Observing Chef Jason Neroni creating his infamous Charcuterie Plate … i’m aware at this point that I’ve become deeply obsessed watching the passionate ways these innovative chefs define themselves through the intensive process of making a decadent artisanal culinary plate of true deliciousness.
Country lamb pate w/ pistachios, chicken rilletts, duck prosciutto, lomo, chicken liver mousse, beer mustard, apple mustrardo …
Like any artist working inside their studio ( kitchen/laboritory ), the creation of a charcuterie plate by a master chef is first to please and challenge themselves … to push and work through various ideas, theories and concepts and to access multiple layers of techniques when working with the excess of the primary product. Today’s innovative chefs/artists are accessing deep wells of both creativity and intelligence in producing something succulent, nourishing and evocative … often using ALL of a truly perfect animal to display their passion and beautiful madness!
When speaking of charcuterie we’re going to the very heart of a chef’s obsession. Each component of charcuterie requires laborious and lengthy techniques which most likely will go totally unnoticed by the diner. When curing duck prosciutto, the process requires patience while seasoning and re-seasoning the prosciutto until the duck has reached its desired state, then each thinly sliced bite is designed so that the mixture of protein and fat just melts in your mouth.
It’s true hands-on cooking. I mean, you’re fabricating this meat, you’re grinding, you’re salting, you’re cooking it … – Jason Neroni
Neroni’s charcuterie plate showcases advanced levels of preparation and going further and further with a beautiful product for our ongoing savory adventures … spreading his chicken liver mousse, chicken rillettes or duck pate onto crispy bread is something both highly emotional and immersive … absorbing his creative and delicious use of fat is a sublime experience.
It’s like watching a baby almost. You’re watching this thing age where you’re cooking it and then altering the flavor of it. You’re watching it cure and shrink and change shape in front of your eyes, you know, whether it be a week, whether it be two months, six months, a year later, you have this beautiful product that you’ve created. - Jason Neroni
I felt like it was also a lost art, I think, at the moment. A lot of people have turned back to it, which is encouraging to me in the age of “ molecular gastronomy.” — Jason Neroni
A perfected charcuterie plate is something akin to looking at a master’s painting as the dramatic still life ” plating ” is laid down in front of you … this enigmatic feast has been obsessively created and intended to now be passionately devoured.
Photographed and written by Jeff Scott