Blood Red Warmth...

The mood was that of a sensual, warming sensation that runs throughout your body. Like your blood running through your veins as the tension and adrenaline grows wild. Deep dark and red. Enter Burgundy wine. This dinner was all about Burgundy wine, it's rituals and traditions. We had a group in who was all about Burgundy. A big to-do. Great to see it. We were charged with the mission of creating a menu that would showcase the wines beyond belief...to elevate them to an even higher plane than they were on their own...and to bring the soire to an over the top experience from a food and wine pairing perspective. As one guest put it...you rarely get one good pairing out of these types of dinners..."and you hit them all out of the park". Well...all I can say is that we need to keep striving for perfection and that the team and I had fun cooking. They were all amazed that I had not even tried the wines to pair the foods to, for we did not know them, nor do I consume the beast (reads: another story!). I just thought about the wine itself, the foods that come to mind and the flavors that seem fitting. Here is how it played out. Raise a glass and imagine the flavors and setting. Cheers!
seared scallops, braised frog legs, house bacon, shallots, micro chrysanthemum
mustard blooms, mustard seeds, chervil jus

72 hour short ribs, turnip puree, forest pioppini mushrooms, potato boulangere
peppered cherry-cipolline onion jam, salsify chips, pomegranate salt
cherry-armagnac sauce, cherry pudding

belgian washed rind cheese, walnut crusted cabecous feuilles, fig mostarda
beaujolais gelee, walnut brioche, fig financier, walnut powder, banyuls gastrique

cinnamon-dark chocolate bar, hazelnut dacquoise, crispy salted potato
burgundy apple parisienne, smoked wood ice cream, pop rock wafers, caramel anglaise

"persilles du jambon"
foie gras mousse, cured and smoked beechers shank ham, madeira gelee, pedro ximenez reduction

caramelized onion and duck confit gougeres, duck tongues, tarragon

escargot bourguignonne "ma facon"
sous vide cooked snails, garlic custard, basil espuma


Spain Revisited Again...

a tapas rendition...
bison flank skewer, marinated, seared with idiazabel, charred tomato tapenade, marcona
piquillo-white anchovy terrine, arugula pesto, olive oil powder, crisp olive wafer, potato
squid salad, ham, olives, pedro ximenez reduction
crab-potato-garlic sopa

12 hour braised pork belly, saffron cooked fennel, kumquat marmalade, polenta fries, romesco crumbs,
spanish sherry-shallot sauce

a couple interpretations of spanish cooking in a modern regional american spin...in other words...having fun! No agenda, just good flavors, fun ideas, plays on the old presented in the new. Wines went very well with these dishes. 


Dreams Are Realities...

a dream is just reality not yet realized...from the shadows of darkness, the ideas blossom into reality.
sometimes, just plain mental!
Food seems to take on a path its own~living, breathing, devouring, growing, simmering, nurturing, hibernating, procreating, dying.
It emerges at birth into a living organism. Continues on by feeding on thought and new ideas, sustaining itself on healthy doses of knowledge, education and research. Breathes in fresh oxygen by means of passion, commitment and desire. Feeds itself on creativity, technique, technology. Grows strong as practice is implemented. Simmers slowly as new thoughts are provoked and failure takes place. Nurtures itself through others in which they are surrounded with via their own successes and disasters. Hibernates as needed while business must take place or when creativity is stifled or non existent. Procreating as life necessitates and demands and the world around evolves. Dying as we all must...nothing good lasts forever! Food has evolved continuously over the centuries and even more so over the last couple decades. My take on it, like a mere grain of sand amongst a coastline of beaches is only a thought, an instinctive vision, a demanding statement, an addictive way of life, a lifelong dream...one which I can call my own. Here before you is merely a megapixel in the world of food. For what it worth...
shigoku oysters "two ways"
raw, mandarin pearls, citrus-chili vinaigrette, citrus, micro mustard
riesling-cider poached, compressed apple, watermelon radish, preserved ginger
blood orange juice, yuzu sorbet

foie gras...some of the same ol, some new
maple gel, roasted grapes, walnuts, walnut powder, dried fig mostarda
kumquat-black pepper caramel

rabbit confit, artichokes, black truffles, truffle-thyme custard
white truffle oil, shaved Italian black truffles

seared swordfish, quinoa, bloomsdale spinach, green olives, preserved lemons
roasted tomato, honshimejii, smoked golden raisin jus, mustard blooms
honey glazed onion dressing

salad, sorbet, soda with meyer lemon oil

ras el hanout crusted duck, beet paint, rye-hedgehog mushroom turnover
golden beets sous vide, salsify chips, celery-citrus puree
huckleberry sauce, argan oil, syrah salt


Simple But Good...

a few dishes that were thrown together without rhyme or reason...a playful composition in the heat of the season.
a gathering of ingredients developing flavor and taste...a scrumptious creation not done out of haste.
a whisp, a crisp, a little nuance of this...a texture, a garnish all made of sheer bliss.
These are some tastes all done on the fly... in the middle of service then consumed like a blink of an eye...cheers!
rabbit, carrots, beets

foie gras, gingerbread, cranberry

veal, lobster, truffles

fluke, crosnes, black trumpets

salmon, heart of palm, celery

rabbit, hedgehog mushrooms, walnuts


Winter Will Blossom...

Winter is a time of year in the Northwest that can be a bit boring, drab, mundane, uninspiring and suppressed, not to mention rainy and wet. But, in the culinary world this year in Seattle, we have had great weather for the most part and the season has been a good one. Sure we are in the thralls of citrus, mushrooms, nuts, root vegetables and the like, but hey, that is what winter is about. Bringing the plethora of the cellar to fruition and to its glory. Citrus this year has been invigorating and inspirational for us. We have brought in a whole bunch of different items to play with and are pairing that with local foodstuffs to juxtapose a dish and creation that suits our palate and that of our guests...or so we would hope. Here is a taste of what is happening on the canvas of our cooks...
maine lobster, roasted beets, cara cara oranges, heart of palm "ravioli", yuzu pudding
frozen grapefruit-honey yogurt, golden caviar-verjus dressing

seared foie gras, maple gel, walnuts, roasted grapes, walnut-ras el hanout powder
fig mostarda, banyuls gastrique

ginger & lemongrass braised monkfish, butternut galette, leeks, soy pearls
honshimejii mushrooms, peanut milk emulsion, grilled pear dashi

meyer lemon confit, kumquat marmalade, rose compressed fennel, tangerine sorbet

pomegranate brushed beef short rib, sexy grits, cassis simmered crosnes, hedgehog mushrooms
smoked salsify, pomegranate molasses

honey-citrus cake, caramel apple, brown butter custard, salted caramel ice cream
buttermilk panna cotta, blood oranges, persimmons sorbet, croquant
chocolate "cheesecake", oatmeal-coconut granola, banana ice cream, tangelos
"s'mores"...cherry marshmallows, pop rock wafer, chocolate graham, pears, ganache, raspberry sorbet