Family Histories on the Plate: Slushies on the Beach

By Sean Kenniff

By

Sean Kenniff
Chef Ryan Burns' red snapper crudo with binchotan oil
Chef Ryan Burns' red snapper crudo with binchotan oil

“Fresh avocado, citrus, and good fish remind me of my childhood in Miami, doing homework on the beach. My mother would get a spiked slushy, and I would get a virgin one. We’d ice-up avocado and citrus and eat.” Having moved to Miami from Detroit made these dreamy days even more indelible to Ryan Burns, an Alinea alum who’s now chef of The Blanchard (near the lapping shores of Lake Michigan). He doses guests with the vibrant flavors of Miami, along with the aroma of backyard barbecue, in a fresh red snapper crudo. He dresses the composition—snapper, Florida citrus, Espelette, wild lemon vinegar, sea beans, and avocado— with charcoal oil made by dropping a burning hot piece of binchotan into neutral oil. For Burns, the dish represents purity of ingredients and a memory crystallized in sand and salt. Just sub in Sauvignon Blanc for a slushy, and you’re there on Miami Beach.

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