Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature where we boldly go where few diners have gone before — into Portland restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
The still newish Burnside Brewing Co. is rightfully known for its beers, but chef (and longtime Portland kitchen veteran) Ronnie Vance is getting buzz for his experimental style of cooking, which often highlights molecular gastronomy tools and tricks not often seen on pub grub menus ("beer caviar," anyone?).
For Eater's camera, Vance whips up a simple-seeming "Cohiba" appetizer: a whole wheat crepe stuffed with duck confit and wrapped in collard greens. After shredding the duck and rolling up the crepe tube (sealing the edge with egg wash), Vance fries the roll for three minutes before wrapping the whole thing in a blanched, then salted, collard green leaf. But in true Vance style, here's the twist: The roll is then served with some "duck ash" for seasoning (made by melting duck fat and adding a pinch of five spice and maltodextrine, a sweet starch derivative), paired with some crushed toasted hazelnut. Why can't more pubs pair duck fat with beer?
· Burnside Brewing Co. [Official site]
· All Previous Chef in the Kitchens [Eater PDX]