A Tasting for StarChefs.Com...
Spiced Duck Breast & Skate Wing
Carrot Puree, Rice Beans, Chanterelles, Truffles, Squash & Mosto Cotto Jus
Coffee Crusted Lamb Loin, Celery Root, Crosne-Persimmon-Orange Cauliflower "Salpicon"
Matsutakes, Corn Pancake and Douglas Fir Jus
Valrhona Manjari with Caramel, Pistachio & Espresso Flavors
Quince, Pumpkin Tapenade, Olive Oil Gelato, Hazelnut Macaroon
A Recent Feast...
Ambiance & Mood~ a cool, sleek set of rooms set with leather furniture, bistro tables, candles, gold and amber linens, and the giant fireplace roaring.
Passed Hors d'Oeuvres~ Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare "High Heels", crispy Ginger, Yuzu Aioli, Smoked Paprika...Maine Lobster "Martinis", Citrus, Mango, Golden Caviar, Spicy Langue du Chat Wafer
Fireplace Station~ Whole Lobes of Spice Rubbed Foie Gras, roasted in the embers until silky and with a nice crust of spice. Sublime! Served with a Cocoa Nib Financier, Wild Huckleberry Gastric and Cocoa-Caramel Powder. Freakin wicked good!...Also, Roasted Portobello "Pave" as a vegetable offering. Bobby would have loved it.
Fish Course~ "Trio of Seafood"...Potato-"Brandade" Terrine, Heirloom Tomato Jam, Boquerone, Red Endive, Smoked Paprika Aioli...Dungeness Crab Salad "en Oeuf" with American Sturgeon Caviar, Avocado, Chervil and Yuzu Foam...Crudo of Japanese Hamachi, Togarashi, Citrus, Radishes and Sea Salt. A very nice, yet complex tasting of fresh ingredients from "le mer".
Meat Course~ Fire roasted "Saddle of Lamb", paired with roasted Striped Sea Bass, grilled Lamb Sausage, Baby Carrots, Hubbard Squash, Truffles, Caramelized Onions and a Douglas Fir Essence. A bit busy, but good, solid flavors. Should have backed off on the ingredients, yet was not anticipating the sea bass. MS had to have it for their distinguished fellows. No worries.
Fruit & Cheese Course~ a composition of three cheeses and various fruit embellishments. Shaved Cypress Grove Midnight Moon, with Melted Grapes and Mostarda,...Cabecous Feuilles Chevre rolled into "Truffles" with Pistachios and Truffle-Apricot Conserve,...Raw Sheep's Bleu with Heather Honey and Marcona Almonds.
...then we followed by an hour long chit chat about this and that from our guest speaker; "Captain Kirk", we wrapped up the evening with the
Dessert Course~ Back to fire again! This time, dressed Bananas with Lemon and Brown Sugar, slow roasted to caramelize in the fire. This was accompanied by Pumpkin Cake, Warm Gianduja Pudding, Toasted Hazelnuts and Graham Cracker Crumble. Very tasty. Our Anti-Griddle Station was flanked to the side with various frozen nibbles and lollipops(Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Lemon, Yogurt-Elderflower). Mignardise flowed throughout the room which consisted of Strawberry Pates de Fruits, Olive Oil Chocolates, Hazelnut Macaroon & Mascarpone Sandwiches and Salted Caramels. As the evening wound down to a close, the overall consensus was that it was an awesome soiree. The food, the service, the rooms and the planning all came to fruition. The guests, who came from various points on the globe such as Paris, India, Dubai, and beyond, were stoked. Our team showed it's true colors. They rocked! I am one lucky guy. Until next time...in good food and cooking...cuisinier.
Gypsy...the Last Dance...
All in all...fantastic dinner. As a guest, I try to leave my critical hat and mind behind. As a chef, I can not. As I mentioned earlier, it was an honor to be a guest and to experience the dinner by eating it, rather than cooking, although I am not sure which I like better. That's insane. The meal fostered ideas and thoughts about my own cooking and food. It helped me to appreciate the Gypsy experience even more and more thoroughly understand what he was driving after. It made me re-analyze my portioning and flavor profiles and combinations. Sitting next to the guests in a communal fashion allowed me the opportunity to hear comments, see reactions and realize consumptions, something that being in the kitchen is not always accomplished. This was inspirational on many levels. My favorite dish...not sure, and although many flavors and tastes stood out along the journey, the dessert always has my heart. I look forward to the next page and chapter in the Gypsy book and look forward to cooking at them!
Thoughts on Food...
an alternate shot of the crudo...
hawaiian moi, heirloom tomato-ginger-evoo vierge, trout roe, fennel, orange, togarashi
silky lobster bisque with lobster, creamy corn cappuccino with crabmeat, duck prosciutto
and fragrant wild mushroom-pear consomme with pears, anise and truffle tea
braised short rib-potato-lobster mushroom terrine, foie gras mousse, endive, demi french breakfast radishes, red and gold beet tapenades, artichoke cream and walnuts
mediterranean branzino, truffles, truffled pig's feet sauce, matsutake mushrooms, micro arugula
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
peppered saddle of venison, cranberry confiture, cepes, olive short dough, cipolline onions
crosnes, micro celery, huckleberry sauce
"tranche" of fromage d'affinoise, honey braised quince, hazelnut oil caramel, heather honey,
hazelnuts, mostarda, micro greens
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!