30 Sep In Situ San Francisco: Showcasing Dishes from Top Chefs and Restaurants Around the World
If I could, I would travel around the world eating at the best restaurants, the ones with Michelin and the World’s 50 Best rankings. I dream about a trip to Copenhagen to eat at Noma or about saving up enough money to splurge at The French Laundry. While I am not packing my bags quite yet, a visit to the San Francisco restaurant In Situ at the newly designed San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art gave me a taste of what these chefs have created.
In Situ, which is an adverb or adjective that means 1) situated in place or position or 2) synergizing and interacting collaboratively within a context, is located on the ground floor of SFMOMA. Led by Michelin-starred chef Corey Lee (Benu, Monsieur Benjamin) and overseen by executive chef Brandon Rodgers, the rotating menu features fifteen different dishes at a time. What is unique about these dishes is that Lee collaborated with approximately eighty high profile chefs from around the world to create a menu of their “greatest hits.”
The menu opens up to a large map. Dishes are marked with small icons to designate if they are small, medium, large, shareable or vegetarian.
Each dish also has a letter next to it that corresponds with a wine on the other side of the page. These are the suggested wine pairings for the dish.
The back of the menu includes descriptions of each of the featured chefs on the menu.
Anthony Myint, Mission Street Food, San Francisco
“Anthony Myint is a chef and restaurateur challenging conventions of the restaurant industry and reimagining its role in the community. Pairing delicious food with a benevolent business model, all of his projects donate a portion of sales to charitable organizations. Mission Street Food began as a pop-up food truck, evolved into Mission Chinese Food, and has given birth to a number of restaurants including Commonwealth and most recently The Perennial – a pioneer for developing restaurant environmental best practices. To more directly engage with climate change, he also co-founded the non-profit Zero Footprint, helping restaurants reduce and offset their carbon emissions.”
Myint’s Apocalypse Burger lettuce wrap ($12) is a 2016 recipe. The small slider is hidden is a squid ink puri box. Add a little aioli, pick up the lettuce and bite. It was extraordinary! The crunch of the puri added just enough texture to the juicy burger. A couple of bites and it was gone and we were wanting more. If the burger were not delicious enough on its own, $1 from each burger goes towards food related carbon offsets through ZeroFoodprint.
Virgilio Martinez, Central, Lima, Peru
“From the Pacific to the Amazon to the Andes, the menu at Central is a gastronomic tour of Peru’s biodiversity with each course embodying a single ecosystem or altitude. To better understand the environment and share this information with the public, Virgilio Martinez also formed Mater Initiative – an interdisciplinary team of researchers traveling to explore, study, and document the origins of indigenous Peruvian ingredients. This fuels the creativity of his cooking – a rediscovery of an ancient culinary history.”
Marinez’s Octopus and the Coral ($28) is a recipe from 2014. The octopus is braised and the seaweed is spicy.
Mauro Colagreco, Mirazur, Menton, France
“Situated along the Franco-Italian border, between the Alps and Mediterranean Sea, Mirazur is the culinary intersection of its bountiful surroundings. Mauro Colagreco, born in Argentina and trained in France, has developed his own style. Starting with taste, he adds emotion to recreate the landscape in his cooking. Using modern techniques, he constructs dishes that match items found together in nature, evoking both harmony and novelty.”
Colagreco’s The Forest with quinoa risotto, mushrooms, parsley “moss” ($28) is a recipe from 2011. A vegetable-driven dish, the mushrooms are so meaty and the parsley moss is almost spongy. The dish is brought together with a Parmesan cream. I did not leave a drop on this plate.
David Thompson, Nahm, Bangkok, Thailand
“A savant of Thai flavors, Australian-born David Thompson immersed himself in the culture and culinary history of Thailand. Using old recipe books that date back to the late 19th and early 20th century, he pursues authenticity with a deep appreciation for the cuisine’s complexity and sophistication. Passion and a cease-less desire to learn have fueled Nahm’s progress and helped shine the spotlight on Bangkok as a culinary destination.”
Thompson’s Guinea Fowl Larp Chiang Mai with raw vegetable and herbs ($24) is a recipe from 1999. If you like spice, this is the dish for you. But even for someone like me who is trepidatious when it comes to spices, the dish is spicy but is balanced in a way that I could sort of handle it.
Renè Redzepi, Noma, Copenhagen, Denmark
“Noma started a culinary revolution with its exploration of Nordic cuisine using only Scandinavian products. Foraging and fermentation, fueled by deliberate research and experimentation, elevate previously overlooked ingredients. Renè Redzepi never ceases to push the creative boundaries of a chef. From immersing his entire team in new environments for months at a time to hosting the MAD Symposium, he leads an international discussion on the future of food and fosters a global community.”
Redzepi’s Wood Sorrel & Sheep’s Milk Yogurt ($16) is a recipe from 2005. The sheep’s milk yogurt is like a super light and fresh ricotta and the wood sorrel granita is herbal and refreshing.
Whether lunch or dinner, In Situ offers a more affordable way to eat dishes from the world’s best chefs. It also will inspire the wanderlust!
In Situ at SFMOMA
151 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94103