Matt Mohler, chef of Silver King Ocean Brasserie at Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers, Fla., has worked with people from India, Central Asia and Thailand throughout his career, and he says he has learned from them to use spices to enhance food, not to mask it, and he showcases that approach with this dish.
He starts by baking the pumpkin until its soft and then pureeing it with a house-made autumn spice blend.
Meanwhile he cuts purple sweet potatoes with a ring mold around 1.25 inches thick and cooks them in sous vide in a simmering water bath for around 14 minutes. He adds shimeji mushrooms to them, sprinkles them with an “umami spice” — a blend of kosher salt, dried onions, ground mustard seed, porcini mushroom powder, white button mushroom powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper and thyme — and broils them for 3 to 4 minutes.
Next he seasons the scallops with salt and pepper, sears them and then adds finely chopped cashews. He plates them over the squash purée and the sweet potatoes and garnishes the plate with a bourbon demiglace.