This sensational dish started with Mastard chef Simon Mathys’ love for cooked or grilled lettuce. For a fresh lettuce taste without the cooking, he tried pounding a mix of green and more bitter white leaves with a mortar and pestle, incorporating some sorrel, parsley, local camelina oil and a little verjus. Tomato and olive oil are a natural pairing, so he added a fat slab of organic tomato. To render the slice evenly salted, he brined it briefly, finishing it with a sprinkle of fleur de sel, then a shower of small, brightly coloured edible flowers.
Best Dish of the Year
Mastard’s La Ferme des Quatre–Temps tomato puts an herbaceous spin on the BLT with herbs, lettuce, flowers, camelina oil and smoked beef fat.
The tableside pour of hot, fragrant beef fat was inspired by a beef dish that was underway while the tomato entrée was in development. The two dishes merged, taking flight when Mathys began sourcing the already smoked beef fat from his friends at Atwater Market’s Aylwin Barbecue. “They use whole wood, so it’s better for deep flavour,” Mathys explains.
Like all of his dishes, this one is more complicated than it looks. “There’s a lot of technique going on in the kitchen,” the chef adds, but his food is “simple to eat and understand.”