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.
Photography by Dina Avila
Several new spots around town have adopted the much-overused "upscale tavern" approach, but NW's the Bent Brick takes that concept to the extreme. Case in point: The blood sausage small plate, which sees chef Will Preisch working through a multitude of gelled, pureed, and Cryovac-ed steps to gussy up some pork blood. First up: The "sausage" itself, which features raw unripe peach, blanched fatback, bacon, and sweated onions suspended in a terrine of seasoned pork blood blended with eggs and cream. (The whole terrine is created within a mold inside a waterbath, wrapped in foil, cooked to temperature, and cooled.)
The terrine is then lightly breaded with bread crumbs and apricot kernel, and plated with peach, apricot, and plum-based sauces to cut down on the richness: An apricot "stew" puree (made with coriander, juniper, candied ginger, sugar, and red wine vinegar) mixes with a peach leaf sauce (brewed like tea leaves, then gelled). The whole plate is garnished with raw wild plums filled with the apricot and peach sauces, iceplant (we hadn't heard of it before, either), dehydrated peach chips, raw apricot, and "Peach Compression" — peach slices compressed in a cryovac machine with peach leaf tea and peach bitters (the kind favored by bartenders).