Cafe Society

Masterpiece Delicatessen chef Justin Brunson on opening a new restaurant and his fetish for foie gras and lamb testicles

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Brunson is currently searching for a second space to stash another Masterpiece Deli, and he's also partnered with Ben Parsons, owner of the Infinite Monkey Theorem winery, to open Lechon, a restaurant right around the corner from the first Masterpiece, in 2012. Lechon, explains Brunson, will be a "loud bistro that's porky, fatty, gluttonous and, believe it or not, healthy" -- in so much as he'll make everything in-house and procure ingredients and proteins from the best sources available. "It's a restaurant inspired by all the foods I love to eat -- French, Italian, German, Thai, American and Japanese -- and we're going to use the absolute highest-quality ingredients we can find."

And just because Brunson likes to push the envelope, he also plans to serve three different foie gras preparations. "I don't care what everyone else thinks, I love foie gras," he declares unapologetically. "I want to explore food and techniques, teach and push myself to do better, and, most important, have a good time creating food that I love." In this conversation, Brunson talks about his new restaurant; his obsession with lamb testicles, pigs and the Belly Shack; and why you'll never find him toying with molecular gastronomy.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson