Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird

When the opp to grab one of Gabriel Rucker’s Le Pigeon recipes popped up today online, I jumped.  Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird, to be published in Sep, is a snapshot of the crazy Rucker kitchen.  The restaurant is an absolute favorite of mine, for reasons I posted about previously, in a town that has a lot of competition for faves.

Portland Monthly describes Rucker’s 2006 transformation of Le Pigeon this way: “…  a failing restaurant with a small cult following hired Gabriel Rucker, 25 and a virtual unknown, to save the day. Almost overnight, the tattooed college dropout from Napa defined the playful attitude, communal tables, and palate-pushing originality that helped turn Portland from a provincial dot to a capital-city star on the nation’s gastronomic map. Swaggering foie gras profiteroles—foie gras ice cream, drizzled with foie gras caramel, and finished with (of course!) foie gras powdered sugar—set the tone, then and now. Seven years and two James Beard awards later, Le Pigeon still conjures Portland’s most riveting ever-changing menu: dishes that don’t look or taste like anything, anywhere.”  Those foie gras profiteroles forever changed my idea of what dessert could taste like.

So, PM gives us a taste of Rucker’s BBQ Celery Root with Mâche and Délice de Bourgogne.  It’s essentially grilled celery root with Beaujolais and red wine vinegar based BBQ sauce, finished with triple crème cheese, and is much easier to prepare than it sounds.  Mache tossed with a current vinaigrette is served as a complement.

I suspect this is a book that will alter my frame of reference for many dishes.  The post is worth a look, and the book may well be worth a place at the table.

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