Breakfast in Bed?...

Envision something silky, rich, seductive, tantalizing, sexy, luscious, sensuous, unctuous and soooo tasty. Enter Foie Gras! Here we have prepared this wonderful beauty with a crusting of chopped honey bunches of oats cereal, cacao nibs and marcona almonds, then paired it with gently pickled rhubarb tossed with lemon balm and grains of paradise, a smooth complimentary rhubarb puree, muscovado jelly, 30 year balsamic and mandarin olive oil...In a word...sublime! Now that your minds are all in the gutter..get cooking and save that thought for the boudoir!


Food Porn 5.27...

As I look at the dishes below and the all the shots on my phone, camera and computer, I realize that I almost need a full time publicist, photograph editor and composition compiler to get this posted in a timely fashion. Yea, and I need an office assistant, a personal helper, a this and a that etc..blah blah blah! I must say it is difficult to stay ahead on blog posting, writing and photo downloading while working my schedule. Nonetheless, when I look at the photos and read the menus that I write for these meals, I can see growth as well as repetition...inspiration and tradition...creativity at the same time as foundation. All in all, I feel the need to keep pushing forward as I keep trying to break out of routine and feed the team with new blood and revitalize our spirits. Hoping that I am keeping them stoked, excited and always learning. That has and will be, a forever and never ending goal of mine to keep our team inspired and feeling great about what they do, where they do it and what they can take with them when they decide to move on.

kona kampachi salad, green apple-fennel jelly, radishes, whipped citrus
wood sorrel, heart of palm, pickled peppered strawberries, meyer lemon oil
seared foie gras, whipped foie gras silk, rhubarb, celery hearts, rhubarb gelee, hazelnuts

grilled scallop, asparagus, pea tendrils, pea-smoked duck pancake
chilled pea boisson, truffle oil

pan roasted striped bass, morels, fiddlehead ferns, braised ramps, purple potatoes
green garbanzo-olive composure, citrus poultry jus

dessert tastes...
strawberry-rhubarb "tart", olive oil gelato, chocolate-peanut butter bar, banana,
beignets, banana pudding, honey pot de creme

seared foie gras and lots of fun flavors
blackberry, hazelnut, kumquats, pears, balsamic, caramel, cacao nibs

poached shigoku oysters, rhubarb gelee, apples, micro radishes, chia yogurt
grapefruit confit, manadarin oil, rhubarb vinegar

pan roasted branzino, fava tapenade, ramps, pea pancake
pea tendrils, chive blossoms, pea jus

Food Porn 5.26...

More dishes...these handful were during a run of cool ingredients that we had that we were having fun with in various ways...Taste...Flavor...Texture...Composition...Evolution...
Creation...Renditions...Revisitations...Recollections... all in a days work.
maine lobster, local asparagus, asparagus bread, wood sorrel, yogurt creme fraiche

marcona almond crusted wild boar loin
carrot nettles, morels, glazed carrots, celery root pudding, tripe-truffle-onion ragout
banyuls-blackberry essence

honey bunches of oats crusted chicken bites, spicy buttermilk drizzle

grilled kona kampachi, peas, heart of palm, honshimejii mushrooms
ramps, purple potatoes, ramp oil-carrot juice-pineapple "vinaigrette"

seared foie gras, rhubarb gelee, chocolate, poached rhubarb, apricot conserve
celery-hazelnut salad, fig infused balsamic

wild boar sous vide, green garbanzo beans, olives, nettle pesto,
oxtail-tripe stew, fava risotto, green apple mustard sauce 


Food Porn 5.25...

