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Inovasi's John des Rosiers Rocks Geranium Flower Pesto

Stepping up to the Reader's Key Ingredient challenge posed by Avenues chef Curtis Duffy, inovasi chef John des Rosiers had to create a dish using geraniums. Last week, Duffy had to make a dish using Chinese black beans (we were remiss in posting the video, but you can see it here), which was a challenge by Alinea chef Grant Achatz.

So with geraniums being quite out of season, des Rosiers got crafty and found a blooming plant at a dry cleaner across from the restaurant and basically pillaged it, taking all the leaves for a geranium-flower pesto. He used macadamias instead of pine nuts and Alaskan black cod poached in a geranium-flower liquid, kabocha squash puree, grilled artichoke hearts, mole, and yuzu marmalade for "their presumed compatibility with the geranium too." The chef was pleased with the outcome, simply saying, "nice."

Key Ingredient's next victim: Meatyballs Mobile owner Phillip Foss, who is tasked with creating a dish with freeze-dried saffron. Des Rosiers, who didn't get to select the follow-up chef, said he would've picked Foss, but des rosiers said, "I would have done . . . some weird bird's ball from Indonesia or something." Watch the video.

John des Rosiers


28 E Center Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois 60044 847 295 1000 Visit Website


28 E. Scranton Ave., Lake Bluff, IL