What an excellent time! It was such great fun to collaborate and cook along side these great chefs again. Michael Ginor, from Hudson Valley Foie Gras
; who supplied the awesome lobes of luxury to us chefs. The evening started off with the chefs gathering in Thierry's kitchen at Rover's
and staging their mise en place. It was a bit quiet, pretty calm, cool and collected. The way it should be! As professionals, we should not see chaos, clutter or disarray. We shook hands, acknowledged our colleagues and contemporaries, as well as the commis', and made small talk before getting to it. We arrived with most products prepped and ready. Always a plus when traveling to another kitchen so as to be able to lend a hand to others as well as see what is happening. Our passed amuse of the moment were to be passed...Michael presented our guests with a great Duck Prosciutto/Fig and Litchi Sorbet amuse,
my good friend Jason Wilson, from Crush Restaurant
with his Seared Foie Gras "Burger" on savory Gougere, Thierry with his Torchon of Foie Gras with Harissa and Jim(Jim Campbell; our Executive Sous Chef at the club) and I with our Frozen Foie Gras "Lollipops" done "anti griddle style" with Salted Caramel and Pickled Cherries and Pistachio Dust. What a hit.
The first course from Michael was a Nori Cured Foie Gras, Ahi Tuna Tartare, Tempura Fried Quail Egg, Yuzu "Paint" and various little sauces and nuances.
The foie gras was cured in a salt cure, with ground nori seaweed, then frozen and then grated with a micro plane over the tuna and quail egg, which was fried in a light batter of tempura, but still soft centered. Great flavors!
Next was Jason...
with his Butter Braised Maine Lobster with Foie Gras-Duck Agnolotti (little pasta purses), delicate ribbons of shaved Foie Gras, micro greens, Alaskan Sea Salt and a subtle and very tasty Spring Garlic Broth.
Thierry and his Chef de Cuisine; Adam Hoffman
then stepped in with a Tournedo of King Salmon with Seared Foie Gras, Fennel Confit, Fennel Flan, Fennel Pollen and a striking Licorice Butter. Pure flavor is what it was. We(The Rainier Club)
were up next with our Seared Breast of Squab and Poached Foie Gras, a sliced of Caramelized Pear, Baby White Asparagus and Demi Thumbelina Carrots(both from the Chef's Garden
), Micro Celery, and a little "infusion parcel" inside a hand made tea bag made up of orange, thyme, bay, anise, mace and black pepper, which sat in the bottom of the bowl to infuse the "Boisson" of roasted Squab Jus that was poured table side. A gentle sprinkle of Orange-Vanilla Fleur de Sel was applied as the dish left the kitchen.
Thierry was up again with the main course of Roasted Saddle of Rabbit, stuffed with a farce of Sweetbreads and Foie Gras.
A creamy Farro "Risotto", a sauteed Crepe "Farci" and Roasted Rabbit Jus accompanied along with a shot of Offal Nage. This was a very tasty and savory dish.
Jason, Thierry and I then plated a collaborative Foie Gras dessert "Degustation", comprising of...
Jason's Walnut and Foie Gras Macaroon Sandwiches, Thierry's White Chocolate Mousse with Bruleed Apricots and Glazed Financier, and from Jim and I~ Milk Chocolate & Foie Gras "Bon Bon" with a truffled Apricot Marmalade, Pedro Ximenex "Caviar", Foie Gras Marbre, Micro Anise Hyssop, Foie Gras Powder and a crispy Dark Chocolate Feuillatine Crunchy.
House mignardises of chocolates and pates de fruits were passed around. The crew at Rover's were a great help and everyone seemed to have a great time, both guests and chefs! This was the first time I had cooked in that kitchen since I left there almost 13 years ago. I had a blast. The evening came to an end, as all great things must do, but not without great conversations, revisited ideas, information shared and inspired thoughts from one another. These are the times in our careers that are truly meaningful and will continue to drive me forward. Sharing views and thoughts with Michael, Thierry and Jason will propel my vision further into the deep passions of my cooking. Thank you guys for the great time cooking together. I can only wait until the next time our paths will cross...