How Much Difference...

Does it make?...The proof is in the pudding. One can put in a little or one can put in a lifetime! The difference and amount in which one puts into what he or she is doing can and usually does determine the outcome. Success, failure or simply mediocrity. In my line of work, in my craft and in my life, I have seen all the above. I choose to put in all or nothing. That's usually my M.O., and, because of one, I have seen the other. In cooking as a craft and profession, we as chefs are labeled as the food we cook, the establishments we run and the quality that is displayed and savored. If the food sucks, we suck! If it rocks, then we are rock stars. It's that simple. I'm not saying I am either. I just cook. I enjoy making people happy and I enjoy working the rock star team that we have. Without them, well...who knows. here are but a few dishes of late...
sous vide king salmon, heart of palm, pomelo, fennel, prosciutto, peppercress
crispy potato, sriracha aioli, meyer lemon oil

pan roasted scallop, creamed nettles, leeks, black trumpet mushrooms
truffles, cardoon soup, micro celery

sorghum brushed venison loin, black pepper, pecans
hedgehog mushrooms, peppered gingerbread, celery root, smoked garlic, sorghum-bacon custard
popped sorghum  


Ride The Wave...

scallop ceviche, heart of palm, pomelo, tangerine pearls, micro mustard
begonia petals, blood orange olive oil dressing
"I'll ride the wave...where it takes me...i'll hold the pain...release me"! And so as the story goes... It is always great to ride that wave of glory as long as it lasts and for how far it travels. We take the bumps along the way like anyone else. Nothing special, nothing above the rest. The pain that comes along with the glory and the thrill of the moment is nothing short of the thrill it provides. Cooking is a career and a craft that allows one to feel both. The glory and the pain in all it's depth. The two are meant to be together, really, like a symbiotic harmony of culture. The two feed off of one another and provide sustenance and ultimately, the success or failure of the outcome of the craft. Pick any art medium, look deep within and you will see what I am talking about. Looking deep within my own self is where I pull the ideas and creativity from, and that is my glory for all to see.
tai snapper, fennel, kumquats, chorizo, basil, bergamot oil
bbq pork shoulder foam, yukon gold potatoes

wagyu beef loin, celery root, black trumpet mushrooms, walnuts
truffled carrots, argan-goat cheese potatoes

sorghum & spice rubbed venison loin, parsnip puree, hedgehog mushrooms
nettles, peppered gingerbread, curried cauliflower-raisin salad, huckleberry sauce

pre dessert...
elderflower compressed cucumbers, roasted pineapple, mojito sorbet, mint gel


Soft, Sweet & Sticky...

Enter Sorghum Syrup. Pure cane goodness from the south, aged in bourbon barrels. Kentucky's finest from a 5th generation mill in Louisville, this age old molasses-like luxury is a sweet substitute for...well, molasses, maple, honey and the like. On a recent journey to Atlanta, I found this to be all around me. In the northwest, we don't see it hardly at all if ever. It was on almost every menu I came across there...from biscuits to baked goods, from panna cottas to grits, from drizzled toppings to brushings on slow roasted pork chops. So naturally, when I got back, I googled it, found some various sources and voila! They seem everywhere on the net...(reads Amazon), yet there was one brand or two that screamed out artisan and the style of small batch makers in which I seek out. Bourbon Barrel Foods is such a company. We have been using this in various forms and fashions. Brushed onto bison and venison loins after cooking, lacing it with black pepper and pecans(an homage to the South), mixed with a cool tasting vinegar like pedro ximenez or maple-bourbon for a quick gastric, mixed into ice cream bases for a pairing to a chocolate stout cake, and even a custard with herbs, cooked sorghum grain, bacon, caramelized onions and herbs. They have a variety of cool products as well...kentucky blue grass soy, bourbon sugar, smoked sugar, bourbon bbq sauce, and cool bitters. I encourage you to check this out. The application seems endless in which to create new dishes using this amazing new found love. Enjoy...


It's Your Decision...

Everything we do for the most part is up to us. It is our decision to stay or go. To be happy or not.To be focused and stay committed to our craft and work or stray and fall away. To cook with passion or get comfortable and just allow status quot to take over. No one plans to take the path that brings one lower...it just tends to happen if you don't keep your eyes wide open. If you don't like your situation...change it damn it! So, it is with distinct decision that these dishes came about...to push, to give, to create, to inspire and to love what we do. It can be better for sure...this is why we keep travelling down the other path in search of nirvana...
rabbit salad, parsnip, honshimejii mushroom, balsamic caviar
pears, hazelnuts

seared scallop, hand cut pappardelle pasta, truffles, beet blush, truffle crema

braised short rib and wagyu beef loin, celery root, black trumpet mushrooms
smoked hazelnut powder, tayberry sauce

king salmon, heart of palm, begonia, sturgeon caviar, avocado, blood orange

rabbit two ways...
custard with truffles, confit and purple potatoes
loin with pecans, arugula, truffle dressing, pears

seared foie gras, black currant pearls, kumquats, pine bud syrup, nibs

seared tai snapper, nettle puree, fennel-radish salad
bruleed meyer lemons, borage, hedgehog mushroom tapenade

lemon balm compressed grapes, oats, grape-lavender soda, gewurztraminer ice


Food Porn, part 2..

