After spending the day touring (and snacking) our way through Millstone Farm with Chef Brian Lewis of Elm Restaurant
in New Canaan, Ct (MUCH more about that later) and seeing his enthusiasm and respect for the farm, we were not at all surprised to learn that he is a nose-to-tail, root-to-tip, no-potentially-tasty-thing-goes-to-waste kind of chef. He greeted us with an amazingly beautiful and tasty canapé of circles of brioche topped with radishes and a pesto made from the radish greens, and uses the skin from the pigs that he gets from Millstone for his signature chicharrónes with bottarga di tonno. But what did surprise us was when he set down several gorgeous platters of his garden beignets, including a tray of unidentifiable gangly fried vegetables dusted with piment d’esplette, which turned out to be — leek roots. Why did we never think of that? “It’s kind of like onion rings” he explained gleefully. And he was right — once crispy and fried, the stringy roots were part onion ring, part shoestring fry and all kinds of delicious.