The Transfiguration Dish is a collaborative art dish co-created , through wonderful collaboration , by Chef Nathaniel Day & Photographer Gina Weathersby .
a complete change of form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state.For example … “in this light the junk undergoes a transfiguration; it shines “
The idea for this dish emerged within my mind after spending some time contemplating the changes of biological life forms . Our relationships , transformations , and transmutations in Nature . I wanted to represent my thoughts and present it to my audience utilizing my particular art form … Food .
Starting on the left of the plate we have the freshly born , new , living , raw , elements in the form of a composed salad of avocado , plums , alfalfa and radish sprouts .
In the center we have the representation of “death ” in the form of extreme high heat cooking , deep frying , which kills biologically living activity . Tasty “dead ” food in the form of deep fried japanese pumkin & agadashi Tofu (Agedashi tofu is a Japanese way to serve hot tofu. Silken firm tofu, cut into cubes, is lightly dusted with potato starch or cornstarch and then deep fried until golden brown)
The next form , which completes , in my mind , this Transfiguration is fermentation . This begins in this dish with the small green pickles , goes to the red pickles , and ends with the accompanying miso citrus dressing . ( I pickled cucumber , beet , lotus root , and eggplant for this dish . My method of pickling will be shared below ) Which is there like a potion in the upper left corner . This dish also represents me being playful with Japanese cuisine elements , after having worked with some amazing japanese chefs . This is how I see the dish and basic reasoning for the layout . Let me know what you think with comments .
Recipe ! Have fun
We will start with the miso – citrus dressing . simplicity itself .
1 tablespoon of red miso paste , whisked together with about 6 Tablespoons of fresh citrus juice . I used half grapefruit and half orange juices .
This dressing is oil free and will do your body good . Miso is a fermented food with many health benefits and nutritional components . Miso contains zinc , manganese , copper , proteins & omega 3 fatty acids . Additional phytonutient antioxidants are produced during the fermentation process , these very components are anti cancerous , free radical scavengers . Fermented foods such as kimchi , pickles , yogurts , beers & wines ect. produce friendly forms of bacteria which will aid in digestion and support an , overall , healthy gut . Yes , we should eliminate bad bacteria , but we should also , simultaneously , include “good” bacteria in order to function optimally . A sound mind in a sound body .
My pickling Method