Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on a recent dinner prepared by Watershed chef Scott Peacock (pictured) at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Bauer describes the dinner as a retort to Anthony Bourdain, who called Alice Waters' restaurant "overrated." Bauer agrees with Bourdain that the daily menu at the restaurant isn't particularly inventive but argues that the quality of ingredients always creates an "aha moment" for him -- whether the cooking is by Waters or a guest chef such as Peacock.
Here's Bauer's description of Peacock's dinner:
The dinner started with heirloom boiled black peanuts that tasted kind of like fresh shelling beans, and a mint julep-like cocktail made with Prosecco.
For the first course, he created an oyster stew with salsify and half-dollar-size biscuits with country ham; in one bite, I knew why this product is so beloved in the South.
His simple butter leaf lettuce salad was accompanied by a deviled egg; again, so simple but so satisfying.
I saw the cooks around the open fireplace, pulling off pots that contained the main course: Laughing Stock pork shoulder braised in Port wine and served with Miss Lewis' greens with house-made hot pepper vinegar. Anyone who hasn't discovered the allure of long-cooked greens only needed to taste these. The plate was rounded out with a scattering of black-eyed peas and whipped sweet potatoes with an almost souffle texture. Crunchy, fried hot water corn bread completed the main course.
Dessert consisted of sherbets of buttermilk and page mandarin, and each plate also included the kishu mandarin that tasted better than any other variety of tangerine I can remember.
So when do we get this meal at Watershed?
Read Bauer's column here.
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