Thursday, November 27, 2008

pet peeves

allison cook posted a blog a while back about foh customer pet peeves. so now i thought i create an open forum for boh to post their customer pet peeves.

here is mine:

to go orders:
as chefs, we search every nook and corner for the perfect china. a search that will never end. we love plates. its our canvas because we are artists. the way we plate our food is done on purpose. the location of the foods is premeditated. the colors we use, the cuts we make, the molds we use, the temperatures we use, it all comes to play in our presentation. so when a to go order comes in, its all thrown out the window. everything that we work for has to be placed in a plastic container. a container where it will (in no doubt) be thrown and messed about on your commute home.

how do you want me to plate hot foods with ice cream in a to go box? how do you expect to have the same experience?

ice creams:
ice creams are nothing more than a frozen sauce. a sauce accompanies food, not muffles it. so why, as a pastry chef, am i expected to give you a GIANT scoop of ice cream with your dessert. the ice cream accompanies the dessert. it is an element of the dish, not the dessert. it is a sauce.

would you like the sauce that goes with your steak to weigh more than your steak? no? than why do you expect my frozen sauce to weigh more than the dessert?

fruits and berries:
really? really? do you really want fruits and berries (a summer abundance) at the end of fall? do you really want to pay for out of season produce that tastes like nothing?

sorry to sound like a whiny brat, but this is my open forum. this is my passion, this is my career.

kitchen: what are some of your pet peeves?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

peas and carrots

pea sphere/ carrot cake/ pickled carrot/ yogurt/ peppermint/ ginger foam

Sunday, November 9, 2008

sweet peas

after watching the kitchen make wasabi caviars for their strip, i had an idea. the caviar resembled peas ... wasabi caviar ... wasabi peas ...

but thats just a snack that i'm not sure i want to turn into a dessert. instead i'll play off the idea of making pea caviars.

peas and carrots?

"peas and carrots"
sweet pea pearls, carrot cake, minted yogurt, molasses crunch

Saturday, November 8, 2008

alinea and under pressure

i've been so busy at work that i barely had time to read these new books. when i was at the bookstore and saw them (i didnt pre-order them like everyone else, i know. i'm lame.) i was giddy and hopping. i felt like a kid at a candy store.

but looking through them, neither book mentions jordan kahn and alex stupak. why? maybe they do, but you have to read the really fine print.

i think jordan kahn is one of the absolute best pastry chefs around. from what i understand he created liquid sable (as he describe on a food arts magazine). under pressure has a sesame oil sable that reads exactly like jordan's liquid sable, yet no mention of jordan kahn. but maybe jordan developed this recipe when he was working with sebastian at the french laundry.

and alex stupak. i havent seen his name in the alinea cookbook, yet there are pictures of him and jordan.

well. maybe i havent read too much into it, but i highly admire these two pastry chefs and hope they get proper acknowledgements

Friday, November 7, 2008

new at textile

pb & j
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
some new things to look for at textile. today, chef scott tycer has launched his 7 course tasting. it's incredible, you must come try his food. its solid and beautiful, but please leave some room for dessert.

pictured is my take on a pb & j:

peanut butter terrine, quince jelly, quince butter, peanut butter powder, candied bread

(visit the flickr site for more pics)

some changes. due to a post on b4ueat, i have tried to minimize the use of the pumpkin fondant. its a solid dessert, but i agree, a bit simple for what is expected at textile. the pumpkin is now only found on the 5 course tasting. it has been replaced by the pb & j (pictured) on the a la cart menu.

new items for the seven course tasting menu:
intermezzo: carbonated citrus, coriander syrup, watermelon
pre-dessert: apple and celery lollipops, peanut butter
dessert: gianduja ganache, curried popcorn, maduros foam, chicory soil

Sunday, November 2, 2008

savoy truffle

shortly after finding out about this event (and also finding out from the website that gravitas was participating), i started planning on what to do. what are you doing?

i could do something traditional, but none of you are expecting that.

i coud do something with savoy cabbage as a play on the name, but ...

and well, for the last 2 years i have been playing around with smoke, chocolate, bacon and bbq without any success. not until recently.

at noe i tried smoked chocolate cake, bbq sauce, candied cherry-tomatoes. i tried the similar at soma. and at americas i tried smoked chocolate cupcakes, bbq buttercream and candied bacon. none worked very well.

at my tenacity dinner, i made smoked brownies as part of my mignardises. success!! they all loved them.

shortly after i was at gravitas pondering on how to make a brownie better. i searched for the perfect recipe before landing on elizabeth faulkner's brownie recipe. i loved it! i changed it up, i add a little more brown sugar and omitt the baking powder. i like my brownies to be very dense so that you dont need to put them in the oven. (pet peeve: hot brownies? you had to do that because the brownies were like a brick. you needed to warm them up to soften them. but mine have so much chocolate and sugar, that they are amazing right out of the cooler.) so i made smoked brownies, spiced peanuts and vanilla ice cream.

the interplay of the spiced peanuts and chocolate reminded me of mole. the only thing missing was the chicken. but how to do that?

so here are some thoughts on my savoy truffle ... and because we are in texas, there has to be texan influence.

smoked brownie on a stick! white chocolate bbq, crispy chicken skin

smoked brownie on a stick! white chocolate bbq, bacon streusel

smoked brownie on a stick! white chocolate bbq, spiced peanuts

smoked brownie on a stick! white chocolate bbq, crispy chicken skin, spiced peanut

i like the 'on a stick' sch-tick. because we all know we cant refuse food on a stick. but i am not sure how many people will be ok with bbq, chicken and pork being introduced as dessert form.

but we will see ...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

just messing about

here's a few ideas i have been messing around with ...
(i think im just trying to use sam mason's peanut butter powder and homaru cantu's fizzy grapes/citrus techniques all in one dessert)

pb & j
brioche ice cream/ peanut butter terrine/ peanut butter powder/ fizzzy grapes/ quince jelly

pb & j
bread pudding/ peanut butter powder/ fizzy grapes/quince jelly/ peanut crumbles

celeriac cake/ quince sorbet/walnut cream/ carbonated ruby reds

celeriac terrine/ quince sorbet/ candied walnut

celeriac terrine/ quince sorbet/ peanut butter powder/ salted wafer/ carbonated ruby reds

oh. and i have been getting alot of compliments on my brown butter ice cream, so i thought i share my recipe with you. actually, my recipe is a play on barbara lynch's salted butter ice cream.

brown butter ice cream

12 oz butter
1/4 cup milk powder
3 cups milk
4 cups heavy cream
3 cups sugar
4 oz light corn syrup
pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

heat butter on high until milk solids separate from fat.
add milk powder and keep cooking, the point is to brown the milk solids.
(the addition of milk powder intensifies the flavor and adds a nice brown color)
once its riche deep and a dark brown, add all of the remaining ingredients.
whisk and bring to a boil.
blend on high for a minute and cool for an hour.
then its all left for your ice cream machine to do its magic.