A Final Tribute...

carrot gelee terrine, lobster salad, apples, carrot puree, plantain chip, curry-fennel dressing

crab and indigo rose tomato napoleon, jicama, elderflower-champagne-chive sabayon,
american sturgeon caviar
roasted banana puree, toasted coconut

potato-truffle torte, shaved truffles, scallops, crispy chicken skin, onion puree, chanterelles

pan roasted fluke, braised lettuce, honshimejii, ginger-soy-mirin nage, clams, bacon,
beet-walnut salad

roasted squab breast, celery root puree, peaches, whipped blackberry
savory tuile, caramelized garlic, blackberry-valrhona jus

corn pudding, roasted corn, blackberries, graham cracker, corn cookies,
bitter chocolate sorbet

"rain forest torte", macadamia & cashew nut meringue, preserved cherry mousse,
almond dacquoise, plums, plum sorbet, gianduja gelato
Even though he doesn't deserve one in my book, but who am I to say? Enter the famous and world re known chef and restaurateur; Charlie Trotter! Don't get me wrong. I praised Trotter and his team for years. Hell, decades. Never had eaten at his eponymous restaurant in Chicago until last month, the day before he closed for good. I talked him up and down the block. He rocked. His food stellar. His style like mine. His work ethic and dedication to the craft an example and inspiration for us all to admire and learn from. I ate at his place in Vegas before it was en vogue for celebrity chefs to have their own place in sin city. Awesome experience but eh'. Still...he rocked. He kind of fell out of the limelight a bit as phenomenal chefs like Thomas Keller, Jean Georges V., Eric Ripert, Ferran and Albert Adria, Grant Achatz and the like became more and more popular and set extremely high standards. I didn't turn my back. And even after my disappointing service experience, which I will spare everyone the drama, dirt and heartache, I still admire his contribution to the craft and the industry. Lets just say that for one who is lauded, admired and awarded for excellence in service(hence his book and ever talked about James Beard awards and accolades) he sure was shit on this night. Sad. The kitchen was on fire and right on point. Rudeness to anyone in one's restaurant where one didn't deserve it, is totally uncalled for and appalling. Chef Trotter...YOU needed to hang up your hat and coat and leave this to those who still care. It was obvious you did not. That said...the night I came back, I had already planned a special tasting menu at our chefs table in honor of "Mr. Rude" and his 25 years of great service, food quality and excellence. I could have said to hell with it and started over, which perhaps I should have, but alas, I was stoked about the idea after all, and I was pretty sure my guests would enjoy the novelty and inspiration. After all, there is no denying that he had been an inspiration throughout my years of cooking to our culinary colleagues, our country and the world. Enter the chefs table menu. I put my own spin on it. It was a culmination of ideas from his books, menus, C.T.'s in Vegas, and now his final farewell dinner in Chicago. In hindsight, I feel as though I should have just done a private F-U and been on my way, but I am a professional and I love to cook, even if those that I look up to do not seem to anymore.

Tasty Summer Bites...

lobster, melon, sturgeon caviar, yuzu sabayon

heirloom tomato, albacore tuna tartare, avocado, basil, honeydew melon vinaigrette

seared foie gras, peaches, coffee sugar brulee, blackberry puree, micro arugula, candied walnuts

roasted monkfish, squab breast, garlic chips, lobster mushrooms, corn shoots

watermelon, tomato, honey gel, mexican cucumber pickles, tomato sorbet

sous vide lamb loin, cous cous, corn, figs, curry, zucchini

braised veal cheeks, polenta, caramelized apples, farmer onions

still life in dessert symphony...now we can rest!
 summer is a great time for cooking in the northwest and really, any decent region, country or continent in the world. I don't know if there would be much variation in Baghdad, Iceland or Antarctica, Zimbabwe or Istanbul, but here in Seattle...we get a lot of variation. Things change constantly. Spring and Summer are late bloomers. We stay out late and get up late. Kinda like me, or at least when I was younger and crazy. (reads still crazy mind you!)...anyway...here are some recent shots of taste...in and of the moment. Hope you enjoy. Hope it excites. Hope it inspires. Good to have hope.


A Moment in Thought...

A moment in thought...that is what it seems like to me at times when thinking about food and the possibilities that lie before me when staring at an ingredient(s), or when totally getting into the groove with some killer metal mania melody...ideas start rushing in. Flooding my head with contemplations and what-ifs. I can't stop it. Don't wanna. It fuels my passion...my desires...my drive and ambition. It keeps me sane, if one can call it that. Some would say I am insane. Probably, but no bother. If you are not totally into what you do, then don't do it. Get out. Change your life. Change your path towards happiness and start towards achieving your nirvana. The last couple weeks have been filled with food driven occasions...some cooking, some dining and eating...some learning and yearning for that next culinary fix and gratification. Seems and sounds like an addictive behavior...you betcha! Go figure. here is went down the last few plates...
maine lobster/avocado/mango/american sturgeon caviar
~scallops "two ways"~
seared tart/heirloom tomato/basil/brioche
ceviche/charred peach "gazpacho/jalapeno
foie gras/nectarine/blackberry/spruce tip/hazelnuts/nasturtium
bluefish/bbq spices/spanish salad/chorizo/chickpeas/lemon/chive paint/px
canary melon/lime/mexican gherkins/chili yogurt
lamb loin/chanterelles/corn-quinoa/pea vine pesto/gold beets/apples
cherry/lemon verbena/citrus
lemon/raspberry/rhubarb/anise hyssop
white chocolate/plums/pluots/caramelia
blackberry pates de fruits/caramels/apricot conserve macarons/evoo chocolates