Creating an enjoyable dish is often about finding balance in opposition. With that in mind I paired the charred beef cheeks that were very rich and smoky with the natural sweetness of fresh spring peas that were blanched and glazed with butter. Lightly seared ramps and baby shiitake mushrooms gave texture to the dish, both of which were briefly smoked with a smoking gun to lend some continuity. The ramp tops and pea shells were blanched, diced and tossed together with olive oil, kumquat zest and juice to create a relish that would help to bring some brightness to the plate.
A Balance of Opposites