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In Season: Fall 2021

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By Sophie Brochu
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Categories:In Season

Koginut Squash. Kombu. Celeriac. These are just a few of the ingredients chefs are using on their menus to showcase the best of fall. We’ve documented some of this season’s most delicious offerings all across the country.

Discover, explore, get inspired. This is In Season.

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Smyth

Kombu

Chicago

Smyth is currently sourcing live kelp from Monterey Bay Seaweeds, a company that farms sustainably using flow-through tanks. This means all wild seaweed is exposed to natural seawater and sunshine. In fact, it’s still alive when delivered, as it’s packed in the very seawater in which it grows. While available year-round, chef John Shields creates a stunning fall tart in his tasting menu, using flavors of licorice, hazelnut, and crystalized kombu blades.

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Tsukimi

Matsutake

New York City

Matsutake mushrooms are on the menu at Tsukimi, a Japanese restaurant in the East Village that’s named after the mid-autumn festival honoring the moon. The team says, “The season has arrived. Matsutake 松茸, also known as pine mushrooms, are the most revered mushrooms in Japan.” They source their sustainably-foraged matsutakes from Regalis Foods. Find them on the kaiseki menu, offered at the chef’s counter.

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Albi

Koginut Squash

Washington

This hybrid squash, sourced from Karma Farm in Monkton, Maryland, has the smooth texture of a Japanese Kabocha squash and the rich flavor of a butternut squash. And it makes for a perfect fall dish. At DC’s Albi, the hashwei (Arabic for stuffed) squash incorporates smoked lamb, Lebanese seven spice, date, and almond. Enjoy it at the cozy hearth table in the kitchen.

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Birdsong

Shigoku Oysters

San Francisco

Shigokus are briny, plump Pacific oysters typically harvested from October through February. Because they’re grown in bags attached to floats that go up and down in the tides, the oysters become agitated and they use their muscles to close their shells. “We love these tide-tumbled oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms for their texture,” says the team. “They’re more firm than regular oysters because of how they’re cultivated. So we emphasize that by serving them with super cold, refreshing components like jalapeño-infused whey sorbet and cucumber ice.”

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Farow

Celeriac

Niwot

Celeriac, aka celery root or knob celery, is a root vegetable that originated in the Mediterranean Basin. Best in the fall or winter, celeriac is packed with antioxidants and is known for its odd, bulbous shape and versatility. The husband-and-wife team at Colorado’s Farow is currently serving celeriac tortellini on their fall menu. It’s warm, comforting, and available for a limited time.

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Spoon and Stable

Shishito Peppers

Minneapolis

“Super seasonal and oh-so-worth-the-wait,” says the team at Spoon and Stable about their early fall tri-colored Shishitos. This mildly spicy, East Asian pepper variety is named after shishi, the Japanese word for lion, as the tip of the vegetable can resemble a lion’s head. At this Minneapolis mainstay, chef Gavin Kaysen serves the blistered peppers with whipped tahini and za’atar. It’s a simple preparation that allows the main ingredient to shine.

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Folk

Spaghetti Squash

Nashville

No, that’s not a squash you’re looking at. But it is a calzone filled with roasted spaghetti squash, first of season kale, ricotta, dill, Coppinger cheese, and kale pesto. The yellow spaghetti squash has origins in China and it gets its name from the way the flesh pulls apart like noodles. At Nashville’s Folk, the team incorporates the leftover squash seeds into housemade kale pesto for a no-waste approach.

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Burdock & Co

Coronation Grapes

Vancouver

Milan Djordjevich is something of a legend. His organic Kelowna farm, Stoney Paradise, fuels many of Vancouver’s best restaurants with seasonal ingredients. At this time of year, he’s growing and distributing grapes of all varieties. At Burdock & Co, chef Andrea Carlson utilizes them in a unique way. Her fazzoletti pasta incorporates Milan’s grapes, fennel seed, olive oil, lemon, anchovy, and garlic. Find it on the 5-course prix fixe menu.

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