David Tanis On How To Open A Pomegranate - Exclusive

David Tanis is happiest when he's roaming the farmers' market. "Going to the market is the best time of day," he tells Tasting Table in an exclusive interview. "You can't feel bad when you're there."

At Lulu, the Los Angeles restaurant he and legendary chef Alice Waters opened last year in UCLA's Hammer Museum, his menus are ever-evolving, reflecting the seasons and the produce grown by his cadre of local regenerative farmers. "I'm [at the market] looking for what is the freshest and the most enticing," Tanis says, "seeing the vegetables, doing a little talking with the farmers, tasting things — that gets the juices going and helps you determine what you want to put on the menu."

As summer finally begins to wane in Southern California, fall and winter produce begins to make its way to the markets in Los Angeles: "Right now, pomegranates are happening, and so we're just delving into those and that's always great. It's exciting to see the winter stuff happening."

Pomegranates are notoriously difficult to get into. The sweet, crunchy seeds are protected by a hard outer rind, and if you cut into the fruit the wrong way, they can be messy and stubborn to remove.

We asked chef David Tanis for his advice on the best way to open a pomegranate and extract the delicious pomegranate seeds from inside.

How to open a Pomegranate

"It's really not hard to get the seeds out," says Tanis. People tend to overcomplicate the process, resorting to bad advice and trendy hacks found online. "You know that whole business about taking the seeds out under water, or you slap it with the back of a spoon and you get pomegranate juice everywhere?" Don't do that, he says.

The best approach to opening a pomegranate, according to Tanis, is the one he takes with all his cooking: keep it simple. "Take a paring knife and take the core out of the top," he advises. Pomegranates are sectional fruits. By cutting off the top, you expose the white sectional ribs, which gives you a guide for the next cuts you make.

"Make little slits around the outside," says Tanis. The incisions should be just deep enough to get through the outer rind, and should run from top to bottom at each rib. "That allows you to open it like a flower," he tells us. With a firm grip, gently pull open the pomegranate, exposing the tightly packed ruby-colored seeds. From there, you can use your fingertips to separate them from the rind and pith, "then pluck out the white bits" and enjoy!

Experience Chef Tanis' menu at Lulu Restaurant, located inside the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Visit their website to view the menu and book your reservation.