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How Stuart Brioza Built a Restaurant Around Fried Quail

The deep fried bird takes three days to make

At San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions, chef and owner Stuart Brioza built the entire menu around a dish of fried quail. The decision isn’t too surprising if one reads into the name of the restaurant.

Brioza knew he wanted the California state bird, a quail, to be at the center of the menu. But he says the restaurant's name, originally “State Bird with Provisions,” was initially just a placeholder. It ended up sticking, modified only a little.

The Michelin-starred restaurant has been open in San Francisco for 10 years, and the fried quail has been the signature dish all the while. It’s gone through different iterations during that time. Most notably, it started off as almost completely boneless, but Brioza has opted for a bone-in version of the dish in recent years.

“Our protocol on the quail is tight,” says Brioza. “There are no gray area moves on this.”

The preparation for the dish begins a few days before Brioza and his team plate the deep-fried bird over stewed onions and garnish it with a generous amount of parmesan cheese and chives.

Watch the full video to see the full, three-day process for making the legendary fried quail.

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