Restaurant Review: The Cockentrice

posted on May 18, 2015 at 11:16 am

Erik Meadows

Have you ever met someone who oozes creativity; a person who, if not creating, wouldn’t be living a full life? That’s how chef Kevin Ouzts comes across when you talk to him and eat his food. Asking him to explain how he prepares one dish yields a lengthy response with a seemingly endless list of ingredients and techniques. He has the kind of wide-eyed optimism, intense desire to serve, and endless imagination a chef needs to succeed. But he needs to learn to achieve more balance at his new restaurant, the Cockentrice, to become the great chef he aspires to be.

The Cockentrice is like a meat-themed amusement park. Everything is big and bold, as fun diversions from everyday life are meant to be. You come to the Cockentrice for spectacular rides through landscapes made almost entirely of meat. Whether it’s a spin around the charcuterie menu or a brush with intrigue like the blue cheese-cured rib-eye and edible “rocks,” dining here is all about thrills.

Ouzts has one foot firmly planted in modernist technique and the other in medieval meat cookery, hence the restaurant’s name. A cockentrice is a dish of spliced animals such as the front end of a pig sewn to the bottom half of a capon or turkey. Ouzts says he found inspiration in the spirit used to create such an oddity, which was a response to the nobility of the day asking cooks to entertain them.

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