Even though culinary collaborations are fairly common these days, an unexpected meeting of the minds can still garner a lot of excitement. Last Wednesday evening, chef Kwame Onwuachi of Tatiana in New York City made the trip to Gucci Osteria in Beverly Hills to collaborate on a menu with chef Mattia Agazzi in honor of Black History Month. The awesomely creative dinner left me and my date for the evening inspired and impressed.
The six-course tasting menu brought together chef Onwuachi’s New York-Afro-Caribbean cuisine with chef Mattia’s California-Italian cooking. It was really special to see how the dishes I’d experienced earlier at Gucci Osteria were reimagined with another chef in the kitchen.
To start, an amuse bouche that consisted of a Parmesan wafer with an apricot compote and shaved Parmesan on top.
The bread basket was a familiar sight. Alongside the buttery Parmesan crisps and classic poppy seed-crusted sourdough were flakey and buttery rosemary rolls.
Served with the bread were imported ricotta and bee-shaped pollen butter.
The first course was called “Caribbean-American Breakfast” and consisted of ackee, saltfish, potato, and Imperial Ossetra caviar.
The flavors of peppers on onions and the ackee’s scrambled egg-like texture made for a very luxurious dupe for an omelet.
Each course included a wine pairing. First up was a pour of Domaine Dupuy de Lome 2021 from Bandol.
Tied for my favorite course of the night was “Our Insalata di Mare Goes to Jamaica.” Bringing together Jamaican escovitch’s bold and slightly spicy flavors with a delicate Italian seafood salad made for a tremendous pairing. The course was paired with a Railsback Soeur Cuvee Speciale Vermentinu 2021 from Santa Maria.
My other favorite course was the “Raviolo Camouflaged as Curry,” a play on chef Mattia’s signature dish “Risotto Camouflaged as Pizza.” The raviolo was stuffed with braised goat and sauced with a velvety curry, “green seasoning” aioli, and coconut. It was paired with a glass of Weingut Hermann Ludes Thörnicher Ritsch Kabinett Feinherb Riesling 2020 from Mosel.
The next course, “Tacos are a State of Mind,” looked like a cannolo but tasted like a taquito. The deep-fried corn tortilla shell was filled with smoked sturgeon and prettied with an andouille crumble. It was served with a pour of Dragonette Cellars Pinot Noir 2020 from Santa Rita Hills.
The final savory course was a very tender oxtail terrine made from braised oxtails with a jerk jus. The Tenuta Cucco Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d’Alba 2013 from Piemonte paired extraordinarily well.
For dessert, a pavlova sorbet with ginger, hibiscus, and meringue. To sip alongside was a glass of Donnafugata Ben Rye Passito di Pantelleria 2019 from Sicily.
The final bites of the night: a raspberry beignet, chocolate tart, and nougat square.
One year ago: Slacker.
Two years ago: Slacker.
Three years ago: Slacker.
Four years ago: Slacker.
Five years ago: Aloha from Kauai
Six years ago: Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – Los Angeles (Highland Park)
Seven years ago: Brunch at Taco Maria – Costa Mesa
Eight years ago: Boston Lobster – San Gabriel
Nine years ago: HomeState – Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Ten years ago: Dominique Ansel Bakery – New York City
Eleven years ago: Shaanxi Gourmet – Rosemead
Twelve years ago: Torihei – Los Angeles (Torrance)
Thirteen years ago: Pa-Ord Noodle – Los Angeles (Hollywood)
Fourteen years ago: Yun Chuan Garden – Monterey Park
Fifteen years ago: Eating in Cambodia
Sixteen years ago: Mini Apple Pies