Dishin’: Flavor and Confit at The Corson Building

We were recently invited to spend an evening with Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page.


We’ve known these authors since the mid-nineties, when they released books like Becoming a Chef and Culinary Artistry. Now Dornenburg and Page are promoting their new book, The Flavor Bible—an encyclopedic compilation of flavor affinities that will surely challenge amateur to professional chefs to become more creative in the kitchen.

They were in town as part of the visiting chef series known as Cooks & Books, which will soon host Marcella Hazen and Eric Ripert. This series connects writers with readers over a shared meal at a restaurant that offers a special menu inspired by the author’s writing (usually a cookbook). It’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with your favorite food writers in a relaxed setting. While we would have liked a little lengthier “presentation” from the authors, we enjoyed the casual conversation with them, and traded knowledge of our favorite (and Eric Clapton’s, too) katsu restaurant in Tokyo (Maisen) for knowledge of their favorite in New York City (Katsu-Hama).

Look up duck in The Flavor Bible and you’ll find a couple of the flavor affinities that Chef Matthew Dillon came up with for confit—the highlight dish of the dinner held at his new, time and distance-transporting restaurant: The Corson Building. The platter of confit of duck leg with shinseiki pear, whole turnips, and walnuts was expertly prepared—the meat succulent and the accompaniments simply amazing. At a communal dining setting like this, you might find yourself wanting to hoard the platter. (Portions could have been bumped up just a bit in size.) Dillon was an excellent choice of chef for the event; with dishes like Japanese truffle tomatoes with beets, arugula and marinated feta to strawberries in saba with rose & yogurt sorbet and cardamom shortbread, he qualifies as a disciple of any bible of flavor.

Cross-posted at Seattlest, where “we” = me.

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