David Burke's Primehouse chef Rick Gresh is the sort of guy who likes to get a little badass with his food, but even we were a little stunned by the revelation that he has developed an edible bacon-fat candle — this is something that quite possibly puts
all those other bacon-related products to shame. The concept made its media debut today in the New York Times (Gresh is currently in New York for a series of dinners at Fishtail, another David Burke restaurant), where Florence Fabricant noted that a drizzle of the candle fat "ramped up the flavor just a bit" on some miso-glazed scallops. We had to find out more.
The bacon-fat candle grew simultaneously out of an excess of bacon fat in the kitchen, and a little bit of a desire to freak out his diners, Gresh told us when we got in touch. He first put it into play at his summer series of Green City Market-driven dinners, when he wanted to use a little bit of bacon fat in a particular dish. "I ended up making a candle that sat on the table," Gresh explained. "It was also a little bit of a joke, a scare tactic if you will, because [as a diner] you don't think about the candle. It' s just part of the ambiance. So I come out and I reach across the table and grab the candle and pour what looks like wax on the food and people were just like 'what are you doing?!' "
But the fun doesn't stop there: "We also do a dry-aged beef fat candle," Gresh told us. "But that's not quite as popular. I'm playing now with the next generation — putting vinegar jellies in so it pours out as a vinaigrette." That game-changing concotion will debut on the Primehouse menu next week: keep an eye out for what Gresh describes as "spinach salad with burning bacon candle vinaigrette." Though if you'd rather take the fun home with you, Primehouse is selling bacon-fat candles for $5 a pop.
It’s a Candle! It’s a Sauceboat! [Diner's Journal/NYT]