevitable and will result in great wine and spirit pairings. Customers will have access to Raines’s vast wine experience by having him take the mystery out of wine pairings and spirit recipes. Eat Drink Mississippi recently caught up with Chef Raines and had him prepare his favorite summer dessert.
Bananas Foster—this simple New Orleans dish has always been one of my favorites. So much so that I have prepared it for my mentor chefs in fine dining restaurants all over the world. It was something from my country, so the chefs were interested, and it always made me look good. That being said, I occasionally couldn't find banana liquor in some countries, so I had to leave it out. It was still good, but I could certainly tell the difference. However, his recipe solved the problem of having to keep banana liquor on hand.
While opening Raines Cellars, two representatives (Scott and Fallon) of the Bumbu Rum Company came by to help move boxes and stock shelves. Taking a break at the Tasting Bar had become an instant tradition, so they had brought us some rum to try. Each one was good, but I couldn't get over how much the original Bumbu reminded me of bananas foster. I made a batch for my staff next door at The Flora Butcher the following day, but substituted a little water for the banana liquor and then added the Bumbu. No one could tell the difference between the classic recipe; and it was delicious.
By Chef David Raines
2 oz. unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 oz. Water
4 bananas, slightly underripe, peeled and split
1/2 cup Bumbu Rum, "The Original"
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling
4 bowls, with one very large scoop of vanilla ice cream in each
Note: The key to making this a smooth process is to have everything in place before you start. I put the ice cream in bowls and place them in the freezer first, and then put the rest of the ingredients in prepping bowls so there is zero searching around while cooking. I also encourage you to get everyone's attention when it's time to flambé.
Melt the butter in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and cinnamon. Stir continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Add the water and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir until the water is incorporated and the mixture reduces slightly.
Add the bananas round side down. Let them cook in the sauce until tender, probably 4 or 5 minutes. Turn the bananas over and remove them from the heat.
Add the Bumbu and return to the heat. Tip your pan forward to let the flame ignite the rum. As you let the alcohol burn off, sprinkle cinnamon over the flames for a little show for the onlookers. It burns up very brightly before it gets to the pan and always gets an "ooh" or an "ahh".
When the flames subside, you are ready. Pull your ice cream bowls out of the freezer and distribute the bananas and sauce evenly on top of the ice cream. Serve immediately!