Derrick de Jesus, the San Gabriel Valley local who worked beside Ari Taymor as chef de cuisine at both Alma and Salute, is breaking out into his own pop-up at Echo Park's City Sip this month. Under the name "MSG," de Jesus will feature a menu of American fare with an Asian angle, cooking eight to ten dollar vegetable and seafood-based small plates while backed by a soundtrack of mid-nineties hip-hop. De Jesus' resume includes a stint with Patina, a stage at Mexico City's Pujol, and competed in the Coupe du Monde de La Patissiere in 2007.
The chef kicks MSG off on January 21 and will cook at City Sip every other Monday. De Jesus tells Grub Street, "The goal for me personally is to be able to combine techniques I've learned in fine dining with the flavors I grew up with in the 626, its definitely not Asian cuisine but there will be some hints of it in flavors, ingredients or even an overall sensibility."
There's no set end date just yet, but he'll be leaving L.A. this fall on a European excursion to cook at In De Wulf in Belgium and Relae in Copenhagen. If you want to catch de Jesus before then, make dinner reservations at MSG over email. See the chef's sample menu below.
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Carrots, berbere, whipped tofu
Smoked potato, mustards, seaweed, salsa verde
Beets, hibiscus, hoisin, buttermilk
Peas, horseradish,shoots, radish,
Jidori chicken, onsen egg, heirloom rice, alliums
Caramelized white chocolate, citrus, jasmine