Vegetables are our Favorite Things
August 16, 2022
Let's Taco 'Bout the Brigade
The kitchen brigade, which recently gained mainstream awareness via The Bear, is an organizational hierarchy for professional kitchens established by the legendary French chef Georges-Auguste Escoffier. Historically, among the lowest ranks in a classical restaurant brigade was the légumier, the vegetable chef. This chef was in charge of gratins, pilafs, braises, and other hot vegetable side dishes. Today, the lowly rank of the légumier is no more, and vegetables now take center stage in many of the world's best restaurants.
For us, vegetables have always been at the top of the hierarchy as the best foods to eat and cook. The endless variety of flavors and textures means so many opportunities for eating adventures.
From our years of cooking for friends, family, and customers, we’ve learned which vegetables are best blanched, braised, grilled, steamed, roasted, or sautéed. And, like any chef in any brigade, we know great cooking starts with amazing ingredients. In the case of vegetables, the best ingredients are the ones that are in season. In summer at Chaia, sweet corn kernels are lightly charred in a cast iron pan and tossed with spicy fresh jalapeño; come fall we’re serving crispy, halved Brussels sprouts paired with our chipotle yogurt sauce; in winter, roasted butternut squash is tossed with sweet and spicy caramelized onions and served with locally-produced chèvre and fresh mint, while spring welcomes young asparagus stalks accompanied with our house preserved lemons and a red cherry pepper relish. Bon appétit!