All dressed up and nowhere to go...except to stand and wait until the magic has taken place. That magic in this case is the transformation of wine into vinegar. Each and every year, we invest in the time, energy and resources(and hopefully not too much money) to make this magic happen. Actually, the magic happens by a chemical reaction of transforming wine, fruits and natural sugars into alcohol, and then breaking them down into vinegar or acetic acid. We take the various wines that we have or purchase and add various fruits, berries, herbs, spices and such to concoct wonderful vinegars like fresh raspberries and anise hyssop...black mission fig and black pepper...rhubarb and vanilla...blackberry and lemon verbena...red wine with spices...late harvest wines...apricot and anise hyssop...fennel and riesling...apple and cider with thyme etc. Once all the ingredients are snuggled safe in their crocks and pots...we allow them to rest, in the dark, in the mildly warm environment, nurturing along the way with additions of new wines and gentle stirring. After about 3 months or so, we start to notice a change in smell and acidity. It is taking place. After another month or so, we see this reaction even greater. Usually, that is around the time we strain the mass and add a new "reset" of the same flavoring ingredients we added in the beginning to revive and strengthen the flavor profile. With some luck, faith, hope and a little bit of sweat, we end up about 6 months later with a beautiful tasting, smelling vinegar that we use throughout the year on various salads, appetizers, fish/meats, sauces and desserts. Way cool. And...if we are extremely lucky, and if the vinegar god likes us...we are gifted with a beautiful "mother", a jelly-like substance that forms on top of some vinegars that is a living culture that feeds off the vinegar and can be used as a starter culture to form new vinegars, similar to that of a sourdough starter. Cherished! Of course...there are disasters in which the wine turns to shit instead of a nice vinegar. It happens. Flies, unwanted bacteria, bad mold, bad yeast in the air and simply bad conditions due to nature can have an adverse effect on the production. We are keeping our fingers crossed for this one as we always do. All we need is a little patience.

Meaty, Woodsy, & Tasty...

In a word...umami! Simply awesome. To cook with fresh porcini, cepes or boletus, depending on where you stand is such a cool endeavor and privilege. They are so nice and meaty. The aroma that they give off when you saute them is sublime. To grill is to die for. And to roast with garlic and thyme in duck or foie gras fat...you just better have a cigarette afterwards and call it good. The porcini go so very well with so many foodstuffs. Fish, meats, poultry, foie gras, shrimp, tubers, alliums, in custards, flans and tarts...in ice cream, in caramel, and in ??? You decide. Raise a glass to the sense of umami!


Spring; R.I.P....

warm rabbit salad...different composition

sous vide/fried egg yolk, truffles, morels, amaranth
seared foie gras, rhubarb turbine, pears, herbs
salad burnett, hazelnuts, curried carrot ribbons,

crispy soft shell crab, peas, pea vines, carrot puree, verjus
sauteed fresh spot prawns, artichokes, king trumpet mushrooms
carrot oil, verjus, citrus essence

bouchee revigorant
citrus fragments, macadamia nuts, jalapeno essence, hibiscus ice

red wine & root beer braised bison short ribs
porcini mushrooms, syrah steeped ramps, fava bean tapenade stuffed squash blossoms
lingonberry jus

As June comes to a quick close, I wanted to post a few shots that made it fun, made it memorable and made it possible to transition into the next month which lay ahead. Good times...like a day at the beach...well, almost.


11 Transitions of Taste...

maine lobster, avocado, mango, american sturgeon caviar, yuzu-champagne sabayon

(not pictured- snax- house cured chorizo riojana, truffled popcorn, olives)

north african duck salad, tunisian cous cous, oranges, mint, morels
radishes, ras el hanout, almonds and an orange-pedro ximenez dressing

