Saga, which opened last August, is one in every of New York’s most artistic effective eating eating places. Sitting on the 63rd flooring of a skyscraper within the metropolis’s Monetary District, chef James Kent and his crew put collectively a seven-course tasting menu that features a citrus salad, black bass, porcini custard, and a Moroccan tagine.
That final dish is kind of private to Kent, whose full identify is Jamal James Kent. He views the dish as a means for him to attach together with his Moroccan heritage by means of his meals.
“The primary time I ever used James, I put ‘J. James Kent’ on my resume. It was the summer season after 9/11, New York was this loopy place,” says Kent. “I simply needed to get a job and I believed that I’d have points.”
Kent grew up in an Islamic family, together with his Arabic-speaking father rising up in Tangiers, and feels as if he’s been hiding behind his first identify his entire life.
“I’ve the power to inform genuine tales which can be my very own. I don’t want to cover behind issues anymore, I attempt to not,” says Kent. “And meaning cooking meals that’s necessary to me.”
For the final course of the meal, he needs to characterize his father’s tradition.
The tagine is served utilizing braised brief ribs which can be made in a kitchen at Crown Shy, Kent’s first restaurant in the identical constructing as Saga.
At Crown Shy, the rib is served as a medium roasted minimize, however at Saga, it’s handled as a secondary minimize for the entree. From the grill, the ribs are put in plastic baggage and positioned right into a water bathtub for 48 hours.
The meat might seem overcooked when it’s faraway from the bathtub, however when Kent cuts it open, it reveals a medium-cooked inside. The meat is portioned for Crown Shy and a few will get served at Saga.
The tagine is served with m’semen bread, a conventional Moroccan flatbread, braised brief rib, and pressed yogurt with black truffle puree.
“I really feel like when that hits the desk, you possibly can’t not be comfortable,” says Kent.