When chef Kevin Fink was first putting together his Austin restaurant Emmer & Rye a half-decade ago, he really wanted to cook with fire. At the location he’d already selected, the space wouldn’t accommodate it. However, the idea stuck in the back of his mind. He’s opened other restaurants since, like TLV, which serves Israeli street food and the fast-casual Henbit, but Hestia was finally his chance to build a restaurant around a hearth and live-fire cooking. He certainly made the best of it, creating the restaurant we’ve just crowned the Best New Restaurant in America.
Almost everything on the menu at Hestia is touched in some way by fire or smoke, from the onion ash on the rolls to the char on the Wagyu. To show how he and his team builds dishes at the restaurant, he joins our culinary editor Jeremy Repanich on Instagram Live to prepare grilled diver scallops with green coriander kosho, beef fat, lemon juice, sansho pepper and daikon.
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In this episode of Robb Report Culinary School Fink goes over the basics of the dish and also shares how he’s handling the shutdown and what he’d like to do once the Covid-19 crisis passes.
Odds and Ends and Additional Links
Hestia topped our list of the 10 Best New Restaurants in America, see which other establishments made the cut this year.
Hestia has reopened its doors, but instead of serving a la carte, for right now it’s offering a 12-course tasting menu for $120. Over at Emmer & Rye, he’s selling a 5-course menu for dine in, and also “Emmeroni’s” a takeout menu that calls itself a Texas Italian Red Sauce Joint.
Texas was an early state to reopen its economy, but now it’s starting to reverse course as Covid-19 cases surge across the southern half of the United States.
Fink found inspiration from Asador Extebarri in Spain and worked with Noma in Copenhagen—both of these were among the 10 restaurants that defined dining in the 2010s.
Head to Robb Report’s Instagram page to check out more episodes of Culinary School, including Top Chef winner Mei Lin’s congee and James Beard Award-winner Chris Shepherd’s recipe for bacon chile jam.
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