Wood Grilled Quail
At Wood in Chicago, chef Devin Kreller combines quail, pears and wheat berries from local farms for this dish. He seasons the quail and marinates it in a combination of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chile flakes, garlic and rosemary. That’s grilled in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven and serves it over a salad of the cooked wheat berries, charred radicchio, pear and roasted grapes in balsamic honey dressing
Escargots with garlic custard
At Bar Benno in New York City, executive chef Jonathan Benno makes a custard by steeping cream and milk with a lot of garlic, thyme and bay leaves, setting it with whole eggs and spooning it into the bottom of a traditional escargot serving dish. He tops each indentation with a cold snail and butter that has a purée of parsley, shallot, garlic and white wine folded in. That’s baked until the custard, snail and butter are all hot, and then each one is finished with a drop of Pernod, fried garlic and breadcrumbs.
At Toothfairy Bakery in Miami Beach, Fla., pastry chef and partner Dallas Wynne makes a yellow cake with rainbow-colored sprinkles mixed in. She layers that with chocolate chip cookie dough that’s safe to eat raw because it doesn’t contain eggs and the flour is toasted.
It’s frosted in vanilla buttercream that’s colored blue and pink, ombré style, to match the aesthetic of the bakery itself and topped with buttercream rosettes with sprinkles and cookie dough bites.
Price: $8.50 per slice or $70 for the whole cake
Octopus with carrot mole
At O Sea in Old Towne Orange, Calif., executive chef David Yamaguchi braises octopus in red wine with smoked paprika, onions and garlic. Then he chills it, grills it and serves it with a mole of roasted carrots simmered with sesame seeds and Mexican chocolate. That’s garnished with a salsa of dried chiles, garlic, almonds, sesame seeds, vinegar and honey, as well as purple radishes and pickled onions
Lau Pork Chop
At Mahina & Sun’s at the Surfjack Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, chef Erik Leong draws inspiration from lau, a dish of pork and fish cooked in taro leaves, for this entrée which starts with a brined and grilled pork chop. It’s served over a bed of taro leaves that have been simmered in chicken stock, to which he gradually adds coconut milk so that it reduces but doesn’t turn brown. Then the pork is topped with a vinaigrette of roasted tomato, sherry vinegar, roasted garlic, raw garlic, olive oil, shallots, salt, pepper and thinly sliced tomato and red onion. It’s garnished with green onion curls and a combination of sesame seeds, toasted coconut and toasted ground kukui nut.