What do you get when two acclaimed chefs from both coasts get together to create a feast for two?
In this latest installment of Resy’s Eating Between the Lines, chefs Brandon Jew of San Francisco’s Mister Jiu’s and Nick Curtola of Brooklyn’s The Four Horsemen take us through the banquet-inspired menu they developed as part of their bicoastal takeout takeover.
The Resy At Home Specials takeout package will be available for pickup, only on Resy, from Nov. 13 to 21, in both San Francisco and Brooklyn. To buy your ticket, go to the Resy pages for either Mister Jiu’s or Four Horsemen.
And now, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek of what you can expect, and how it all came together.
Mister Jiu’s and The Four Horsemen
The Menu: Banquet-Style Feast for Two
The first person who came to Brandon Jew’s mind as a collaborating chef for this takeout takeover was The Four Horsemen’s Nick Curtola. More than a decade ago, the two worked together in the kitchen of the now-closed, groundbreaking Camino restaurant in Oakland.
For this menu, each chef contributed dishes, techniques, and tips they wanted to share with one another. “We wanted to do food that neither of us had done in our restaurants before because we thought that would be kind of fun,” says Curtola.
Ultimately, both chefs want the takeout meal to be joyful, just like a Chinese-style banquet would be. “A banquet is very much about just having that experience of eating together, sharing together, and just having this abundant kind of feeling at the table,” says Jew. It’s “something a lot of people miss right now,” Curtola says.
The meal comes with specific and simple reheating instructions, a personalized Spotify playlist to play in the background, and videos from both chefs detailing each course. Please note that menus are subject to change, based on availability of ingredients.
Each Resy at Home Specials takeout package for two is priced at $145, or $195 including wine pairing. American Express Card Members get early access to ticket sales on Oct. 19. General ticket sales begin on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
1. The Origin Story
The persimmon salad came out of The Four Horsemen’s ever-changing weekend set lunch series. “Every now and then, we’d do a nod to maybe Japanese or Thai cuisine, and that would be the theme of the menu, to allow us to do a kind of cooking style, or use ingredients or techniques that we wouldn’t be doing normally,” says Curtola.
A trip to Japan last year inspired him to develop the persimmon dish with pickled turnips. In Japan, he says, “They have these beautiful little flights of seasonal vegetables that come out with your meal, that are just mildly treated with a little rice wine vinegar or a few flecks of yuzu salts, and it’s so simple, clean, seasonal, and light.” Curtola says that without that trip, he never would have thought to combine persimmons and pickled turnips in this way, “shingled” together. “It’s hard to put my finger on the flavor of a persimmon — slightly sour and strangely sweet — but there’s always something super unique about it.”
2. The Can’t-Miss Condiment
Most XO sauces from Southern China and Hong Kong are made with shrimp and scallops, but the XO sauce in the sweet potato tang yuan (dumpling) course is made entirely with trumpet and shiitake mushrooms. “We’ve now figured out how to get a lot of that texture from different kinds of mushrooms,” explains Jew. “The mushrooms get dehydrated and then rehydrated, and slowly fired in an aromatic oil and what you end up with is almost like the same texture of dried scallops and shrimp that you’d have with dried mushrooms.”
3. The Kitchen Collab
Both chefs will be making their own versions of a silken tofu dish. One particular ingredient Jew is using for his version of the silken tofu dish is preserved mandarin peels. “It takes about two months to preserve,” Jew explains.
Silken tofu has been a mainstay on Mister Jiu’s menu since the restaurant opened in 2016 and Jew hopes diners will love this special combination of super-fresh tofu, made the day of, with preserved mandarin rinds, gooseberries, sorghum, and chanterelles.
In Brooklyn, Curtola is using Jew’s recipe for silken tofu, but adding marinated leeks, smoked trout roe, and nori. As for Curtola, he’s excited to learn how to make his own silken tofu, something he’s never done before in his kitchen. And he said he’s going to lean heavily on his own team — sous chef Ben Zook, junior sous chef Finn O’Hara, and junior sous chef Nico Villasenor — to help him execute them perfectly.
4. Do Try This At Home
Curtola’s main course, a richly flavored is a salt cod stew with beans and fermented cabbage, was designed to be easily reheated and enjoyed at home. Over at Mister Jiu’s, the cod in the stew will be poached in olive oil beforehand.
He hopes diners will take special note of the fermented cabbage, or kimchi, that goes into the stew. “We’re going to collaborate on how we make the preserved cabbage in our respective restaurants,” says Curtola. He credits his friend and fellow chef Sunny Lee for recently teaching him how to transform 25 pounds of ramps into ramp kimchi, and he’s taking inspiration from what she taught him and applying it here. “It’s one of those things you can buy anywhere but it’s fun to make and fun to see the depth of flavors develop over time and keep an eye on it.”
If there’s a dish on this banquet menu that would be considered a sleeper hit at The Four Horsemen, Curtola says he’d nominate the wine-poached quince dessert.
“We’ve all had poached fruit desserts before and it’s never something you go home and talk about or remember because it’s mealy or not cooked properly,” he says. But this particular one, he says, has gotten rave reviews and “is a dish that would be right on the menu at Camino where we both used to work at.”
He adds, “I’m not into fussy desserts with a ton of ingredients; if we have a poached fruit on the menu, I want it to be the best you’ve ever had — a super pure expression of whatever it’s going to be.”
Bonus: The Drink Pairings
Each banquet feast comes with some oolong tea grown in Alishan, Taiwan by way of China’s Fujian Province. Called Buddha’s Hand, this tea from San Francisco-based Song Tea & Ceramics is slowly oxidized over time and then roasted for over a week to develop a tea with notes of honey, dark chocolate, and autumn fruits. “We chose Buddha’s Hand to complement each course of the menu — rich where it needs to be, yet also light and sweet,” says Song Tea founder Peter Luong. “The tea is intended to be enjoyed throughout the meal, both to enhance the food, and to serve as a palate cleanser between each dish. And, of course, it’s the perfect companion to everyone’s favorite course — dessert.”
You also have the option to pair Jew and Curtola’s banquet feast with wines handpicked by each restaurant’s wine experts.
At The Four Horsemen, wine director and partner Justin Chearno picked an orange wine from Vivanterre, a new natural wine label founded by New York designers Rosie and Max Assoulin, sourced and blended in the Auvergne region of France by winemakers Patrick Bouju and Justine Loiseau. Their inaugural skin-contact vintage was made by combining three grapes from two different regions and Chearno says it “has notes of ginger and orange peel as well as the tea-like tannin that you can get from aging in amphora.” He adds, “When tasted with this menu, it’s a wonderful example of how orange wines are excellent gastronomical wines and possibly some of the best pairing wines out there.”
At Mister Jiu’s, director of operations Maz Naba chose a 2019 French Colombard from Monte Rio Cellars in Sebastopol, Calif. The organic and dry-farmed wine, he says, has notes of lemongrass, white tea, almonds, and green apple. “I chose this wine because of its versatility with all the dishes but especially with the ling cod stew,” Naba says. “It will balance parts of the spiced component with a very lovely melon and citrus profile. It also has enough depth to carry through the side dishes, which have seasonal elements like persimmons, gooseberries, and mandarin oranges.”