Page 111 - December2018
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Little Donkey Takes Diners On Culinary Journey
Little donkey’s use of unique and even odd ingredients is not for the faint of heart but offers indulgence for bold patrons.
targets food enthusiasts. “Our demographic is simply people that enjoy food and  nd food interesting and fun,” says Drew Grosse, chef de cuisine. “Our ever-changing menu provides guests the opportunity to sample food from all over the world.”
Indeed, the restaurant provides a perfect stage for chefs to try any and all combina- tions of  avors, ingredients and techniques. “Every chef likes to have a restaurant where they can cook whatever the hell they want to cook any time they want to cook it, and this gives us that freedom,” says Ken Oringer
Little Donkey’s small plates heavily empha- size produce. “Without produce, you don’t really have a menu,” says Grosse. “Produce is every- where on the menu, literally every item has some type of fruit or vegetable component to it.”
 e restaurant spends at least $400 to $500 per day on produce and sources from a wide variety of purveyors. “We go to a farm- er’s market whenever we can,” says Grosse.
“We talk to our produce companies to  nd out where the best local stu  is from.  is summer, for example, Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon, MA, had great appeal.”
Produce wholesalers also provide signif- icant value for the restaurant, which uses Specialty Produce (Boston, MA) and Baldor (Boston, MA) almost exclusively, as well as Sid Wainer (New Bedford, MA). “Sourcing from wholesalers allows everyone to make money,” says Grosse. “ ey have the buying power to get bulk items at great prices.”
 e operation’s focus in sourcing revolves around seasonality and taste. “Sometimes people jump on the bandwagon of certain items, even when they are not at their full potential,” says Grosse. “I like to wait until the absolute best times to use the items.”
 e  exibility and format of the restau- rant also allows for a great deal of experimen- tation in  avors and ingredients. Grosse notes a few examples. “We use fun citrus fruits like Buddha’s hand, fresh yuzu and jackfruit,” he says.
Beard Award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and
Jamie Bissonnette, the restaurant focuses on small plates of globally inspired dishes, comfort and street foods.
 e 100-seat, bustling open space oozes an industrial feel with its exposed ductwork. Little Donkey attracts a wide demographic, especially given its Cambridge location, and
y Jodean Robbins
alking into dimly lit Little Donkey is a foray into an unknown and exotic culinary experience. Owned and operated by renowned James

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