Chef Annie Pettry’s Wood-Fired Fare
A selection of four dishes and the wood that gives each its distinctive flavor
By Alia Akkam in the Wall Street Journal
At Decca, a buzzy restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, chef Annie Pettry employs arborist Dave “the Mountain Man” Kannapell to source wood from a variety of local trees to use in the kitchen’s wood-fired grill. Here are four dishes—and the timber that gives each its distinctive flavor.
Grilled steak with celery root and butter
Pettry cooks the steak over black cherry and oak woods because, she says, “The sweetness in the cherry and the tanginess of the oak create a sweet-and-sour effect.”
Pork belly with mussels and parsnips
Pettry uses apple wood for the pork—“a traditional pairing that doesn’t overpower the mussels,” she says.
Prepared with lemon mousseline and Calabrian chiles, Pettry’s classic dish calls for maple wood: “It’s a sweet smoke that’s a little heavier than apple or pear,” she says, “to stand up to the asparagus without overwhelming it.”
Diver scallop carpaccio
Served with pickled Asian pear, sunchoke chips and vanilla, Pettry’s scallops are cooked over pear wood—imbuing them, she says, with a “subtle, fruity smoke.”