Weird Combinations | Morel, White Chocolate & Dill

Weird Combinations is back this week with MOREL, WHITE CHOCOLATE and DILL. It know it sounds gross, but when made into a sauce with dashi, garlic & shallot it pairs beautifully with crustaceans. So far I’ve tried crab, lobster * langoustine — I think it would also work with prawns & crawfish. I first experimented with this on Chopped because my episode was chocolate themed. (See my Girlboss essay for a recap of that day.) I think this trio works because the earthy/musty note of morels tones down the almost sickly-sweet scent of white chocolate, and dill provides an herbal backbone to the dish. By itself, the sauce feels a little like smelling freshly unearthed root vegetables while eating sa

Privilege: The Series

Privilege: Pt. 1: Wealth What determines “value”? This is something I’ve touched upon before, so I wanted this dish to approach the topic with a different angle: the relationship between value and privilege. I’ve been thinking a lot of how each of us measure value in relation to something’s usefulness to us, but often don't recognize that inherent subjectivity when judging others. This dish is an expression of the duality of value: it’s a local radish, poached in wagyu fat & coal essence, stuffed with uni; the broth is fermented foraged mugwort; the leaves are sesame, dusted with radish leaf ("root to tip cooking") and Sichuan peppercorn; the ceramic is custom and lined with literal dollar

Pantry Engineering Pt. 4 | Spices

Pantry Engineering Pt. 4 is the final installment (for now), and is all about spices! As I mentioned in my post in this series, I find the most useful way to sort spices is by organizing them by top, middle and base notes. I think of top notes as the aromas and flavors that will hit your nostrils and tastebuds first — they are typically very bright, juicy, occasionally tart — and stay at the top of your senses while eating the entire dish. I find top notes are often underutilized in their ability to contrast rich & fatty flavors and textures; spices like sumac, coriander seed and pink peppercorn can be just as zingy as adding a finishing vinegar or citrus! Middle notes are those that also co

Weird Combinations | Octopus & Blackberry

Kicking off Weird Combinations with the pairing of OCTOPUS and BLACKBERRY. This dish was a result of me testing out a theory that similarly colored foods often taste good together, and seeing how successful this pairing was certainly motivated me keep digging. There’s some really fascinating research on what makes for good flavor at a molecular level — I mentioned in my Pantry Engineering post on umami agents how combining a variety of amino acids and nucleotides make for greater complexity in a dish; the book The Flavor Matrix encourages pairing foods that share aromatic chemical compounds, which yields surprising results like white chocolate & caviar; however separate research shows E. As

Opinion | We Need DEI Programming More Than Ever During COVID-19

It’s been very telling to observe how diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) initiatives are faring in the current climate. So far, I’ve received a lot of responses from companies explaining their diversity programming is on pause because they have shifted to mitigating business risk and "ensuring the safety & well-being” of all their workforce. In a very shallow interpretation of “diversity” this appears to make sense, because many of the DEI programs put in place are about tolerance and equal opportunity JUST within the four walls of that one organization, NOT about changing the systemic injustices that affect their diverse workforce. In reality, this is a major cop-out. The experience of an e

Pantry Engineering Pt. 3: Salts, Sweeteners & Peppercorns

Pt. 3 of Pantry Engineering series is all about salts, sweeteners and pepper. These are the building blocks of everything we make, and each contribute much more than just saltiness or sweetness. Flavor layering is the act of combining salt and sugar (and, in more complex scenarios, sourness, bitterness and umami) in a finished dish so that stimulates our tastebuds, appetite and brains to want and crave more — these are 2 most addictive flavors for our body because we’re biologically wired to seek them for survival, and IMO a dish’s greatness hinges on the proper balance between the two. (Here’s a great piece about the interplay of salt/sugar via Eater.) Just like umami agents, to maximize yo

TEDxIVC: How Food Can Be A Source of Identity, Intimacy and Vulnerability

I gave my very first TEDx this March, at the first ever TEDxIVC in Santa Ana, California. My talk was 15 minutes long, titled "How Food Can Be A Source of Identity, Intimacy and Vulnerability". The full transcript is below, full video can be watched here: https://vimeo.com/406992087 “Food brings us together.” We’ve all heard this. I will go as far to say this may be the most contrived statement we hear about food. The problem is, its emotional appeal has become all but meaningless despite the fact people do continue to physically eat in close proximity to one another. Today, I want to move us away from using food as a function of being together and instead, give back its power as a tangible,

Eat More Offals! A Guide

I’m a huge advocate for organ meat because it utilizes the whole animal AND provides economical, highly nutritious protein. Especially in our current climate where our supply chains are awry (more on that in my Stories), it's a good idea to learn how to integrate these cuts into your repertoire. Below are general suggestions on how to process common offals, but I encourage you to experiment. Feel free to DM me on Instagram (@chefjennydorsey) me if you have q's on cooking time/temp/flavor and I'll help you out. Pig feet: stewed (3 hrs) or pressure cooked (90 min), then grilled/torched; also fantastic for making velvety broth Pig ear: boiled (3 hrs) or pressure cooked (1 hr) then seasoned, bre

Pantry Engineering Pt. 2: Umami Agents

Part 2 of my Pantry Engineering series is all about umami. In order to maximize the utility of your umami agents it’s imperative you 1. Identity what each agent contributes besides umami AND 2. Understand what umami IS. The first is easier to explain: tomato paste is sweet, tart and umami whereas doubanjiang is salty, spicy and umami. (MSG is just pure umami, which is why it’s so versatile.) Make sure you are familiar with each agent’s potency and ability to withstand heat, as this determines where it sits on the cooking/finishing spectrum I discussed in the oils & vinegars post. I would classify a good majority of umami agents as “cooking”, especially because you want them incorporated into

[Video Feature] Ceramics with ChefsFeed & Maker's Mark

My video with ChefsFeed and Maker's Mark is now live! You can watch the video above + read my full interview here: https://www.chefsfeed.com/makers/videos/5 If you're interested in purchasing any of my ceramics, you can head over to the "Ceramics" page in my website. All proceeds from ceramic sales go towards my nonprofit, Studio ATAO. Thank you for your support!

Pantry Engineering Pt. 1: Oils & Vinegars

Let’s talk oils and vinegars. I’ve received a lot of questions about how to properly stock a condiments pantry for those cooking more than ever, so I’ll cover this topic with 3 posts - oils/vinegars, umami agents, salt/pepper/sweeteners.⁣ ⁣ To start, I like to create 2 groups within each of these categories: ‘cooking’ and ‘finishing’. Cooking condiments are those applicable in many cooking methods because they are neutral, less expensive & used in greater quantities. Finishing condiments are used to impart a specific flavor to a dish; typically specialty products needed in smaller amounts, and best not subject to heat. In our current situation, I recommend favoring the 'cooking' category t

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