We feast first with our eyes, then, our sense of smell, then taste. With this foremost in mind, Chef Myisha Mastersson of Black Roux Culinary Collective carefully combs local markets in search of the freshest, brightest, most fragrant fruits for use in Garden of Eden, the gorgeous tropical fruit composition she serves as one of seven courses in “A Vegan Brunch Affair,” one of the menus currently on offer through her at-home catering service.
8 ounces plain GTs Cocoyo plant-based yogurt
1 T dark agave syrup
2 T organic turmeric powder
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Allow the mixture to sit refrigerated for 1 hour before serving
Rose Agave Syrup
1 cup dark agave syrup
2 T culinary grade dried rose petals
Heat agave in small saucepan over medium until tiny bubbles form along edges. Remove from heat and stir in rose petals. Refrigerate uncovered until cool, then cover and allow mixture to steep overnight at room temperature.
Chef recommends Yetti + The Kokonut 2021 McLaren Vale Salsa Verde from Australia. The food friendly, organic wine is made from 100% Verdelho grapes from Gemtree vineyard in McLaren Vale. The wine smells of flowers and tastes of soft peach, mango and pineapple with a hint of zesty citrus. Sold at Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits, 600 Poland Ave, 504-948-9111, bacchanalwine.com.
Chef Myisha “Maya” Mastersson leads travelers on culinary journeys where they cook the cuisines of other cultures. She hosts a monthly supper club at her home in the Marigny, conducts pop-ups around town and offers catered experiences in private homes. Black Roux Culinary Collective, 586-224-5466, blackrouxcollective.com.
Chef Mastersson first spreads a layer of Turmeric Yogurt across the interior base of a clear glass bowl. She carefully assembles a variety of fruit atop the yogurt then drizzles Rose Agave Syrup over the fruit.
Like flowers, tropical fruits flourish in warm-to-hot and humid conditions. Look for a variety of botanically diverse fruits with different colors, shapes and textures. Consider mango, papaya, red and white dragon fruit (Pitaya), kiwi, pineapple, banana, watermelon, persimmon, passionfruit, acerola cherry, starfruit, guava, lychee, coconut, acai, mangosteen, durian, pomegranate arils, cherimoya, gooseberry, mango, rambutan, avocado and raspberries.
Texture and Color
“I look for bright contrasting colors,” Mastersson said. “Avoid brown as well as things of one color. I want every composition to have elements of sweet and salty as well as crunchy. My Turmeric Yogurt has elements of umami/savory and salty. Passionfruit seeds are crunchy. Passionfruit is the only fruit that can be eaten whole, seeds and all.”
Chef Mastersson shops Whole Foods for in-season fruit, vegan yogurt and agave, Golden City and the Hong Kong Market for both in-season and out-of-season delicacies. Dried rose petals for the Rose Agave Syrup are available in Middle Eastern Markets, such as Mona’s.
Edible flowers, toasted coconut