I've been thinking about smoked salmon for quite sometime now. I seem to forget that it indeed is well within the parameters of the seafood classification and thought it high time it found its way onto our menu. I wanted to find something loose in feeling and aesthetic, as I can only seem to recall very deliberate, contorted methods and means of serving smoked salmon in most fine dining examples. An unexpected and sudden change in the seasons here in Chicago put me into a springtimey kind of mood, and I found myself wanting something light, fragile. Perhaps a shaved vegetable salad? I'd been tossing around the idea of a smoked salmon tart for a few months, and the idea of mutating the thought to incorporate spring vegetables caught hold. So, I started piecing something together with an interest in keeping the dish deliberately rough around the edges. No specific orientation, no clear organization to the plating.
It seems as if food has become quite flat in recent years, lots of small pieces of this and that threaded off center on large plates in little cutesy piles. So I thought I'd go for height on this one. It's been a while. The result feels chaotic yet controlled to me, and it looks a bit different every time I plate it. It's quite fun to plate during service, and I like that it's a touch challenging to strike into with a fork for the diner. A little apprehension before causing the inevitable fall on the plate. Eat your heart out, Alfred Portale.