Slideshow: Behind the Scenes: Lavender and Honey Duck at Eleven Madison Park

Lavender and Honey Duck
Lavender and Honey Duck
The Lavender and Honey Duck has been on the menu for years, perfected over time. It's Chef Humm's signature dish, and could be said to have played a role in getting him where he is today. In brief, it's damn good.
Alas, poor Yorick!
Alas, poor Yorick!
Chef James Kent shows us the room where the ducks get hung. Given all the fates a dead duck could have, these are in particularly good hands.
All their ducks in a row
All their ducks in a row
The ducks are hung and aged for a minimum of 10 days.
Breaking down the duck
Breaking down the duck
The ducks get beheaded and befooted.
A fine specimen
A fine specimen
That duck is ready for anything.
More duck prep
More duck prep
The ducks get tied up in twine before meeting the spice rub.
A drizzle of honey
A drizzle of honey
They're then rubbed down with a healthy coating of honey.
Lavender and spice
Lavender and spice
Once coated with honey, the duck gets sprinkled with a mixture of lavender, cumin, coriander, and Sichuan peppercorns—a spice mix that's a large part of what makes the dish so brilliant.
Well-dressed
Well-dressed
The spices lend beautiful aromas and flavors, and add textural contrast as well.
Out of the oven
Out of the oven
Check out that beautifully crisp honey- and lavender-coated skin.
Lavender garnish
Lavender garnish
A beautiful bouquet of lavender gets tied up...
A beautiful presentation
A beautiful presentation
...and politely inserted between the duck's legs.

The duck is presented to diners in its full glory before returning to the kitchen for plating.

Not your mother's tweezers
Not your mother's tweezers
Chef James Kent plating the garnishes. With tweezers, of course.
Carving the duck
Carving the duck
Chef Kent carefully carves out the breast meat...
Carving the duck
Carving the duck
...which gets sliced for plating.
A drizzle of sauce
A drizzle of sauce
The final plate
The final plate
Everything comes together so beautifully—and deliciously. That is a well-prepared duck if ever I've seen one.
Duck leg confit
Duck leg confit
The duck legs are served as a decadent foie gras-laden confit, which is buried beneath a rich potato mousseline. This bears almost no resemblance to a potato and all the resemblance to rich, creamy aerated heaven.
Frozen greek yogurt lollipops
Frozen greek yogurt lollipops
They turned out to be savory Greek yogurt pops. Well worth the detour.
De-moulding
De-moulding
Behind the epic puffs of dry ice, the pops are carefully removed from their moulds.
Greek yogurt pop
Greek yogurt pop
They're sprinkled with fried lentils...