At Central Kitchen in San Francisco, the flavors of fresh mingled with exquisite execution, local and seasonal ingredients and something a little too cool to utter. Each dish felt like a harvest of the best, misplaced and disoriented, redirected to produce an earthy perfection.
The swirl of stone fruits of pinks, peaches and hushed purples, hugged the soft and sticky burrata, stretching. Earthy greens darkened the fruits tangy tenor, urging the burrata to hold the center. Crunchy fried bread felt sharp as thorns to the stone fruit flower— sharp and savory.
A pyramid of pink triangles, thick with light green pistachios and white striations of fat and flavor, stood up proudly to delicate chips crisp with air and heat. The meaty pate longed for fall and wind and leaves, but was rich and rugged, here and now.
A ring of delicate green cucumber, rich and roasty potatoes and mini micro greens, danced around the plate, chasing after a salty, crunchy king salmon. It was light and playful, a song of earth and sea.
Meat lay flat in multicolored rectangles, layered with heavy pork, luscious fat and crunchy skin, while a thick line of a mélange of yellow corn and wild rice divided the plate. Wisps of vibrant green herbed emulsion exclaimed, contrasting dark bittersweet blackberries and cream.
A random smattering of odd shaped pastas, wheaty with fennel pollen, multiplied, like a colony of cells reproducing in warm weather. Sweet golden knobs of corn heightened the saltiness of each thick and almost crispy chunk of brown red pancetta, springing to life with artisan cheese and great green chives.
Puzzle pieces of drenched peach slices, precarious crunchy cookie, sweet peach compote and floral honeycomb bites fit together, textures playing a tug of war while warm and cold sweetness made jagged edges round.
The plates all were a pretty consortium of the most colorful and rich moments, laden with purpose and guidance—almost like an organized chaos.