Jenni Britton's easy sugar syrup can be mixed with almost any fruit puree and churned in an ice cream maker to make sorbet. During the summer, she loves sorbets made with locally grown heirloom melons and ruby-red sour cherries.
Daniel Shoemaker cleverly combines dill, cilantro and cantaloupe juice in a soda that echoes the botanical flavors of the Southside’s gin and mint. The soda can be mixed into cocktails, but it’s fantastic all by itself.
The key to this dish is the rich Vietnamese-inspired dark caramel. "A little bitterness in the caramel makes it more complex," Andrea Reusing says. "I often tell home cooks to take the caramel as far as they think they can, then pull it off the heat and let stand for a minute before adding the other ingredients."
"I try to use seafood that's from the bottom of the food chain, like squid, prawns and clams. It's cheaper and tastier,"says Gjelina chef Travis Lett. "That's why we'll always have grilled squid on the menu."
John Shields composed this dish from ingredients he picked up at his local supermarket. The magic is in the play of textures and flavors: The salmon skin and shallots—both potato-chip crisp— are wonderful with the tender, flaky fish and sweet pieces of melon.
To make the dressing for this pretty salad, Daniel Humm takes the zesty poaching liquid for shrimp—flavored with coriander seeds, garlic, peppercorns and orange zest—and reduces it. The salad is wonderful as both a first course or a light main course.
This is Michael Psilakis's modern take on the traditional Greek combination of watermelon and feta cheese. It features the creamy yogurt he grew up eating in New York's Long Island: "My mom made it at home all the time, and we'd snack on it with honey after school."
To go with grilled scallops, Marcia Kiesel creates her own version of salsa verde by combining sweet honeydew and buttery avocado in a fruit salsa (yes, avocado is a fruit). The salsa is what wine geeks call "round in flavor," meaning it's not too tart or tangy, and it would be excellent with an equally "round" oaked California Chardonnay.