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Market Watch: Putting the Finishing Touches on Eddie Lau's Menu @ The Summit

I shopped the market recently with Eddie Lau, whose latest project, The Summit, is only a week or so away from opening its doors in the Valencia Street space that once housed the New College of California. As opening day approaches Eddie, who has cooked at both Orson and Poleng Lounge, is putting the finishing touches on his menu, which he tells me is modeled after a modern brasserie. He plans to source most of the ingredients for The Summit directly from local farms like Dirty Girl Produce, County Line Harvest and Full Belly.

The café will serve Blue Bottle coffee and pastries in the morning and then switch to a lunch and dinner service as the day progresses. Lau envisions The Summit’s menu to be high concept modern fare at a “democratic” price point; the menu will also feature what Lau describes as, “playfully executed hearty, primal meat dishes.” For the dessert portion of the menu The Summit will rotate pastry chefs every three months beginning with Gabriel Mitchell the mastermind behind Maison Mitchell, an online pastry shop, and the former pastry chef at Zinnia.

Eddie’s passion for food is evident on his blog, the playfully-titled Hot Food Porn, which he started in January 2009 as a way to expound on his latest food obsessions and document everything from his culinary adventures to recipes he is testing and developing. Lately the blog has been focused  on the experience of opening a restaurant in a custom-built space. The restaurant’s interior, created by Kanbayashi Designs, highlights the beauty of the open floor plan and features a communal table and bar made with walnut from the Sacramento area. It’s a sleek and modern space that will compliment Eddie’s menu nicely.

In addition to deliveries from local farms, Eddie also plans to visit the farmers market weekly for ingredients and inspiration. He believes that shopping at the market is essential because it allows him more control over ripeness and flavor in the fruits, herbs and other specialty items he will be using. Here’s what Eddie was hunting for this past week:

•    Plums from Hamada Farms
•    Cantaloupe from Madison Growers
•    Blackberries from Glashoff farm
•    Fresh herbs from White Crane Springs Ranch