The Breakdown: A Dish from Mary Dumont’s Cultivar
1. Dumont whips together creamy Ibérico ham lardo and puréed sage to create a rich, earthy element.
2. Tart pomegranate seeds bring vibrant color to the dish.
3. Snow-pellet-like Japanese rice balls, or arare, sprinkled on and around the squash add texture, as does the toasted cashew “gremolata” on the plate.
4. For a sweet-smoky flavor, Dumont roasts Kabocha squash with maple syrup until it’s just tender, then finishes it on a Japanese coal grill.
Mary Dumont can now add urban farmer to her résumé. At Cultivar, the chef is tending to an on-site freight-container farm that will supply her kitchen with produce year round. In keeping with the restaurant’s name—a cultivar is a plant produced by selective breeding—Dumont is cherry-picking elements from her past for her first project as an owner. The menu reflects the French techniques she picked up as a young chef in California and the refined take on New England fare she developed at Harvest, not to mention some Asian cooking methods that feel fresh to her now (see: this coal-grilled Kabocha squash). “It’s a clean slate, and I can do whatever I want,” she says.
Expected to open spring 2017. One Court St., Boston, 617-979-8203.