The Dish: Chef Roxanne Spruance

Chef Roxanne Spruance had competing interests growing up in Chicago: food and field hockey. While a star athlete in high school and college she began a series of unpaid apprenticeships in some of Chicago's top dining restaurants. By 22, she had already become an executive chef.

In 2010 she moved to New York and into the kitchens of two renowned restaurants: Wylie Dufresne's legendary WD-50 and the top-rated Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Last year she opened a place of her own called Kingsley that features creative French-American cuisine.

Here are some of Spruance's signature recipes: 

Summer vegetable salad 

Salad ingredients

½ bunch baby farm greens (not mesclun mix)

1 head Lola Rosa lettuce

3 stalks mustard flowers

1 bunch baby rainbow carrots

1 bunch rainbow radishes

1 zucchini

1 gold bar squash

1 cup kasha

6 oz. hazelnuts, roasted

Directions

1. Cook kasha in 1 1/2 cups of water with a pinch of salt. When tender, drain and cool. 

2. Clean and mix all greens. Thinly shave carrots, radishes, zucchini and squash.

3.  Toss greens in dressing and drizzle dressing on kasha. Place kasha in bottom of bowl. Top with greens. Spread shaved summer vegetables on top. Finish with grated roasted hazelnuts. 

White balsamic and hazelnut vinaigrette ingredients

500 grams white balsamic

10 grams dijon

260 grams grapeseed oil

40 grams hazelnut oil

1 grams xanthan gum

Directions

1. Blend together all the ingredients. 

Grilled octopus

Ingredients

½ bunch baby farm greens (not mesclun mix)

1 head Lola Rosa lettuce

3 stalks mustard flowers

1 bunch baby rainbow carrots

1 bunch rainbow radishes

1 zucchini

1 gold bar squash

1 cup kasha

6 oz. hazelnuts, roasted

Directions

1. Cook kasha in 1 1/2 cups of water with a pinch of salt. When tender, drain and cool. 

2. Clean and mix all greens. Thinly shave carrots, radishes, zucchini and squash.

3.  Toss greens in dressing and drizzle dressing on kasha. Place kasha in bottom of bowl. Top with greens. Spread shaved summer vegetables on top. Finish with grated roasted hazelnuts. 

Tomato and cucumbers in salsa verde 

4 cucumbers

4 large heirloom tomatoes

1 quart heirloom cherry tomatoes

33 grams oregano leaves

50 grams parsley

80 grams shallots, chopped

50 grams red wine vinegar

9 grams salt

3 grams crushed red pepper

120 grams olive oil

Directions

1. Cut the head off the octopus. Pop out beak if neccessary. Cut tentacles apart into 8 pieces

2. Mix the togarashi and kosher salt together and rub liberally all over octopus. Lay out on a tray for minimum 30 minutes, max 60 minutes.

3.  While the octopus is curing, heat up the oil to 225°f.

4. Put the cured octopus into the warm oil and confit it until it is tender, but not falling apart. (2-4 hours) 

5. Spin all cucumbers in a spiralizer. Cut heirloom tomatoes to ~1 inch thickness, punch with varying size ring molds.

6. Toss cucumbers and punched tomatoes with salsa verde to coat.

7. Place on plate. Punctuate with tomatoes. Grill octopus until crispy. Slice. Place on top. Season with lemon. Garnish with micro parsley and wedges of cherry tomatoes.

String beans with miso butter 

Salad ingredients

1 pound butter, softened

1/2 pound package white miso

4 pounds string beans (any mixed pole beans)

Directions

1. Mix butter and miso in stand mixer. 

2. ClRoast green beans in a pan with oil and salt and pepper to taste. 

3.  Top beans with miso butter crumbles. 

Roast pork loin with almonds, anise hyssop and peaches

Ingredients

2 1/2 qt. marcona almonds

2 1/2 qt. water

2 qt. milk

1 qt. sugar

2 oz. sumac

8 ripe peaches

5-pound pork loin roast

8 oz. pork demi glace

3 bn anise hyssop

1 qt. grapeseed oil

Directions

1. Truss and temper pork and season with salt and pepper. In an extremely hot pan, sear the roast on all sides. Baste with butter garlic and thyme. 

2. Place in a 400°f oven and cook until medium rare (125°f). Pull out and let rest.

3. In a saucepot, cover 1.5 qt of marcona almonds with 2 quarts water, 2 quarts milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender. Add more water if necessary. When soft, blend until smooth. Pass through chinois. Reserve warm.

4. Halve the remaining marcona almonds. Put the sugar, sumac and remaining water in a sauce pot. Boil. Add the almonds. Cook until golden, 4-6 minutes. Strain excess syrup in a chinois and fry the nuts, moving constantly, at 350°f. Once the nuts are candy coated, let cool on a silpat.

5.  Pick the leaves from 2 bunchesn of anise. Blanch. Blend with 1 quart grapeseed oil. Strain. Reserve.

6. Cut 3 peaches into eighths. Place upright on a silpat. Bake at 325°f until dehydrated and golden. Cut 3 peaches into eighths. Brush with oil, salt and pepper and then grill. Shave two peaches into paper-thin slices. Put the pits into the pork demi. Let steep.

7. To plate: Sweep almond puree on plate. Place rack on plate. Garnish with candied almonds, all of the peaches. Drizzle hyssop oil. Garnish with hyssop leaves and flowers.

Popcorn crème brûlée 

Ingredients

525 grams milk

525 grams heavy cream

125 grams popcorn

360 grams yolks

180 grams sugar

16 sheets gelatin (bloomed)

8 grams agar

Brown butter solids

250 grams dehydrated milk solids

2 sticks butter

Directions

1.  Put milk, cream and popcorn into blender. Blend until hot. Add gelatin. Let it get hot again. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar to ribbon stage.

2.  Add agar to popcorn mixture. Pour popcorn mixture into yolks, whisking constantly. 

3. Cook butter till all the water is evaporated. Whisk in solids. Cook till golden. Immediately drain in chinois. 

4. Lay out on paper towels. Keep changing towels until it dries.

Raisin ice cream

Ingredients

800 grams milk

200 grams cream

2 grams cremodan (ice cream stabilizer)

150 grams dehydrated milk solids

100 grams trimoline

180 grams yolks

150 grams sugar

200-300 grams raisin puree

Directions

1. Heat milk, cream, milk solids and trimoline to steam. Whisk yolks and sugar to ribbon. Temper yolks with hot cream mixture. 

2. Add yolks to cream. Stir constantly until thick. Strain through 

3. Chinois and chill. Add raisin puree. Spin in machine.