Until recently, the greatest claim to fame for the sturgeon, other than caviar, may be an episode of The Simpsons titled The Great Money Caper, where a fish falls from the Russian space station Mir and lands on the Simpsons family car. On the West Coast, chefs have bolstered the fish’s legacy, including Paul Corsentino from The Restaurant at Ventana.
This seasoned chef has been cooking at Big Sur’s famed Ventana Inn after spending a decade in New York City. The hilltop space with wall-to-wall wood, sea blue murals of the sea and coast, and open kitchen, remains vital. At dinner, Chef Corsentino treats sturgeon from Oregon’s Columbia River with the utmost respect. This entree, which is either part of a $75 tasting menu, or available a la carte, features a juicy grilled fillet plated with a hash of smoked sturgeon and braised Savoy cabbage, vivid purple cabbage puree, roasted sunchokes, lemon marmalade, bursting orange trout roe, and decorative micro greens.