Spike Gjerde, the James Beard Award–winning chef at restaurants like A Rake’s Progress in Washington, D.C., and Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, approaches local sourcing with religious fervor. He forgoes olive oil and lemons, using locally grown and pressed oils and vinegars in their place. His team dries mint, lavender, peaches, and cherries—and even makes garlic powder. He refuses to buy from distributors, even when they buy from local growers, because he wants every penny to go the farm. “A lot of people say, ‘Wow, this is harder than I thought.’ Then they just call [giant distributor] Sysco. But it’s why we’re doing it,” Gjerde says. “Our job is to get more value back to growers.” Gjerde loves Great Wicomico Oyster Co., and dries his own oysters for this dish, but we recommend buying them at any Asian grocery store. They keep well in the freezer, so keep extra around to add flavor to soups and sauces.

March 2019


Credit: Greg DuPree

Recipe Summary test

10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine oysters, verjus, mustard, garlic, and salt in a blender. Process until finely chopped, about 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of blender as needed. With blender running, remove center piece of lid, and gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until dressing is emulsified. Arrange chicories on a serving platter, and drizzle with dressing.