riesling poached shigoku oyster
ugli, rhubarb gelee, celery, sturgeon caviar, lime creme fraiche, yopol
lobster & asparagus salad

yuzu sabayon, asparagus-truffle salad, wood sorrel, truffle vinaigrette

seared foie gras, poached rhubarb, fennel, kumquats, rhubarb puree
chocolate dots, hazelnut-cacao dusting

seared kampachi, ramps, peas, bacon, citrus braised heart of palm,
pea tendrils, blood orange-spring onion puree, jus de poisson

scallops 'two ways"
seared with fava bean tapenade, green garbanzo-olive composure, king trumpet mushrooms, black garlic aioli
ceviche stuffed nasturtium blossom, chives, lemon, sesame, golden caviar, bergamot oil

tangelo-ginger soda with chia seeds

white asparagus gelato, meyer lemon confit, lemon balm oil
wild boar sous vide, carrot creamed nettles, morels, celery root puree
marcona almond, tripe-apple-onion ragout, banyuls sauce
Random shots of the moments as they unfolded in front of the team and the guests. Cool when everything falls into place. Not saying it did or was exactly what I was looking to achieve, but it was tasty! The truth be told and awaits us as we search deep for new ideas and thoughts. Several of these dishes are twists and spins on the same handful of ingredients.

A Special Tribute...

So much of what I cook, write, say, do, feel, react to, and listen to in terms of music is a reflection of what is happening to me at any given time in my life. Some incredibly great...some good...some just so-so and in some cases...some very shitty! That is probably true and the case for most anyone. All do have and take their place in many forms and fashions. Last night, I had a great privilege to cook for some folks that are very special. This was at the chefs table for a special night for them. Cooking for them is always so wonderful. In doing so, I pulled out some very personal creations.
warm porcini crusted halibut & asparagus salad
morels, asparagus bread, white asparagus gelato, black garlic aioli, bourbon-maple vinaigrette

honey bunches of oats crusted foie gras
rhubarb puree, rhubarb-grains of paradise salad, muscovado gel, marcona almonds
30 yr balsamic condiment

pecan-smoked paprika-cornmeal crusted soft shell crab
soft, sexy grits, nettles, pepper-onion compote, cuttlefish "noodles"
carrot-vadouvan jus

grilled copper river sockeye salmon
quinoa, king trumpet mushrooms, peas, ramps, pea jus, radish-lemon salad

roasted beet salad intermezzo
beet sorbet, citrus, fennel pollen yogurt, banyuls vinegar, "pop rocks"

spice crusted duck breast & porcini mushrooms
green garbanzo bean-olive-truffle "tapenade", fava bean pancake, gold beets, kumquats
huckleberry-dark chocolate essence

licorice-syrah braised beef short rib sous vide
fennel, pears, celery root puree, lentils, cherry-black pepper sauce

strawberry-rhubarb-tapioca crisp, muscovado streusel, spruce tip ice cream
pineapple-coconut salad, kumquats, coconut sorbet, pineapple upside down cake
"banana bread pudding"...caramel, banana-chocolate, bananas, peanuts, brioche, cobbler topping
chocolate dove bar, vanilla-buttermilk beignets, chocolate chip-mint ice cream, chilled chocolate soup
I feel very blessed to be able to be a part of something so wonderful on either side of the coin. The dishes crafted and created are but an extension of my heart and soul. Whether burning with desire or bleeding with pain, it all comes out in the wash so-to-speak. I am only too fortunate to have had this privilege on this earth. Wondering what is next???


A Reflection of Oneself...

That "oneself" is me. A glimpse of myself through the vision of my sons. I see it daily, all-to-clearly, not only when I watch my oldest cooking, but in the actions and movements of both in everything that they do, say and react to. Some for the good, some not so much. It's all a part of life. What I have instilled in them and what I hope for them in the future, I pray that I have done some good with their upbringing. I can not take all the credit mind you, for their mother has had an equal hand in that. In the cooking side of things for me personally..it is an amazing sight to see your child, grow up to be a young adult and follow (if only somewhat) in your footsteps as you nurture, guide and coach them along, only to see them carry out the things you have asked with intent, pride and commitment. It makes you proud as a parent. In life, as I witness that same follow through, commitment and energy taking place in other tasks and duties with my youngest son as he works hard at being a good person, shows care in the work that he does, aims to please the people he works for and strives to be the best he can at whatever he does. He gives 150% effort each and every single time. Whether he is playing basketball or running track, sharing his heart through fellowship, working on some landscaping with me or whatever...i know he is giving it his all. With my oldest, I see much determination, ambition, strength, confidence and desire...mostly to play basketball professionally. I am proud of them both, more than I can even begin to expound upon. As I look into this mirror of life...with happiness and excitement I see myself, and at the same time, I see something far better and greater than that. A reflection of a dream. Every parent wants to see something better for their kids...I am no different, and although they may not follow in my footsteps as a chef, I know they will know how to cook, enjoy good food and enjoy life.


