the black course:
negra modelo beer braised beef short rib with chile de arbol
wrapped in a grape leaf with oaxacan black mole sauce
black mission figs, shiitake mushrooms
crispy grape leaf chip, sesame ash, black sesame seed, cacao nibs
Of the seven courses we served at our fundraiser dinner, the black course is my creative favorite. I looked to Mexican cuisine experts – Chefs Rick Bayless, Patricia Quintana, and Javier Plascencia for inspiration. I learned about making sesame ash while Guest-Chef-for-the-Day at Moto Restaurant in Chicago last January and had been wanting to try Chef Homaro Cantu’s modernist technique in a dish ever since. What appears to be ash is black sesame seed oil converted into a powder. It serves visual interest as well as a flavor complement to the sesame seed in the mole.