The Block – Novel | East Crossroads


(echoing sound) (thoughtful piano music) – I’ve always loved Kansas City. I never planned on
growing old in New York. The plan was to move out
there, learn how to cook and then bring some of
that knowledge and skill back to Kansas City
and try to elevate the culinary environment here. We opened our doors
in the East Crossroads on April 13th of 2018, so it’s been about a
year since we opened. I had always wanted
to be my own boss. I had wanted to own
my own restaurant since I started cooking
and to have that kind of creative freedom and not have
to answer to anybody else. (upbeat piano music) Novel falls under the umbrella
of New American cuisine, but the definition
of New American, I think as California
envisioned it, is not necessarily
what we do at Novel. While we respect the ingredients
and pay homage to them, we also manipulate them
in a way that I think traditionally New American
cuisine didn’t intend. (thoughtful piano music) We kind of rebranded it
as Novel American cuisine in a way that the
paradigm had shifted away from New American as a catch-all to more world influences and being more accepting of
techniques and ingredients and manipulating things, than
the pioneers I think imagined. (intense piano music) It’s a really fun environment. We get a really diverse
group of clientele. On Friday night it’s hopping. It’s just a well-oiled machine. The food’s coming out
the way we want it to and customers are happy. (whimsical music) – My desserts are
half-classic, half-modern. Kind of fuse those together. I take like a classic
dessert, add some twists, add some new flavors. I get my inspiration when
I’m out of the kitchen. So I dream about desserts a lot. Brightness is really
important in my desserts. Unexpected flavor like
passion fruit or blood orange, gives it that wow factor and something that
they can remember. When a dish comes together
I’m really excited to spread the flavors, the
impact that the flavor has. All the ingredients
kind of flow together in a beautiful way, from
the acidity to the texture, to the colors. We use a lot of local
ingredients here. We have a huge responsibility
to support local farmers. The ones who are actually
planting and growing the things that we eat. It feels good to
eat from the ground. (whimsical music) – The crispy egg is one
of our signature dishes. It’s always been served
with some kind of offcut of meat and I just thought
it was really a fun dish. Right now it’s served with
tripe and a green salsa verde. So it’s almost like a South
American menudo to sole mix but it really embodies
everything that we want to project about Novel
American cuisine. It’s technique driven. The egg is cooked three times. It’s circulated to set the yolk and then it’s poached
to set the white and then it’s breaded and
fried to make it crispy on the outside so you’ve
got the technique. It’s got the reveal when
you cut into the crispy egg. It’s got the juxtaposition
of temperature and texture, and then you’ve
got the tripe in there which is kind of an
offcut that requires a lot of manipulation and
technique to make it palatable, and then it just hits
all the other notes. You’ve got the smoky bacon
with the umami flavor. You’ve got the sour tomatillo which gives it an acidic punch. You’ve got the
vibrant green herbs, the cilantro and the basil
that give it a freshness. And then you’ve got
a little bit of heat from the jalapenos, so it really, it
really just hits all the notes in my opinion
and it’s just really creative and a a lot of fun. (whimsical music) – I see The Crossroads
as a family. We’re all growing together, and it’s growing so fast. – The Crossroads is
constantly evolving. It’s got a real unique
proprietary feel, I think. A lot of art galleries, small, independent restaurants. Art definitely
plays a big role in, in everything we do
down here in daily life, and in, in cooking, in general. That’s one of the things
that attracted me to it in the first place, I think,
is the creative freedom. When you’re putting
the food on the plate, it’s almost like you’re
starting with a blank canvas. This is gonna go
out to somebody, and they’re gonna look at
it, and the expression, you eat first with
your eyes, is apt. It really is fun, because
you get an opportunity over and over again
to create art, and then it disappears and you
have to start all over again. (thoughtful music) (echoing sound)

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