Michel Nischan -- Westport, CT
Chef Michel Nischan spends much of his time promoting local food systems and preparing heritage recipes at his restaurant. He gets twitchy when wintered-over parsnips arrive. “It’s a perennial root in northern regions,” says Michel, “and when properly tended, survives the winter, so that you can dig it up in the spring when fresh greens begin to appear on the tops. This root benefits from blanching and then roasting to bring out its sweetness. When it’s pureed, the texture is similar to very smooth apple butter.” Paired with chervil (a mild herb with hints of licorice) and nutty sea scallops, the flavors are a perfect match of earth and water, as well as a sublime restorative meal.