Welcome to Dish Sketches, a new feature where Eater asks chefs for the drawings they make of their food before they cook it.
At Marble Lane, chef Manuel Trevino and his team cook a lot of steaks, chops, and big pieces of fish. Many of these dishes are fairly straightforward in terms of preparation and plating, but the chef always draws sketches for his staff as a way of communicating exactly what he wants. Here's a look at two dish sketches from Manuel:
Manuel Trevino, chef: "I have to sketch dishes when I'm talking to a sous chef about them. If I'm going to do it, I don't sketch it for myself. But I sketch it to tell them a story, and show them what I want, and I hope that they get my vision. It's my way of communicating to them and showing them my expectations, and also seeing how well they follow instructions. Then it allows me to move on and do other things.
"The bone-in filet was something that I thought was hearty, but it's also a delicate piece of meat. There's not that much marbling in it, but it has a unique kind of gamey quality to it. I wanted to complement the bone-in filet with something that was clean and fresh for the winter, so I created a room temperature salad. We always like to present a composed dish with a sauce and a garnish of some sort, so there's the chimichurri which is light and full of flavor, and it serves as a good secondary kind of dressing."
And here's the recipe sketch for a mostarada that garnishes a cheese plate at Marble Lane:
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