Clearly inspired by his Lowcountry training, the dishes chef David Tetzloff turns out of the G. Michael's kitchen are typically rich, saucy and packed with flavors that toy with every taste bud. "I was trained to think of a dish the same way you'd compose a musical piece," Tetzloff says. "You don't just want to have a melody. There's got to be a counterpoint, a harmony." Here's how Tetzloff composes every bite into a forkful crescendo.
Clearly inspired by his Lowcountry training, the dishes chef David Tetzloff turns out of the G. Michael’s kitchen are typically rich, saucy and packed with flavors that toy with every taste bud. “I was trained to think of a dish the same way you’d compose a musical piece,” Tetzloff says. “You don’t just want to have a melody. There’s got to be a counterpoint, a harmony.” Here’s how Tetzloff composes every bite into a forkful crescendo.
Step 1: Tetzloff starts with the protein and preparation—his rich, earthy base notes, he says. This time, it's a hearty, 12-ounce bone-in pork chop for the winter season.
Step 2: He adds the starch, Maytag cheddar grits, picking one in season that makes sense with the protein. “When you think Southern food, you think cheesy grits and pork,” he says.
Step 3: Give the dish bitterness with cabbage, adding vinegar and sugar for a sweet-sour balance. “Those are things brightening everything up. Cabbage will cut through the richness and fattiness of the dish.” In the 90 minutes it takes to get the cabbage tenderly braised down, Tetzloff will add bacon for a smoky note meant to enhance the pork chop flavor.
Step 4: Build the ragout with butter, bacon, poblano, tomato and clams, adding stock, white wine, fresh thyme and simmering it all together until the clams pop. By this point, Tetzloff says, the dish should balance out the taste buds.
Step 5: Finish with a sweet and spicy bell pepper jam. “It’s a high note to clear the palate a little bit, hit your taste buds with a zing. A lot of our dishes will finish with a drizzle of vinegar, jam, marmalade. That’s the finishing [touch] that gives [the dish] brightness over the top,” he says.