7.21.2014

Feels Sumptn' Like Summertime...

Warmth...vibrancy...inviting...sensual...alive...these are but a few descriptors that one could potentially conjure up in their mind about the flavors, tastes and ingredients of summer. I can think of a few more, but perhaps best to leave those in my thoughts as they might be perceived as a little risqué..., probably because they are. Cooking in the summer is definitely an amazing time of year to explore the world of tastes and flavors. I do love it. It is a fraction of hair right behind fall for me, but if hard pressed and persuaded, I might give in. Summer is in full force here in the Northwest, and yet we still have yet to see some of the great ingredients...in time, my friends, in time. Until then, we will cook and explore the journey that lie ahead with what we have at hand, albeit, fresh from the farmer himself. As a cook, you get by with what you have and make it stellar. Start with the best and let it shine and you end up with greatness. Start with shit and you end up with shit. Plain as that. Here are a handful of dishes that were inspired by summer, tasty fresh ingredients, good peeps on our team of cuisiniers, fun, friendly guests and the thought of cooking for special people. Giving of oneself is one of the best gifts god can give you and that you can give to others. I have always tried to do that. Mom would be proud of at least that. More to follow as we cook our way through the season...until then.
watermelon-peach terrine, peach pearls, watermelon parisienne, dungeness crab
frozen fennel yogurt, sriracha aioli, chive blossoms, micro arugula, crispy potato
bergamot dressing

hibiscus & togarashi crusted local albacore tuna, baby tomatoes, arugula
spicy clam salad, peaches, gazpacho vinaigrette, lemon balm

seared foie gras "crisp", peppered cherries, apricots
toasted brioche, almond-cacao nib crumble, natural jus

brined & smoked halibut, corn, house bacon, pickled shallots
crab-pea hummus stuffed squash blossoms, spanish olive oil, nasturtium sauce

apricot tartare, grains of paradise, plum sorbet, catmint flowers
frozen olive oil, apricot water boisson, whipped tayberry

slow braised veal cheek, carrot ravioli, morels, truffles, garlic scapes
glazed thumbelina carrots, fennel mustard jus, crispy potato angel hair

rustic platter of sous vide lamb rubbed with vadouvan curry, spiced duck breast
charred rosemary aioli, fava beans, roasted cauliflower, porcini mushrooms
crisp salsify, pine bud-argan oil drizzle

 


carrot -walnut cake, grated macadamia nuts, mascarpone mousse
lemon posset, apricot, cherry pearls, rainier cherries, rhubarb sorbet
salted caramel ganache tart, chocolate feuillatine, plums
smoked wood ice cream-cornmeal cookie sandwich

7.13.2014

More Than You Know...

There is always so much new to learn~learn about life, learn about yourself and learn more about what you do in and of your work, and most importantly how you can help others. There is always more to experience in your walk that furthers your identity who you are as a person and perhaps why you were put here on this earth. For me, I sometimes wonder. More than you know. You make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Maybe you get a second chance at life's greatest treasures...maybe not. There is always so much more to learn in terms of ideas, thoughts, passions, desires and things to be shared with those you love and who mean the most to you. Life for me these days are but a handful of ukulele songs...soft spoken, gentle, full of pain and huge ass regrets. Forgiveness of myself is not an option. Oh well...that is life. You get what you deserve right?... and hopefully...God will only give you what you can handle...or so I've been told. I will seek happiness in all that I do. We will see. Enough of that shit tho...My passion is my cooking. My love are my two sons and a special woman in my life named Debby. More than you know mouse. And, my work is that of a chef...I learn more and more every day about all of them. I always try to please. To help. To inspire and to share. My inspirations are challenged but I keep forging ahead, searching for clarity with much hope and faith. My strong sense of belief along with that hope and faith is what keeps me going. The ideas of my dishes thankfully come from somewhere deep and I always hope they please those that I and those on my team are cooking for. These dishes are but a handful of inspirations based on summer flavors, local and regional ingredients, fun combinations and tastes that are both fun to cook and fun to eat. They are inspirations that are based on the folks who are dining, the cooks who are cooking, the farmers, fishermen and foragers who brought us the wonderful foodstuffs and again...the one I love...more than you know. Enter into these dishes with an open mind...and enjoy the journey of taste, texture and flavor, for it is my world...more than you know...
 
dungeness crab & plum salad, preserved ginger, cured lemons, green harissa
cucumber-radish salad, micro arugula, elderflower-champagne-yuzu sabayon

seared scallop, carrot ravioli, heirloom tomato-peach relish
walnuts, beet vinaigrette, pea blossoms

pan roasted sea scallop, warm duck salad, tayberries
pickled gold beets, beet paint, maple-bourbon gel, walnut rappe

english pea hummus stuffed zucchini blossom, carrot-mascarpone ravioli
morels, truffles, truffle nage

grilled atlantic bluefish, tomato stuffed squash blossoms, morels
corn risotto, house bacon, nasturtium sauce and petals

hibiscus-orange marinated bluefish, orange oil braised purple potatoes
baby heirloom tomatoes, snap peas, nasturtium sauce and petals, celery root

watermelon pave, rhubarb gelee, yellow plum sorbet
orange oil-fennel pollen-grains of paradise brushing, tomato water boisson

roasted duck breast, baby turnips, porcini mushrooms, pearl onions, cherries
truffle nage, truffle potatoes

slow braised veal cheek, smoked cous cous, corn, bacon
garlic scapes, caramelized garlic, chive blossoms, fennel mustard jus

lemon posset, raspberries, rhubarb sorbet, caramel crisp
almond financier, marionberries, strawberry-hibiscus coulis, olive oil emulsion
spruce tip ice cream

