West Wing

Michael Paley's California-inspired curry egg-and-bulgur dish

Although his restaurant Metropole is in the middle of the country–Cincinnati, Ohio, to be exact–executive chef Michael Paley may have left his heart out West.

Before opening Metropole last November, where all of the food is prepared in an open fireplace, Paley staged for a few weeks at Oakland's Camino, also renowned for its wood-fired cuisine. While he was there, he was inspired by a recipe in which eggs are poached in a "tea" of sorts, as well as California restaurants' use of whole and alternative grains.

As such, Paley created a recipe at Metropole for poached eggs over bulgur pilaf (see the recipe). He cooks the eggs in a water-and-white-vinegar mixture spiked with curry leaves, garlic and parsley stems, which impart their flavor into the eggs. The bulgur pilaf, studded with scallions, roast cashews and minced shallot, is a savory underpinning for the runny-yolked eggs.

Who's California dreaming now?