Two Bites of Summer...

seared local foie gras, black mission figs, candied walnuts, walnut powder, cacao nibs,
fried chocolate cake, peach relish, saba dressing
grilled mediterranean branzino, green garbanzo beans, sweet corn, house bacon,
corn-herb pancake, basil, baby tomato-nectarine "sauce vierge"
Two bites of goodness...summer flavors full of divine taste and sumptuousness. Two courses of a tasting menu at the chefs table. Two more ideas that have now come and gone, and yet not forgotten. Two more reasons why I love what I do. Food for your thoughts....well, maybe two.

Kiss of Fire...

Under the flame...a quest for heat...singe and sear...a quest for modern day broiling in any sense of the term. Enter fresh oregon coast sardines. Fresh, cool, rich, oily, succulent, robust and full flavored with a hint of sweetness. Very delicate and in need of gentle handling. The contemplation begins as they enter the kitchen door...tempura? hmmmm. Breaded and pan fried? maybe lunch tomorrow. marinated escebeche style? cool, but want something more exciting. Spanish style and influence? Yeah...feelin that. Olive oil poached? maybe a bit rich. Broiled? Have blow torch...yes. Bring it! brined for an hour in a fresh summery pickle. Then rubbed with quince jam and smoked paprika, touch of olive oil and water brushing. Torch until gently seared and scorched to bring out nice char overtones. Brush again. Place in hot oven for just a minute or two...brush again. Served on a bed of smoked paprika & olive oil brushed focaccia which has been fried and turned into streusel, black olive dust, accompanied by some salted yellow watermelon, arugula pesto, fava bean puree, green olives and marcona almonds and lastly a pedro ximenez reduction with olive oil. Very tasty!


Fun, Flavorful & Fantastic...

various array of flat crust pizzas "facon du chef"
spicy sopresata, olive, chili flakes, mozz, heirloom tomato jam, garlic
black mission fig, chevre, pickled onions, arugula, olive jam, olive oil, roasted garlic
Who doesn't like pizza? IS there really such a being? I once heard that pizza is like sex...even when it is bad, it is still pretty good! Ok...can't argue nor defend, but am sticking with it. Pizza comes in many shapes, styles, flavor combinations and formats. This was a style offered as part of a cool Italian country themed, very casual, residential concept that we did last week. The brides mom just said "have fun"...so...envision arugula salad, marinated fresh mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes, purple basil and olive oil...grissini, flatbreads, ciabatta, porcini-roast garlic focaccia...next, creamy nutty farro risotto, wild mushrooms, pecorino, caramelized onions...gnochetti artisan pasta, artichokes, pea vines,grana padano parmesan, prosciutto...fire roasted american bison loin, smoked salt and wild berry "bordelaise"...the pizzas~ spicy soppresata, mozz, chili flakes, tomato jam...fig, arugula, basil, aged goat cheese, garlic, olives...roasted chicken, celery-arugula pesto, provolone, olive jam...and just for fun, we threw in a gelato station...gianduja-chocolate, rose geranium, olive oil and lemon verbena...some warm lemon-ricotta zeppole, various cookies like lemon-chocolate biscotti, amaretti, and coconut macaroons...lastly, we did a frozen anti griddle station made of little sweet and tasty lollipops like spiced avocado dipped in dark chocolate, caramel, lemon-yogurt-fennel. Peeps were stoked. Cooks had a great time.

Canning Awesome Cherries...

Each and every year, for the most part unless we are slammed or just miss our window due to life, we put up scores of pounds of cherries and other wonderful preserves and conserves made from natures fruits hand harvested and nurtured by local farmer friends. It is a great thing. I have been doing this since way before it was en vogue. As goes with salumi, vinegar making, pickles and such...long before the days of every cook in the restaurant had enough ink to stand against picasso. At least the beauty of the arts of our fore-mothers long forgotten has resurfaced! This year, we got in some very tasty cherries, both Lapin, Sweethearts and Rainiers. Put up with various liquors, herbs, spices and such in about three different canning sessions...they are surely going to be enjoyed throughout the fall, winter and early spring. What's next...hopefully, apricots, figs, tomatoes and who knows what else. Stay in touch...


