CHEF BEN KLEIN, MALA OCEAN TAVERN
“Living in Hawaii, 3,000 miles from any major landmass, our carbon footprint becomes magnified that much more.”
1307 Front St., Lahaina
I feel that the combination of using fresh local ingredients and a unique cooking technique make this dish special. We sous vide the baby beets, which gives them a unique texture and allows them to retain nearly all of the vitamin and mineral content as well as the vibrant color.
I was inspired to create this dish by the introduction to the sous vide technique and by farmer James Simpliciano, who allowed me to sample some of the local baby beets. The dish is also basically a deconstructed and slightly healthier version of the roasted beet salad that we have on our regular menu. We used a tarragon vinaigrette as apposed to the anise seed flavored vinaigrette and instead of the fried goat cheese croquette on the roasted beet salad, we use fresh goat cheese and fried shallots to create a similar texture and flavor profile. We are constantly motivated to use local ingredients whenever possible, not only for freshness and quality but for leaving as little of a carbon footprint as possible.