With the recent launch of the Toba Khedoori exhibit at Pérez Art Museum Miami, executive chef Kaytlin Dangaran has used the Australian artist's work as inspiration for a new menu at Verde, the waterfront restaurant at PAMM.
Through a three-course menu, Dangaran translates the artist’s distinctive use of negative space and dull colors to create plates with deep flavors and simple designs.
"I try to create something to complement the exhibit and give the diner a more in-depth and overall experience," Dangaran explains. "I like to offer something in a way where they can take in the art with their eyes and their taste buds."
The prix fixe ($27), available through the summer, begins with a snapper ceviche placed atop a jet-black stream of squid ink aioli and Calabrian chilies.
"I was inspired by Khedoori's use of black and white and her use of negative space," the chef says. "The plate has bold and intense flavors of ginger and Calabrian chili. It's a colorful depth of flavor someone might not expect when looking at a black-and-white dish."
The entrée — blackened quail and smoked eggplant with blistered cherry tomatoes — represents Khedoori's reoccurring use of charcoal.
"The flavors of the dish are centered around this lingering smokiness of coffee, cocoa, and grilled lemon," Dangaran says. "But the blistered tomatoes bring in this nice, rounded pop of sweetness."
The meal ends with mascarpone cheesecake with black sesame brittle, highlighting Khedoori's use of desaturated colors and her commitment to working by hand.
"I wanted to have something light after these intense courses but also having a savory element," the chef says. "The cheesecake is actually very light and slightly savory, with honeyed caramel and toasty black brittle."
The menu is available for lunch daily except Wednesday and for dinner Thursday. For more information, visit pamm.org/dining.
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