11.02.2008

Thoughts on Food...

shaving fresh truffles over the branzino...

an alternate shot of the crudo...

That was the "heading of the moment" placed atop the menu for a series of courses yet to be unveiled to two guests of mine a week or so ago (we finally got the photos uploaded). This degustation of autumn was for a person I had met whilst a guest chef at the wonderful Foie Gras Dinner I participated in at Rover's Restaurant last spring, whom by the end of the meal, it was obvious that he was clearly into good food. An English gent...he had been a pastry cook at Bouley for god's sake! As Thierry, Jim and I and our guest sat into the wee hours of the morning talking about the dinner, the foie gras, food and restaurant life, I had mentioned to him if he was ever in town again, to give me a call as I would enjoy cooking for him again. I am always a sucker for anyone who is passionate about cooking and dining and wants to experience some cool food! So I get an email, and low and behold, it is Chris...letting me know that he will be in town with a couple days to kill to experience food and life and that he wants to have the best dinner in town and wants to dine at my joint. Always an honor for me. As I had some previous potential plans to go out of town with the family, I told him sure, but it would be with my team as I would not be in present...he accepted...he was in! Excited, I started to work on menu thoughts, combinations, juxtapositions of taste, layering of flavors and twists and plays on techniques. As I ruffled through my thoughts about 5 or 6 dishes, I knew I was going to be/have to be cooking his dinner. How could I miss this, if even just for two people, it is well worth it. This is what I do. It is who I am. It is what fuels my passion. The plans were placed on hold(the trip was still up in the air anyway). This was truly invigorating! Here lies what unfolded as some tastes I shared with him and his guest that evening...
Amuse part 1...

lobster, mango, avocado, sturgeon caviar, yuzu sabayon
Amuse part 2...

frozen foie gras lollipops, caramel, fleur de sel on a valrhona manjari block
Crudo...

hawaiian moi, heirloom tomato-ginger-evoo vierge, trout roe, fennel, orange, togarashi

Simmered...
silky lobster bisque with lobster, creamy corn cappuccino with crabmeat, duck prosciutto
and fragrant wild mushroom-pear consomme with pears, anise and truffle tea


Preserved...
braised short rib-potato-lobster mushroom terrine, foie gras mousse, endive, demi french breakfast radishes, red and gold beet tapenades, artichoke cream and walnuts


Seared Indulgence...
Seared foie gras tart, caramelized onions, figs, vadouvan butter braised bananas, PX

Pan Roasted...
mediterranean branzino, truffles, truffled pig's feet sauce, matsutake mushrooms, micro arugula

Breakfast...

Seared diver sea scallops, "bacon & eggs", chorizo, micro leeks, lemon-chive essence,
micro burgundy amaranth

Refreshing & Frozen...
compressed granny smith apples, douglas fir sorbet, elderflower yogurt lozenge, tazmanian pepper, grated hot smoked salmon


a'la Plancha...(aka 2 Birds in 1)
marinated grilled quail, lobster mushrooms, anson mills polenta, truffles, roots and mustard jus
~
spice crusted muscovy duck breast, chanterelles, corn, bacon, carrot puree, chocolate

Slow Roasted...
peppered saddle of venison, cranberry confiture, cepes, olive short dough, cipolline onions
crosnes, micro celery, huckleberry sauce

Aged...
"tranche" of fromage d'affinoise, honey braised quince, hazelnut oil caramel, heather honey,
hazelnuts, mostarda, micro greens

Sweet...

manjari chocolate, caramel, espresso, pistachio

pumpkin sponge, banana mousse, banana fritter, banana sorbet, chocolate crunchies

truffle macaroon sandwich, milk chocolate, pear sorbet

warm apple charlotte, hubbard squash, cardamom ice cream, apricot conserve

~

As things came to an unwinding finish about

1:30am(and 6 hours, 10 wines and 4 mignardise later)...

and after talking again about more food,tastes and experiences...

I once again had that euphoric feeling of personal satisfaction for taking care of someone

through my craft.

Sure, he had spent some cash on the affair, but that was so beside the point for me. I did it first and foremost for the love of cooking, which I hope was evident in my food that we hand-crafted for him and his date. I can only wait for my next opportunity to whom may be interested!

4 Comments:

Blogger Evo said...

ever use a flattop (plancha) like this? www.evoamerica.com?

8:51:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

no, but I have seen them. We use a solid steel plate which is either put ontot he grill, the burners directly or on concrete cinder blocks in the fireplace which we then push coals underneath to create the heat source. Simply awesome!

10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Jack Dyson said...

Chris sent me an email about that meal and it looks every bit as mind-blowing as he described it - wow. Mushroom pear consomme? Amazing. Was the tazmanian pepper in a sorbet?

3:03:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

Hi Jack, and thanks for checking out the blog. Glad you enjoyed the menu/pix's. The consomme was a rich duck stock that we infused with roasted pears, star anise, thyme and bay and a touch of pepper. It was simmered, steeped with mocha-truffle tea and then we added julienne pears, thyme and a drop of bloor orange olive oil on top. The taz pepper was chopped fine then sprinkled atop the elderflower yogurt lozenge with the micorplaned hot smoked frozen salmon.

11:13:00 AM  

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