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, Ned Ludd’s Jason French sang the praises of the foie gras torchon that Traci Des Jardins serves at Jardinière in San Francisco. Now it’s Des Jardins’s turn to tell us which dish she finds herself dreaming about. Take it away, Traci.
Who: Traci Des Jardins, executive chef of Jardinière, San Francisco
What: Braised Wild Boar Belly with Unagi, Daikon and Apple
Where: Annisa, New York City
“I was on a stopover from Amsterdam back to San Francisco a few weeks ago, and I popped into Annisa for a quick bite at the bar with a friend. We had the amazing braised wild-boar belly, which was probably inspired by our boar-hunting trip to Mongolia last year. Or at least Anita was probably inspired to send it to me for that reason. Anyway, it was delicious — crunchy tempura-fried Unagi [freshwater eel] with tender, succulent, delicious braised boar. And a great hit of acid from the green apple. The textures and flavors struck a perfect balance.”
Anita Lo, Annisa’s executive chef and owner, responds:
“The wild-boar belly is braised in dashi with daikon and ginger. Then it’s topped with a soy glaze and unagi tempura. In the center is a small salad of fuji apple and shiso with wasabi, and on the right, a spherification of the hot braising liquid, which is topped with a little scallion and bonito.”