Chef Mina Cooks Up Something New

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Chef Michael Mina at the entrance of Bourbon Steak restaurant. | Photo by Robert Devaney.

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of America’s great chefs at his Washington, D.C., restaurant: Bourbon Steak, located in the Four Seasons Hotel.

Michael Mina was in town to try out some pop-up recipes and menu items for a new restaurant concept on the West Coast: Middle’terranea, a passion project of Mina and chef-partner Adam Sobel.

The pop-ups on the Bourbon Steak menu will include dishes inspired by the background of each of the chefs. Mina was born in Egypt and Sobel has roots on both sides of the Mediterranean. With a strong desire to explore that heritage while cooking food that is close to their hearts, the duo is looking to combine the flavors of Israeli, Turkish, Egyptian and Lebanese cuisine with California’s farm-to-table approach.

With this new concept, Mina is going back to his roots. Though he left Egypt for Ellensburg, Washington, at an early age, Mina learned — from his mother’s cooking and from family meals — all about traditional dishes, especially the importance of the spices used in her recipes.

“My mother cooked Middle Eastern dishes using locally sourced ingredients, products that were fresh and authentically healthy,” recalls Mina. “Early on in my career I followed my mother’s lead to support local farms, local ingredients and fresh, sustainable food.”

Two dishes currently on Bourbon Steak’s menu are Brokaw avocado with pickled hot peppers, summer vegetables, fried walnuts, kataifi (a sweet pastry), schug (a green sauce) and fried cauliflower and crispy chicken-skin hummus, roasted garlic, dried cherries and fresh marjoram.

Two new Middle’terranea dishes will be introduced in the coming weeks, replacing the previous menu choices. To find out more about particular menu items and their availability, call Bourbon Steak at 202-944-2026.

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