On Tuesday March 4, I’m hosting an evening with gut man Chris Cosentino, the wizard of vicera at Astor Center in New York. I didn’t know the guy before the next iron chef America contest but he was always a jolt of energy when he entered the room, and I’ll never forget his excellent tripe dessert. Since then, I’ve got to know him as an excellent chef, family man and most recently a craftsman of superb dry-cured meats, one more reason the bay area is one of America’s culinary epicenters.
I admire Cosentino's affection for offal, aka variety meats. I like to eat variety meats, yes, but more, I appreciate the craftsmanship of the chef who takes what is usually discarded, and with knowledge and skill and care turns something nasty into the sublime. That to me is in part what being a great chef means.
If you’re in the New York area on that first Tuesday in March I hope you’ll join me and Chris for an offal tasting, featuring venison liver crudo (yes, that sounds a little scary, doesn’t it), beef heart tartare and candied coxcombs.
Chris is also doing an offal Q&A the previous Sunday, March 2. Any chefs wanting to get more into offal and take advantage of Cosentino’s experience, that’s the chance.
Offal photos are by Michael Harlan Turkell.