Chino Farms Celeriac at California Modern

Chino Farms Celeriac

At California Modern, we celebrate San Diego through our ever-changing menu. Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients are the heart of our kitchen. Read on as sous chef Bradley Chance shares his perspective on an outstanding new dish to try for our vegetarians out there (meat eaters, we promise you'll like this one too):

Chino Farms Celeriac

"The celeriac dish was created for our vegetarian diners around a technique and an ingredient: Baking vegetables in a salt dough and highlighting celery root. This is a technique I've used to cook basically everything from fruits and vegetables to proteins. The salt and aromatics in the dough lend themselves very well to the vegetable, keeping it moist and preserving the natural juices inside. The idea to use celeriac partly came from a dish I ate while staging at Quince in San Francisco in the fall. It was a lasagna made out of sheets of celeriac instead of pasta with truffle and parsley. It was totally vegetarian and it gave me the satisfaction of eating a real pasta dish. We wanted to recreate that experience here at California Modern in our own way."

Wine Pairing


California Modern Sommelier/General Manager Matt Strickler: "When approaching our vegetarian Celeriac dish and its potential for wine pairing, I was immediately drawn to the realm of floral white wine. Curry usually demands something from this category. One will find this to be true when scouring through wine lists in Indian and Pakistani restaurants: floral white wines with plenty of acid are typically the rulers of this roost, and for good reason.

Curry needs complimentary floral notes, acid, and even residual sugars in wines to really find a good marriage in wine pairing. In this instance I chose not to go the ubiquitous Rieslings, Gewurtraminers, or Alsatian Pinot Blancs. Rather, I looked the domestic front and found Tablas Creek’s Roussanne out of Paso Robles. Tablas Creek specializes in Rhone varietals, both white and red.

Roussane, which is typically blended with Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache blanc in white rhone blends, is rarely seen as a single varietal offering. This bottling from Tablas Creek is an excellent example of the varietal singing its own song and to great effect. The wine is floral on the nose, graceful and with a beautiful bouquet. It is just faintly sweet on the palate but with a certain gravity, a weight and complexity that shows a sophistication that begs for the correct pairing of food.

The curry in the celeriac plate offers just the correct amount of sophisticated whimsy to play with the nuance and structure of this elegant wine. Curry, Roussanne, and Celeriac: complexity, concentration and delicious interplay."

With our nightly dinner menus, we strive to provide a flavor-forward dining adventure for guests to encounter a sense of place, a sense of time and an element of surprise. Come join the conversation and dine with us a California Modern.

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