Los Angeles—Today, BLASPHEMY, the only Beverly Hills-adjacent farm-to-table bistrattoria to garner notices from LA Monthly Magazine (“This new blissfully fauxhemian eatery is so, so wrong!”), announces its new seasonal summer menu, leading with chef-owner and television’s Kick-Ass Cook winner Mordecai McGillicuddy’s public debut of his secret recipe “Bacon-Schmaltz.”
Sourced from locally raised Jidori chickens cooked no more than 24 hours after their accidental deaths on dirt roads, Blasphemy’s schmaltz is more than just old-school fowl fat. McGillicuddy, the son of a loving Jewish mother and Irish father, both busy ACLU lawyers, grew up in the working-class cultural hotbed of Great Neck, Long Island, where he often had to create after-school snacks out of takeout leftovers.
“One day, when I was 15, I was reheating a store-bought BLT and my grandmother’s chicken soup, when the bacon literally slipped out from between the two pieces of bread and landed in my bowl,” says McGillicuddy, 23, who sports a tastemaking tattoo of a Jewish star braided around a four-leaf clover on the front of his neck. “The memory of this event stayed with me, and then, last year, when I was training freshmen at the Culinary Institute of America, I found myself very stoned one night and wanting to sous-vide artisanally produced bacon in high-grade duck fat. That’s when I realized I had something. Only it could not be so pretentious. It had to have a real cultural grounding, because I just can’t stand people making more out of food preparations than what they are. Anyway, I substituted a version of my grandma’s schmaltz (or ‘chicken renderings’) for the upscale duck fat, and I had an instant classic on my hands!”
Served alongside tamarind-pickled rhubarb cigarettes and nanogreens on a thin slab of recycled local asphalt from Melrose Avenue, Blasphemy’s Bacon-Schmaltz ($39) comes paired with a Manischewitz-Guinness smoothie served in a shot glass, and any one of the day’s special desserts, which can range from sweet cotton candy knishes ($12) to Nutella-glazed smoked salmon sausages on car-bomb-shaken Dublin crème ($16). Other items sure to be hits make their debuts on this summer’s menu, and will be served on the restaurant’s Iran-imported sand-patio alongside a three-person cold-plunge pool. These exciting dishes include: line-caught gefilte fish tacos direct from Ensenada, Mexico ($29), grass-fed corned-beef-and-cabbage quesadillas with a marijuana microsalad ($36), and boiled cow’s heart-and-brie sliders served on homemade rye bread with chopped wild quail liver and vintage 1972 Heinz ketchup.
“I’m not just extremely proud of this summer’s specials,” adds McGillicuddy. “I know that if they had met and been able to fly on lie-flat business class seats to LAX, my potato-farming great-grandfather from Ireland and Cossack-ravished great-grandmother from Lithuania would have loved this food in any season. And that’s who I’m cooking for: The real people who survived The Tough Stuff and still managed to be able to make me and Blasphemy happen.”
BLASPHEMY is located in the heart of Los Angeles, California. Complimentary valet parking for grapeseed-oil-run Mercedes biodiesel sedans.
Adam Baer is a writer in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and GQ, among other publications.