Some Forgotten Shots...

warm lobster & mango sliders
vanilla dressing and spicy yuzu

a few dishes of late...

thought I had posted them. Guess not. Maybe I didn't remember. Maybe I felt they were shit, Maybe. As I look back at them now, I think about the state of mind I was in when I created them. Today is a different time and different state. Moods and your mental state play a huge role in your daily cooking and your ability to give attention to the important details. Distractions can run rampid and disrupt the flow, positive energy and good vibe. You lose your concentration and thus fail in your dish, or...you create something spectaular out of sheer mistake. I ask myself...could I cook that good again today? Or, am I much better now than then? Have I progressed or digressed. You tell me. I'll shut up.
torched sashimi of loch duart salmon
elderflower compressed cucumber, shiso, bottarga and
asparagus "vichyssoise"
seared foie gras & scallop
hazelnuts, cocoa foam, cacao nib potatoes and pedro ximenez dressing
sauteed sweet prawn & cuttlefish sous vide
fava beans, olive dust, smoked olive oil, tangerine air


Our Team Rocks...

This is just a little, but very meaningful personal note to our team of cooks and service who put their hearts into our special VIP event last Friday dubbed as the Spring Fling. It was a globally inspired promotion event for our guests and membership in which we prepared and presented a culinary journey into Spain, France, Morocco, Mexico and the American Bounty! The dishes(see prior post) were all crafted from great local ingredients, serious passion and wholehearted inspiration. We pulled off this feat for 325 people and during a very busy time. Our cooks f*n rocked! Plain and simple. I can not thank you all enough. Without you all, this would never be possible. I owe you all my gratitude and appreciation, which is so very well deserved. It is an honor to work with you all, especially you J.


Menus of the Moment...

I wanted to just share a few menus that were crafted of late that I felt held some importance to that of the craft itself. All of them, each a bit different from the others, were woven into the fabric of a springtime transition and in some ways were an inspiration for the ones that followed. Good food. Good ingredients. Good times with the team! I realize that this can all be viewed as a tease since there are not any pictures to support the menus, but as one would do with a good book...just use your imagination and enjoy! I assure you, it was cool to say the least.
Wine Lunch...
~Roasted Sunchoke Soup, infused vividly with the essence of Ramps (wild leeks), Shallots and Thyme and served with a warm Honshimejii Mushroom-Walnut Salad, Chives and a laced with a Pomegranate Vinaigrette. It was garnished by a small skewer laying ever-so-delicately on the rim of the cup holding a bouche of braised Beef Short Rib and a Savory Beignet.
~What I called a "Daube" of Spring Venison...Denver leg of Venison, marinated with savory herbs and aromats and cooked sous vide, then rubbed with cracked black pepper and salt and seared a'la plancha. It was embellished with baby Fava Beans, Braised Thumbelina Carrots & Turnips, English Peas, tender, nutty Farro "Risotto", grilled Abalone Mushrooms and a modern take on a classic sauce called "Grand Veneur"(think game essence, pepper, red wine, red currant jelly, cream)-mmmm.
~Grilled Butterscotch Bread Pudding, small "pave", with just a hint of char to bring out the bold red wines that were served, paired with a mixed Red Berry Confiture, flavored with a nuance of Vanilla, Thyme and Honey, a very ripe Provence cheese called Banon, oozing with silky unctuous slightly stinky goodness, toasted Hazelnuts, and a Red Wine Reduction.

Chef's Table...
~ Maine Lobster Salad, avocado, mango, American sturgeon caviar, and a yuzu-champagne sabayon laced with chives and a lobster-vanilla dressing
~"Seafood Noodles"- loch duart salmon flame torched "ravioli" filled with citrus, hearts of palm, chervil, meyer lemon vinaigrette and a "tagliatelle" of sous vide cuttlefish, chorizo, sherry vinegar and smoked olive oil
~ Honey Bunches of Oats crusted Foie Gras, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, poached rhubarb and a Blis maple-pedro ximenez "gastric"
~ Herb & Dried Olive Crusted John Dory, braised ramps, peas, honshimejii mushrooms, and a truffled mushrooms nage
~ "bouche revigorant", ok...intermezzo if you will- honeydew melon-verjus slurpy, pineapple lollipop, grains of paradise, pomegranate-tequila "bubbles"
~ Honey Lacquered Squab, king trumpet mushrooms, creamed nettles, glazed apples, foie gras-mosto cotto sauce
~ Syrah Braised Beef Short Rib, potato gnocchi, fiddlehead ferns, spring garlic stew, black peppercorn essence
~ Cepe Seared Lamb Loin, artisan white grits, abalone mushrooms, baby artichokes sous vide, caramelized onions, pine nut crumble and 30 year old balsamic condiment
~ Chocolate & praline ice cream...meyer lemon pudding cake and rhubarb...valrhona jivara pot de creme and kumquats...coconut cake with white chocolate
~Bacon-Hazelnut Macaroon Sandwiches, Douglas Fir Caramels, Olive Oil Chocolates

Global Taste Spring Cocktail Party...a modern interpretation of traditional cuisines...

