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Saucebox's Alex Diestra Finds His Fairy Tale Eggplant

Welcome back to Market to Menu, in which Eater shadows a chef's trip to the Portland Farmers Market, following the trajectory of Oregon's freshest ingredients from market stall to restaurant plate.

[Photography by Dina Avila]

To match Saucebox's pan-Asian flavors, chef Alex Diestra scours the Portland Farmers Market for produce that pairs well with spice. During this trip — with Saucebox sushi chefs Jason Finn and Ryan Greer in tow — Diestra picked up celery root (which, after being infused with star anise and cardamon pods, finds a place on a Korean-style braised short rib dish), Springwater Farms Nameko mushrooms (used in Saucebox's miso), and brussels sprouts (which were eventually served with caramelized dashi and a poached egg). And with the delightfully diminutive Fairy Tale eggplant variety, Diestra developed a new dish for the menu's "dim sum" section, a hot-and-sour eggplant with cashews and fresh herbs.
· Saucebox [Official site]
· All Previous Market to Menu Coverage [Eater PDX]


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