By cranking up the heat or chilling ingredients in the deep freezer, chefs are challenging diners' expectations—and the results are anything but tepid.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015

Courtesy of The Cooper Square Hotel

Hot Olives

At Faustina in New York City, Chilean Alfonso and Sicilian Castelvetrano olives arrive sizzling in a mini cast-iron pan. Hot oil, says chef Scott Conant, mellows the olives' saltiness and makes them seem juicier.

© Ethan and Ondina Rosch

Warm Egg Salad

San Francisco's Il Cane Rosso piles warm chopped eggs (from local farms, of course) on grilled bread with melted aged provolone and anchovy-garlic butter.

© Kelly Campbell

Melted Caprese Salad

Chef Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles roasts cherry tomatoes to melt the mozzarella slightly, then drizzles pureed basil on top.

Courtesy of Coi / Maren Caruso

Icy Meringue

For the dish "Summer, Frozen in Time," chef Daniel Patterson of San Francisco's Coi freezes rose-infused meringue. Served with plum ice, it melts in the mouth to evoke the fleeting season.

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