Creating Perfect Plates at Twin Cities Restaurants

Ever ordered a dish at a restaurant so unique and inventive that you wondered how the chef came up with it? Minnesota Monthly went behind the scenes in some of the top Twin Cities kitchens to check out the creative process, from conception to plate, and see how chefs dream up their wackiest and most unlikely food pairings.  On this week’s episode of Moveable Feast, Rachel and John chat about two of these out-of-the-box dishes.

At Tilia in Linden Hills, chef Steven Brown and his staff tested a dish of duck breast and cauliflower puree, topped with cubes of beer gelatin for a balanced, bitter flavor. Skeptical about the beer gelatin? Think of it as a grown-up Jell-O treat—more refined (and less weird) than aspic.

Chef Hakan Lundberg of the Minneapolis Club dreamed up a stuffed baked apple dessert, but was looking for a way to infuse the unique flavor of a bonfire into the dish. His solution was to take branches, hay, and leaves, burn them over an outdoor fire, and steep the burnt foliage in an ice cream base. The resulting frozen treat has a subtle smoky flavor that meshes well with the apple, proving that it pays to go out on a limb when it comes to flavor pairings.

For more info on chef inspirations from the Bachelor Farmer and the forthcoming Nighthawks, see our “Perfect Plate” feature, and check out this week’s full Moveable Feast episode.

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