Moules Frites Stew / Boston Buzz
Last year perennial JBF Award nominee Matt Jennings made headlines and broke hearts in Providence when he decamped for Boston to open Townsman, one of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings of 2015. At his recent Beard House dinner, I was finally able to see why he’s earned a cult-like following throughout New England and beyond. One evening's highlights was Jennings’s take on the classic European dish, moules frites. A bit like the long-lost cousin of New England clam chowder, this iteration had a silky, rich base anchored by end-of-season corn, leeks, and smoky chipotle peppers. Tender Bangs Island mussels and creamy cubes of potatoes were dotted throughout, representing the creatively deconstructed ingredients the classic version is known for. Flavor-packed, heartwarming, and innovative, this dish was just what we'd expect from the esteemed chef. We're giving you fair warning: with just one bite you may very well become part of the Matt Jennings following.
Want to give this dish a whirl at home? Get the recipe.
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Hilary Deutsch is editorial assistant at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.