"foie gras two ways"
cocoa-candied walnut terrine, pears, walnuts, maple gelee, rhubarb, bulls blood
seared, poached rhubarb, pickled baby carrot, curry infusion, hbo dust
(honey bunches of oats, cacao nibs, hazelnuts)

english pea tempura soft shell crab, carrot-potato puree, peas
pea vines, and blossoms, verjus sauce
fava bean tapenade stuffed local zucchini blossoms, crab salad, sauce vierge

grilled copper river sockeye salmon, farmers asparagus, arugula
honshimejii mushrooms, arugula pesto, chive blossoms, red wine jus

(MIA- 1st mezzo; compressed melon, jalapeno, gewurztraminer gelee)

(MIA- 2nd mezzo; grapefruit, baby fennel, ginger salad, hibiscus ice)
(MIA- pine scented lamb, cepes, parsnip puree, caramelized garlic,
onion-bacon pancake, lingonberry sauce)

"light & dark"
lemon cremeaux, rose macerated raspberries, rhubarb, lime puddingcake
strawberry salad napoleon, rhubarb sorbet, creamsickle lollipop
"faberge egg", caramel, espresso, chocolate brownie, pears, cinnamon ice cream
valrhona manjari mousse, pistachio macaroon gravel

mignardise 1~
frozen house made chocolate dove bar stix

salted honey caramels

spanish olive oil chocolates, white & dark macaroon sandwiches with bacon mascarpone

so there we were...the night after a chefs table with one more on the way that evening. The night prior was not a good one for me personally. The food in my mind portrayed in a word...sucked! The food was tasty for sure. The flavors exciting...the ingredients stellar...the ideas exhilarating! So what happened I asked myself? It just didn't click for me in my vision of composition. I don't know why, how come, who or what but I know I came home feeling quite down. Everything started out with the greatest of intentions and philosophy. Not the case in all reality. Sad but true! But then comes the next night...a chance to redeem. A chance to refresh, rethink, relive. A chance to prove to myself that the ideas and thoughts were sound and that they were worthy to place in this humble blog. The photos that lie before you are more of what the vision was the night before, yet with a little more moxie, some kick-ass attitude and some fire inside to conquer the challenge to cook good food under pressure. This menu was for some very special folks who I felt honored and very inspired to cook for...


Random Acts of Goodness...

rabbit saddle, morels, asparagus-micro green salad, radishes, 4 hour chicken egg

truffle dressing, pedro ximenez

seared foie gras, diver sea scallop, poached rhubarb, rhubarb puree
house curry pickled carrot, hazelnuts, cacao nibs, pears, mosto cotto

english pea tempura soft shel crab, carrot-orange oil puree, peas, pea vines, verjus
grilled copper river salmon, trumpet-bacon "salsa", yukon gold potato cake
rosemary essence, chive blossoms

bison short ribs, sassafras, porcini, parsnip puree, fava beans,
mushroom pancake, wilted chard, lingonberry-black pepper essence

pastry tasting...
spring fruits, lemon, espresso, chocolate


a day in the life...a moment in time...a shot in the dark...a glimpse of the now...freeze frame! To capture the moment of my expression is unique and inspiring. I enjoy taking pictures, if even just with a small personal digi or mytouch...either way, it brings me pleasure as does the cooking. I have been taking photos since I was just a little shit with long hair and listening to loud rock and roll...so what else is new...nothing changed in that arena. I hope that the inspiration that I have for cooking and taking pictures shows in the blog posts that I put forth and are worthy of at least a provoked thought or idea that can in some small way inspire others. Perhaps I should be so lucky?


Seasons of Change...

asparagus, duck egg, morels, truffles, hazelnuts

foie gras, rhubarb, nutella, hazelnuts, apricot conserve, verjus
sweet potato

striped sea bass, orange crust, peas, pea vines, carrot potatoes,
shellfish emulsion, carrot oil, jus de poisson

bison short rib, porcini, nettles, caramelized onions
artichokes, walnuts, cherry vinegar sauce

lemon, rhubarb, raspberry, rose, chocolate, pistachio, cherry,
caramel, strawberry, olive oil


a few more shots of virtually the same ingredients as the night before. Presented a bit differently...juxtaposed with a slight variance...the mood altered by that of the moment and the group new altogether! All of these elements make for a different dinner made possible by a new day! Enjoy...

