by Steven Doyle
If you have followed the history of the seriously talented chef Misti Norris you will understand that this chef understand flavor. And when we get to the crux of what chefs do is create and layer flavors to delight our ever yearning palates. This was the experience Monday where Norris was featured at Top Knot at one of their monthly UnCommon Ramen sessions which began in 2015 as a limited-run guest chef pop-up where a portion of the ramen price benefits No Kid Hungry.
The 2017 series has seen a varied roster of guest chefs, from Top Knot’s own Founder and Owner, Chef Tyson Cole, to BBQ legend Aaron Franklin. Norris’ appearance kicks off the UnCommon Ramen Spring series.
Norris created one of the most unique bowls of flavor I have experienced in this series thus far and titled Catch and Chick Ramen. Her ramen broth was a complex smoked chicken with Fish Tare, Gulf Bacalao, Sour Fennel, Octopus Caramel, and a Chicken Brined Egg. Rich and packed with distinct piquancy.
The Top Knot guest chefs are also responsible for a Jap Dog which this week was made up of a Chicken Allium Sausage, Broccoli Raab, Katsuobushi Mayo, Mojo Picon and Wakame.
For those at home needing help with a few of these ingredients, Katsuobushi is a dried, fermented and smoked tuna that you might more easily recognize as bonito flakes, but the Katsuobushi is much higher in quality. Wakame is an edible seaweed, and Mojo Picon is a spicy sauce made of olive oil, and a variety of spices including peppers, garlic and cumin. We may never know what sort of mad scientific concoction Norris used mainly because she was too busy throwing down ramen to be asked.
We were one of the many that waved to her behind the pass and received back a bright smile. The restaurant was jammed with familiar faces and top chefs from around the city all eagerly waiting to slurp on the Norris noodle.