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NRN's senior food editor explores what's coming for food and beverage this fall, from hyper-local sourcing to "starter drinks."
Preservation in many forms
Use of local, seasonal ingredients is a way of life for many chefs. But sometimes there’s just too much of a single product at the height of its season to use all at once. So chefs are extending the life of local produce while also displaying their skills in the kitchen by preserving what they don’t use right away.
Justin Burdett,of Ruka’s Table in Highlands, N.C., plans to store the season’s Muscadine grapes in sweetened whiskey. He scores, blanches and peels the grapes and then packs them in whiskey diluted with simple syrup. He serves them with house-made lardo and cheese plates. “It’s a great little accompaniment to keep around,” he said.
John Critchley, chef of Urbana in Washington, D.C., plans to make escabeche out of razor clams, which are harvested during the low tides of spring and fall. He said he’ll poach them and then store them in a vinegar-based liquid.
Brian Malarkey, executive chef of Enlightened Hospitality Group, which operates Herringbone, Searsucker, Gabardine, Gingham and Burlap restaurants in San Diego, said, “I’m really into dried fruits for this fall.” He plans to rehydrate cherries, cranberries, apricots and plums with red wine, brandy or other liquor.