Some are addicted to porn, whatever porn they choose to become addicted to. In this case, it is all about the food and ingredients. I enjoy posting it out there for all to see like a giant movie rolling through the internet space. I have said it many a times, that in addition to cooking, I enjoy photography and all that it is. I always have since I was a wee lad back in the day, hell, even way before the day. Taking pictures of my food (or someone else's for that matter) has always had a special attraction for me. Addicted to my own medicine per se. Seems to be my drug of choice in my latter years(cooking, food, my posting and such). The art of the lens is much like the art of cooking as both seem to tantalize and arouse the senses in so many ways and can evoke such emotion and passion and beyond. Lately, I have held off on posting a handful of shots simply due to not having the time to get them out there. For the latest edition of the porn, I offer you this...

foie gras terrine, savory gingerbread, apricot conserve, pickled cherries
grated walnuts, aged balsamic pearls, walnut oil

seared diver scallop, rabbit-truffle-potato "risotto", honshimejii mushrooms
leeks, parsnip puree

baja grouper...
alternate shot of fennel, kumquats, chorizo, basil, bergamot

wagyu beef loin, hedgehog mushroom puree, caramelized garlic
cassis onions, porcini nettles, tayberry essence

syrah braised beef short rib "open face" sandwich
hand rolled pappardelle pasta, truffles, black trumpet mushrooms, celery root

pan roasted black bass

warm rabbit salad, pistachios, honshimejii mushrooms, greens
balsamic caviar, parsnip, pears, argan oil

seared scallop, truffles, pappardelle pasta, beet blush, baby leeks, porcini crema

beef short rib & wagyu loin
fig mostarda, celery root, black trumpet mushrooms, roasted sunchokes
hazelnuts, smoked hazelnut powder


Food Porn 03.08.15...

A handful of dishes prepared in the moment, bare and unleashed. Raw, uncut footage of the desires and passions that lie within. Some great, some not to bad, some perhaps better left laid to waste. I show you all so you can see what is real and not just for show. They are the dishes that unfold as it happens. Unrehearsed like a musicians jam session being whaled on as they create it.

pacific shigoku oysters, hibiscus gelee, heart of palm salad
pomelo, ginger, crispy potato

seared kangaroo loin, hedgehog mushroom puree, blood orange-macadamia nut relish
toasted sesame seed spice

slow cooked bison loin, celery root, brussels, kumquats, walnuts

a smathering of chocolate...

silky foie gras terrine, truffled apricot conserve, preserved cherries, hazelnuts
tangering pearls, hazelnut milk, cacao nibs

seared scallop, oxtails, truffles, black trumpet mushrooms, pine nuts, pine bud syrup

baja grouper, grilled yukon gold potato, kumquats, fennel, chorizo, basil, bergamot

press pot for intermezzo...
hibiscus, ginger, lemongrass, tea, citrus

bison, hedgehog mushroom puree, kumquats, crispy salsify, nasturtium essence, brussels,
citrus glazed cipolline onions

wagyu beef, smoked portobellos, wild mushroom ragout, cherries, micro greens

almond-white chocolate financiers, strawberry-prosecco pates de fruits
muscovado jellies, hazelnut-tangerine macaron, tea caramels

seared scallop, rabbit salad, carrot creamed nettles, black trumpet mushrooms

bison loin, smoked hazelnut powder, truffle-mushroom puree, creamed leeks
hedehog mushrooms, cassis sauce

blood orange brulee, tasting of citrus...
kumquats and elderflower-olive oil gelato
blood oranges, chai sorbet
yuzu marmalade, kumquat sherbet
pomelo, lemon ice
caramelized cara cara oranges, chocolate sorbet, dove bar


Fire Burns Hot...

A shot of some fire roasted salmon of late. Rubbed with love, spiced for action, tied to the plank and tossed to the coals. Slow vertical roasted as the Salish did. Nothing like it around, at least in a restaurant type setting.
there for the taking...

V is for...

could be for many...victorious, voluptuous, vicarious, vagabond, and the list goes on. In this case, it is for Valentines. This post is a bombardment of the cool and the sexy, and not necessarily in that order. Unfortunately, some of the shots did not come out well due to the lighting...maybe that was intentional? And let me tell you...this soup can get you some. Without further adieu...
shigoku raw oyster, tangerine pearls, hibiscus pickled fennel, hibiscus mignonette
this one was to get the party started

maine lobster, cara cara orange, lobster-vanilla vinaigrette, chives
yuzu-champagne-elderflower sabayon

seared scallop & beef short rib martini
silky mashed potatoes, cassis, love...
called this one foreplay!

smooth wild mushroom truffle cappuccino
beet blush, truffle foam, savory chestnut biscotti flanked this one

macaron hearts in the waiting...

various sweets for your sweetheart

hazelnut linzer cookies with raspberry and chocolate


Random Tastes of Tradition...

Since it has been a distance since my last post, I wanted to just push out a few random shots of things that have been happening here, there and around. There is really a lot more to post, yet I just need to find the time. As my normal position is not a full time blogger or food critic, I need to focus my energies on sometimes other things...like work, development of the craft, kids, music, the pursuit of happiness and traveling down the long road of that thing called life. What to do...At any rate, here is a screen shot of some fun things that will surely segue into my next full on food post. Until then...
Mis en Place!
sauce bottles full and ready for service

green harissa brushed lamb, polenta fries, chickpeas, fig mostarda
almonds, cumin roasted baby carrots, micro arugula, syrah salt

Truffles...oh glorious Truffles!
Perigord's finest...

a smattering of house brined, cured, cooked and almost raw pickles