Panic works as culinary inspiration for chef Kate McLean, executive chef at River Oaks fine dining institution Tony’s. McLean's 'Cinnamon Toast' torchon rolls onto the menu for the first time this week, and it was a long time coming. Owner Tony Vallone had asked McLean to create something that would highlight the "awesome" blueberries they had been receiving, and the answer didn't hit her immediately.
"This dish took forever to think of," said McLean. "And I tried everything: reading books, sitting still in one place for five minutes and thinking, even running, because it supposedly clears your head. I began to panic, thinking I had lost it."
Finally, McLean grabbed some brioche and set to making a cocoa toast from a thin and crispy piece of bread accented with cocoa powder. But McLean says it was not quite right. Enter sous chef Austin Waiter, who suggested a flavor profile akin to everyone's favorite kiddie cereal Cinnamon Toast Crunch. McLean added tarragon milk sauce and Hudson Valley foie gras to complete the dish. Blueberries plumped in Sauternes are the finishing touch. Try the 'Cinnamon Toast' torchon for $23 on the a la carte menus during lunch and dinner service at Tony's. It's also on all the tasting menus.
— James Brock