Eden Enhances Crudo with a Garden of Burnt, Fried and Floral Elements

The best ahi tuna dishes are the ones that showcase the fresh, high-quality crudo in its purest form. But at Chicago’s Eden, Devon Quinn goes a step further and enhances the deep pink slices of raw fish by surrounding it with smoked, burnt, deep-fried and floral elements in the same bowl. “I like to add cooked elements to things that are raw,” says the chef. Sunny dots of cold-smoked, cooked egg yolks are just waiting to be broken and mixed in with bits of earthy kohlrabi, pea leaves plucked from the garden outside, burnt garlic, spicy chile oil and the most unexpected element—airy-yet-crunchy beef chicharróns. “The dish needed more character, so it was a last-minute addition,” says Quinn. “It looks like coral reef to me.”

Quinn braises beef for 24 hours, cools it and slices it thin before dehydrating for eight hours and deep-frying. It’s then seasoned with furikake (Japanese rice seasoning) while hot and crackling. Coriander (or other fresh blossoms from the garden) serve as a final citrus-forward garnish. “You want to get a bit of each element as you take a bite,” says Quinn. “I try to layer things like that—it makes it easier for the eater to get what we’re going for.”

Sweet layers of flavors