Second part of three parts, please start here with Part 1
On Cliff’s Edge’s refined menu, Chef Abgaryan twists are often playful. The recently added duck egg (duck egg fried | capshell mushroom | arugula | maple braised bacon) is a twist on eggs and bacon. This classic menu item was his inspiration for this dish. Since Vartan wanted a larger more substantial egg he uses a locally sourced duck egg instead of one from a chicken. The duck egg is soft boiled for five or so minutes, then crusted with panko that has been seasoned with chopped parsley, salt and pepper. The egg is then deep fried.
The bacon on the plate is braised for a few hours in a water soy sauce chicken stock mixture seasoned with star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Chef Vartan sparingly uses Asian ingredients like soy sauce simply because these ingredients are so good that he’s afraid he’ll be trapped into using them if he uses them too much. Regardless, the super soft bacon after being braised is chilled then cut into pieces that are then deep fried, so the bacon is crispy on the outside yet melting on the inside. The bacon is kept in maple syrup.
To give the plate a fresh bright component, an arugula emulsion is added. This emulsion is an arugula mayo made from just the egg whites. The plate is finished with pickled capshell mushrooms sourced from Shitake Happens Matt, who Vartan has known for a few years. Chef Abgaryan brought many of his sourcing relationships with him to his new position at Cliff’s Edge. The plating, in general, is pretty simple letting the different components speak for themselves.
End of Part 2; please click here for Part 3 to continue