BY AMIEE WHITE BEAZLEY | November 18, 2013 | Food & Drink
At Town, Mason jars hold treats like (FROM LEFT) squash hummus, rabbit liver pâté, truffle cheese, and beef tartare.
From the darkness of the cupboard, the food pantry, and cold storage arrives the latest vessel for presentation: the Mason jar. Found on menus at Element 47, Prospect at the Hotel Jerome, Ajax Tavern, and Town, in Carbondale, this humble glass jar is finding new uses on local tables. From tapenades to stone fruit crumbles and cobblers, farm-to-table-style food is translated gracefully in these small jars, served in pursuit of spirited conviviality.
Bryce Orblom, chef d’cuisine of Town restaurant (348 Main St., Carbondale, 970-963-6328), explains he began using Weck jars (a brand of tulip jars) to offer something that represented sharing and would encourage people to order different things for the table. “It’s the fun side of food,” he says. “The food is not canned, not preserved, but this way of presenting food is so versatile, and it’s great for presenting different styles of food—from pate to hummus to ceviche—and it’s easy to share.”
This past summer the Prospect at Hotel Jerome (330 E. Main St., 970-920-1000) offered a dining special called “Jars & Juice,” which included one of Executive Chef Rob Zach’s savory Weck jars paired with a bottle of wine for $19. It was such a success that Zach plans to continue the preparation this winter with seasonal jars of beef tartare and more. “Not only is it easier to execute, but what we are finding is that people nowadays are eating a lot lighter,” says Zach. “This is an easy way for food to be shared.”
The inherent beauty of these little jars is no better realized than through the colors and layering of desserts, says The Little Nell’s (675 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-4600) pastry chef, Danielle Riesz. Her s’mores in a jar—made with graham cracker, chocolate ganache, and whipped marshmallow topping—is both beautiful to behold and mouthwatering to taste. For winter she’ll create other desserts in jars such as panna cotta and trifles.
“With jars you can prepare ahead of time, pull it out and bake it,” she says. Riesz plans to have a lunch dessert at Element 47 served in a jar, as well as several jarred items at Ajax Tavern (685 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-6334). “Canning right now is huge,” she adds. “I decided I wanted to use those as well. A dessert looks so cute in there.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BROOKE CASILLAS