Tastes 2014

Favorite Tastes of 2014

Feeders Reflect On Their Favorite Tastes of 2014


The past couple of weeks chef David Kinch (Manresa, Los Gatos, CA) has been tweeting his top 13 tastes of 2014. This inspired me to reach out to some other feeders and ask about their favorite tastes of 2014 (not limited to 140 characters). Here is what they had to say.


What Were Your Favorite Tastes of 2014?


Jenn Louis, Chef/Owner, Lincoln Restaurant (Portland, OR)
Jenn Louis Lincoln
“Rice noodles and fish cakes with chili, Hanjan, NYC
Date shake, Shields, Indio, CA
Adobada taco, Tacos al Fuente, blue school bus, Nisqually Exit on I-5
Smoked and braised lamb shoulder with pomegranate molasses, Zahav, Philadelphia
Whole foie gras with applesauce and brioche (I saved some for my steak), Strip Steak, Las Vegas
Chicken and Dumpling Soup from Matt, my neighbor”



David Varley, Executive Chef, RN74 (Seattle, WA)
David Varley
“Pork Skin Puttanesca at Chris Cosentino’s new Cockscomb SF was absolutely brilliant. Spot on.
I love what Adam Mesnick is doing at Deli Board and Rye Project in SF. I love his approach and the craftsmanship of his product really shows.
Lincoln Carson’s croissants and laminated doughs at Superba Food and Bread in Los Angeles should be preserved and placed in the Smithsonian as a study in perfection. I would kill to have 1/10th of his personal discipline.
The Vegetable dishes, particularly a short-lived Zucchini with Colatura at Ava Genes in PDX was unbelievable earlier this year. I love all of Josh McFadden’s vegetable work.
The foccacia di recco at Chi Spacca is incredible. Chad Colby, Matt Molina and Nancy Silverton can’t lose.”

Andrew Evan Mace, Sous Chef, Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)
Andrew Evan Mace
“The Habanada™ peppers developed by Micheal Mazourek from Cornell University via Lane Selman at the Culinary Breeding Network is still in the very front of my memory. The Habanada™ is a habanero that has had the heat selectively bred out of it. So essentially you are allowed to experience the full flavor, aroma, and sweetness of a Habenero without the heat that traditionally comes along with it. Really amazing! Lane was kind enough to include Nora Antene (pastry chef at Le Pigeon) and myself to take part in a showcase that took place in September of this year. A handfull of chefs from Portland were paired up with seed growers/farmers to make a dish surrounding a particular breed of vegetable or fruit. Nora was paired up with Michael Mazourek and she made a sherbet using the Habanada™ and served it in a little buckwheat cone. It was definitely among the best things I’ve tasted in my life.

I had the chance this past October to stage at Saison in San Francisco for a couple days. I just happened to be staging there the day they received their 3rd michelin star. Crazy. Amazing restaurant, beautiful kitchen, scary as hell. Several things I tasted there simply blew my mind. It’s gonna sound super cliche but I had the most delicious beet I’ve ever had. They pressure cook beets in their own juice, then bury them in the coals from the hearth and then dry them slightly above the hearth overnight. Then reheat them by basting them in butter, garlic, and fresh thyme. Incredible. Chewy exterior almost custard like in the middle. Also while there I was helping out with service and the cook I was working with walked over to the live fish tank that they keep prawns and urchin alive in until minutes before being served. This time he reached into the tank, grabs a live jellyfish. Slices a hunk off and gives it to me. That was pretty special. It tasted like tuna bone marrow but a cleaner expression of the ocean, not fishy at all.”

April Storm, Co-owner, Liholiho Yacht Club (San Francisco, CA) – opening in early 2015!
April Storm Liholiho Yacht Club
“Ramen from Layare in Berkeley
Beef Tartare from Bar Tartine”







Justin Severino, Chef/Owner, Cure (Pittsburgh, PA)
Justin Severino
“Charlie Parker’s chicken wings with stone fruit & cumin yogurt (Haven, Oakland, CA)
Carlos Salgado’s Spot prawn tacos on squid ink corn tortillas (Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA)
Ramen at Ippudo (New York City, NY)
Whole roasted chicken stuffed with truffles & foie gras (Nomad, New York, NY)
Horse Tartare (Beast, Toronto, Ontario)
Steak Tartare (Parts & Labor, Toronto, Ontario)
Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co (San Francisco, CA)
Jamie Bissonnette’s Thai Shrimp Sausage Paella (Toro, Boston, MA)
Mike Solomonov’s Smoked Lamb shoulder (Zahav, Philadelphia, PA)”

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