It took Chicago chef Curtis Duffy seven years to bring his signature sashimi dish to fruition.
At his restaurant Grace, which opened last Decemeber, sashimi is served in a delicate ginger-flavored cup made entirely of ice. It's this precise element of the dish which took so long to materialize.
Duffy, who trained at Alinea, conceived his vision years ago but had trouble finding the perfect mold that could hold up to the dish. What he really needed was a silicone mold with a PVC pipe sticking out. The ice couldn't be too thin or too thick, in order to prevent melting or the watering down of the dish.
''I didn't have anybody to build it. I had the idea. I just didn't have the means to get it constructed and the financials to make it happen,'' he told Co.Design.
Duffy got lucky when he met Michael Joy, a local who specializes in silicone molds. About six months before opening his restaurant they began experimenting. It took numerous prototypes to get it right but now you can finally taste the fruits of their labor at Grace.