This is one staircase we’d gladly climb twice a day.
KAREN HOCHMAN is editorial director of THE NIBBLE™.
Jade Glass Caviar Staircase
The Ultimate Serving Piece for Caviar
We first had Chef Rick Tramonto’s “caviar plate” assortment when he was executive chef at a suburban Chicago restaurant. He took infused, colored caviars like the ones at the left, daubed them like paint on a lucite artists palette, and served them as a first course. It was one of those never-to-be-forgotten dishes.
Fast-forward ten years: Chef Tramonto is now chef and co-owner of his own culinary Mecca off glamorous Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. Seeking to give diners an even more memorable experience, he invents the Caviar Staircase: a functional sculpture made of fused and carved 3/4" Jade Glass with polished edges. He calls it an “elegant serving piece,” but you could put it on a side table in the living room and few people would say, “Hey, it’s a serving piece.” They might joke that you could put M&Ms in the recesses of your sculpture. Light reflecting through it provides a dazzling array of light and color; and in the evening, the caviar takes over to do the same.
Starting at the bottom and ascending the staircase at the left, are wasabi-infused whitefish roe, trout roe, bowfin caviar, ginger infused whitefish roe, Israeli sturgeon caviar, beet-saffron-infused whitefish roe, American sturgeon caviar, and salmon roe. Each “step” has a recessed well to contain the caviar. One staircase makes a great tidy course for two, or an appetizer for four.
If eight caviars are too much, select four and use the other four wells for garniture: chopped red onion, capers, chopped hard-boiled egg yolk and egg white, as shown at the right. (That’s Rick Tramonto’s signature engraved into the jade glass.)
If you think you can’t possibly consume enough caviar in the course of the year to justify owning one, think again: You also can use the staircase for petit fours. If you’re a chocoholic, think of it as a chocolate portion control device—set out your pieces for the evening: you can only eat eight.
Since the first time we saw the Caviar Staircase, we have wanted one. It is only our living circumstances, in a small Manhattan apartment with no space for a table and only five closets for all of our earthly possessions, that has limited our ability to do so. But for the non-spaced challenged caviar aficionado, it will bring a lifetime of joy—and heirs who will fight over it for generations to come.
If you know caviar lovers who have everything—here’s one thing you probably can surprise them with. If you want to “try it before you buy it,” Chicago’s restaurant Tru is open for dinner Monday through Saturday: 1.312.202.0001, TruRestaurant.com.
To go with your Caviar Staircase, click here for our article on infused whitefish roes. For more articles on caviar including recipes, visit our Caviar & Roe Section.
Carved Glass Staircase
- Jade Glass Staircase
8 Jade Glass Steps For Caviar
10"W x 8"D x 7"H
Shipping & Handling: $19.00
To purchase, telephone Eileen at 1.847.932.3657, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
Click here to e-mail your order. (please specify in your email your contact information & quantity desired)
ChefTramonto.com (the staircase is in the Presentations & Techniques section)
Shipping and taxes additional. Price and item availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.