best thing i ate last week: korean blood sausage by James Strine at Duck Duck Goose
P.I.G., the annual celebration of porcinity organized and hosted by Chef Jeremiah Bullfrog of the gastroPod, is consistently one of my favorite local food events of the year. It always seems to have good juju: the chefs bring their "A" game, the guests are in a good mood, the music's tight, the weather's right. So when Jeremiah said he was spreading his wings (sorry), and doing something called Duck Duck Goose, a P.I.G. style party but with an avian bent, featuring ducks from Lake Meadow Farm and D'Artagnan, I had high hopes.
I was not let down. It was a little steamy out there Saturday afternoon, but it was an auspicious first run for what I hope will become another regular event. Picking a favorite dish was tough. I could have easily named Aaron Brooks' (Edge Steak) arroz con pato, a sort of Peruvian paella infused with multiple layers of Peruvian chiles and cooked over an impressive open fire rig. Or Jeremiah's ma.po'outine, a hybrid of ma po tofu and poutine with duck fat fries and some serious ma la Sichuan zing. Or Brad Kilgore's (Alter) elegant foie gras and rabbit pavé with layers of fermented sunchoke yogurt and mushroom dashi gelée, crowned with golden raisins and preserved marigold petals. Or Steve Santana's (Taquiza) creamy, duck-fat enriched tamal colado served with pulled roast duck and a dark, rich mole negro.
But for me, it was the Korean style blood sausage that James Strine, from Café Boulud in Palm Beach, that stood out among several great dishes. The sausage – soft, meaty, with a ferrous tang – was bound with sweet potato noodles and sticky rice, and served with smoked duck and a tea-smoked duck egg, with everything brought into sharp focus by a pungent, cutting chile oil made from local Datil peppers, dried and infused into oil with other aromatics.
If you missed Duck Duck Goose, well, you missed out - you should hope, like I do, that it comes back around next year.
You can see all my pictures in this Duck Duck Goose flickr set, or flip through them here: