Kevin Davis | Blueacre | Seattle
Alex Q. Becker | Kuro at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino | Hollywood, Florida
This seemingly simple corn tempura surprises with ichimi spice and furikake. Chef Becker sources whole corn from nearby Zellwood that’s shucked in-house. The kernels are mixed with sweet onion and black sesame before being lightly dredged in tempura batter and fried until they are in a floret shape. The fried corn is then seasoned with nori, sesame seeds, and salt, and served with a dashi-based soy and mirin tempura sauce.
Carl Schaubhut | DTB | New Orleans
Chef Schaubhut puts a vegan-friendly spin on the classic fried boudin balls found throughout Southern Louisiana. He combines sautéed wild mushrooms, garlic, and jasmine rice simmered in vegetable stock with charred eggplant, hot sauce, worcestershire, cane vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh-picked thyme, green onion, and flat-leaf parsley before running the mixture through a grinder and shaping it into balls, which are then battered in panko and fried until golden brown. The balls are served with a smoked tofu “mayo” and pickled collard greens.
Cory Morris | Boleo | Chicago
To make this Peruvian-inspired dish, Chef Morris boils Idaho potatoes until tender and then pushes them through a ricer before adding ahi amarillo pepper, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt, and pepper. He then rolls the mashed potato mix into a ball and stuffs it with mozzarella cheese before battering and frying the balls until golden brown. The Papa Rellena are served atop a huancaina (spicy cheese) sauce and garnished with a fresh salsa criolla (aji amarillo, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil).
Sara Jenkins | Nina June | Rockport, Maine
Chef Jenkins makes these stuffed blossoms when trying to use up leftover scraps from a whole leg of prosciutto di Parma. The scraps are mixed together with fresh cow’s or sheep’s milk ricotta, egg, chopped parsley, salt, and pepper before being packed into the fresh squash blossoms that are then lightly battered in a mixture of flour, club soda, extra-virgin olive oil, and coarse sea salt and fried until golden brown.