You Need to Try Chef Rob Cassels’ New Squid Dish at Saveur

You Need To Try This is a running account of all the good drinks and dishes we come across over the course of our professional and private lives (that we have the rare presence of mind to photograph in the moment). If you want us to try something in particular, tag your social posts with #Islandist and we’ll send a nose over as fast as we can.

New to the menu at chef Rob Cassel’s French-inspired Saveur is a superb appetizer dish that begins (but does not end) with knife-skilled strips of local Humboldt squid grilled to perfect doneness from edge to edge. These are topped with crisped up chili threads that are more for texture and visual drama than actual palate heat.

The squid pieces are dusted with dehydrated/fermented carrot top powder and balanced on a grim, Helms Deep-looking smear of charcoal roasted eggplant purée that adds a smoky undertone to everything it touches. Also present are charred carrot tips and shavings cooked and fermented (respectively) in carrot juice and bright, impactful little jujubes of compressed cucumber. Saucing it up are dots of charred yogurt and drips of harissa-spiced carrot emulsion.

There’s so much flavour going on here with none of it discordant, unsubtle or out of place — an excellent last taste of Summer and first taste of Autumn!


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