12 days: on the third day of christmas: puglisi… (2015)

~ At a dinner at relæ in Copenhagen a few months ago, I marveled at the amount of flavor coaxed out of carrots and seaweed – an unexpectedly dynamic marriage – and how simple and delicious chicken could be with little more than its crispy skin, blitzed into a crunchy crumble, and some cabbage (here […]



At a dinner at relæ in Copenhagen a few months ago, I marveled at the amount of flavor coaxed out of carrots and seaweed – an unexpectedly dynamic marriage – and how simple and delicious chicken could be with little more than its crispy skin, blitzed into a crunchy crumble, and some cabbage (here are the photos from that meal).

Having had the pleasure of eating at Christian Puglisi‘s restaurant twice, I looked forward to seeing him cook at the Twelve Days of Christmas this year, where he was the third chef to collaborate with hosting Christopher Kostow at The Restaurant at Meadowood.




Since Puglisi’s cooking is so ingredient-focused, I was particularly interested to see what he would do with the products he would find in northern California.  While the flavor and integrity of the ingredients remained a driving force of his cooking at The Restaurant at Meadowood, I was particularly taken with the textures he highlighted in his dishes.

That chicken skin crackling reappeared, this time, with barely cooked trout from McFarland Springs and a haystack of raw, julienned mushrooms.

Inspired by the spot prawns of northern California, Puglisi chopped them up raw, flashed them in the oven, and then warmed them up with a table-side pour of a broth made from prawn heads.  The meat was relaxed and silky, so tender, so sweet.

And he shaved kuri squash into paper-thin ribbons, coiled them into rosettes, and then baked them until tender.  Out of the oven, they were glazed with brown butter and served as “steak” on a bed of blanched walnuts and sea buckthorns.


Kuri squash.


The Restaurant at Meadowood served a number of particularly memorable dishes at this dinner.

During the hour before dinner, in which guests are invited in the kitchen for sparkling wine and canapés, Kostow served a warm sweet potato blini (with teff flour) topped with chopped raw mackerel and a heaping spoonful of pickled okra seeds dressed with dill.  It was salty and sweet, meaty and fluffy, warm, and cold.  I loved it.

La ratte potatoes, unearthed in the morning at The Restaurant at Meadowood’s garden just a couple of miles down the Silverado Trail, were cooked and nestled in a rich pool of melted beef tendons dotted with trout roe and brightened with dill.  The potatoes were incredibly tender and creamy. But it was the tissue-thin skins, which burst with every bite, that stole the show.




Kostow and Puglisi each presented a dessert.  The former combined lovage and apples, serving a dried Sierra Beauty varietal (the apple had been reduced into a shriveled, meaty prune, the result of a baking and dehydrating process that takes over 60 days) with some apple vinegar, lovage oil, fresh lovage, and a turn of gjetost ice cream.  This was fantastic.

Puglisi served a lemon cream tart in a shortbread shell. This he crowned with a cloud of ember-infused milk ice cream bejeweled with a rainbow of dehydrated winter citrus suprêmes and finished with a dusting of ashes grated from charcoal. Cutting through the fattiness of the curd and ice cream was a unique coupling of bitter and bright flavors.


Searing abalone.


Below, you’ll find the menu from the third night of the Twelve Days of Christmas featuring Christian Puglisi.   To see all of the photos from this dinner, CLICK HERE.


Tempura Sunchoke
Seaweed powder.

Goat cheese and fermented lettuce.


Pickled okra seeds, dill, sweet potato blini.

(The Restaurant at Meadowood)


First Course 
Mushroom, crispy chicken skin.

Second Course
Bean, fermented onion.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Third Course 
Spot Prawn Chowder
A sauce of its grilled head.

Fourth Course 
Squash Steak
Sea buckthorn, walnuts.

