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100 Favorite Dishes, No. 20: Yes, This Really Is Lasagna

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 20: Yes, This Really Is LasagnaEXPAND
Brian Reinhart
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Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

This summer, the Nameless Chefs — a collective of chefs who work in some of Dallas’ finest kitchens but seek an additional outlet for their most creative work — presented a multi-course pop-up dinner in sculptor Dan Lam’s studio at the Fairmont Hotel. The theme was familiar comfort-food flavors reimagined, including Caesar salad presented as a soup and a wagyu “Salisbury” steak.

Oh, and that picture? That’s lasagna. It’s the culinary version of an optical illusion, in which things aren’t as they seem and flavors don’t match appearances. That bowl contains a sweetbread ravioli topped with a sort of chorizo jam, tomatoes, lobster mushrooms (so named for their bright red color) and, most memorably, a broth made by intentionally burning cheese rinds and incorporating them in a Parmesan stock.

The result — which, inspiringly, came from chefs Jeremy Hess and Joshua Gianni Ferrell working independently on different components of the dish without consulting each other — really tasted uncannily like lasagna. The form may have been turned upside-down, but the flavor was spot-on. Keep an eye on the Nameless Chefs: This is just one example of what they can do, and, contrary to the group’s name, these artists are names to watch in the next big wave of creative Dallas cooking.

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