Using local ingredients seems less culinary craze than mandatory practice these days. Three chefs tell us what’s hot now and what’s so last growing season.
Out: Mixed baby greens
“I have gotten pretty bored with mixed baby greens,” says Sarava’s Sergio Abramof. “I’ve worked very hard to try to push the flavor profile just bolder, stronger.” On the Menu: Thinly sliced fennel tossed with lemon-infused olive oil, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. “It’s really crisp and vibrant, has a little bit of a licorice aftertaste,” Abramof says. “It’s just very, very different than the usual salad.”
13225 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-295-1200, sergioscleveland.com
Out: Potatoes and broccoli
In: Root vegetable purees
“I don’t use broccoli, for one,” says Chez Francois chef and owner John D’Amico. “Everyone uses broccoli.” On the Menu: “I make a celery root puree, and I serve it with a lamb dish,” says D’Amico, who pairs purees with the main course. “It’s refreshing. It’s not as heavy as a potato.”
555 Main St., Vermilion, 440-967-0630, chezfrancois.com
Out: Button mushrooms
In: Morels and black trumpets
“The black trumpet mushroom has such an earthy tone because it grows underneath pine trees,” says VegiTerranean chef J. Scot Jones. On the Menu: Black trumpets may show up in beet cream sauce or morels on top of plain aglio pasta. Look for the hyper-seasonal fungi in specials.
21 Furnace St., Akron, 330-374-5550, vegiterranean.com