Vin pour les Dejuner...

Every month, since I have been employed here(reads long time), we have been graced with the responsibility and opportunity of creating new and exciting things for this special group of wine gurus, gourmands, and foodies and friends of the chef! It is a great time. We essentially just cook what we want. How fun is that?!? We have cooked just about everything for them...from frog legs to foie gras...scallops to sea bass...truffles to tagliatelle...antelope to asparagus...crosnes to cuttlefish...squab to soft shell crabs...you get it, all kinds of things. We have explored many a different realm of cooking, tastes, ingredients, flavors, marriages etc. The theme has ranged from wine based to season to region to just plain having fun with food and wine. This month, it was one of those plain fun times...we contemplated, created and cooked and had our somm pair wines to the menu. Selfish me huh. Here is just a shot of the three courses that we created for them. Not our most avante garde but quite flavorful and fun nonetheless.
"deconstructed BLT"
yellow taxi pave, baby heirloom tomato salad, tomato water gel, crisp pancetta
blanched romaine-chevre yogurt swipe, tomato dust, brioche croustillant

"merlot & slow"
braised short ribs, truffled celery root puree, local shell beans,
ground cherries, lobster mushrooms, wild blackberry sauce

orchard picked italian plum tart, frangipane, lemon verbena compressed peaches
anise hyssop ice cream, creme fraiche and plum coulis


Le Grande Soire...

goat cheese "truffle" skewer, hazelnuts, shiitake chips

truffled apricot conserve

(M.I.A.- salumi platter, warm olives and indian spiced nuts)

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

albacore tuna tartare "high heels", compressed yellow watermelon
lemon verbena, tomato chip, meyer lemon olive oil

"heirloom tomato salad", yellow taxi steak, baby halves, calamari sous vide
olive dust, basil, tomato water, crisp pancetta

elk loin carpaccio "ravioli", stuffed with fava bean,
tunisian cous cous, pecorino, baby lettucmes, carrot powder
30 year balsamic-argan oil dressing

seared atlantic fluke and foie gras, brown butter potatoes
pickled baby chanterelles, orchard plum relish, arugula
sesame-rice crackers, soy-mirin-bacon emulsion

jalapeno & lime compressed peach, lemon ice, frozen lime yogurt
rice krispy enrobement

spice crusted muscovy duck, chocolate-cacao nib-hazelnut waffle
sous vide fenel, douglas fir laced thumbelina carrots,
wild blackberry sauce, beet dust, pecan oil

beef striploin sous vide, truffles, artichoke-garlic compote,
celery root puree, black peppercorn sauce

dessert symphony
sweet summer corn brulee, figs, blackberry sorbet
chocolate silk, blackberries, hazelnuts, caramel, dove bar, apricot noyaux ice cream
cherry-almond bite, almond-raspberry napoleon
lemon & strawberries, pistachio, rhubarb-strawberry sorbet
M.I.A.- mignardise...little sweets after dessert
blackberry-fennel candy, praline chocolates,
salted caramels, bacon-almond macaroon sandwiches

kitchen alchemies...
an infusion of various fruits, herbs, berries, vegetables, spices and such
wrapped around cool spirits

Celebration...party...gala...soire...rager...social gathering...whatever you want to dub this as, that was what it was! One awesome party for a cool group of peeps. It was for a special birthday gathering of guests who wanted to celebrate centered around good food, good bevies and cool environment. They were in for a treat. One knew the scene. Some were quite savvy, some didn't have a clue what they were about to experience, some came with hope of experiencing a dream. All saw, tasted and devoured what the kitchen is about. When cooking like this for a large group, it is sometimes hard to read each guest throughout the night as there is a lot of loud talking, hard-to-break conversations, interruptions, and just plain distractions from all. Hope we fulfilled our commitment to the mission, surpassed their expectations and ours, and most importantly...created the most memorable of time for our guests...thanks to all who came and experienced, tasted and enjoyed, supported our team and allowed us to further our craft. here is how it went down...


Sweet, Hot, & Luscious...

Sounds like...a...well..a...nevermind. Wrong context. This is just an initial snapshot of a crosscut of our latest slab of pancetta just harvested from the depths of the dungeon. We have been chomping at the bit to tap into it, but patience has taught us that we must be just that. After an unfortunate mishap of lack of air flow, humidity, and salt penetration, which is bound to happen as any chef who has ventured into the art of salumi making will tell you, we have held our breath and bit our tongues and waited until it became ready. Sweeeeet! Nice, soft, luscious, silky, meaty, slight pepper influence, full bodied sweet pork essence and welcomed mustiness! Already made it into the day's carbonara...I love my job!


