Two of the world’s best chefs—Noma’s René Redzepi and Coi’s Daniel Patterson—improvise in a home kitchen as they explore the way inspiration turns raw ingredients into a finished dish.
Chefs René Redzepi and Daniel Patterson were prowling the fields of County Line Harvest, a Bay Area farm in the Marin County hills. The two were assessing the greens and root vegetables growing in the rich dirt, in anticipation of a weekend spent cooking together at Patterson’s house in Oakland, California. Their goal was to explore the question, How does inspiration turn into a recipe?
A Dish is Born
René Redzepi and Daniel Patterson create a new dish. Photo © Michael Turek.
Chef Daniel Patterson stands at his espresso machine at home, staring at coffee beans while making a cappuccino. “We should cook something with coffee,” he says to chef René Redzepi. Redzepi happens to be holding a winter squash. “Why don’t we bury this squash in coffee and see if it takes on the flavor of the beans?” he responds.
Patterson and Redzepi roast the sweet squash with the bitter, nutty beans, and the combination of flavors is surprisingly good. Patterson adds crème fraîche as a garnish. The chefs discuss making the dish with carrots, which have a similar flavor to winter squash but are easier to prepare.
Patterson takes the idea back to his restaurant. As a replacement for the traditional cheese course, he now offers crème fraîche with a garnish of coffee-roasted carrots.