Study in Beef...

 That was the mission. The challenge. The adventure. A 17-course journey for a special guest and part three of a culinary excursion of about 52 courses of tastes, textures and flavors in three seating's. Enter the menu~ A study in beef, veal, and all that is beef-like. A menu where I could step out of the norm to express even more from the soul...both refined and casual. Not a typical style of menu mind you...but whimsical, fun, playful, street food-esque, snack style, crazy good...all about flavor. I can only imagine what lie ahead for the next study that will present itself.
beet  tenderloin, truffles, pickled shallots, mustard crème fraiche, crispy potato

veal sweetbreads, foie gras, apples, caramelized shallots, cassis gelee
saba aioli, celery-walnut salad, celery leaves, walnut powder, ras el hanout
cassis-banyuls vinaigrette

heirloom tomato, tomato sorbet, sturgeon caviar, crispy duck leg, sriracha aioli
canary melon, lemon-bourbon vinegar dressing

barbecued beef brisket, maine lobster, plum-fennel-carrot slaw, mustard éclair
black garlic-ale mustard, deep fried winey-briny house pickle

~shabu shabu~
aged prime beef, smoked tofu, baby sun gold tomatoes, honshimejii mushrooms
black rice, cabbage, pear-onion dashi broth
on side- spicy peanut sauce and citrus ponzu

~pictured here with broth~

seared scallop, silky risotto, artichokes, beet greens, crispy parmesan chip
jus de poisson

~frozen yogurt~
compressed cucumber, cucumber sorbet, spice pickled green nectarines, nigella
fennel pollen-honey frozen yogurt lozenge


stuffed with braised beef short ribs, foie gras, truffles, shallots
served with savory tomato-red pepper sauce, cumin cracker crumbs

carrot-mascarpone ravioli, parmesan, tenderloin, tomatoes, lobster mushrooms
cipolline onions, poultry jus, herb oil

~street food~
marinated, smoked beef flank, grilled, smoked jalapeno brushed
summer corn-peach relish, purple beans, black garlic buttermilk dip

~dried beef~
potato noodles, parsley-chive puree, sea urchin, chives, black peppercorn veal jus
grated dried cured beef

~veal cheek~
syrah braised veal cheek, goat cheese polenta, chanterelles, leeks
pearl onions, balsamic reduction

~tri tip~
kobe beef, smoked quinoa, Portobello, caramelized salsify, chard, rosemary essence

spice rubbed bison, apples, fennel roasted thumbelina carrots, argan potatoes
crispy onions, dark chocolate jus

porcini custard, truffled apricot conserve, apricot sorbet, parmesan wafer

zucchini bread, white peaches, peach pearls, pecans, peach coulis, cocoa wafer
spicy beef brisket ice cream


Kitchen Cooking Sessions...

Inspired from the book and PBS series; The Kitchen Sessions, penned by the late chef Charlie Trotter, this approach to cooking is paralleled with the types of jazz sessions that arose in the 50's and 60's as jazz musicians would step up to the mike on a dim lit stage for a small handful(or not) of folks and just jam. No real set list, no real format, just raw playing as it came to them for the folks that cared to show up to hear something amazing. Cooking at the chefs table is a lot like that, and in fact it is Charlie Trotter's inspiration of this jazz playing that inspired the conception of the chefs table theory in my kitchen as it did Charlie Trotter way back when. Our table has been in force for over 13 years. It is a style of unrehearsed, creative, "of the moment" passion that unravels before the guests. You are experiencing it as the creator is conceiving it. It doesn't get much better than that. When a artist is creating without borders or restrictions, it allows for something of sheer beauty. When it is confined, it is like a tiger in a cage...dead. Here are a few dishes that have transpired of late...more to follow.
heirloom tomato salad, orange zebra pave, baby sun gold, tomato sorbet, spanish gazpacho
buffalo mozzarella, smokey jal-turmeric vinaigrette, crispy potato

seared local foie gras, peppered nectarines, pistachio-smoked chocolate pancake
wild huckleberry gastric, pistachio dust

grilled alaskan halibut, baby zucchini ribbons, fava bean tapenade, arugula
sweet corn, cured lemons, sea urchin essence

seared swordfish plank, spicy glazed mackerel, quail leg lollipop
shiso, fennel, lobster mushrooms, potato noodles, black garlic
spicy pork dashi broth (not pictured)

pepper & cardamom crusted kobe beef strip loin sous vide
coffee roasted carrots, chanterelles, polenta gratin, cassis pearl onions
sage-cassis sauce

anniversary sweets
lemon posset, s,mores, salted caramel tart, white chocolate-lavender ribbon
peach cobbler, fruits, sorbets

spice crusted bison, lobster mushrooms, silky potatoes, walnuts
quinoa, purple cauliflower, caramelized garlic, walnut powder
black pepper-huckleberry sauce

heirloom tomatoes, shiro plums, french breakfast radishes, arugula
crab-lime salad, tunisian cous cous, plum-jalapeno dressing

seared foie gras, diver scallop, pistachios, nectarine-graham cracker tart
shallot-potato streusel, huckleberry-syrah vinegar reduction


Study In Umami...

