The beef, from a local farmer, is served fresh only in the winter, when Cournoyer believes it’s at its best.
Scraps from last winter’s beef were used to make the miso that the accompanying slices of Jerusalem artichoke were pickled in. The plate’s sprinkle of sharp powder is made from dehydrated, fermented celery root peelings. The finishing splash of oil is made from the tops of those same celery roots, a part of the vegetable that would otherwise go to waste.
Cournoyer goes above and beyond typical energy-saving restaurant techniques in an effort to achieve a nearly perfect closed system. This starts with cooking only the best, in-season local ingredients, and extends to everything from the foraged flowers on the tables and prepping in the full light of the dining room during the day to avoiding turning on lights to the locally made plates and even to the oven pilot lights that act as overnight dehydrators.
“We have a bunch of values we’ve created in the restaurant,” Cournoyer says, “and we’ve found that doing the right thing all the way through means that good food just naturally happens.” — CHRIS JOHNS