Cupid's Soiree 02.14.07...

What is it about Valentine's Day for food? Why is it that restaurants get slammed crazy busy for dinner on this night of love-struck couples looking for culinary bliss to help serve their libidos? I am not really quite sure, but it works. Food has a way of getting deep into one's soul, and in this case, both souls, and perhaps deeper into something else. Ok, we'll keep it somewhat G-rated. For us chef's, it is a night that definitely keeps us rocking. It is a night that let's us play on the whimsy, gets our creative juices flowing and climax in culinary ecstasy! Sweaty yet...think back into the heart of the rush. It's 7pm. Tables are full. Lovers looking gleamy-eyed into one another embraced with luscious ingredients and flavor and totally caught up in the moment. It has paved the way for us to be who we are. To let loose with our ability to give good experience. In some places I have been, the owners or managers tend to play it safe, relying on old classics, and boring food parings, or even worse, just going with the flow of normal business and menus. Lame. Why not test your kitchen brigade to excel and rise to the occasion. Challenge yourself to cook new things. This is a night that promotes excitement. Hell, they are almost begging for it! Here is a look at some of the dishes we did. The flavors rocked! Rich, wholesome and satisfying. Lush and moist, full-on with love that we labored over, with copious amounts of passion and intensity. It has really only begun the process of new dish development from this special day from the heart. Enjoy...

~Cupid's Amuse~
Pt. Reyes Bleu "Truffle", Pistachio, Cocoa-Almond Pan Forte, Green Olive Jam, Balsamic

Silky Foie Gras "Mousse"
House Preserved Bing Cherries, Foie Gras-Cocoa Nib Marbre, Sauternes Foam, Saba, Fleur

"Sweet Butter Poached" Dover Sole
Paddlefish Caviar, Olympia Oyster, Yellow Finn Potato, Leeks, Parsley Water,
Meyer Lemon Oil and Micro Celery

Ras el Hanout Crusted Lamb Loin
Farro Risotto, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Demi Roots, Lamb Tongue, Parsnip Milk, Micro Kale

Sexy Red Wine Braised Beef Shortrib & Diver Scallop
Caramelized Pearl Onions, Honshimejii, Cinnamon Cap, Butternut Squash, "Oxtail Candy"
and a creamy Celery Root-Walnut Puree

"Bouche of Anise & Faberge Egg"
Orange-Olive Oil Sponge, Smoked Hazelnuts, Raspberry "Polenta", Tapioca, Kumquats
Fennel Heart and a Hazelnut-Chocolate-Coffee-Caramel filled "Package"


Anonymous madhatter said...

Wow Awesome Dude!

3:32:00 AM  
Anonymous angelchef said...

Raspberry "polenta"? I can't help but notice the similarities between your last 2 menus, I don't see alot of difference overall. It's like your stuck in a rut. What up?
You have all this access to these amazing ingredients. Ingredients that most of us only dream of. Unlike the rest of us who have to work with lots of constraints and tight budgets. I live vicariously through cookbooks and websites like yours. The only time I can use and experiment is at home. Sometimes the cost can be prohibitive.Are you getting a little comfortable and lazy in your decade plus?Just a mild observasion on my part. Chow. (Ciao!) Just a little pun.

5:19:00 PM  
Blogger CookermansTy said...


Yes, perhaps the last two menus do have some similarities, and, yes cuisinier does have access to awesome ingreidients that others may not have the means to acquire on a regular basis. However, those very ingriedients you seem to be jealous/covetous of are the inspiration for many of the fun and exciting things that come from the creative minds of cuisiners kitchen. He and his staff use them as idea generators and starters (along with a healthy dose of good old imagination). In short, when things are in season HE USES THEM! Their kitchen team takes full advantage of ideas and concepts utilizing things that are fresh, grown recently and in season. As far as things that are available on a non-seasonal or regular basis; when you get a new, cool, and fun kitchen gadget do you use it once and put it away? Do you say "Wow! This thing works great! Now lets never use it again"? The way that cuisinier has been able to utilize some of the awesome specialty products he does is he takes the time to use them to their fullest; trying and retrying ideas, concepts and flavos until they are just right and have been used to their full potential. If you look at some of the most well thought of and highly recognized restaurants in the world, they do not constantly change their basic ideas and use new an unusual concepts constantly, but rather take usual and everday items (ie oranges, tomatoes, herbs, etc.) and augment them with those fun products that are available to all.
Overall, please take the thoughts that cusinier chooses to share with you on his blog and look at them as ideas, jumping off points, and conversation starters for you and others in your own kitchens. You don't have to use (or even LIKE them) but think of them as fodder for your own mental cannons. He has worked hard to be able to use the things he does and he, by blogging, is doing nothing more than kindly sharing those thoughts with you.
P.S. Just ask him and, knwoing him, I am sure he would be more than happy to share ideas, explanations, and purveyors of cool food stuffs with you so you, too, can play with your food. Be creative and happy cooking! Cookermans

7:54:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

Thanks madhatter.
Hope it inspires!

3:07:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

angel...it is not that we are comfortable, we are inspired! They were on menus back to back from one night and one day. We do not just throw out an idea as soon as we do it. We continue to try and refine, reflect and rehash. That is how one truly learns.

3:09:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

The polenta was tre-cool!

3:09:00 AM  
Anonymous angel chef said...

Okay. Duly Chastised. What is raspberry polenta?

12:35:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

hi angel...not trying to chastize at all. It is just the passion and philosophy of good cooking for me. As for the polenta, we took carnaroli rice, toasted it and then ground it to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. Then we took some house made raspberry liqueur, vanilla beans, scraped, honey and brought it to a boil. Then added the rice powder. Stirred it in and cooked as for polenta for several minutes. Then folded in "flash-frozen" raspberries picked at the very peak of their existence right of the vines. We do so to be able to use throughout the sometimes harsh winer months when all we can muster is citrus. Then we gently stir to break up gently, but keep whole "seeds" in tact. Chill. Then, what happens is a nice, veyr tasty full-on raspberry "pudding" as that of polenta, nice and creamy, yet not starchy or grainy at all.

2:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rhodora said...

Hi Angelchef,

As a line cook in cuisiniers kitchen, I can testify that what may seem to be a repetition in the menu is merely a similarity in verbage or menu descirption if you will. The food, that is, the actual product is always new and improved, always an upgrade or a "kicked up" (sorry..ahahaha) version of the original.

10:38:00 PM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

to put closure on the subject, each day creates new ideas and inspirations. I can cook and plate something one day and with the exact same ingredients the next, take a whole different approach to it and usually do. Hell, I don't feel the same towards a dish by the end of the shift. That si what makes everythign so unique in this crazy biz of ours. There are not enough photo ops and time in each day for each dish. Cool if there were. Best to all...

8:37:00 PM  

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