The other day chef Ono was charring pieces of avocado for his Octopus dish. As the neon green skin blistered and turned black from the heat of the torch it almost appeared as though the skin was still on the avocado. This was a beautiful effect on a small slice of avocado and I wondered if it would be possible to create the same effect using a whole-hollowed avocado. A few minutes later we had a charred avocado that appeared completely intact. The next morning Dominique, our Wine Director, brought in a box of avocado leaves from his house and we completed the visual with a few small avocado leaves precisely placed where the stem would have been. We now had a hollow and completely edible avocado- which lent itself to numerous possibilities.
This week I am sticking to class flavors - early summer melon, spearmint, habanero and popped black rice. The final dish is refreshing and texturally interesting. Initially guests are skeptical about the minimalist aesthetic - but as soon as they get the first bite of otherwise comforting flavors, they are pleasantly surprised.
I can see this technique having many future applications.