Herb snow at Niche: Flash-frozen tarragon, chives and chervil.
Herb snow at Niche: Flash-frozen tarragon, chives and chervil.
Photo © Greg Rannells

Chefs around the country are experimenting with icy garnishes for a burst of flavor along with a chilly, mouth-awakening sensation.

Grace, Chicago
Chef Curtis Duffy's deconstructed Caprese includes heirloom tomatoes, house-made burrata and Thai basil, topped with a frozen sleeve of tomato water. "The tomato water is just the right thickness to break with a spoon at the table," says Duffy.

Niche, St. Louis
Right before chef Gerard Craft serves the roasted quail on his tasting menu, he adds a spoonful of shaved herb snow to the plate. "As you eat the dish, the ice gradually melts into the buttermilk sauce, so the flavors evolve with each bite," he says.

Betony, New York City
The pristinely white, incredibly fine snow is made from tomato and orange blossom water blended with liquid nitrogen. Chef Bryce Shuman serves it with a gooseberry compote. "Tomatoes and gooseberries are natural friends," he says.

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