Scharffenberger dark chocolate coulant
praline ice cream sandwiches, fruits of the moment, sorbets
apricot brulee, minted milkshake

chocolate dove bars, lemon puddingcake pops, linzer ice cream sandwiches
hazelnut macaron, bacon, tayberry-basil pates de fruits
lemon verbena white chocolates, salted caramels

6.30.2014

Love Me Some...

anything and everything au chocolat...those that know me, know that chocolate is my favorite food, and specifically, dark, bittersweet chocolate. Valrhona, to be exact, but I also love me some Scharffenberger, Pralus and Claudio Corallo as well. I can not get enough of it at times. And like those other addictions in my life~ both new and old...I indulge in proper fashion. That's my Leo behavior. When I go out to dine, I will most always order the chocolate dessert, even if I am too full and/or not hungry enough to eat it. I just want to see it...smell it...touch it...taste it! At the end of a uber cool, awesome intimate dining experience, the chocolate sets the tone...it is the climax to a special meal...it is nirvana. Here is a chocolate dish that came to be at the end of such an experience...one that I was cooking, rather than eating...at least I was able to taste it at the end...like sex on a plate!

coffee-chocolate cremeux, chocolate sablee, chocolate paint, pears, coffee soil,
chocolate-malt crumble, caramel, cinnamon-coffee buenelos, smoked wood ice cream
espresso anglaise and emulsion

Piece of Mind...

Yes, another journey of taste, flavor and expression. An inspiration. A state and piece of mind. It goes without saying that it is the reason this blog was started. To document, record, convey and leave behind, long after I'm gone, an addictive path of progression and philosophy for others to read, contemplate, ponder, question and ultimately use or toss away in an attempt to forward the craft of cooking and good life. I use this platform to get shit off my chest. To express and share. To provoke thought and inspire. To dedicate and pay tribute. To share my heart and art with the one I love. These photos are representing a piece of my mind from earlier this week...So take it as you may...use it as you see fit, or not at all...let it stir up the ideas in your own mind...let the ideas fly like Icarus~ fly as high as the sun!
chilled spring pea boisson, radishes, orange oil
sautéed rabbit loin-king trumpet mushroom skewer

shellfish salad, grapefruit, avocado, minted celery, peppered strawberries
rhubarb, watermelon, chervil, bergamot dressing

grilled new zealand sea bass, compressed cantaloupe, apples
yuzu pudding, fennel, micro arugula, togarashi, honeydew vinegar vinaigrette

braised veal cheek, smoked quinoa, fava beans, morels, garlic scapes
shallot-elderberry sauce

 
tasting chocolate...
salted caramel ganache tart, coffee-chocolate cremeux, chocolate soufflé cake
praline-chocolate flake ice cream linzer sandwich, pears, espresso, caramel

copper river salmon belly torched "crudo", beet paint, morels
asparagus, walnut powder, arugula, grated grilled walnuts, walnut vinaigrette

seared foie gras, cacao nib pancake, long pepper, cherries, lemon balm
pecans, macaron-nib-pecan crumble, cassis-banyuls gastric

6.28.2014

Simple But Tasty...

Rustic, simple and good. Sometimes it is nice and refreshing to decompress and just cook, and not get sucked into the realms of modernist, contemporary, high end food and cooking...yet just preparing a dish(es) for the sake of simple taste, flavor, and enjoyment. A different enjoyment mind you. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking in an uber high end manner. It is what I have built most of my career on. It drives me. It pushes me. It stimulates my intellectual side, passion and challenging mindset. But, there are times when I just want to not think about it, like when at home, playing around in the kitchen putting things together to eat and for sustenance. These are a couple shots of dishes that were crafted for a simpler style of fare in a slightly more approachable atmosphere. Most any chef who cooks high end fine dining has a yearning for something simple. Here are but a few of mine. Enjoy...
 
 
36 hour brisket sandwich...slow low temperature roasted with goodness
cider brined, spice rubbed, slow roasted.
with corn relish, crispy spicy onion rings, wicked mojo ancho sauce, charred rosemary aioli
radish-citrus slaw

slow cooked grilled chicken breast, fennel puree, caramelized pearl onions
goat cheese polenta gratin, mushrooms, asparagus and poultry jus

pan roasted halibut, green garbanzo hummus, peas, radishes, lemon
fennel, raviolis(carrot here), carrot coulis

roasted beet salad, asian pears, aged bleu cheese, endive, greens
walnut vinaigrette and honeyed yogurt

6.27.2014

Visions of Goodness...

