MÄS, a dining experience that began as a pop-up in the basement of Mix, opened its own space downtown in mid-April. Co-owners Josh Dorcak and Luke VanCampen serve an ever-changing tasting menu (guests choose between a six or ten-course meal). One spring dinner included unusual ingredients like stinging nettle leaf and maple bud, as well as familiar foods in new forms, like a jellied vinegar and thinly sliced, frozen rutabaga topped with salmon roe.
Dorcak says he wants to define his own version of “Southern Oregon cuisine,” using as many locally grown ingredients as possible. He does most of the sourcing himself. “I do this huge loop through our valley and hit the farmer’s market and go on the back roads to where all the farms are; get things, go back to Ashland…and that’s when the menu starts.” Raw goat cheese comes from nearby Emigrant Lake, while white truffle is “randomly found” on the banks of the Umpqua River.
To get a taste of a meal’s visuals, follow the MÄS Instagram, a mouthwatering exhibition of thoughtful, sculptural dishes (the chefs show off their experiments and processes in the Stories).