We brought some of the less common varieties of citrus into the limelight, and threaded them through each course of our preview inaugural tasting menu.
Tried and true examples of citrus are, of course, your oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits, but have you tasted less common varieties such as yuzus, Buddha’s hands or the Australian finger lime? The lengthy Australian finger lime is often referred to as ‘lime caviar’ because of its interior, globular juice vesicles that burst in your mouth with tangy, lime flavour. There are a handful of farmers growing finger limes in California, and Curtis also has a tree in his backyard, here in Los Angeles, so these Aussie natives were incorporated into this month’s menu.
We used the juice, pith and rind of a bunch of citrus varieties, and married them up with other ingredients at the peak of their season, to create salts, salads, soups, raviolis, gelées and cakes (to name just a few of the items). Shellfish is extremely good in the colder months, so beautiful West Coast oysters, mussels, and spiny lobsters were featured on our menu. As the earth is cold at this time of the year, anything that grows in it, gets all that flavour from the nutrition in the soil - carrots, turnips, parsnips, sunchokes - these root veggies also starred in a couple of dishes. Curtis has long been a fan of rich, game birds and January is a great season for duck and geese, so we put in orders for a couple of birds that formed the filling of our raviolo, topped with a citrus buerre blanc and pickled Swiss chard – fresh homemade pasta, everybody’s favourite!