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The citrus circus is in town Kate Osborne Photography

The citrus circus is in town

The colors and the flavors of citrus fruits are always a bright idea. Oranges, yuzu, lemons and more get a lot more interesting when chefs pair them with crisp brulée, downhome cornbread, earthy beets and nutty bourbon. 

Cranberry cream pie with brulée oranges

Callie Mundy, pastry chef, Washington School House Hotel, Park City, Utah

Price: varies (an offering for private dinner menus)

Citrus is a beam of sunshine in the winter, but those bright, juicy fruits can also become an opulent way to deck the halls for holiday dessert items. Taking the festive angle, Washington School House Hotel’s pastry chef, Callie Mundy, whips cranberries into a cream pie on a spiced cookie crust then decorates it like a gorgeous Christmas morning with a mosaic of brulée oranges and crystalized mint for a sparkly dessert item for private dinner menus.

Courtesy of Kevin Tien

Yuzu cornbread cake

Kevin Tien, chef/owner, Emilie’s, Washington, D.C.

Price: tbd (new menu item)

“I’m from Louisiana, so I love a good ol’ cornbread,” said Kevin Tien, whose career took a turn towards Asian-Latin fusion when he worked for José Andrés before opening Himitsu in Washington, D.C., and soon, Emilie’s across town. This cornbread is an example of how Tien also incorporates flavors and textures of the American South into his cooking. Yuzu — sort of a lemon-lime-orange hybrid from Asia — gets caramelized on the bottom of the cake pan, bubbling brown into sugar. The cake is flipped over upside-down-cake style and finished with a simple whipped cream and more citrus zest as an exclamation point.


Roasted beet salad with citrus segments

Amanda Colello, chef, Fiore at Harrah’s Resort SoCal, Funner, Calif.

Price: $14

Citrus is a great “opposites attract” flavor counterpoint to one of the new year’s biggest veggie trends: beets. Chef Amanda Colello plays the beets’ earthiness against the bracing acidity of a jewel-box array of citrus segments. Lemon-scented ricotta, quinoa, pistachio, mache green (aka lamb’s lettuce, a weed-turned-salad star) and an artichoke vinaigrette act as supporting players for a complex/earthy push and pull. 

I’ll Say She Does

Teresa Fera, bartender, Ever Bar at the Kimpton Everly Hotel, Los Angeles

Price: $15

This cocktail, one of the new creations on the eclectic bar menu by bartender Teresa Ferra at Ever Bar, contains a fascinating combination of players: peanut butter-washed bourbon with Campari and Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry. The crowning touch is a whip of Negroni foam and a dehydrated blood orange chip makes it pop.

CORRECTION Nov. 28, 2018: The spelling of the "I'll Say She Does" bartender's last name has been corrected.

CORRECTION Nov. 29, 2018: The spelling of Lustau Pedro Ximenez sherry has been corrected.

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