Try Bringing Sugar into Your Salt Bake

By Caroline Hatchett | Will Blunt

By

Caroline Hatchett
Will Blunt
Salt and Sugar-baked Celeriac, Crème Fraîche, Choupique Caviar, and Tarragon
Salt and Sugar-baked Celeriac, Crème Fraîche, Choupique Caviar, and Tarragon

Instead of a straightforward salt bake for celeriac, Rising Star Chef Daniel Causgrove introduces unrefined cane sugar into the mix to impart made-in-Louisiana flavor. Hunks of celeriac serve as a platform for crème fraîche, Choupique caviar, and tarragon. Causgrove, who helms the kicthen at Windor Court's Grill room, conceived the dish to highlight the caviar, but the humble root vegetable ended up stealing the show.

To cook the roots, Causgrove combines two parts kosher salt to one part sugar, covers the celeriac in the mixture, and bakes them at 325ºF until tender. He sources the sugar from the stockpiles of granulated cane at Old New Orleans Rum distillery, and although it’s not technically food grade (it contains pebbles and debris) it has loads of flavor. “When you cook [the celeriac], the cane sugar caramelizes and gives it a smoky, molasses flavor. It’s subtle.” he says. Subtle, yes, but it roots the dish in Crescent City culture through the unlikely vehicle of celeriac.

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