"A Star Chef's Winter Menu" boasts the blurb on the cover of the February issue of Food and Wine magazine. I flipped it open to discover that the chef is Madison's own Tory Miller of L'Etoile fame and the new Graze restaurant. The story — headlined "The Ice Follies" — opens with a big photo spread of Miller and the restaurant staff playing broomball on Lake Mendota. Then they all troop inside for a meal, of course.
If the story is a bit sweet, the menu is anything but. Only a confident chef would dare to make a white meal — winter or any other season. And only one as talented as Miller could create a menu this inventive. There wasn't a dish I didn't want to try and all the recipes are on Food and Wine's website. The dishes include Smoked Trout Toasts, Ricotta Blintzes with Lingonberry Syrup, Salad of Fennel with Grapefruit, Endives Braised in Orange Juice and Death's Door Gin (topped with salted, roasted pumpkin seeds), and Roast Pork Loin (bone-in) that has been brined in a mix of brown sugar and seeds and berries (fennel, coriander, cloves, peppercorns, star anise, allspice and juniper). The meal ends with a Buttermilk Cake served with Riesling Poached Pears.
As always, the recipes contain lots of locally sourced ingredients, including the pork. According to the story, "Miller works with Uplands Cheese Company's co-owners, Mike and Carol Gingrich, to raise pigs that taste of Wisconsin terroir — they're fed local apples, hickory nuts and acorns, as well as whey and cream from the dairy."
You can access Tory's recipes from the article here.