818 on 8/18...this reflects the number of chefs tables to date on the date in which is was executed, and for the person who was the first to dine at the table! What a long road, amazing journey and incredible story it has been along the way! Tonight's dinner was a study in UMAMI...14 courses of savory, succulent, earthy, palate tingling, and salivating satiation, in which mental, emotional and spiritual intoxication of eating is all wrapped into a bundle of amazing flavor combinations, which are considered the fifth element of taste, dubbed as savory, or umami. It is really a concept and experience that is not easy to explain or define and exceptionally deep to fathom and contemplate. It refers to the glutamates in foods, the sensation it evokes as the taste receptors in your mouth and on your tongue become stimulated and create an almost euphoric sensation that makes you salivate and get that craving for something tasty. Certain foods posses more glutamates than others, and some are extremely high in them, thus creating more umami than another. Foods that are high in umami are foodstuffs such as shiitake mushrooms, parmesan cheese, soy, seaweed, fried potatoes, truffles, truffles and the like. Here are a handful of dishes that we created for such an experience. I can honestly say that this was one of those dinners that I will remember for the rest of my life. To cook this dinner was an honor and a privilege.
peach and house cured lomo skewers
uber ripe summer melon and grana padano parmesan cheese wafer

truffled popcorn and spicy parmesan popcorn

lobster, white nectarine, avocado, caviar, yuzu sabayon

crispy duck tongue cocktails, black pepper-maple aioli
fish sauce, shiitake-plum relish, crispy potato, maple-sherry drizzle

heirloom tomato core, baby sun gold tomatoes, heirloom tomato sorbet
shiso, surf clams, smokey jal-turmeric-shiso dressing

soy and sweet chili lacquered spanish mackerel, broiled, citrus heart of palm
caramelized mango, kimchi puree, micro greens, herb oil

peaches, peach pearls, herbal tea reduction, green tea sorbet

potato noodles, fresh uni, cured lemon, bottarga, micro arugula
vermouth-sea urchin essence, chives

seared scallop dashi, beer & soy braised quail leg, sriracha, black garlic
carrot-ginger salad, peas
(staged for dashi finish)

sides for dashi...
crispy togarashi potato fries and savory nori seaweed ice cream

silky and rich dashi broth with pork belly, szechuan, lemongrass, garlic
mushrooms, chili peppers, citrus, bay, thyme and other love
sweet corn flan, truffles, leeks, chanterelles, corn, truffle-foie gras nage

american kobe beef tri tip, grilled, cabbage-plum slaw, king oyster mushrooms
mustard dressing

slow braised unctuous pork belly, blackberries, polenta, lobster mushrooms
chard, tamarillo-pistachio-pickled shallot sauce

fig and pine nut tart, porcini crust, porcini custard, fig jam
parmesan ice cream, pine nut dust, peppered balsamic strawberry salad


20 To Go...

...but who's counting? This twenty-course (and then some) culinary "gastronomica" outlay was for a special foodie friend of mine who has inspired me in many ways along the years. To cook for him and his guests are totally driving, exhilarating, fun, invigorating and satisfying for the soul. It is times like this that remind me of those core reasons why I got into this business. The journey that lie ahead was based on and envisioned by the ingredients of the moment, the state of mind, the music I was rocking on the way in and his desire to create the style of menu from days gone by with a spicy edge...kick-ass hodge style! So, without further adieu...here you go...I am thankful for the opportunity to cook like this. Hope you enjoy the porn.
crispy spiced duck tongues, saba aioli, sherry-maple drizzle

heirloom tomato gazpacho, spanish dauro olive oil, peach
spicy clams, cured lemons, romesco streusel

maine lobster, cantaloupe, avocado, sturgeon caviar, champagne-yuzu-elderflower sabayon

"cold cuts"...
slow cooked duck breast, crispy hot onions rings, pickled shallots
compressed nectarines, toasted marbled rye, peppered crème fraiche

hawaiian opah tartare sandwich, brioche, celery root remoulade, togarashi
purple bean salad nicoise, sun gold tomatoes, olives, artichoke tapenade, fennel, arugula

grilled atlantic bluefish, heirloom tomato pave, gold shiro plum
celery, grilled marcona almonds, chive blossoms, sherry XO sauce

scallop dashi, popcorn grits, bacon, honshimejii, sriracha aioli, chard
pea tendrils, aleppo pepper, SMOKEY JAL hot sauce,  micro intensity,
pork belly-citrus-chili dashi broth

pouring dashi...mmmmmm

seared foie gras crisp, apricots, muscovado crumble, tayberries, cacao nibs
natural nectar

chamomile milk jelly, blackberries, blackberry & peach pearls
grated sweet almonds, fleur de sel

squab liver flan, crispy squab wings, king trumpet mushrooms, radish sprouts
pickled watermelon radish veil, peaches, soy-rice vinegar-plum vinaigrette
(one of my tributes this week to Charlie Trotter)

tomato fondue stuffed squash blossom, basil, baby purple tomatoes,
oranges, rock hill ranch olive oil, crispy shallots

carrot ravioli, truffles, thumbelina carrots, carrot butter, snap peas, pea vines

alaskan halibut sous vide, truffle mousseline, chanterelles, corn, nasturtium sauce
sautéed sea robin, zucchini ribbon, black garlic, caramelized heirloom garlic
tomato jus de poisson

local peppered blueberry-yogurt terrine, fennel, olive oil, lemon verbena lemonade soda

foie gras stuffed squab, roasted cherries, walnuts, walnut potatoes
walnut powder, roasted squab hearts, cassis-syrah gastric

slow merlot braised beef short ribs, lobster mushrooms, purple cauliflower
wilted spinach, black huckleberry-peppercorn sauce

silky lemon-vanilla posset, figs, strawberries, plums, pistachios, caramel wafer
strawberry-lime sorbet, plum sorbet, white chocolate-lavender ribbon

pb&j "croustillant"
fried peanut butter-apricot-truffle conserve sandwich, honeyed eggwash, brioche
honey bunches of oats-cacao nibs breading, apricot salad, banana ice cream
(inspired from a scene in Spanglish)

fresh graham cracker, smoked scharffenberger chocolate, cinnamon marshmallow
graham streusel, caramel, raspberries, smoked cherrywood ice cream

salted vanilla caramels, lemon balm-lemon macarons, apple mint dove stix
tayberry pates de fruits, peppered fig vodka