Covid-19’s impact on restaurants—particularly small, independent ones—continues to devastate. While many may never reopen, C. Barclay Dodge, owner and chef of Bosq, was determined not only to throw open the doors but to make his 40-seat restaurant even more relevant. This coming from a chef who already works closely with several farmers and each week forages locally for ingredients like pine tips and watercress to infuse his menu with a sense of place.
Last summer, Dodge started a garden at a community plot so the cooks could get their hands in the dirt and understand the work it takes to bring an ingredient to the table. Now he’s doubling down. “I can’t just change Bosq overnight—we’re a fine-dining restaurant, and I can’t do comfort food at lower prices,” he says.
“I would like to stress more local and work on rebuilding the economy in the valley I live in.”
To that end, he sources as many ingredients as possible from a give-or-take 40-mile radius. (As the crow flies, it’s about 50 miles to the North Fork Valley.) The dish below offers a window into how Dodge toes the line of fine dining while remaining hyper-local.
Rabbit Confit with Forest Broth, Nasturtium, Sikil P’ak, Foie Gras
• As Dodge explains, “We take local rabbits from Sopris Farm and cure their legs in a spice mix of blue-spruce tips and green juniper berries (both locally foraged by our kitchen team), sugar, and salt for 32 hours, then cook them in duck fat until tender.”
• The broth is a clear liquid of charred local oak bark, dried porcini mushrooms, fresh juniper berries, and fresh spruce tips simmered at a low temperature. Says Dodge, “The idea is to capture the flavor of the forest.”
• In a bowl, foie gras mousse is dusted with carrot-cake crumbs along one side. The other side has a swoosh of sikil p’ak, a purée made of pumpkin seeds; charred onion, tomato, and garlic; and cilantro. “It is a Yucatan recipe using local ingredients,” says Dodge.
• The forest broth is poured over pieces of rabbit confit along with dried sour cherries, lacto-fermented carrot, and nasturtium leaves.
• A sprinkle of pine salt finishes the dish.