I see them(the visions) all the time, and I think about the good times I've had, the good others do in this world and the good that life has brought me. It goes without saying that I have also seen the darkness and in many ways. As I cook for people though and see the smiles on their faces, it makes me smile and reminds me of something positive. I think about cooking for the one I love and how that brings happiness to me to be able to and be gifted to give to her... and the warmth and excitement it brought her as she saw my work, my blog, my photos and dined at my table. To cook for her is one of the best pleasures I have in life. I think about the inspiration it brings me to cook more and the happiness it creates for others. Life can change on a dime and be taken away. There is sometimes not any warning and for no reason at all, so I encourage you to pay attention to what matters, do what your heart tells you and seek out the good in this world. Go after what you see to be good. Food and cooking is good. Good food = good memories = good life.
silky foie gras terrine, cacao nibs, apricot conserve, pickled green strawberries
rhubarb pearls, arugula, aged balsamic, walnut dressing

warm rabbit tart, savory garlic shortdough, morels, asparagus, chervil
chevre, pistachios, maple-sherry vinaigrette

carrot-mascarpone ravioli, truffled squab, sugar snap peas
pea vines, crab essence

ramp pesto brushed cod, grilled baby octopus, duck fat braised potatoes
preserved lemons, fennel, radishes, honshimejii, romesco dust

seared foie gras, rhubarb caviar, poached rhubarb, pine bud reduction
walnuts, walnut powder, micro greens, muscovado profiteroles

pan roasted rabbit loin, truffles, corn, morels, corn ravioli
truffled corn nage

olive oil poached cod, garbanzo stuffed zucchini blossoms, peas
pea vines, baby tomatoes, oranges, basil, spanish olive oil

chamomile blossom crème brulee, local strawberries, strawberry-lime sorbet
black cap raspberries, lemon verbena foam, spruce tip ice cream, evoo streusel
mark's raspberries, posset, rhubarb sorbet, citrus poppyseed sponge
chocolate cremeux, soufflé cake, tayberries, smoked cherry wood ice cream

6.25.2014

When Hope & Promise Fades...

...there will still be the food and the cooking...won't here? I pray I never lose the passion and the drive for it, for it is what I love to do. It is what enables me to pass the time and ease the pain as well. Food will forever be a part of me...from the early childhood years of eating, cooking and learning from my mother, to the early cooking school days to the professional formative years during decadence, addiction and abuse... to the focused, intent and serious hell-bent-for-leather badass I became to the mature(go ahead...laugh) mentoring and passionate chef that I am today, or at least forever hope to be...I hope I can always make a difference to those that I cook with, those that I cook for and those that mean the world to me...for the one I love! Food is who I am. I hope and pray I can always share my special gift with those that are dear to me. Here are but a few dishes that were shared with some good guests...good times!
local asparagus and morel salad, rabbit loin, pistachio dust, goat cheese
chervil, pistachio pesto, maple-sherry vinaigrette

carrot-mascarpone ravioli, crab legs, soft shell crab essence, peas, pea vines

herb seared atlantic fluke, radishes, celery, lemon, heart of palm
fennel-citrus salad, pea jus dressing

rhubarb salad, rhubarb foam, peppered raspberry, hibiscus gel, frozen yogurt lollipop

sous vide painted hills beef loin, garlic-parsley crust, fava bean tapenade
roasted porcini, polenta, garlic scapes, pearl onions, red wine jus

a savory concoction...
braised short rib, truffles, truffle potatoes, spice roasted carrots
carrot creamed nettles, coral mushrooms, elderberry sauce

silky foie gras terrine, poached rhubarb, rhubarb pearls, pecans, apricot conserve
cacao nibs,  12 year balsamic condiment, crispy potato
 
syrah braised veal cheek, porcini, fava bean tapenade, carrot ravioli
truffled nettles, garlic scapes, sherry reduction

6.23.2014

Inertia of Chaos 6.07.14...

Enter another chapter in the never ending story and saga of the drive, momentum, propellant, fuel, fire, energy and progressive movement forward that is the lifeblood of the business and passion in the kitchen...at least this one...it is my inertia of chaos. Controlled chaos mind you. It is also the alter ego of my heavy metal band name, but that is another story...a dream actually! These are simply some random shots of the moment during the dinner...not a ton, since during the heat, I couldn't take the time to shoot cool shots...needed a photographer...shoulda, woulda, coulda!

unwrapping the torchon of foie gras...mmm, can hardly wait!



ready to slice...


almost ready to plate...service starts in about an hour



cool ass fish knives...these are vintage pieces...old euro school!  These things were severely tarnished...
shined them like brand new!

my son...talk about a proud dad to watch his son do this in front of him

plating foie torchon

the makings of an awesome dessert

staging the mezzo...or the bouche revigorant as I call it

pastry team killing it..AGAIN!