Alta Calidad is a Mexican small-plates concept from Chef/Owner Akhtar Nawab. With his Pumpkin Blossom Quesadilla, the fan-favorite quesadilla gets a format reinterpretation.
A creamy espuma is made from California crema, Serrano chile, California queso Oaxaca and burrata. These are blended together and siphoned as a mousse that melts over the hot quesadilla. Inside, the quesadilla is filled with sautéed pumpkin blossom, onion, Serrano chile and Chihuahua cheese.
Finally, the dish is garnished with a housemade ancho-chile activated-charcoal ash, providing an earthy flavor.
“I like the fact that the tortillas are able to stay crisp and still have the luxury of the cheese in a lighter form. Spice from the chile is more pronounced, and there isn’t the layer of fat or grease on the palate,” says Nawab.
“Anytime we chefs can take a dish people know and understand and rework it into something diners haven’t seen or something that looks new, it’s usually a winner,” he says. “In this case, it’s familiar, but still seems new.”