Monday, March 31, 2008

iron chef america

hey!! did you watch iron chef this weekend??

if you did then you saw me! i was pastry chef for the challenging chef.

if you didnt, theres no need to worry. the show will broadcast the rest of the week. check the food network for times.

watch it!!!

OH! and this weekend the challenger will be Ken Oringer (Clio). i am super stoked about this battle. i cant wait!

Friday, March 28, 2008


Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
i found these babies growing in my backyard. jen planted them, i enjoy the fruits of her labor.

so i'm confused. it smells like rosemary. it looks like rosemary. but its lavender. i guess all thats left to do is to taste it.

either way, its very pretty.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dai Due Supper Club

this weekend i ventured out to austin to visit friends and support tyson and philly on their iron chef battle against morimoto. my friends had a surprise for me on saturday. they informed me about a farm in austin that has dinners weekend nights. their dinners are composed of all local ingredients. working with jj, i have become an avid fan of local products. this was my dinner at rain lily farm.

Fennel and Lemon Blossom Ratafia
i've tried some ratafias at tafia's, but none were as clean and smooth as this one. i hate fennel, so i was completely surprised i enjoyed this so much. i asked for thirds.

Gruyere and Apple Butter on Grilled Bread
the cheese was my favorite. it comes from Veldhuizen Farm. i hear we are getting lots of our cheeses and dairy products from them. the apple butter gave the canape a nice mellow sweetness.

Ham, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
light and hearty ... seems an oxymoron or a bad way to describe food, but i stand by my description.

Grilled Spring Onions with Green Garlic Sauce
i like my onions fully cooked. i cannot stand the flavor of raw or barely cooked onions. these spring onions were barely grilled and were absolutely delicious.

Grilled Quail with Lettuces
the quail was delicious, but for me the lettuces (especially the arugula) were the highlight of the evening. the quail rested on a nest of lettuces. the jus dripped from the quail and seasoned the lettuces. the smoky flavor, the saltiness and oil from the quail jus mixed incredibly with the bitterness of the arugula.

Grilled Pork Shoulder with Cabbage & Celery Root
i found the meat a bit tough. the celery root was outstanding.

Spit Roasted Lamb Shoulder
that was some tasty lamb shoulder!

Grilled Asparagus and Mushrooms
mmmm ... the tips of the arugula were crisp and tasty, but the best part was the stems. as soon as you bit into it, it melted in your mouth. they used oyster mushrooms and i loved them. my favorite were the bits that were small and slightly over cooked. they had a nice texture and concentrated flavor.

Beef Ribs with Beets and Beet Greens
i dont quite remember this one. im not a big beef fan.

Strawberry Sorbet with Fresh Cream
soon after eating this i received a phone call (or i called her. im not sure) from my best friend jennifer. she trained me. she would spent hours literally holding my hand showing me how to make pastry cream. (my custard dessert is my culinary ode to her) everything that i am and will be is because of her. she is my inspiration and motivation in life. so she called (or i called her. im not sure) and the first things i said were, "this is the best dessert i have ever had in my life!" it was a simple delicious strawberry sorbet topped with unpasteurized unsweetened whipped cream.

Dai Due is having another dinner this saturday evening, the focus will be seafood. i heard that tyson cole would be the guest chef. im headed back with a group of chefs from houston.

i highly recommend and invite all to come out. its simple and delicious food. all local. all grown with passion and with love.

call and make reservations (512)769-7261
Dai Due Supper Club

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

where have i seen this??

oh yeah! Nobu West cookbook.

desserts at japanese and asian restaurants

ive been criticized for not being diverse with my desserts while at soma.

a week ago or so, i was at a bookstore looking at Nobu West cookbook. and guess what i saw?! a dessert that is not asian! this is Nobu West description:

Whiskey Cappucino

"this dessert is layered with a wonderful array of textures and flavors, from an intense coffee brulee and a cocoa crunch through to iced cream and milk, and then the luxurious topping of whiskey foam"

ok. about the only thing in this dessert that is asian is the suntory whiskey.

