Actually Pretty Awesome: George Mendes’s Partridge in a Pear Tree

Yep, partridge. Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

Before we sign off here for the long holiday weekend, we thought we’d give you a taste of holiday-themed food porn. This dish, named Partridge in a Pear Tree, was the creation of Top Chef Masters cheftestant George Mendes — who despite making the grade as a master, was also part of this year’s Food & Wine Best New Chefs class. Mendes was the guest chef at Day Eight of Meadowood’s Twelve Days of Christmas last week, and this third course of the evening was full of Christmas-y flavor, at one of the most festive holiday-season dinner series in the Bay Area.

Yep, partridge. Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

This was a dish of Scottish red-legged partridge, the breast sous-vide as a ballantine and stuffed lightly with mushrooms. Underneath was delicious, candy-like crispy skin, red cabbage, and to the side was a sort of country paté made with the liver and some of of the other partridge meat, rolled in some Savoy cabbage. The dish was well balanced, with a tangy, mildly acidic jus, spiced perfectly for fall, and garnished with Comice pear. Also it was beautifully presented to show off a dehydrated slice of pear (see the other photo below).

For our first time trying Chef Mendes’s food, we were impressed. You can see more photos of the dinner here, via Facebook.

And with that, happy weekend, everyone. Talk to you Tuesday.

Earlier: What You Missed at Meadowood’s Twelfth Day of Christmas, 2011 Edition
Meadowood to Get Major Overhaul, Close for Two Months