Late Summer Thoughts...

as summer finally arrives, and yet seemingly within a single breath, seems to be slipping away into the realm of translucency...with a breath, a whisper and a blink of an eye, it is gone. Fortunately it is not yet, but sure as hell will be soon. All too soon! I love the fall mind you, but I sure am not ready for summer to end. Hell no! It seems as though the thoughts are just flowing and yet instinctively, one must start thinking about and conjuring up thoughts of fall, comforting dishes, braises full of love and the like. All good right? No...wait! What about heirloom tomatoes? Garden Beans? Cepes and Baby Summer Chanterelles? Ripe Berries and Stonefruits? You get the message. If not, you must be in a different part of the country where the hurricanes are, or perhaps a whole different part of the world in freakin Iceland or something. Cool enough...some are into that. Here are some thoughts provoked...ideas contemplated and suggestions considered...just a thought...

green zebra tomatoes, basil air, triple cream chevre terrine, tomato film


grilled white donut peach relish, foie gras, cacao nib-hazelnut waffles, cherry salt


scallops, truffles, cepe brulee, corn milk, bacon brittle


nectarine crisp, pecan-muscovado crumble, noyaux ice cream, apricot nectar caramel


chanterelle-garlic-foie gras "pithivier", grilled porcini salad,

charred yellow taxi tomato vinaigrette, px drizzle


korean pork belly, kimchee laced garden bean-baby carrot salad,

spicy baby octopus-chorizo dressing


foie gras-milk chocolate "bon bon", raspberry-anise hyssop reduction,

hazelnut espuma, smoked white pepper


lobster mushroom fricasee, corn-bacon mashed potatoes, sous vide egg, olive oil



a nice, simple, kick ass, piled high, out of control ripper burger

...with bacon and foie gras of course!



grilled madagascar sweet blue prawn, purple cherokee pave

heart of palm-mango salad, baby heirloom tomatoes, 30 year balsamic

summer melon "boisson"

seared foie gras, white nectarine-mint-jalapeno relish
cacao nib-hazelnut waffles, cherry gastric, cherry-pepper foam

pan roasted florida pompano, frog legs sous vide, truffles
honshimejii-corn stew, zucchini potatoes, truffle nage, crispy beets

black plum-fennel-fennel pollen salad, grapefruit-thyme ice

cardamom-pepper-juniper crusted duck breast
mustard pickled beets, fava bean tapenade, chanterelles
garlic pancake, wild blackberry essence

well, actually only 2:50am...but the post is inspired by the newly acquired cd; This is Gonna Hurt by SIXX AM, Nikki Sixx's other band. The significance is this my friends...every once in a while, you come across something that really surprises you...catches you off guard a bit...throws you for a loop...totally shows you a side of things that you didn't even see coming. This is totally the case with this new cd that my wonderful boys gave me for my birthday. They know I love the metal, the hard core, the madness. They are my partners in crime they are. God bless em'. Anyway, I thought for sure this was going to be a much more driven, aggressive, almost angry, death style vibe that was going to kick my ass and leave me for dead. Not so the case. In fact, quite the opposite, and in a very awesome way. It rocked, but on such a different level than what I expected. Here is where this post comes into play with my food...I thought it was going to turn out much different than it did. I thought going into the night, the food was going to kick my ass and theirs in such a more intense way than it actually materialized. It did, but so differently than what was expected. It actually came out better to be honest. The guests were some members who don't frequent the chefs table much as well as the owners of a cool, hip, sharp local restaurant. They liked it immensely and so did we. Funny how life can steer you down one road when you think you are headed down another. Perhaps we just travel down a different path to the same destination? Or a new ending on just a slightly altered path? Maybe, we as people are headed somewhere that we don't even have a freakin clue as to where we are going or will end up? Never mind...either way, the destiny awaits. It may surprise you...and it may hurt! Enjoy!


New Ideas & Inspirations...

And yet another foodstuff that we anxiously, patiently and passionately wait for and look forward to receiving each end of summer. Lobster mushrooms...aaaahhhh, the beauty of being a cook....and now...what to do? Tonight~ grilled with prawns, chickpeas, artichokes, salumi, garden bean salad, and charred brandywine tomato vinaigrette!