But Sula was perhaps most impressed with more abstract courses such as the "Autumn Scene," which he describes as "a salad of roasted mushrooms and fried carrot (log), chard (leaves) and leeks (hay), and creamy polenta boulders rolled in powdered puffed black rice and mushroom powder (dirt) and fattened by mushroom-butter puree, all garnished with nasturtium, sorrel, sage, and thyme." It's plated on glass over a hollowed half log filled with earthy aromatics like chestnuts and hay.
In Key Ingredient, chef Rodney Staton of the forthcoming "chef-driven sports bar" the Ogden, made "agnolotti" by turning his challenge, calves' liver, into liver mousse and stuffing it in a wrapper of fried chicken skin. He then plated the bundles with red pearl onions, potato-leek puree, and a house-made saba reduction. The sweetness of the last "helps with the flavor of the liver," Staton said. Next up is Duncan Biddulph of Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar, working with . . . cod milt, the male genitalia of the fish, including the semen.