Inspired Congratulations...

This is just a little "hell yeah" for the two chef's from Seattle who are being nominated for the infamous James Beard award for Best Chef in the Northwest and one who is being nominated for Best Restaurateur...My congrats and hopes are going out to them all; Jason Wilson,(best chef) the chef, owner, colleague, awesome "cuisinier" and good friend from Crush, Ethan Stowell,(best chef) a restaurateur, visionary, creative and "cook extraordinaire" from Union, How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies and Olives and to the ever popular passionate northwest chef, restaurant guru and creative genius Tom Douglas(best restaurateur)! Seattle is truly represented in good style! Best of luck guys. Kick some ass!


Eye Candy for Foodies...

This link:

is a slide show of the all the food and action shots taken by our professional camera diva;
Rina Jordan who was on hand to capture the moment at Crush last month during the 5th Anniversary Guest Chef Dinner(see February post for story). She had taken a plethora of "up-close-and-personal" shots while the chefs worked and played, the servers delivered, the somms poured and the guests enjoyed! What a night. It was an awesome experience and the story could not have been told better by looking at all the wonderful and passionate shots taken by Rina. She was able to seize the experience in a moment, and bring forward the emotion and "flavor" of what was unveiling as it happened. She was right in there like one of the chefs...knee deep in the shit, getting busy with her craft just as we were with ours. It was inspiring to say the least. If there is one other thing I enjoy other than writing about food is photographing it. Check out the link to Rina's work...you will not be disappointed! Also, check out her web site and I encourage anyone looking for a professional photographer with a passion and eye for food, she is your girl!


Chef's Table Shots...

Loch Duart Salmon Belly "Tartare"
served as a quenelle garnish for a silky salsify soup

just a couple tastes of things we did last week for a chefs table or two. New inspirations inspired by the ingredients at hand. What a concept! The Loch Duart salmon was quite unctuous...the sea urchins heady and luscious...the squab and foie was ethereal!
Loch Duart Salmon Belly roulade with Basil, Shiso
Mango, Togarashi and Green Apple Water
Roasted Foie Gras & Squab Breast
Poached Rhubarb, Hazelnuts, Foie Gras Powder, Pedro Ximenez Dressing

Grilled Aussie Sweet Blue Prawn "Lasagna"

Miners Lettuce, Apples, Scallion Puree, Heart of Palm

Creamy Sea Urchin-Vadouvan Tapioca-Golden Caviar "Porridge"


Culinary Crush...

Doug, Jason and Eric with Christophe in the background...

my trio of amuse just before pick up

It was a grand gala celebration for 5 years being open for Crush Restaurant in Seattle! Jason & Nicole Wilson's baby...their love and passion...and their life! Jason, one of the best chef's in Seattle by my accord and a good friend, wanted to celebrate this special occasion in style by inviting five other chefs, a fromagier(cheese monger) and a couple sommeliers to kick some serious ass! It was a chance to have fun, to cook without inhibitions, and to give 60 of their best customers a special meal they would not soon forget. I was only too lucky and ever so fortunate to be such a guest chef. Beside one other and Jason himself, I was the only one from "the hood". The chef's who were invited were a top and stellar line up to say the least and were quite the celebrities in their own right. This was going to be one of the most talked about dinners of the year for sure and a rare treat for the select foodies who were to attend. Jason had also invited a photographer, who will most surely laugh at my lame ass shots, but knows that this merely scratches the surface of what was presented. He also had a handful of top kitchen brigade and service staff on hand to assist and execute such a fine degustation. In brief, the all star line up consisted of Jerry Traunfeld; Chef/Owner of Poppy in Seattle. Prior, he had been the executive chef at the famous Herbfarm for many years before opening his own modern Indian inspired eatery. Next up was a fun and unique gentleman; Eric Ziebold, who is the Executive Chef at Cityzen, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington DC. Then we had Christophe Eme; the Chef/Owner of Ortolan in Los Angeles, a chic modern French cuisine hotspot inspired by his experience and life spent in France. Following was Doug Keane, the Chef/Owner at Cyrus, a very happening modern regional American restaurant in Healdsburg, California known for it's superb cooking and service. Crush also produced the tasty hors d'oeuvres for the evening as well as the dessert and little tasty treats at the end of the meal, called mignardise. Lastly, there was I, who was simply honored to be a part of something so awesome and passionate. That is what I am all about. The cooking was great and to work in the same kitchen as these five other gentlemen was what it was all about. To create a dish that represented each of us personally and Crush as a whole was phenomenal. The service staff was on the top of their game as well. From the "somms" to the servers to the wine team...all did a wonderful job. Below is the menu and a few shots to give you a glimpse of what the 4-hour soiree entailed. Drooling yet...you should be!

Christophe, Doug, Jim(our executive sous chef extraordinaire!) and our leader of the night~ Jason.
My Trio of Amuse...
Frozen Foie Gras Lollipop, Compressed Asian Pear, Blis Sherry Redux, Foie Gras Powder and Chamomile
Chilled Lobster, Heart of Palm, Pumello, Paddlefish Caviar, Yuzu Sabayon, Vanilla
Hot Truffled Sunchoke "Cappuccino", House Cured Lonza, Cacao Nib Grissini

Frozen Foie Gras Lollipops with Chocolate Pop Rocks embedded inside, then topped with grated Smoked Pecans and Fleur de Sel...
Jerry's Lasagna of Dungeness Crab with Leeks, King Boletus and Sea Urchin
Eric's Warm Cured Blackmouth Salmon, Artichoke-Piquillo Pepper "Terrine"
Roasted Garlic Panade and Parsley "Vinaigrette"
Christophe's Squab "Pastilla" with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pea Puree, Roasted Potatoes
Pea Shoots and Squab Jus
Doug's Japanese Wagyu Beef Loin with Oxtail-Umeshu Consomme(not pictured)
Early Spring Vegetables and Wasabi
Crush's "Breakfast & Pie"
Vanilla-Bourbon French Toast, Bacon Ice Cream, Lemon Curd, Gingerbread Crust, Lemon Gelee
No picture to be had, but the taste will certainly be remembered
Produced by Crush's pastry team
Hazelnut Toffee, Coconut Macaroons, Walnut Bon Bons, White Chocolate Coconut-Rum Log
Marcona Almond Marzipan, Port Marshmallow with Feuillatine "Crunch", Peanut Butter Cup
and Hazelnut Gianduja