Robert Cantu, Head Chef at Angad Arts Hotel, shares 5 ingredients – and 5 dishes – he’s loving right now.
1. Sunchokes: “These are my go-to favorites at the moment. They are incredibly versatile and unique–you can treat them like a potato or make them the main component of a dish. Plus, they are the perfect staple to complement any vegetarian diet. Right now I’m preparing Sunchokes in chip form to serve with either poultry or fish dishes such as seared lake trout with buttered beans, sunchoke puree, and sunchoke chips.”
2. Seeds and Nuts: “Not only are these heart-healthy ingredients versatile, but they provide great texture. They can be prepared crispy or pureed and served sweet or savory. I would make a roasted quail stuffed with farro and sunflower seeds, with a pumpkin seed puree and a blackberry miso glaze.”
3. Akaushi Beef: “I travel with Akaushi Beef and will be the first one to admit that I eagerly attempt to incorporate it on menus whenever I can. This is the absolute closest thing you can get to real Kobe that is raised in the U.S. The ranch is located in Harwood, Texas, between San Antonio and Houston and the owner has red Kobe cows on the property. In my opinion, it is the best beef raised in the U.S. and I prepare it as a simple ribeye, with just salt and pepper, in a hot cast iron pan with plenty of herbs and butter.”
4. Rabbit: “This is one protein that I think is vastly under-used. That may be because some people are afraid of it, but it really is delicious. The flavor is similar to that of a rich tasting chicken, with a much greater buttery taste. I would prepare this protein just like fried chicken, Nashville hot style, on a slice of bread with pickles.”
5. Leeks: “Leeks are the onion’s hot cousin. Who doesn’t like leeks! They are not as pungent as an onion but can be prepared the same way as onion, while remaining delicate and less overpowering in a dish. I would prepare them as a sort of baba ganoush topped with pomegranate seeds and serve with warm flatbread.”
About Chef Cantu
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Chef Cantu grew up cooking Tex-Mex and traditional Mexican cuisine. After working in and managing several top restaurants in Texas and Louisiana, he joined the pre-opening team of Grand Tavern by David Burke in 2018, working alongside Chef David Burke to develop the menu for the contemporary American restaurant. Since the restaurant’s opening in November 2018, Chef Cantu has put his creative mark on the menu and continues to carry out the vision of Chef David Burke and ESquared Hospitality.