On the Menu
THE MUSHROOM TART
Photos by Nate Burrows
It takes a village to create the wistful mushroom tart at Cultura—and every bite delivers a layered complexity of flavors that reflect the many efforts of local farmers and chefs.
The central feature of the tart is, of course, the earthy goodness of mushrooms. The dish uses a duxelles of lion’s mane mushrooms grown in-house from substrate provided by Black Trumpet Farm in Leicester, as well as aromatics from nearby Gaining Ground Farm. Meanwhile, a mushroom confit uses oyster mushrooms, also grown inhouse, and a soubise sauce is made with green onions and rosemary.
Goat cheese, sourced from Spinning Spider Creamery and Three Graces Dairy, lends that cheese’s sophisticated flavors, and the dish is then topped with pickled spring onions from Old North Farm in Shelby, watercress from Lee’s One Fortunate Farm in Marion, summer truffles and fried pineapple sage from Cultura’s own garden.
The result is an elevated dish with a savory, complex umami, balanced with a sweet acidity. “It’s filling,” says Executive Chef Eric Morris, “and there is a connection to the food in that it’s 99% sourced locally.”
Even the dish’s conception was a group effort, with Cultura sous chefs Daniel Ryder and Brooke Adams, and pastry chef Michael Branch, all playing a unique role in the creation of various components. It’s made to order and warmed in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.
“The dish represents our philosophy and approach to most of our menu at Cultura,” Morris says. “It surpasses anything one of us could produce on our own.”
The central feature of the tart is the earthy goodness of mushrooms.