If you take a look at what’s going on at Meritage this week, you might think Chef Anne Coll is going through an identity crisis. Tonight she begins serving a new Asian street food menu that will be available through the rest of the month, and on Thursday dishes up a French inspired wine pairing dinner. But rest assured, Coll isn’t experiencing a psychological struggle, she’s simply flexing her culinary creativity. “For the first five or six years that I was cooking, I only worked in French restaurants,” she told Grub Street. “And Asian flavors have always been something that I’m interested in and cook at home.”
“It’s really something fun for everybody, and especially fun for the staff,” Coll said of the Asian street food menu. “I just want to show people different flavors, because not everyone gets to experience these tastes.”
The French wine pairing, a four course affair featuring French-inspired dishes and wines from small, family-owned and sustainable wineries in France, is more of a one-off thing that Coll said could possibly turn into something she does more often, depending on how well it’s received, but the Asian street food will be offered nightly through the end of the month.
Coll said that many of its featured dishes are based on things she’s cooked for staff meals, but would like to share with a wider audience. This week she’s serving chicken heart yakitori, lentil fritters with a mint chutney (a dish she learned from a former co-worker who lived in Burma), steamed buns stuffed with barbecued pork, stir fried duk with Korean chili sauce, cabbage and shitake. In coming weeks she plans to swap out different dishes for new ones, including banana fritters and Korean pancakes.