50 Best Restaurants: Bergamot Chef Keith Pooler to Debut Vegetable Charcuterie

By | Chowder |

At Bergamot, one of our 50 Best Restaurant picks, chef Keith Pooler is known for his elegant, locavore cuisine. Over the past six months, Pooler has been upping his meat game with the introduction of charcuterie plates that contain a combination of classic cured meats (think coppa, rilletes) and funkier wildcards (like head cheese potpie, corned beef/pimiento scrapple, and salami beignets).

Next week, the chef plans to roll out a charcuterie plate ($14) that is fit for non-carnivores—everything from the terrine to the sausage is all-vegetarian. “What I really like about this plate is that it takes you for a flavor ride,” Pooler says. Get to know what goes into the vegetarian charcuterie in our breakdown ahead.

1. Portobello carpaccio with eggplant “caviar” and aged garlic. “We take the stems off of the portobello, gill it and peel it. And then we cook it in oil with garlic and parsley and thyme and a little bit of shallots. We just let that go nice and slow for 45 minutes to an hour,” Pooler says.

2. Vegetable chorizo sausage with potato chicharron. “That’s the cool-factor one, where you kind of go ‘wow,’” Pooler says. The chorizo sausage is a mix of white beans, TVP (textured vegetable protein, commonly found in veggie burgers) ancho chiles, red wine, cilantro, tomatoes, onion and garlic—the mixture is shaped, blanched and then takes a turn on the grill. The “chicharron” is a fried russet potato with chimichurri sauce.

3. Beet mousse with orange-walnut gremolata. “It’s just a beet puree, and then we fold in a little bit of cream at the end,” Pooler says.

4. Vegetable terrine with squash, rutebaga, butternut squash, chanterelle mushrooms, wild rice and herbs. Pooler wanted the terrine to be a vegetarian version of head cheese. “This is more of a classical one where we dice all the vegetables, cooked ahead of time, and then we take rice and fill a terrine mold up and then fold vegetable stock [and agar-agar] over it and just let that set,” Pooler says.

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