By Emily Stringer
Two of San Antonio’s local top chefs, Jason Dady of Jason Dady Restaurant Group and Jesse Perez of Arcade Midtown Kitchen, gathered with friends in New York recently to show how off their culinary skills, Texas style.
Jesse Perez, San Antonio chef and owner of Arcade Midtown Kitchen, prepares for featured dinner at The Beard House in New York City.
Perez, whose restaurant is in the Pearl Brewery, debuted his culinary talents at the city's prestigious James Beard House.
Perez is an award-winning chef known for his Latin-influenced cuisine, and he took pride in showcasing a fan favorite, his Lobster Tacos. Succulent, chunks of lobster were dressed with ají amarillo and sweet potatoes, then finished with a raja-corn relish and poblano crema.
Diners at The Beard House also welcomed Perez's Crusted Akaushi Beef with creamy potato-turnip purée, caramelized brussels sprouts and a decadent pasilla chile-fig mole. The fig mole was the hit of the dinner: Diners commented on the flavor balance melding perfectly with the Akaushi beef.
Perez closed out his meal with a toast and a thank you to all the San Antonio diners who had traveled to New York to support him. His Latin style and honest food philosophy was surely the talk of the city that evening.
The following evening, Jason Dady showed a whimsical side to his culinary talents at New York’s City Grit, which bills itself as "a culinary salon."
City Grit is brain child of Sarah Simmons, recently named one of America’s greatest new cooks by Food & Wine magazine. The salon describes itself as a place where an “inspiring chef” hosts a dinner showcasing his or her talents so that new flavors can be integrated into the New York culinary scene.
Dady’s dinner was a fusion of dishes from his restaurants. He showcased a bone marrow mousse and luxardo cherry jam macaron as an amuse bouche. This savory take on a dessert had a decadent, melt-in your-mouth texture and represented something one would see on the BIN 555 menu.
Bahn Mi for City Grit by Jason Dady.
Dady's Bahn Mi brought together giant shrimp, crisp pork belly, buttered toast rounds, cucumber and carrot daikon pearls, before being finished off with a touch of Red Boat fish sauce vinaigrette. Dady’s fourth course represented a bite from Tre Trattoria and Two Bros. BBQ Market — a tasting of eggplant with figs and some crisp Brisket Bark coming together for a true taste of Texas.
Dady and Perez attracted national attention with their meals in New York in June -- but you can try out their culinary talents here in San Antonio. Arcade Midtown Kitchen is at the Pearl, 303 Pearl Parkway. Dady's restaurants are Tre Trattoria Downtown and Tre Trattoria Alamo Heights, Two Bros. BBQ Market and Bin 555.
Emily Stringer is a San Antonio blogger and freelance writer. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org