POPSUGAR Celebrity

8 Delicious Dishes and Cocktails — With a Dash of Weird

Jun 24 2014 - 8:30am

Food festivals like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen [1] open up the opportunity to try strange ingredients prepared in even stranger ways. Since they're the imaginative products of world-class chefs and bartenders, rest assured that any bite or sip taken is more delicious than it is weird. Dishes like Japanese uni with a Mediterranean salad, buffalo milk soft serve ice cream, and shellfish flan captured our attention and dazzled our taste buds.

— Additional reporting by Nicole Iizuka

Sources: Anna Monette Roberts and Galdones Photography / Food & Wine [2]

Soft Cell

Cocktail master Dave Arnold of Momofuku's Booker and Dax [3] (New York City) shook up a soft cell cocktail made from Hendrick's Gin, Aperol, lemon, salt, and a milk simple syrup. Aperol offers a slight tang and pink hue. Dave told us salt is his secret weapon for every cocktail. And the milk simple syrup rounded out the flavors.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Japanese Uni

East meets the Middle East in this mashup dish of Japanese uni, heirloom cucumbers, za'atar, fried cheese, and hard-boiled egg from chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal [4] in Los Angeles. The zesty Mediterranean flavors made the uni taste like a slab of butter (in a good way).

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Shellfish Flan

Alex Stupak of New York City's Empellón [5] didn't serve tacos! Instead, he and his wife, Lauren Resler, concocted a salty (not sweet) shellfish flan with a smoked trout roe salsa. The creamy, fish-flavored custard contrasted with the popping roe made for one weird but wonderful bite.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Vanishing Noodles

Cornelius Gallagher [6] poured hot broth atop a mound of "noodles" made of chicken, duck, and bacon fats, causing them to dissolve instantaneously.

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

Modern Fried Chicken

Infusing a modern technique with classic cooking, chef Cédric Vongerichten of Perry St [7] (New York City) aerated his spicy Szechuan and Thai chili batter in a siphon to coat the chicken before frying it up.

Photo: Nicole Iizuka

Razor Clam Granitas

Chef Gallagher [8] wowed us once again with delicate razor clams on a bed of frozen granita, giving shellfish on ice a whole new meaning.

Photo: Nicole Iizuka

Green Apple Candy Balloon

Grant Achatz and Mike Bagale of Chicago's Alinea [9] made us all feel like kids at a carnival with their helium-filled, green-apple-flavored edible balloons, complete with a sugar-coated gummy string. Though this picture makes it look like a refined experience, most ended up with sticky balloon sugar all over their nose. See us inhaling one here [10].

Source: Galdones Photography / Food & Wine [11]

Buffalo Milk Soft Serve Ice Cream

Christopher Kostow of Napa's three-Michelin-starred Meadowood [12] dispensed buffalo milk soft serve ice cream with St. Helena olive oil and flaky sea salt. Who needs fudge and sprinkles when you can make soft serve savory?

Photo: Anna Monette Roberts

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