Eduardo Ruiz (Corazon y Miel) (photo courtesy of Eduardo Ruiz)
Dish: Morcilla Y Tostilla
The dish is essentially composed of grilled BBQ ribs, with blood sausage and apple mandarin slaw. It was inspired by my partner and sous chef, Travis Hoffacker, who grew up playing soccer as a teenager in Guadalajara. Hi favorite food memories from his childhood are of these ribs and meat laden dishes, which were always accompanied by salted fruits and vegetables tossed in vinegar.
Zach Pollack (Sotto) (photo courtesy of Zach Pollack)
The most recent dish I put on the menu happened to be one of of the options on the dineLA menu, the leek and radicchio pancotto. It’s basically a savory, egg-less bread pudding of layers of bread, cheese, braised radicchio, and melted leeks. It’s cooked at a low temp for about 3 hours, cooled, sliced, and crisped in a pan. The inspiration behind it was, sadly, Judy Rodgers’ untimely passing. The Zuni Cafe cookbook is still probably my favorite cookbook of all time, and I revisited it when she died. The recipes and techniques in that book have a timeless appeal and wonderful versatility. Our pancotto is inspired by her panade, which, by the way, was a revelation the first time I made it and I encourage everyone to do so.
Steve Samson (Sotto) (photo courtesy of Steve Samson)
I recently did a baked ricotta dish with market squash in agrodolce (a traditional Sicilian sweet and sour preparation), pistachio and mint. It’s definitely inspired by the season but also by Sicily since all the components are very Sicilian.
Kris Morningstar (Ray’s & Stark Bar) (photo courtesy of Kris Morningstar)
Dish: Lamb Belly, Purple Yam Puree, Spicy Miso Sauce and Grilled Pea Greens
The dish was created for a charity event for the Filipino relief. While the dish is not Filipino, the flavors are a nod to the culture and are really great together. The lamb belly takes with char from the wood grill so well. The purple yam puree is made with coconut milk and lime which strangely gives a floral quality reminiscent of geraniums. The grilled pea greens are both earthy and fresh.
Warren Schwartz (Warren’s Blackboard)
White boy fried rice was created recently when my wife Rosa, her sister Jain and I came home from a night out. We were all hungry and they challenged me to make something quick and tasty. I suggested fried rice and they both scoffed at me. Being that my wife and her sister are Korean and I am about as white as they come, they did not believe I could prepare a fried rice worthy or their approval. Well, long story short, and in a rare moment of triumph because I seldom win bets with my wife, I proved them wrong and am the reigning fried rice king of the family. The fried rice that I prepared had SPAM (low sodium), broccoli and sambal.