and emulsifies a package of Kraft singles to
achieve a thick fondue. He seasons it with
preserved truffle juice before pouring it over
two griddled beef patties with mushrooms
and onions on a brioche bun.
And at Brooklyn, New York’s, modern
Mexican spot Alta Calidad, chef Akhtar
Nawab turns the quesadilla inside-out. He
heats crema, serrano chili, queso oaxaca and
Burrata to 180ºF, then strains the mixture into
a blender and blitzes it with xanthan gum to
thicken. The espuma is piped over a browned
quesadilla stuffed with pumpkin blossom,
serrano and onions, and dusted with ancho
chili and activated charcoal ash.
WHAT’S IN THERE?
Chefs, manufacturers and even home
cooks nowadays are no strangers to cheese
rinds as umami-rich flavor boosters for sauces,
soups and braises. California chef Nicolas
Delaroque takes a different approach. The
Normandy, France, native is the chef of Nico
in San Francisco, where local dairy factors
heavily into his modern bistro menu—from a
crab appetizer with kiwi and buttermilk to a
bergamot creme and goat cheese dessert.
Recently, Delaroque used the leftover
rinds of an aged toma (semihard cow’s milk
cheese) to cleverly flavor a savory mousse.
He infused the thinly chopped rind in heated
cream and milk for about 10 minutes (until
its grassy tang came through), then strained
it and added carrageenan to thicken before
bringing it to a boil and then chilling it down.
He poured the mixture into a siphon, let it rest
in the cooler, then piped it onto a spoon as an
amuse topped with herbs or nuts, or alongside
figs and prickly mustard greens for a simple,
At hyper-local Chicago tasting menu restaurant/cafe Arbor
Projects, co-owner Chad Little has been stirring whey into his
housemade caramel, along with a little butter, to use on the
cocktail menu. “Once the flavor is where I want it, I modify the
texture to work in cocktails,” he says. “If you keep it thicker, it
is a really cool glaze for a cocktail that you can hit with lime
zest and freeze-dried raspberry for a ridiculously tasty and
unexpected cocktail element. The whey caramel adds a ton of
body and a different acid profile with the lactic element.”
Falkner likes to use aged Gruyere as an accent, “when you
just want a sparkle of something that’s got more depth,” she says.
Thus, a cheesy biscuit might have aged Gruyere incorporated
into a compound butter with chives and parsley. “It creates a
similar effect as those compound butters with big crystals of
salt—but instead, with little bits of cheese.”
CHEESE not just cheesy
ABOVE, TOP: Royale with Cheese at Zero Restaurant + Bar.
ABOVE, BOTTOM: Makeover Cheese-Rind Mousse from Nicolas Delaroque, chef at
Nico, San Francisco.