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Persimmons | How chefs are using them now

Three restaurants, three different applications.

 (Photograph: Sarah Lawhead)
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Photograph: Sarah Lawhead

Sweet, tart and looking something like a tomato, Fuyu persimmons started popping up on menus a few weeks ago. At Bistronomic, chef Martial Noguier found a use for the fruit in his venison tournedos. After braising venison shoulder in red wine and rolling it with chicken mousse, he decided the plate needed an element to counter all that richness. So Noguier added persimmons cooked in a spiced syrup. (Though, with foie-gras butter topping this dish, those persimmons fight an uphill battle.) 840 N Wabash Ave (312-944-8400).

 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
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Photograph: Martha Williams

Longman & Eagle pastry chef Jeremy Brutzkus has a thing for translucent foods, so for his persimmon trifle, he slices the fruits so thinly �you can straight up see though them,� he says. Brutzkus then vacuum compresses the fruit (which he says tastes akin to �sweet tomatoes�) with honey and vanilla paste and layers it with pain d�epices (spiced bread), toasted hazelnut cream, persimmon jam, date custard, spiced rum and chantilly cream. 2657 N Kedzie Ave (773-276-7110.)

 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
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Photograph: Martha Williams

Sepia bartender Josh Pearson had designs to replace the pineapple in his pisco punch with persimmon. The problem was, �they tend to be a little too tart,� he says. Pearson fixed that problem by simmering the fruit with gum arabic, cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves. The syrup is mixed with Encanto Pisco (a grape-brandy blend), lemon juice, absinthe, orange bitters and a nutmeg garnish. 123 N Jefferson St (312-441-1920).

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