Any lingering doubts about Ryan Ratino replacing Top Chef finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley as executive chef of Ripple will vanish with one taste of Ratino’s new prosciutto di Parma spring menu, available exclusively in Ripple’s Bar Room.
Prosciutto di Parma, also known as Parma ham, is prosciutto with protected designation of origin status with producers located around Parma, within the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. With no additives or preservatives, the drying curing process for prosciutto di Parma has been the same for more than 2,000 years.
Recently nominated for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s RAMMY Rising Star Chef award, Ratino has masterfully taken this classic Italian meat and given it star billing on five new dishes available through the end of May.
"I enjoy using prosciutto di Parma ham because of its clean flavor and prominent nutty notes. For my style of cooking it blends well without overwhelming the subtle flavors I like to weave into my dishes,” said Ratino. “As we roll into springtime, I find it is a great accompaniment to the bounty of green veggies available like peas and asparagus. For me, it is the complexity of flavor that this meat carries that allows me to utilize it across the whole menu at Ripple."
Diners will find prosciutto di Parma reduced into a savory mignonette, served atop Cranberry Creek oysters; and blended into croquettes topped with an espuma of brandade and confit garlic. Ratino has also added hand-sliced prosciutto di Parma to a burrata salad, made in-house and paired with a citrus marmalade and allium pesto. And he has used it in an elevated carbonara with coddled egg, parmesan, and sliced black truffle.
The most creative use of the prosciutto is for a sweet and salty dessert. Ratino layers 18-month prosciutto di Parma on a crushed pistachio biscuit with slices of fresh green plums and tops it with ice cream and shaved white chocolate.
While the prosciutto di Parma is clearly the lead actor in each of Ratino’s dishes, he has provided a supporting cast of delicious flavors and presents each dish beautifully.
Ripple’s prosciutto di Parma menu is available in the Bar Room each evening beginning at 5 p.m. No reservation is required.