Beyond The Clouds...

Is your future clear or unclear? Can you see beyond the haziness in front of you at times?
Is your vision one of clarity and are you able to set your sights on the sun shining through the dark clouds? In life, there are many uncertainties and obstacles that can and will cloud your vision. Obstruction is a fact of life and nature. How we navigate through these hurdles and roadblocks determine our successes in our future. In the realm of cooking...this is every bit of a reality in the professional cuisiniers kitchen. Some of the things a chef is subjected to each day can be overwhelming and very frustrating...Did the cook or dishwasher show up today and even bother to call in to let you know? Did the ingredients arrive properly and was it even the correct amount and of proper stellar quality? Did the guest show up on time for the large banquet event while you have six more following it and getting ready to start? Did you get pulled into a meeting that you weren't planing on and wonder what the hell is happening in the kitchen? Is something happening in your personal life that is totally throwing you off kilter and causing stress while you know you have the utmost need to keep it all together? Did the cook not pay attention to what he or she was doing and torch the only freakin pork shoulder in the house? The list goes on and on. It doesn't stop. As a person, a chef, a leader...it is your job to deal with this shit, stuff it down deep, maneuver around it, anticipate it, adapt and manage the shortcomings, plan accordingly and develop a contingency to overcome the most stressful of situations. Make it work. Make it happen. Get it done. Turn a negative into a positive and be great at it. Sometimes it is hard to do and gets very frustrating and almost seemingly hopeless to some. Perseverance, positivity, hard work, foresight, desire, passion, determination, commitment, professionalism and strong will are all but a small handful of things that can and do help to get one through it. I know, because this has helped me constantly in many a situation that I have found myself buried in throughout my career. A fight till the death is sometimes what it takes. Not settling for less than the best. Failure is not and can not be an option. Set your sights high and keep looking forward. Look beyond the clouds, the rain, the haze, the fog, the darkness in life and only seek the glory, the beauty, the brightness, the sunlight of hope and success in life and your work. You will make it. You will succeed. You will win.


New Tastes of Tradition...

A variety of dishes newly inspired by the season...the crue...the guests...the moment...the ingredients...the world. Alright...enough said. As spring rears it's beautiful head, we as cooks and chefs get seriously excited. That is typically putting it mildly. In the Northwest, we have a long dreary at times winter that tends to drag on for quite a while, or so it would seem. So by the time the words; ramps, asparagus, fiddehead ferns and spring garlic roll around, they are well embraced. Always quick to get on the road to madness of cooking with the fun fresh flavors of spring, here is parlay into the outtake.
maine lobster, ugli fruit, avocado, sturgeon caviar, yuzu-champagne-elderflower sabayon

seared sweetbreads, asparagus bread, white & green asparagus, green garbanzo
king trumpet mushrooms, hazelnuts, black garlic aioli

pan roasted black bass, pea pancake, crispy duck tongues, peas, ramps
braised radishes, spring onion nage

lamb loin sous vide, apricot mostarda, morels, nettles, fava beans
truffle-tripe-mushroom ragout, douglas fir jus

72 hour beef short rib, lentils, oxtails, pears, brussels, walnuts, huckleberry sauce

fennel pollen albacore, radishes, hearts of palm, compressed cucumber, black garlic aioli
olive vinaigrette, micro cress

grilled alaskan halibut, pea pancake, wild leeks, morels, fava ban tapenade
rhubarb coulis, carrot powder

spice crusted moularde duck breast, carrot creamed nettles, glazed baby carrots, lentils, tripe
caramelized brussel sprouts, maple blossoms, blackberry essence

meyer lemon confit, tarragon, white asparagus gelato