Dinner for Anna...

Anna Faris, yours truly and our dining room manager; Kyle Wright

maine lobster, cara cara orange, avocado
american sturgeon caviar, yuzu-champagne sabayon

beef bresaola, sweet coppa, landjager, lamb finocchiona
riojana chorizo, persimmons ravioli, mostarda, pears, candied pecans

~soup & salad~
warmed atlantic fluke, pistachio crust, carica, heart of palm
preserved ginger, sriracha aioli, bergamot, micro arugula

and a silky carrot soup with spicy chili-coconut milk foam

honey bunches of oats crusted foie gras
compressed apples, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, apricot conserve
grated bitter chocolate

porcini seared sea scallop & local truffles
pumpkin polenta, leeks, salsify, truffles, black trumpets
and a truffle-madeira essence

~bouche revigorant~
poached buddah's hand, fennel sous vide, grains of paradise
frozen fennel pollen-elderflower yogurt lollipop

spice crusted muscovy duck, romanesco, thumbelina carrots, cranberry coulis
gingersnap potatoes, sexy syrah salt, eucalyptus honey-evoo caramel
wild huckleberry sauce

pomegranate glazed wild boar tenderloin, quince-pistachio tapenade
hedgehog mushrooms, celery root puree, golden raisin sauce

fall fruits, jasmine cremeaux, crumble
dark chocolate mousse, hazelnuts, caramel, tuile, pearls, dove bar stix
pumpkin sponge, cranberry sorbet, malbec poached pears
bittersweet chocolate "coulant", pumpkin-praline ice cream
spanish olive oil chocolates, douglas fir caramels, bacaon macaron sandwiches


This week, I was honored and the opportunity bestowed upon me to cook for a celebrity. This celeb was the daughter of some of my best, most supportive, friendly, passionate and foodie folk guests I know, that I am always so excited and inspired to prepare and present my craft to. Enter the Faris' young star...Anna. Yes, that Anna. House Bunny, Scary Movie(s), et al. I had hoped to have the chance to meet her and cook for her in previous occurrences, but to no avail...busy I'm most certain. What a pleasure it was to meet her and cook from the heart for someone so cool. Whenever the Faris' are in, it is so inspiring to say the least. I don't know...every once in a while, there are those that just seem to push us to do great things just because they are who they are and that they seem to enjoy our efforts and passions just a little bit more than the rest. Whatever the case, it is a great feeling to cook for someone who is passionate and caring about something other than themselves. They are great people whom I feel fortunate to even know. I give to others and that is what I do. Here is what we gave to her and her family for a special dinner celebrating her birthday, a new movie(yogi bear) and just life in general. Hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did cooking for them and them eating it...


Two Spanish Dishes...

~an interpretation of tapas~ (clockwise from lower left)
chilled rolled omelet, mahon, piquillo peppers, muscovy duck
roasted potatoes, cured ham, white anchovies, celery root remoulade
spanish mackerel "coca", fennel pollen pancakes, chayote-radish salad, citrus aioli
cuttlefish sous vide, chorizo, smoked olive oil, apples and preserved lemons
wild boar loin a'la plancha
foraged mushrooms, chickpea puree, cabrales roulade, marcona almonds
northwest tubers, rioja-fig-shallot jus

an inspiration as it were...a modernist view on contemporary-ism of plated cuisine...a personal interpretation of Spanish cooking seen through the eyes of a chef who thrives on the new and the strong intent to purposely stray from the norm and status quo only to set new boundaries of what might become tradition. Those that know me, can attest to the fact that I never claim to be authentic, nor do I care to be. When presented with an opportunity to cook for, or in honor of another culture, country or cuisine, I try to understand it and mentally(and even sometimes physically) get to that place to feel the vibe, then like a flash pot going off on the crufest mainstage, I head straight for my own vision of what it is to be. Not everyone is like that, or wants to be so, but no matter...I don't care to be like everyone else either! So here I was, bestowed with the honor of coming up with a special Spanish inspired menu for some wine peeps and presenting our craft to those that were in the know and of the desire to experience. What a gift huh?!? The only bummer was that I only got two shots off before it was over...oh well...there is always next time right. Hope you enjoy the insight to the cooking of late.

a few that didn't make the photo op...
artisan and fermier spanish cheeses
spicy inspired popcorn
creamy potato sopa, sea bass brandade, garlic foam
tomato-rice croquettas with almond romesco
walnut-chocolate torte
with white chocolate cremeaux, poached quince, idiazabel
gooseberry conserves, pedro ximenez-smoked paprika syrup


All About Flava...

cranberry cured foie gras
persimmons ravioli, apricot conserve, 30 year balsamic
pears, pecans, cacao nibs

seared diver scallops & atlantic fluke
pumpkin risotto, baby fennel, pink lady turnips, chanterelles
hedgehog mushrooms, sweet cicely

maine lobster salad
avocado, mango, lobster-vanilla vinaigrette, endive
american sturgeon caviar
roasted beet salad, pears, walnuts, 3 milk robiola
walnut vinaigrette

truffled carnaroli rice risotto
baby yellow cauliflower, wild black trumpet mushrooms
pumpkin and a roasted apple-onion nage

sauteed wild belize shrimp
same gear as above yet with honshimejii mushrooms

pan roasted squab and grilled leg
gingersnap potatoes, hedgehog mushrooms, caramelized onions
pink lady turnips, brussels, huckleberry jus

sweet tastes...
(from center clockwise)
cranberry-pear napoleon, pumpkin sponge, caramel anglaise, cranberry sorbet
warm "apple pie", pumpkin-praline ice cream
valrhona dark chocolate pave, mocha creme, dove bar stix,
prune-armagnac ice cream
jasmine cremeaux, late autumn fruits, pear sorbet, pistachios

That is really what it comes down to for me...the flavor and taste. I do invest in technique completely. Presentation is crucial for me. Sourcing and procurement is paramount as well. But in the end, it is about the taste and flavor of what the hell one puts into their mouth. You cant eat the dish...the ambiance...the chihuly glass art in the corner...so peeps, place emphasis on the flavor! This takes time to develop ones palate and understanding of how flavors work together as well as the understanding of how ingredients work together. TK was quoted in an article about how his cooks do not sometimes even taste a dish, yet more importantly know how the individual ingredients taste and work together. I do not buy into the notion that a cook should not taste each thing, but I do agree in the latter part of the statement. Understanding the ingredients and how they react and interact with each other is something that I feel each cook should focus on and work towards. Enough said...here is a sampling of dishes we created for some guests this week...