Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Chef Jeremy Hansen finds menu inspiration everywhere for Inland Pacific Kitchen

Pancetta in fig broth from Inland Pacific Kitchen’s fall menu. | Photo by Young Kwak.

Inland Pacific Kitchen, 304 W. Pacific Ave., Spokane

Executive Chef Jeremy L. Hansen
Instagram: @inland_pacific_kitchen

About the chef: Jeremy Hansen and his wife, Kate, opened their first of several Spokane restaurants back in 2008; Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall. In the time since, the Hansens have also opened the Butcher Bar inside Santé, Common Crumb Artisan Bakery and Biscuit Wizard in Saranac Commons, Hogwash Whiskey Den and the experimental, upscale small-plates restaurant Inland Pacific Kitchen. Hansen was a 2015 semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, among other accolades. In January of this year, the chef and a team of local cooks traveled to Puerto Rico to cook for citizens displaced by Hurricane Maria, a trip that inspired the founding of “culinary first responder” nonprofit, 509 Cooks.

When it comes to crafting menus for Inland Pacific Kitchen, which serves rotating, often-themed and seasonal menus, Hansen finds inspiration everywhere.

“Whether it’s random or themed [menus], there are a few things I think about. Balance is number one — balance in textures and flavors are my key things. Everything has to make sense. At the end of the day, I think about all of those things when I’m putting a dish together, but every dish is sparked through some kind of inspiration from anything, really.”

Featured dish: Pancetta in fig broth, $15 (available through October)

The pancetta is served atop a bed of purple fingerling potatoes and baby carrots, which raise the spiral of fatty pork above a pool of rich fig consommé. The pancetta is topped with a dollop of bacon fig jam seasoned with black garlic, and small wedges of bright yellow-and-green striped tiger figs. The dish is garnished with green okra sprouts, ice plant leaves and droplets of fig puree.

Continue reading