Sunday, May 25, 2008

misha and tasty-bits.com

misha was to come last night for dinner with his wife and friends. unfortunately they could not make it because americas does not offer vegetarian options.

i did not speak to him early enough. we had 350+ reservations. included were a wedding, birthdays, etc. we did, however, out of some miracle find time to make 2 vegatarian plates, plus my desserts (all vegetarian friendly)

anywho, misha was able to come this afternoon for lunch. we were slow today and i was able to do a dessert tasting for him and his two companions. it was a delight for me to have a chance to do one, as much as it was for him to eat it. win win, no?

i'm looking forward to your pics and blog!!

i had a sesame "granola" on your cheese course. after reading your blog about desserts at 17, i was a bit worried!

oh! i didnt realize i did not have you on my list of blogger friends. im adding you, do likewise!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

dessert tasting and elvis costello

seems every blog has been dormant for weeks, mine included. what, with mothers day, private grand opening party, beos, its been a bit hectic to find a second to write. alas, i write once again.

on a recent post on allison's blog, she wrote about pet peeves from both sides of the restaurant industry. i said that i do not like to go orders. when food is presented as art and with different temperatures and textures, the end product in a box does not do it justice. it's just not right!! i'm sure randy would agree with this. his food is incredibly beautiful and extremely artistic. it does not do any justice to put it in a box.

aside from that, yesterday i had two great friends come to america's to try my desserts. i treated them with a 6 course dessert tasting. i love doing tastings. its exciting and spontaneous. if you want to do a dessert tasting, please let me know. i will gladly do it ... actually, i would beg you to let me do a dessert tasting. (next time i do a tasting i will take pictures) this was their dessert tasting:

picaron/ pb powder/ aji amarillo honey/ brown butter ice cream

tres leches/ vanilla fluff/ creme fraiche

lucuma souffle/ bacon streusel/ apple-yuzu spritzer

texas goat cheese/ white truffle honey/ blueberries

annatto ice cream/ vanilla croquant/ sesame granola

guanaja "torchon"/ acai/ creme anglaise/ spiced pop rocks


they loved it! i had fun. win win. OHHHH!! and afterwards they reminded me that they were in the neighborhood for the concert: the police with elvis costello. I NEARLY FORGOT!! im a huge elvis costello fan. i have not missed any of his shows in the last 4 years, and i wasnt about to miss this one. i had to leave work early. i had to. im sorry. but i've been working 12-15hour days with half day off since we opened. i needed a break. i needed to do something for myself.

and so it was. i was waiting in line at the cynthia woods mitchel pavillion. it was a short walk to get there (YES! a walk. we are literally that close to the venue) bought my ticket, sat down on the lawn and enjoyed an amazing 45 minute set.

once elvis was done i announced to my friends i would be leaving. they insisted i stay for the police, i gave in. i had a bad feeling about it. i was right. i was bored out of my mind during the police. i was completely dissapointed with their performance.

they played everything extremely technically. great skills, not one missed note. but with so much technicality, they lost all passion ... or so it seemed to me. i just wanted to see them play their hits as they were 20+ years ago. they didnt. instead they dragged each song out. everything she does is magic was extremely mellow. what happened?! when i was in college, my band covered that song. we did a ska/punk cover because thats what we listened to and because its easy turning everything into ska/punk. the song dragged out for what seemed hours. it was slow. there was no foot stomping beat. it didnt make me feel like skanking. or even singing along. it was slow and dull. same goes for the following songs, don't stand so close to me, roxanne, doo doo doo da da da, etc. the only song that fit their new jazz/jam style was every breath you take. but even that song dragged on.

i love the police as much as the next guy, but this new sound they are trying to do is not befitting of the police i new; the police i grew up listening to.

Monday, May 12, 2008

wine cheese and crackers


wine cheese and crackers
Originally uploaded by fuzzzycatt
after a long weekend all you need is something familiar and comforting.

i miss wine, cheese and crackers with my friend.

(pictured: riesling, camembert, whole wheat crackers)

Friday, May 9, 2008

cutting corners

why do chefs shun modern cookery? i was told that i cut corners and that it disrupts the quality of the product. i beg to differ.

you can only cut corners when you understand the science behind your ingredients; why food reacts the way it does. i do extensive research before i introduce anything new. i dont just throw things together without thought.

classic french cookery seems like an orthodox religion. whereas, if they are not doing it, it's wrong. if one doesnt follow their strict guidelines, that one is wrong. where if anything is done outside their proxy, it's wrong. i dont get that ego!

so back to cutting corners. if a new technique using a modern vessel improves the speed of production, is it wrong? to a point. i am very passionate about bread. i love bread. i do not use instant yeast, active dry yeast. i use fresh yeast. i use starters. i dont you s500 or whatever that agent that speeds fermentation is called.

so. the french custard. does it have to take an hour to make? what if you could make it in 10 minutes? what if you could pour into holders that are otherwise impossible to bake in? what if it is cutting corners but without destroying quality? would you do it?

i made a classic creme brulee for the escoffier society. i used modern cookery and they never knew. i made 100 creme brulees in 10 minutes. i made 100 souffles in 10 minutes. and they didnt know the difference. so if i can fool the escoffier society, i think job well done.

yet im being told i cut corners.

what about the chawanmushi? its a custard and it is made in 12-15 minutes. its traditional. its been done for years. so how are they able to make it in such a short time, yet the french need hours?

the japanese use the steamer.
i use the microwave.

microwaves are amazing cooking equipment. ferran adria uses microwaves. what about that? the chef with the number 1 restaurant in the world is using microwaves. what do you say to that?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

tasting voice: voice tasting

i'm out to have dinner at voice with friends. i got my camera ready. i got paper and pad ready.

if any of you kiddos feel like joining us, please do! even you mg.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

whatever happened to the four seasons?

its spring. its been spring for a while. its soon to be summer. so why are chefs still serving winter soups? at that, winter food? what happened to cooking seasonally and locally.

so what is it with butternut squash soup and braised short ribs in late spring?

it just doesnt make sense. come on!

be passionate about your produce, meats, location and their seasonality. cook for your guests, dont cook for yourself.