Vintimate 2012...

steamed atlantic fluke, compressed summer melon, baby farmer tomatoes
basil gel, almonds, lomo milk, pluot-elderflower vinaigrette
marinated ivory salmon belly, tomato water gelee, charred peach gazpacho
purple basil, pickled watermelon rind
crispy soft shell crab, king oyster mushroom, green garbanzo, black garlic paint,
 green apple mustard oil
spice crusted moularde duck breast, chanterelles, corn waffle, glazed fennel
cherry relish, anise hyssop, cacao nibs
porcini dusted bison loin, morels, porcini, caramelized garlic
fava beans, artichoke-hazelnut custard, saskatoon-manjari sauce
Our sommelier and beverage director...aka "wine guy" and his team, several years ago created a program to help further the passion, knowledge and mission of our global food and wine series which he dubbed the Vintimate Dinners...essentially...intimate wine dinners. As opposed to our global taste series where I would create different menus inspired from the world around, he crafts wine menus based on cool viticultures, harvests, makers, regions, grape varietals and growths etc. and I pair food to it. Selfishly, I always want food first, but this has been a very chic, cool and intimate adventure and experience. Here are a few shots of this years vintimate dinners...

Oui, Oui Chef...

grilled diver scallop salad, "garden treasures", carrot puree, nasturtium
peas, micro herbs, lemon verbena vinaigrette
sweet corn agnolotti, truffles, morels, corn, asparagus, hummus,
marcona almonds, poultry jus
american bison loin sous vide, cauliflower-hazelnut flan, cepes
baby carrots, fava ban puree, saskatoon berry essence
salted caramels, lemon verbena white chocolate "madelines"
olive oil chocolates, macaron sandwiches
A tribute to our recently departed team member, friend, commis, apprentice, extern, stagier, brigade addition, cook, grunt, what-have-you! Not departed in the sense of dead and gone, just gone back home to Paris after a 4-month long stage, or stint in our kitchen. He fulfilled his obligation and task of learning and hopefully, he enjoyed his time with us. A nice, young kid with so much to learn...so much to see...so much to contemplate and assess for his path in life and journey of career. He inspired me with just speaking his native tongue as it it brought back so many great memories of my cooking at Rover's restaurant and my schooling with French chefs at culinary school back in the day. Here's a post to you mon ami...Keep cooking and learning always. Stay in touch.
Alexis enjoying confit du canard at the chefs table


Food Porn 8.01.12...

foie two ways...chilled rhubarb wrapped torchon, walnuts, walnut powder, truffled apricot
seared, tayberries, peaches, lemon balm, saba
grilled neah bay coho "vierge", baby farmer tomatoes, purple basil, dauro olive oil, fennel
sweet corn agnolotti, truffles, pea vines, morels, peas, poultry jus
tale of three soups
chilled pea boisson, lemon creme fraiche
caramelized carrot soup, coconut, chives
silky corn soup sous vide, house bacon, thyme
farm raised poussin sous vide, radishes, carrots, peas, pea puree, carrot puree
vermont coupole chevre, basil gel, verjus vinaigrette
slow cooked bison loin, cauliflower-truffle gratin, porcini, morels, fava
green garbanzo beans and a saskatoon essence
chocolate-peanut nougat terrine, black cap raspberries, smoked wood ice cream
cherry pie, rose geranium ice cream, linzer sablee
peach crisp, muscovado streusel, spruce tip ice cream
raspberry-ricotta pudding, tayberry sorbet, raspberry salad
A few shots that I need to post to catch up on where we are at in the kitchen...waiting for more summer ingredients to show up...here's a tease of the day.A tribute to our stagier who will be on his way back to Paris after a four month stint. Good times. Bon jour.

Man's Best Friend...

Ain't it the truth? So many times of fun, sadness, laughter and happiness I have sought friendship in my dog at the time throughout my life. Never brought mine to a rock show however...this guy was having a great time with his friend...we'll just call him Eddie!