Chef Christian F. Puglisi
Chef Daniel Patterson of Coi in San Francisco, an F&W Best New Chef 1997, is enthralled by the New Nordic dishes at Puglisi’s first post-Noma venture.
I’d heard about Relae restaurant from a few friends. I’d met the chef, Christian Puglisi, when he was a sous-chef at Noma, where I had cooked for an event. Given Christian’s background, I figured that Relae would be pretty good. It turned out to be one of the most exciting meals I had all year.
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I remember each course vividly. I had a young leek, gently cooked and neatly enrobed in mustard and bread crumbs, its tendril-like roots still attached. A small head of celeriac, roasted whole, with black olive and pickled seaweed. Slivers of tender and flavorful lamb and a bit of lamb jus, shrouded in thin slices of cooked turnip. In one of the most striking dishes, three pieces of lightly cured mackerel and three ribbons of salted cucumber formed a ring around a pool of forest-green lovage sauce.