“So, it’s basically a Jell-O shot,” says Yoon of the dish, barely suppressing a laugh.
“It’s an interpretation of a mint julep buried inside a bar of soap,” continues the chef, who is behind the lauded restaurants Father’s Office and Lukshon.
As his pastry chef Megan Potthoff slices the bar in two, the dish begins to materialize: Bourbon-flavored gelatin with crème de menthe-infused tapioca pearls tucked into silky mint-flavored mousse and set in a soap mold, surrounded by sweetened mint tea “lather” — what may be the fanciest, most unexpected gelatin dessert in the city.
Yoon, whose Lukshon is currently No. 4 on Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants List, may be the last person you’d expect to consider putting gelatin on his menu. But the chef is intently philosophical when it comes to food and challenging expectations.
“In the end we want you to say, ‘Oh wow, this tastes like a mint julep.’ But rather than go the direct route, we want to take you on a little ride.”
When was the last time you had fun with Jell-O or gelatin dishes? Once a wildly colorful rite of childhood, gelatin all-too-often gets a bad rap as we transition to adulthood. Once the stuff of cafeteria lunches and pool parties, we now associate it more with hospital food.