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A Nashville chef marries rutabaga with dates
Rutabaga with Date Purée

What happens when an American-born chef grows up in Brussels, develops an affinity for Italian food at Swiss hotelier school, and trains in some of New York City's top restaurants?

Naturally, he migrates to Nashville, Tennessee.

Such is the story of Philip Krajeck, whose Rolf and Daughters restaurant combines classic European technique with local produce and artisanal products that reflect the South's terroir and agricultural bounty.

There, Krajeck also enjoys experimenting with less-common ingredients, such as the oft-overlooked rutabaga. In a recipe he gave our Test Kitchen (see the recipe), the sweet but subtly bitter root vegetable is paired with a spiced date purée brightened with verjus and citrus. Krajeck recommends substituting carrots or parsnips, should rutabagas be unavailable.

No matter what the root, the dish, with its sweet, spicy and tart notes, is a flavorful journey.

Much like Krajeck's own beginnings.

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