Spain...the sensual flavors of Catalonia and Valencia
~Marinated Chickpea Salad, Piquillo Peppers, House Cured Lonza, Arugula, Salted Almonds and Sherry
~Pickled Spanish Mackerel, Olives, Fennel and a "Agro-Dolce" of Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Vinegar and Dauro Olive Oil
~ Orange & Pimenton scented Olives
~ Artisan Cheeses, Quince Jam, Romesco Sauce, Breads
~White Gazpacho with Grapes, Almonds, Garlic and Bread
~Cuttlefish "Cocktail", Chorizo, Olives, Olive Oil and Anise
~Chocolate a'la Taza & Warm Cinnamon Bunuelos
France...from Paris to Provence
~Artisan & Fermier Cheeses, Tapenade, Roasted Garlic and Baguettes
~ Gougeres with Truffled Goat Cheese
~ Savory Rabbit Rillette with Mustard and Thyme
~ Chilled Mediterranean Mussel Salad, Baby Leeks, Tomatoes, Arugula and Pernod Vinaigrette
~ Truffled Popcorn "Frites"
~ Sauteed Sea Scallops ala minute, with Honshimejii Mushrooms, Ramps, and Vermouth
~ Duck Confit "Ragouts", with White Beans, Garlic, Cipolline Onions and Olives
~ Peanut Butter-Gianduja Macaroon Sandwiches, Honey-Cognac Truffles and Lemon-Raspberry Barquettes with Lavender Infusion
Morocco...inspired nuances of North Africa
~Fire Roasted Leg of Lamb
~Accoutrements...fleur de sel, harissa, charmoula, capers, olives, preserved lemons and ras el hanout
~Grilled Merguez Sausage with Yellow Bell Peppers, Golden Raisins, and Goat Cheese
~Tunisian Hand Rolled Cous Cous, Asparagus, and Lemon
~Spring Vegetable Composure
~Crispy Feuille de Brick Wafers, brushed with Honey and Walnuts, and Honey scented Goat Cheese with Ras el Hanout
Mexico...exporing the inspirations of the land of paradise
~Halibut Ceviche with Cilantro, Jalapenos and Lime
~Black Bean Salad, Corn, Jicama, Red Onions and Sofrito Vinaigrette
~ Guacamole and Roasted Pineapple Salsa, Corn Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa
~ Beef Flat Iron "Adobada" with rich spices, Chipotle and Plantains
~ Fresh Belize Shrimp Saute with Red Papaya, Chilies and Cilantro
~Roasted Pork Loin "Mole" with Peanuts and Chocolate Essence
~Sangria Gelee with Melon, and Tequila Bubbles
American Bounty...a culinary journey across the nation
~ Cellar Aged Salumi, Mustards, Jams and Pickles
~ Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Bars with Heart of Palm Salad, Oranges and Lemon
~ Grape & Goat Cheese Lollipops with Truffle and Pistachios
~ Marinated Salmon & Halibut "Terrine" sous vide with Peas and Mint
~Southern Tasso, Anson Mills Grits, Collards, Ramps and Pork Jus
~48 hour cooked Beef Short Ribs, Fingerling Potatoes, Wild Mushrooms and natural Cuisson
~Spicy Calamari Cones, Citrus Aioli
~Douglas Fir Caramels, Rhubarb Bread Puddings, Coconut-White Chocolate Cupcakes
The Anti Griddle...fun, frozen and delicious
~ Foie Gras Lollipops, with Caramel and Fleur de Sel
~Spicy Avocado Lollipops with Ancho Chili and Dark Chocolate


2 Ingredients of the Moment...

House Cured Lomo(Lonza) 2010

Hand Rolled Tunisian Cous Cous
from Les Moulins Mahjoub

a simple ingredient? or a sensational inspiration?...

either way you phrase it, one thing is for sure...the two angles feed off of one another and are generally quite complimentary to it's counterpart. Which comes first? The ingredient in which we are inspired by to cook with, or is it the inspiration "to cook" which then leads us to the ingredient that stimulates us most? Is it the moment itself that we find ourselves in as we are engulfed in a heightened state of creativity, the desire which stims us personally, or perhaps it is simply our endorphins rushing as our passion for cooking becomes an addictive pleasant prison? A mental arousal if you will. Maybe all of it, and again, maybe none at all. Cooking for some, is a daunting task and chore and for others, it is a welcomed release based out of the need and necessity for personal nourishment. For me, I am inspired by many a different source...people, a mood, an emotion, a state of mind, the weather or season, a new tool or piece of equipment, but mostly it is between the ingredient and the simple desire to create great food for people that are excited to eat, and eat well. These two ingredients were my inspiration in which to write these thoughts in my blog, which in turn, will hopefully inspire you to cook!