Happy Fathers Day...

stuffed saddle of rabbit, morels, fried duck egg yolk, farmers asparagus

salad burnett, truffle-sherry vinaigrette

horizontal foie gras napoleon, phyllo, rhubarb, nutella, apples
hazelnuts, crispy potato

soft shell crab, pea tempura, champagne braised king trumpet mushrooms,
garlic scapes, carrot-potato puree, rosemary essence, chive blossoms

syrah braised bison short ribs, sassafrass, roasted cepes, porcini nettles
beet puree, artichoke-walnut tapenade, lingonberry sauce

cappuccino semi freddo, chocolate stix, lemon, rhubarb, raspberry flavors


This post is for all the fathers out there who are chefs and dads alike. It is so hard to do what we do, work the hours we do and to be there for our kids as well. It gets so tough when you know you constantly must forge ahead on your craft, your cooking and your refinement as well as make sure you are there for the things that truly matter. I have not always made the best choices in that realm. I know that over the years my cooking, my craft and my career have excelled and my quality time with my boys has not always been the most it could be. For that I will always be saddened and somewhat regretful for not being around for them more. I just hope they can understand and ultimately...forgive. So please dads...do not forget what is so important...your children. Here's to you all...


Sweet Emotion...

Say hello to my little friend!!! Harvested only moments ago from the chilly waters of Puget Sound in Seattle. Amazingly fresh...so sweet and tasty...succulent and richly intoxicating to lovers of all that swims! Just got these beauts in today right before service. Peeled partially...almost just waved over the grill like a ultra skilled barkeep who just waves the vermouth over a dry martini... A sweet spot prawn is a great find! The meat is tender and luscious, with a delicate tooth to it. The flavor is full of freshness and the essence of crustacean and it's glory. To eat raw is to live. These shots taken just before being tossed into the fire. He is now gone but not forgotten...RIP.


For Whom it May...

copper river salmon "toro", farmers "teenage" white asparagus

heart of palm,citrus,bergamot, togarashi yogurt, crispy onion

seared foie gras napoleon, rhubarb puree, poached rhubarb, oca leaves
rhubarb syrup, rhubarb reduction, szechuan pepper, phyllo

crispy soft shell crab, fava bean tapenade, cider pickled ramps
wilted pea vines, bacon, pedro ximenez reduction

seared albacore tuna, maitake mushrooms, carrot creamed nettles
potatoes "parisienne", green garlic, verjus sauce

ostrich "two ways"
sous vide loin, morels, artichokes, parsnip puree
apple-trumpet mushroom-sweetbread stuffed, chard, creamy brown butter potatoes

coffee crusted tenderloin of oregon lamb
peas, fennel, beet puree, savory lamb jus

spring sweets...
cappuccino semi freddo, dove bar stix, raspberries, yogurt sorbet
nutella ganache tart, cherries, caramel
lemon brulee, lemon puddingcake, rhubarb sorbet
fruit salad, raspberries, rhubarb, chocolate soil, lemon verbena ice cream

concern...inspire...fuel their passion...piss off...offend...revitalize...or stimulate and arouse...these latest shots are for you and for all in between and for those I left out. I mean no disrespect, just hoping to share the love I have of food and spread the passion and fire about cooking something with life and a sense of the moment. I have the great fortune of being able to put my heart and soul into the food that I am cooking and my emotions come through instantaneously and are alive as it unfolds pumped full of adrenaline like that of a rock star or extreme sport junkie. So it goes without saying that IT IS my life and everything~ ...good, bad or anything in between drives it, and thus has an everlasting affect on it's outcome. We had the benefit of cooking for some foodies the other day who seemed to be quite all about food and dining so I say bring it on! They left happy and satiated, we left exhausted yet rejuvenated. And yet, not matter how good we feel our craft to be, there is yet to be another guest with new expectations and ambitions that we must set our missions high in order to satisfy. We will live to cook another day and strive to fulfill those expectations...both theirs... and ours!