Perfect Dinner Chef John Lane likes to makes red, white and blue foods in honor of Memorial Day. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:03PM
When the American flag flies proudly on days like Memorial Day, Chef John Lane weaves the nation’s favorite color combination into many of the foods he makes.
For his Memorial Day weekend menu at The Perfect Dinner in Oak Park, Lane will make plenty of pies and tarts colored by fresh red raspberries, blueberries and white cream cheese mousse. But he’ll also make something more out of the ordinary for the special day: red, white and blue pulled barbecue pork sandwiches.
“Memorial Day is a super American holiday,” Lane said. “Hard-working people are given a chance to relax and enjoy family, friends, great food and this wonderful country in which we live. It’s absolutely very important to acknowledge the day by making special foods.”
Blueberries bring the blue to Lane’s pork sandwiches. He makes a sauce out of fresh blueberries to drizzle on top of the pork. “While the sauce adds a nice tang to the pork, the natural sweetness of the fruit also clashes very well with the flavor of the barbecue sauce,” Lane said.
He tops the red-colored pork meat with white-colored, blue cheese coleslaw. “The creaminess of the blue cheese with the crunch of the coleslaw is delicious,” he said.
For a red, white and blue dessert, Lane makes fresh berry pies and tarts. The Perfect Dinner, which offers prepared meals for carry-out and recently added catering meals, gets berries from Scotch Hill Farm in Brodhead, Wis.
“The berries are very fresh, hand-picked and taste much better than store-bought,” Lane said.
Memorial Day was inspired by the aftermath of the American Civil War. Communities across the United States had annually been honoring fallen Civil War soldiers since the war ended. One of those towns, Waterloo, N.Y., is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day.