What to expect when Avec reopens
There were (at least) two camps of responses to Paul Kahan's tweet yesterday morning that Avec was re-opening "soon." 1. Finally! Finally! Finally! I thought I was going to have to make my own bacon-wrapped dates! and 2. "Avec was closed?" If you fall in the former camp (as I do), you may be interested to know what some of Avec's staff—including chef de cuisine Koren Grieveson, pastry chef Patrick Fahy and baker Jason Kurosaki—have been up to in the interim six weeks since the restaurant closed due to a fire, and what the kitchen has in mind for its reopening, for which there is not yet a confirmed date. (Watch this space for more details when a date is confirmed.)
Grieveson spent some time cooking at the Publican and re-developing Avec's menu. "I am bringing back two items that were on the original Avec menu," Grieveson wrote over email, "but everything else is changing. Avec was always known for its simple food but really, there was a lot of complexity in the dishes and in the preparation of the ingredients we used. Really, my goal is to simplify everything. I love how in Europe when you get a dish, it is often just something as simple as bread and olive oil and it tastes so delicious. It seems impossible to replicate that kind of simplicity in America but that is what I am going for."
Meanwhile, Patrick Fahy, the pastry chef at Blackbird who also does Avec's desserts, is planning some new dishes for the reopening, such as crêpes with housemade nutella, a reimagining of chocolate bark, a crème brûlée tart and a polenta cake with seasonal fruit. "And, of course, there will be seasonal sorbet and ice cream," adds the Blackbird group's chef liaison, Heather Medina.
Jason Kurosaki, Avec's bread baker, spent some time at the Publican during Avec's closure, but also took two days to stage at Fox & Obel with famed baker Pamela Fitzpatrick. "I learned how to be more efficient," Kurosaki says of the experience. "Pamela is passionate about handling the dough and taught me to really take pride in what I’m doing. She takes a lot of pride in her artisan bread and brings a lot of experience from all the places she’s worked.”
Not that anyone doubted Avec would return in only the finest of form.