Monday, March 17, 2008

somethings out of place ...

somethings out of place ...
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
so i was at fiesta last night and this caught my sight. i laughed.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

lucuma bavarois

lucuma bavarois
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
lucuma is a fruit native to peru. its flavors are very similar to that of maple syrup.

i was very excited in making this dessert. i had never tried lucuma. i ask my mother if she had (we are from bolivia). she said yes and she said she loved it. so this dessert was made with my mothers palette in mind.

lucuma bavarois / hazelnut shortbread / smoked hazelnuts / basil syrup / texas goat cheese

more on my flickr

vanilla custard: multiple preparations

this dish i am most excited about!! i was always told, you must have a custard on your menu by countless chefs over countless years. i've tried deviated from custards, but guests demanded it!

so i had to give in. this is how i gave in.

vanilla custard: multiple preparations
pot de creme / frozen / lollipop / parfait / pearls

more on my flickr

chocolate decadence

chocolate decadence
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
this is my take on the humble brownie. i made this dessert while i worked at Soma. this was my presentation.

valrhona 70% brownie / brown butter ice cream / candied walnuts / caramel

more pictures on my flickr

pastel de tres leches

tres leches
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
my take on America's classes Pastel de Tres Leches. check it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

p. hard at work or hardly working?

a snap shot (cell phone) while working on my dessert menu for America's

"we have nothing to fear but fear itself"

i dont understand why so many chefs shun any new advances in food. is it a natural ignorant reaction? i've had a bunch, i'm not afraid to admit it! but why? putting meat on a stick and sticking it in fire was a breakthrough in cooking! so why are we neglecting any new advances?!

hydro colloids and gums. i am very fascinated by them. i know a minuscule fraction about them, yet i'm not afraid to venture in that direction. is it because they are chemicals? yes, but most are bi products and naturally derived from plants; exclusively seaweed. there is so much you can do with hydro colloids and gums (eggless custards, eggless ice creams, eggless egg nog, eggless ... )

if you cant already tell, there are a million thickeners and emulsifiers other than the egg. i will probably be blacklisted by this, but dude! we have to move beyond the egg (french cooking!)

with that said, i am still (and forever will be) fascinated with the egg. at America's i have a dessert solely dedicated to the egg. i am making a classic custard in five preparations.

in pastries, eggs add and eggy flavor. how about making ice creams with the sole flavors, no egg to prevent crystalization ... why not use gelatin and xanthan gum? in custards and curds, what if you want to make something with a sole flavor ... basil curd. how do you make that? well, a pastry cream blended with blanched basil, right? well, what if you can make a basil curd with no egg ... try a .5% of kappa and .1% iota carrageenan blend!

immersion circulators - i do pastries, havent really used these, but i hear you can make custards in it ... i just dont know if i want my custard shaped haphazardly by the vacuum bag.

microwave - why do they have such a bad reputation?! by far, in my opinion, this is the best advancement in cooking. i agree though, i dont want my steak or fished cooked in it, but what about other cooking methods? i make my custards and curds in the microwave. ive made biscuits in the microwave. i've made souffles!! microwaves are perfect for steaming! tempering chocolate, why not!

check this out. while at noe, we cooked for the escoffier society. robert and i collaborated on a dessert that would blow their minds! before robert, i have never thought of the microwave. i hated it in the kitchen! i shunned at bistro modern for having a microwave on their line. back to the escoffier society, our dessert was a classic creme brulee and lemon souffle.

how did we do it?! i cooked the custard in the microwave. added a little butter and gelatin. poured it into glass holders that were not oven safe (the gelatin was just for safety). the souffle was done in the microwave as well. lemon curd; microwave. lemon meringue; microwave and kitchenaid.

the night of the escoffier society we had 100 guests. we served them a brulee and souffle flight in 10 minutes. 10 minutes!!! all thanks to the microwave.

i wanted to, i wanted to so badly! to go out and tell them all that their dessert was made in the microwave. only because they raved about the dessert. they were amazed by the speed and execution. what would have happened if i told them about the microwave ... i mean, i was able to feed the escoffier society with the aid of the microwave!!

paco jet - today was my first time using a paco jet and i have to exclaim, "i am seriously in love with the paco jet!" that is all that is needed to say about the paco jet. until you use it, keep your reservations to yourself.

so back to my point, we should embrace advances and new technology in cooking, not shun it. ONLY as long as we DO NOT forget the most important thing, flavor.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

whither me indeed

As posted on Alison Cook's Blog, I will be moving onto join the Cordua group. I will be the pastry chef at the America's (woodlands location!)

As for my little food blog ...
I am sorry for not updating it. I have not had the resources to do so. Two days prior to my Soma exit, my laptop was stolen. Needless to say, i have been frantic! My laptop was my life. All my work. All my pictures. All my recipes. All my music. All gone ... all gone.