The Secret of Success

What can turn an ordinary dish into something Extraordinary? We asked some local experts to share what makes their creations unique


(page 5 of 8)

Raw Oyster Shooter

Secret Ingredient: Grape-Flavored Pop Rocks

From: The Dinner Club Pop-Up

Matthew Baldridge likes to inject extra flavor — and fun — into his Dinner Club menus. Hour Detroit’s “Best of Detroit” Pop-up Dining Experience winner has done Spam-themed dinners (even dessert). He also introduces Michigan elements — a splash of Faygo Lemon-Lime soda in a crab dish or Better Made pork rinds to add crunch to rabbit loin. One dish involves “gasified” Pop Rocks candy. “Some people see ‘raw oyster’ and are a little freaked out,” he says. “I wanted to add something whimsical — related to getting back to childhood and trying something different. It’s fun: Rocks are popping when it comes to the table and it adds nice texture.” The oyster is finished with pickled grape, dried yuzu, champagne vinaigrette, micro herbs, and then the grape Pop Rocks (the flavor profile works with the pickled grapes; when using apple kimchi, he substitutes sour apple Pop Rocks). Baldridge scours the aisles of Docs Sweets in Clawson (a “Best of Detroit” winner) for other treats. Think cinnamon-flavored Altoids syrup on clams or crushed Lemonheads in a dessert, and you get the picture. — Steve Wilke 4coursesdinnerclub

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