What You Can’t Get at the Farmers Market…

I recently took an illicit trip to Tijuana to source an ingredient – Escamoles – which we used as the amuse bouche at the LQ @ SK opening. Accompanying me were a very nice reporter from the New Yorker and a friend of mine who drove us all together on Sunday morning down to a restaurant on the border. Escamoles are Ant Eggs – a delicious and peppery protein that I have been exploring more and more, with the idea that they could be a sustainable protein around the world if people could just get used to eating them and tasting how good they can be. On the way down, we talked a lot about how chef’s source products they cannot order from a supplier, grow themselves or find at the local market. We had a little extra time so we stopped at a farmers market near downtown San Diego and tried some great Ghost Chili salt and fresh herbs as well as oysters from Carlsbad and a FRESH sea urchin that they opened and cleaned right in front of us – we ate it out of a shell with a spoon and some lemon! Our trip was a great success, we headed home with my bag of $75 Ant Eggs and tested them out in the kitchen that week, presenting them sauteed in miniature tortillas to a group of eager and adventurous diners at the LQ @SK opening…they all ate them!