Fifth Course 
Freshly Dug Potato
Tendon, trout roe, dill.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Sixth Course 
Dried Beef
Green juniper, poridge.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Seventh Course 
Black apple, lovage.
(The Restaurant at Meadowood)

Eighth Course 
Smoked Cream
Lemon tart.


“Hers,” Vermintino, 2014

The Scholium Project
“Prince in his Caves,” 2014

Clos Saron
“Out of the Blue,” 2014

Forlorn Horn
“Ost-Intrigen,” St. Laurent, 2014

“Chuy,” Cabernet Sauvignon, 2011


Christian Puglisi


Below are links to my posts and photos from all of the Twelve Days of Christmas dinners I have attended over the past four years at the Restaurant at Meadowood.  Each chef is listed with the restaurant with which they were cooking at the time they participated in the event (some have moved on to other projects and restaurants).


Scott Anderson (Elements; Princeton, New Jersey)
John & Karen Shields (Formerly of Townhouse; Chilhowie, Virginia)
Phillip Foss (EL Ideas; Chicago, Illinois)
Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski (State Bird Provisions; San Francisco, California)
Jason Franey (Canlis Restaurant; Seattle, Washinton)
Matthias Merges (Yusho; Chicago, Illinois)
Mori Onodera (Formerly of Mori Sushi; Los Angeles, California)
James Syhabout (Commis; Oakland, California)
Nick Anderer (Maialino; New York, New York)
David Toutain (Agapé Substance; Paris, France)
Josh Habiger & Erik Anderson (The Catbird Seat; Nashville Tennessee)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Andy Ricker (Pok Pok, Portland, Oregon & New York, New York)
Rodolfo Guzman (Boragó; Santiago, Chile)
Carlo Mirarchi (Blanca and Roberta’s; Brooklyn, New York)
Tim Cushman (O Ya; Boston, Massachusetts)
Ashley Christensen (Poole’s Diner; Raleigh, North Carolina)
David Chang (Momofuku; New York, New York)
Matthew Accarrino (SPQR; San Francisco, California)
Mark Ladner & Brooks Headley (Del Posto; New York, New York)
Rasmus Kofoed (Geranium; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Nicolaus Balla & Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine; San Francisco, California)
David Kinch (Manresa; Los Gatos, California)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Matthew Orlando (Amass; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Frank Castranovo & Frank Falcinelli (Frankies 457, Prime Meats; New York, New York)
Kobe Desramaults (In de Wulf; Dranouter, Belgium)
Alexandre Gauthier (La Grenouillère; La Madelaine-sous-Montreuil, France)
Blaine Wetzel (Willows Inn; Lummi Island, Washington)
Joshua McFadden (Ava Gene’s; Portland, Oregon)
Virgilio Martinez (Central; Lima, Peru)
Grant Achatz (Alinea; Chicago, Illinois)
Corey Lee (Benu; San Francisco, California)
Esben Holmboe Bang (Maaemo; Oslo, Norway)
Ignacio Mattos (Estela; New York, New York)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad; New York, New York)
Nenad Mlinarevic (Focus; Vitznau, Switzerland)
Christian Puglisi (relæ; Copenhagen, Denmark)
Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil; Mexico City, Mexico)
Joshua Skenes (Saison; San Francisco, California)
Matthew Wilkinson (Pope Joan; Melbourne, Australia)
Kim Floresca and Daniel Ryan ([One]; Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Isaac McHale (The Clove Club; London, The United Kingdom)
Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread; Healdsburg, California)
Atsushi Tanaka (A.T. Restaurant; Paris, France)
Justin Yu (Oxheart; Houston, Texas)
Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood; St. Helena, California)


Photos: Christian Puglisi’s smoked lemon tart; Christian Puglisi plating with Christopher Kostow, and Nathaniel Dorn; Lisa Lov making kuri squash rosettes; the wines paired with this dinner; sauté line of abalone; Christian Puglisi, Lisa Lov, with the kitchen of The Restaurant at Meadowood.

Categories 12 days 2015

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