Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Japanese paella? A mind meld of Garces and Zama

What do you get when you meld the brains of chefs Jose Garces and Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka?

Japanese paella? A mind meld of Garces and Zama

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Chefs Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka (left) and Jose Garces with Garces Chirashi, a Japanese paella.
Chefs Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka (left) and Jose Garces with Garces Chirashi, a Japanese paella.

What do you get when you meld the brains of chefs Jose Garces and Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka?

How about Garces Chirashi, a Japanese paella, served at Zama, 128 S. 19th St., just off Rittenhouse Square.

It's a charity dish, on Zama's dinner menu for a limited time. Since 2010, when he asked then-Eagles tackle Winston Justice to design his “Justice For All Roll” to benefit Variety, The Children’s Charity, Tanaka has raised more than $10,000 with his celeb-collab dishes. Among his partners: Marc Vetri, Michael Solomonov, Pierre Calmels, ?uestlove, Bernie Parent, Ryan Madson, and Tony Luke.

Chirashi ("scattered" in Japanese) is fish scattered onto sushi rice; typically, chirashi is served as a lunch item in a bento box. The Garces version includes  head-on Madagascar shrimp, diver scallops, Spanish baby octopus, hamachi sashimi, madai sashimi, Kurobuta pork sausage, edamame, avocado, mixed Japanese fresh herbs (Kaiware sprouts, mitsuba leaf, myoga), espelette pepper aioli and saffron sushi rice. The scallop, shrimp and octopus are grilled to rare and the shrimp head is fried crisp and served in the center of the dish. Expelette pepper aioli is drizzled over the dish, which is served in a bowl.

Those who order the Garces Chirashi at Zama ($25) will send $1 per dish to the Garces Family Foundation, which promotes health, education and well-being among Philadelphia’s underserved immigrant population. 

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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of philly.com/Food, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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