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Heads Up

Mai Pham | May 3, 2017 | Feature Features

Step aside kale, there's a new healthy veggie in town, and it's taking local kitchens by storm.
Tempura cauliflower with kimchee hot sauce at Riel.t

Touted as the the low-carb, low-calorie answer to everything from rice to pasta to mashed potatoes, cauliflower has become the gluten-free and Paleo dieter’s vegetal darling du jour. Want in on the trend? Try one of these three chef-driven takes on the cruciferous crop.

For chef Ryan Lachaine, the opening menu at new Riel (1927 Fairview St., 832.831.9109) in Montrose—the first that he would develop as chef and owner—was a personal one. There were dishes he drew from his Ukrainian heritage and others influenced by his Canadian upbringing. His tempura cauliflower with kimchee hot sauce was inspired by something much simpler. “I wanted to do something kind of like chicken wings,” says Lachaine. Only he didn’t want to use chicken. That’s where cauliflower came in. Not only was it versatile, but it was also something he could easily get from local farmers. So he brined it, fried it in tempura batter and drizzled it with the kimchee hot sauce. Fans have been going nuts over it ever since.


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