When former Philadelphia Eagle Winston Justice walked into Kevin Sbraga’s Sbraga restaurant, the Top Chef alum created something off-the-cuff. “I knew he was into food so I wanted to make him something new and different,” Sbraga says. “I had some small foie gras pieces that weren’t big enough to sear, so I thought I’d try to make a soup with them, and garnish the soup with rose petals. Now I can’t take it off the menu.” To make the foie gras soup, Sbraga first creates a paste from lemongrass, ginger, shallots, garlic and Thai chiles, then fries it to give it color. After deglazing the pan with brandy, he adds honey, chicken stock, cream and kaffir lime leaves and lets it simmer for half an hour. Then comes the main attraction: whole lobes of foie gras. He blends the whole mix, strains it and seasons it with salt and lime juice. “ That’s the soup,” Sbraga says. “But the special part I think is the relish of pickled red onions, raw white onions, rose petals, mint and cumin, moistened with a little grapeseed oil. Put it all together and it’s ridiculous.”
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