“It’s such a delicate, pretty flower,” says Executive Chef Norman Fenton, “one that can be used in many ways. I really like its unique sweetness with its flavor of anise.”
Usually, Chef Norman and his team use Sweet Alyssum in caviar dishes.
“Sweet Alyssum comes to us from the farm in shades of white or purple,” he adds, and we put the flowers on top of the caviar. The sweetness balances out the brininess and saltiness of the caviar without needing to use sugar. Plus the colors really pop out on the caviar's black surface as it accentuates the dish.”
Although Chef Norman mostly uses Sweet Alyssum with caviar, he also notes its versatility. “This pretty little flower can be used in so many ways,” he says, “such as with lamb and game meats, even tomato salads.”
Although the flowers can be used in their whole form, he separates the blooms from the leaves and stems. “The leaves and stems add a different texture than the softer flowers,” he explains, “I love how they’re smooth and easy to chew. This is really a versatile ingredient that we plug and play with as needed in our refined tasting menu.”
More About Chef Norman
He began his culinary career at a fry station when he was fifteen years old, becoming Schwa’s Chef du Cuisine where he received a Michelin star. He recently toured Mexico where he stopped to check out local cuisine, and then incorporated those mixtures of flavors in his own dishes.
Chefs: ask your product specialist about adding Sweet Alyssum to your next order!