The August Wednesday Over Water (WOW) at Crystal Bridges featured a lively panel discussion of this year’s Sensory Iconoclast participants and their singular collaborations. The project, now in its third year, boasts a partnership between chefs and artists to create mutually inspired art and foodstuffs. This year’s theme is Diversity in Art, Cuisine, and Culture…so of course I deemed it appropriate to make an edible commentary on the cultural and culinary impact of certain ethnicities that have recently enriched the Ozark community, specifically the growing population from India.
We started with Southern food archetypes like fried quail and peaches & cream to be assimilated into traditional Indian fare such as tikka masala, and combined with common Indian flavors such as rose water and cardamom to create a fusion cuisine worthy of world-class status. WOW guests were treated to a cast-iron skillet layered with basmati rice, whole fried quail (sans birdshot), tikka masala sauce, and fried kale. The dish teemed with the stylized nuance of aromatics from India that effortlessly harmonized with the crispy, rich flavors of Southern-fried quail.
Next, the guests were presented with a martini glass displaying an Ozark peach—poached in rye whiskey, cardamom, and sugar—alongside a Mason jar filled with fresh cream, rose water, and clover honey, meant to be shaken at the table before topping onto the peach.
In fact, this High South-meets-India-inspired dessert will be featured on the Eleven dinner menu through the end of September, so be sure to make your reservations today.
Add the rye whiskey, water, and sugar to a large sauté pan and stir. Add the peaches to the pan, skin side down. Bring to a simmer and cook for sevenminutes. After seven minutes, turn the peaches onto the flesh side and cook for three more minutes. Remove the peaches from the pan and allow to cool. Simmer the rye whiskey mixture for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Peel peaches gently using a small spoon to scrape off the skin. Serve chilled with the rye whiskey reduction and cardamom rose whipped cream.
Cardamom Rose Whipped Cream 1 c heavy whipping cream 2 1/2 tsp clover honey 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 2 drops rosewater Just before serving, pour chilled whipping cream into a large mason jar and add honey, cardamom, and rose water. Shake until you reach your desired whipped cream consistency, just until soft peaks form.
Panelists for the Sensory Iconoclasts Project this year included: Matt Miller and KJ Zumwalt, Caribe in Eureka Springs Angela Teeter and Kate Tully, Club Frisco in Downtown Rogers Eve Smith and Case Dighero, Eleven in Bentonville Chris Cash and Jason Paul, Heirloom in Downtown Rogers Christina Marriotti and Casey Letellier, 28 Springs in Siloam Springs
Upcoming Sensory Iconoclasts events include: Sensory Iconoclasts Exhibition: September 2 through 25, 2015, at Arts Center of the Ozarks Art Reception: Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6 to 8 p.m. at Arts Center of the Ozarks Film Series: Film, Food, and Art – Curated by Case Dighero – to include: Screening of Big Night: Tuesday, September 15, 7 p.m. at Arts Center of the Ozarks Screening of The Trip on Tuesday, September 22, 7 p.m. at Arts Center of the Ozarks