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Haute Dish's Chef Landon Schoenefeld Shares His Awesome Menu Sketches

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"I couldn't get this idea of pickle-brined chicken out of my head," says Haute Dish chef Landon Schoenefeld of the elaborate sketch above. "I was driving back from Aberdeen [his hometown] and trying to think of dishes they would relate to."

Two regional favorites, "Tiger Meat" and "Chislic" eventually morphed into accompaniments of chicken liverwurst and ginger snap puree on this German inspired chicken dish.

"Shit, it would have been 2008. I was dating a girl who was an artist and she gave me all these Moleskins. Of course, I lost the original one in some drunken stupor. Drunken asshole of me."

See also: Signature Dish: Haute Dish's Landon Schoenefeld

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Maybe, but not a bad illustrator. Landon Schoenefeld can add this one to his growing repertoire of talents.

Lots of chefs work out dishes on pen and paper, but he hadn't really picked up the Moleskin since childhood. "All I used to draw was the Crypt Keeper from Tales of the Crypt.

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We're glad he moved on from that ugly mug to food, glorious food.

A sampling of his five years' worth of drawings, all of which have wound up on the Haute Dish menu at one point or another in its almost five years in business:

VEGGIE PATCH

"This was my version of [French chef] Michel Bras' Gargouillu. A bunch of famous chefs did a take of it. Renee Redzepi [of best restaurant in the world fame, Noma] did one with edible soil. I wanted to try it. That drawing was the first incarnation. It was brutal because it had like 30 things on it and if it was a busy night and someone ordered like four, the garmo [cold station] guy was going down. This is an example of my being overly ambitious and then reeling it in. I'm glad we did that dish. It was fun."

LAMB

"One of my favorite drawings. A dish that sort of comes back from time to time. I was depressed in January, living with friends and they were watching TV and I was on the couch with them. I don't think I looked up once while I was drawing that. I was thinking about chef Inaki Aizpitarte of Chateubriand restaurant in Paris and his charred eggplant. Then I wanted to do like a gyro, sort of, with the tzatziki. And then pretzel spatzle. So all those things came together on that dish."

THE MOLLUSK

"This was from our Halloween menu where all the dishes were inspired by Ween songs. This was sort of like the cover art for the album. Although theirs is a little scarier. That dish made it onto the "'ween" menu." WALLEYE SCALLOPS

"We're in Minnesota so obviously we're going to put walleye on the menu and it's going to sell. But we always want to do something different with it. In this one we ground it up, poached it and cooked it like scallops. It was spring so I was also ready for green veg and spring stuff."

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