I was recently watching the documentary Unzipped, which follows Isaac Mizrahi through the creation of his 1994 fall collection, and it got me thinking how sometimes a great dish can be like a designer dress. A designer can create a silhouette with just two simple lines. With the stroke of a pen they can reduce a dress down to its purist form. Determining the height of a hemline alone can speak volumes about a dresses history, context and trendiness. I think you’ll find that it’s the details of the construction will really let a designer dress shine. You’ll find a dress that is made from exquisite fabric and hand sown. It’s this attention to detail, craftsmanship and concept that set a dress apart as fashion. So what’s all this talk of high fashion have to do with Beef Cheeks? Chefs like designers have to find a way to take the familiar ( Beef bourguignon ) and turn it into something fresh and sublime. So this is how we get to the Beef Cheek Bourguignon at Le Pigeon.
Chef Gabriel Rucker has taken on the rustic French dish beef Bourguignon and brought us the incredibly elegant and sophisticated Beef Cheek Bourguignon. When I was presented with the dish I was struck by how simple it was. In a wide shallow bowl there was a small collection of vegetables. There were tender carrots, roasted onions and several disks of pan fried potatoes. On top of this were two succulent pieces of braised beef cheeks. All of this was glazed with spoonfuls of the darkest, richest broth I have ever tasted. The Beef Cheeks are braised so dark they look as if they have been lacquered, and they are so tender and sweet that they just melt away in our mouth.
I think what makes this dish so interesting is the way that Chef Rucker has simplified this dish to five key components and then he found a way to highlight the character of each component and what it brings to the dish as a whole. Simply stunning.
738 E Burnside St.
Portland, OR 97214
503 546 8796