New Tastes for Lino Tagliapietra...

Tony Leung and his good friend; Lino Tagliapietra, from Italy are great folks, as are many the folk from the club. That is why we are always excited to cook for them. Especially Lino and his lovely wife; Lina. They travel to Seattle from Europe every now and then, and grace us with their presence so that we can cook for them all. It is a wonderful treat, as he and his family love good food. This week they came to the chef's table to dine with some of the other members. Here are some tastes that we served them this time~

Warm Dungeness Crab & Sweet Potato Composure
with Sturgeon Caviar, Lobster Essence and Fennel Pollen Creme Fraiche
RC Smoked Maple Cured "Jamon"
Mango, Piquillo Romesco, Marcona Almonds, Shaved Manchego, Potato Croustillants
and a Pedro Ximenez Reduction
Seared Diver Sea Scallop
Parsnip Puree, Yellow Foot Chanterelles, Truffles, Mocha Pu-Erh Nage
Spice Rubbed Sonoma Artisan Foie Gras
Apricot Conserve, Blackberry Gastric, Shaved House Cured Duck Ham
and Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Fennel-Grapefruit "Salad"
Rose-Cranberry Soda, Persimmons-Lime Sorbet
"Braised" Hawaiian Sea Bass
Hedgehog Mushrooms, Crosnes, Roasted Garlic-Cauliflower "Salpicon"
Bottarga and a Red Wine-Lobster Jus
"Painted Hills" Angus Tenderloin & Braised Veal Cheek
Black Trumpets, Salsify, Carrot Polenta, Crispy Shallots
and a Balsamic Essence
Artisan Cheese Succession...
Crottin de Chavignol, Yellow Buck Camembert, 3-Milk Robiola
Bandage Wrap Cheddar, Spanish Manchego, Mahon, Aged Gouda
Pt. Reyes Bleu, Roquefort
Quince Jam, Onion-Balsamic Jelly, Mostarda d'Uva
Cardamom Truffles, Churros, Blackberry Pates de Fruits and Almond-Bacon Sablees


A Dinner for the "Princess"...

literally...an annual celebration of birth. A wedding. A new wine from the cellar or perhaps merely for the art of tasting great food. This is just one of many opportunities to cook for royalty. A princess as it were, albeit...back in the day in Russia. She is fun, witty and very eastern European in stature. For me though...really, it does not matter, so long as the guest loves to eat and eat well. I would gladly present my craft and soul to any who can and will get excited about food. It sparks my creative juices and passion. Here is just a glimpse of what we cooked for her and her husband.
(above)~ porcini rubbed american bison loin, black trumpets, crosnes, truffled salsify gratin with truffle glacage, celery root puree and syrah jus

A Crudo of John Dory, laced with lime zest, ufra pepper, and japanese sea salt

salad of mango, cucumber, melon, preserved ginger, PX syrup and wasabi oil

the finishing of "Foie Gras 2 Ways"...

Foie Gras 2 Ways...

Chilled Mousse, fresh Dr. Pepper Brushed Duck Ham, Abbamele Honey, Gaufrette, Salted Peanut Brittle

Seared Slice, Truffled Apricot Conserve, Roasted Apple, Pumpkin Seed Crumble

Ricotta Gnocchi, Truffles, Duck Prosciutto, Crispy Shallots, Chives and Truffle Oil

Seared Diver Sea Scallop "Martini"

Potato Mousseline, Golden Trout Roe, Tapioca, Cucumber Parisienne, Sea Urchin Nage, Micro Celery

Pan Roasted "Lamb Sandwich"

Farro-Black Trumpet-Foie Gras Farce, Creamy Parsnip Puree, Dehydrated Cauliflower

Caramelized Onions, Douglas Fir Essence

treats at the end...


"Inspirations of the New Year"...

as I "came down" from a serious adrenaline rush from the season, and have some time to myself during a break, I was able to actually READ the many periodicals and magazines piled up on my desk and accumulating at home, and pinpoint some areas of interest that piqued my curiosity. There were but many inspirations to explore and contemplate in 08'~ Here are but a few...
Salts from Alaska
New Sources to Investigate
Spices from Turkey
Oils from Australia
"Pork in all of it's Fashions and Glory"
New Flavor Combinations- bridging the unexpected...
More Slow Cooking
New Techniques and the latest Equipment
Our Staff
Salumi Production with Armandino
Chef's Tables
Travel and Dining
Research and Development
Stay tuned for new thoughts in cuisinierskitchen...

