Chef's Corner with Chef de Cuisine at Luc, Andrew Yanak
We recently got a chance to talk with the Chef de Cuisine at Luc, Andrew Yanak, about the flavors that he is looking forward to, what he is cooking for himself (and new bride) at home, and specials coming up at Luc. Take a look at his answers below.
What is coming into season?
Now that its spring we are seeing much more variety in the markets and locally there are some ingredients that are awesome right now. Rhubarb is featured in a number of ways at Luc and one of my personal favorites for this season. It can be pickled, baked, marinated, grilled, or even slowly steeped in simple syrup and served over ice cream. Asparagus is in full swing and is hard to beat with a little char off the grill and flake salt. Leafy greens and lettuces are starting up and if you are lucky enough Morel mushrooms are a real treat. We are serving them at Luc with the fish of the day (as I am writing this) but they won't last long.
What is your favorite ingredient straight from the garden right now?
Snap Peas. Snaps are a great ingredient for both hot and cold applications and at home they don't even make it to the cutting board before they are eaten up. Their crunchy texture and pure spring taste is perfect for salads but at Luc we like to caramelize them in a hot cast iron pan and drizzle a little tarragon vinaigrette over the top.
What are you grilling at home right now?
Alliums. Alliums are the variety of vegetable relating to onions. Garlic, leeks, and chive are a few in this category. "Spring Onions" can be found at local markets and are perfect for grilling. A little char and a chop and its a great accompaniment to steak or a leg of lamb. Green garlic (young garlic) is another ingredient that can be hard to find but has a very distinct and springy flavor
What are the specials coming up at Luc?
Halibut. It is peak season for the Northwest native flatfish and at Luc we look forward to this all year. We get in the whole fish sometimes up to 50 pounds and butcher it ourselves. We feature it on the main menu smoked on crostini but the filets are portioned and served as the fish of the day (off menu). This is where we like to show off a bit and give the customers something to come back for next time. I.e. Pan Seared Halibut, morels, glazed carrot, baby potato, beurre noisette. (hazelnut brown butter)