Here's why they're packing fragrant petals into their dishes.

By Food & Wine
Updated May 24, 2017
Indian Accent
Credit: Courtesy of Indian Accent

Roses may seem cheesy packed into a bouquet. However, they’re anything but when freed from the stem and sprinkled on food. Chefs are pushing petals hard right now, tapping into their strawberry and green apple-like flavor, velvety texture and, of course, vibrant hue. Here’s how they’re doing it in these standout dishes and drinks across the country.

Indian Accent in New York City

It doesn’t get more luxe than rose petals, shimmery gold leaf and pricey saffron. And you’ll find all three in this fluffy, light-as-air dessert at the New York City outpost of chef Manish Mehrotra’s Indian Accent. Mehrotra put modern Indian food on the map with his New Delhi original, and plans on expanding the restaurant to London. You'll understand the hype once you've tried his cloud-like showstopper made of aerated saffron-laced milk and crowned with flakes of the fancy stuff.

Credit: Ben Macri

Ronero in Chicago

BOKA alum and bartender Allie Kim relies on the rose for her ultra-rich cocktail, the Desierto Florido. The warming cocktail is powered by Copper & King's unaged apple brandy, Chilean Pinot Noir, cinnamon, lemon, egg whites and fragrant rose petals. Each of Kim's cocktails has a Latin leaning with a creative flourish all her own, from the smoked sea salt-finished Hemingway Daiquiri to Mama Pacha made with chicha morada, or a non-alcoholic purple corn punch made by boiling down corn with pineapple, cinnamon, cloveand sugar.

Credit: Courtesy of Aska

Aska in Brooklyn

At his Michelin-starred, Scandinavian tasting menu restaurant, chef Fredrik Berselius packs a one-two-punch of flowery flavor. His elaborate yet studied menu stills sends you through 10 to 19 courses, depending on what you resrve, but one of the best bites of the meal is this flowery little bite. He layers the flower over thin Swedish pancakes spiked with pig’s blood and dollops a bit of tangy rosehip jelly.