28 Day's Later (part 2)...

We arrived at AMA AMA, another swank young folks hang-out in West Seattle, in a much different and exciting light. We actually tasted the goods prior to Shadowland for a little toast earlier(which is what prompted the warm-welcomed return). The service was vibrant as was the atmosphere and the cocktails. The mood was lively and the buzz was definitely going on. We sat at the bar, and "Jazz" (was that even his real name? Who cares...it fit the vibe!) the barkeep for the night was the right touch for this "sex in the city" crowd. He schmoozed us well. Drinks were flowing all night long. Good times. Being a bit on the full side, I didn't want much more to eat, but ordered the Lamb Sliders with a charry-smokiness, some Cheddar, a touch of caramelized tomato aioli(or so I was told) and a mile-high pile of fresh Onion Rings. Tasty. I passed the rings down the line and they were devoured as fast as the libations. I also sampled the fresh Penn Cove Mussels in a Tomatillo Broth, with Onions, Ginger, and Garlic. Nice, but nothing inspiring or to write home about. I stopped there as I was done gorging. All of the portions of the evening at either soire were pretty decent and the "hotties" only pecked at them like larks. Ama Ama is in the location of the previously blogged about Ovio Bistro, which was always a favorite, and although some prior indications of Ama Ama were not favorable (from previous visits of friends), this showed well. It has the Trader Vic/Polynesian late 60's motif goin on, yet in a post-modern style with accents of an upscale living room. Bone colored brick, black lacquered woods, sheer draperies, stone, lot's of candles and vintage Elvis on the big screen over the bar...Viva Las Vegas! This was the perfect foil for the evening. Although I did miss cooking many bites for many close friends and guests, it was nice to relax, enjoy and not have to clean up afterwards! May you all have a prosperous 08'. In good cooking...

28 Day's Later...

No pun intended...it was literally that after the beginning of the month's head rush. Hard and strong. Not only do you feel like the plague is slowly approaching as the month progresses into banquet hell, but you literally become a barely walking, still cooking zombie by the end of it! At our club, we do not offer a New Year's celebration by means of a large gala, over-the-top dinner of extravagance(I usually reserve that energy to cook at home that night) on the eve of the new year, as we shut down for about 10 days to do much needed maintenance, cleaning, and such, and to give our team their much needed and well deserved vacations. After countless hours of production and service, barely a few days off since the latter part of November and so little sleep logged during that time, I was so ready for the break. After coming to, a couple days after Christmas, I opted not to cook at home this year, rather... explore two new restaurants that opened up in West Seattle in the last couple months~ The first one; Shadowland, a sort of dark, narrow place, dimly lit with a sort of bar-like feel, started off the evening. We were greeted with warmed Salted Marcona Almonds(served in a crock over a candle that didn't fit correctly- oh well). Next we were served a tray of rather thick tomato soups in small cups, with a drizzle of evoo over the top. Nice, although the flavor was reminiscent of a can of Campbell's(not bad mind you). Maybe that was the point??? Tomatoes in December...huh? Both of these were gratis, so shut up already I said to myself! We then ordered the Robiola Cheese appetizer with Truffle Honey, Truffle Oil, Honeycomb and Granny Smith's, which came with sliced Baguette. The cheese was very ripe and aged, much mores so than the pungent, yet delicately sweet and soft type I am used to. I liked the pairing and enjoyed it, independently mind you. I forgot to mention~ I was part of an all female entourage and they were not into that. Next we enjoyed a classic..."Mac & Cheese". This was their best dish of the night. Creamy, rich and nicely gratineed on top, made for a welcomed touch of comfort. A plate of smooth, savory Hummus followed with Mediterranean Green Olives (bland), crumbled Feta and Pita...good conversational nibbles. The last dish ordered amongst all the drinks was a sort of Portuguese style offering of Roasted Clams, Sausage(again bland. Not seared and vibrant), Fregula Sarda (Sardinian Toasted Pasta Pearls) and Tomatoes In a rich Garlicky-Tomato Broth. Tasty nonetheless. The service was ok, but the dilemma was that the joint was dead! No buzz...No life...No excitement! I will write this off as being just newly opened. So, we opted to migrate to our next destination-AMA AMA! I will save this for the post to follow...Happy New Year to all!