Anita Lo Praises RIA’s ‘Pristine’ Sea Scallop and Octopus With Hakkurei Turnip

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The sea scallop and octopus with Hakkurei turnip at RIA.
The sea scallop and octopus with Hakkurei turnip at RIA. Photo: Galdones Photography

Each week on the Food Chain, we ask a chef to describe a dish he or she recently enjoyed. The chef who prepared the dish responds and then picks his or her own memorable meal. On and on it goes. Last week, Jardinière’s Traci Des Jardins swooned over the “succulent” braised wild-boar belly that Anita Lo serves at Annisa in New York City. Now it’s time for Lo to tell us which dish she can’t stop thinking about. Take it away, Anita.

Who: Anita Lo, executive chef and owner of Annisa, New York City
What: Sea Scallop and Octopus With Hakkurei Turnip
Where: RIA, Chicago

“The dish is stunning — pristine, purple tangles of octopus tentacles and perfect cylinders of scallops in an edible sea foam. The flavors are simple and precise — the sweet, clean taste of the turnip balances and accentuates the pure ocean notes of the fish, and the contrast of textures between the creamy scallop and the tender octopus makes for a complex, winning creation.”

Danny Grant, RIA’s executive chef, responds:

“The purpose of this dish is to highlight and not overpower the delicate flavors of the sea. The scallops are gently poached in aromatic milk and then punched out into perfect little cylinders. We then add braised baby octopus and hakurei turnips, which I love using because of their earthy and refreshingly sweet taste. All of the ingredients are seasoned with a black-truffle vinaigrette and the scallops are topped with American white sturgeon caviar. The dish is finished tableside with a light fumet blanc sauce.”

Anita Lo Praises RIA’s ‘Pristine’ Sea Scallop and Octopus With