Thursday, November 29, 2007

el bulli spoon

I got my elbulli spoon today for caviar making. Nothing like a little bling for my knife roll

Tasting Menu 9

I finally got a few days this week to spend with my family. When I am away from my kitchen is when I come up with my best ideas. I made a simple tuna casserole for lunch and was thinking of ways to make it new. I had set out a couple of lexons in my back yard this week hoping to catch some snow. I did a event in 97 in Kona Hawaii called cuisines of the sun. I got to work with Alan Wong, Mark Peel, Norman Van Aken and Nancy Silverton just to name a few. One of the coolest tricks I picked up was at a small grill that was right on the beach. They went right over to the ocean and scooped out some water to be the poaching liquid for the night. Being a mountain boy I always wanted to try it with snow. The snow I collected melted into a very pure water that I will flavor with sea salt and poach the tuna for this weeks tasting menu

Tasting Menu

French onion Panini with a tomato cloud
And mustard oil powder

Warm jellyfish with grilled cantelope and honeydew
And sweet soy caviar

“Tuna Casserole”
Snow poached tuna with smoked egg noodles
English pea chips and wild mushroom yogurt

Doughnut ice cream with Kahlua gelee
And coffee oil dust made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sweet Tomato Sabayon

We ordered some new products from Le Sanctuare this week including Stevia powder. Stevia is a natural sweetener that has been used for many years in Asia. The powder is green in color and is 500 to 600 times sweeter than sugar. It does not raise blood sugar levels like sugar does. It is used in a lot in children's products to make them sweet but not give you a sugar rush. I plan to incorporate in a lot of my cooking but sometimes I need that sugar rush. We used it this week in our Sweet Tomato base for our sabayon. We pressured cooked some heirloom tomatoes with Maui onions, thyme and stevia. The recipe is:

3ea egg yolks

1tsp. Marsala wine

3 tbl. Pressure cooked tomato puree

1/4 tsp. Meyer lemon juice

1 tsp. Egg white powder

Sea Salt and Tasmanian pepper to taste

Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk over a double boiler until the mixture becomes frothy and cooked through. Hold in a warm place for service and discard at the end of service. We served this with Agar thickened tomato seeds and Pear, Grape, Kiwi and Strawberry fizi fruit

Rocky Mountain News

John Lendorff gave us a nice mention in the small bites column this week. We have had alot of people visiting the blog and did 25 tasting menus last night. Not bad for the day after thanksgiving.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Earth Cooked Potaoes

I wanted to cook some potatoes in the ground this week for the tasting menu. The ground is frozen outside the hotel so I had to bring it indoors. I used a cast iron pot, some dirt that I could scrape off the top layer of ground, banana leaf, charcoal and smoked sea salt. I first soaked the banana leaf and lined the cast iron pot. I mixed the soil ans sea salt on the bottom layer. Charcoal went in next followed by more dirt. We are using some red potatoes from the Western slope of Colorado that will be covered by more dirt andthe cover. We want a nice earthy flavor to go along with our pork belly this week.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tasting Menu 8

It has been a very difficult week for me. With Ben passing on, a visit from Starwoods president and a ass kicking on Thanksgiving. I am starting to feel creative again and can't wait to get going again. I have a couple of photo shoots this week for Dinning out and Wine Country so I should be busy. We will utilize some Organic pork belly that I got from Snake River Farms.

Tasting menu 11/23/07

Fizzy Fruit Cocktail with a
Sweet Tomato Sabayon

Smoked Blue Marlin Sashimi with Liquid Nitrogen
Wasabi Oil and Pickled Ginger Jelly

Apple, Beer Vinegar, and Mustard Oil Sou-vide
Organic Pork Belly with Horseradish Powder
And Earth Cooked Potatoes

Agave Prickly Pear Ice Cream made Table side
With Liquid Nitrogen with as Grape Sugar Rolled Sopapia

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Chef and Sous chef

There is a unique relationship between these two professionals. You spend more time together then your own wife and kids. They know your cooking style better then you do sometimes. Ounce in a while you find a person that has the same passion, drive, sense of adventure with food. This person has to have your back. Continuing philosophy's even when the other one is not present. You spend 16 hour days with this person lauphing, crying, being upset and pushing each other to achieve what was inconceivable. I met a chef named Ben Alandt in 1998. He was my brother, always having my back, pushing me to be more creative. Ben was not only talented in cooking but in every other facet of the arts. I loved him. I can truly say that about another man. Ben and I worked together for almost 5 years in two different restaurants. One day Ben pulled me aside and said I can't do this anymore. I was hurt when he left me but always thought he would be O.K. Ben moved to Portland and I would read about him here and there. I would check some of his menus out and miss the time when we used to cook and play. He called me 2 weeks ago and left a message to call him back. I called about 6 times wanting to just here his voice again. He never called me back. Yesterday I learned that Ben was gone. I wanted to tell him that I did love him and had a rare experience to get to know him on so many levels. I guess I will have to find another way to tell him that. This business is very hard. Lots of addictions, stress, hours. The only advice I have is to relish the creative time you have with other people. I will always miss my brother Ben.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Smoked Goulda butter

I was making the clarified smoked goulda stock for my tasting menu. We heated smoked sea salt, smoked goulda, Tasmanian pepper and water in a stock pot. After the mixture was melted we added a small amount of gelatin and froze it into blocks. I took the blocks out 2 days later to melt them into our clarified stock. The milk solids from the cheese had gathered on the top into this impossible smoked goulda butter. I spread it on a nice county loaf and garnished with a 3 tomato salad. Salty and smoky-perfect!!! Always take all your recipes to the limit and beyond. You don't know why until you analyze. I am finding the best things are happening by mistake. That is the way that everything is made. Trial and error.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Yuzu quince pound cake

I use to be a pastry chef. I think it is important to be able to work the hot and cold side. You have an easier time writing menus and you can call your pastry chef out if they cut a corner. I was the pastry chef at emogene in cherry creek. We scratched baked 4 cases of product everyday. One of my staples was a lemon pound cake with blueberry fondant. Here is the recipe for our Pound cake on the tasting menu this week. We are adding methyllcelulose to the batter to increase crumb

Yuzu Quince Pound cake

8 oz Quince cooked in simple syrup
12 ea Eggs whole
8 ea Egg yolks
1.7# Sugar
2 oz Yuzu juice
1 tsp. Vanilla paste
1.7# Whole butter melted
1.7# Flour sifted with the methyl cellulose
1.2 g Methyl cellulose E4M

Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beet on high until volume is tripled. Add the yuzu juice and vanilla paste at the end. Place in a large mixing bowl. Alternate butter and flour in 3 steps mixing with your hand. Fold in the cooked quince Greece and flour 4 pound cake pans. Divide the mixture up. Bake in a 325 degree oven with a dish of water in the oven. The water will evaporate and let the cake brown slower. Bake for 35 minutes and test with a tooth pick. We will serve with a blueberry Carmel ice cream made table side with liquid nitrogen.

Tasting menu 7

We have a board meeting this week for our new management company so I am starting production early. We had a Robert hall wine dinner last night. Everything went great except the sou-vide ribeye. We do not have a circulator yet so we tried to check temperature and stir the product every half hour or so. We had to many temperature fluctuations and the meat went bad. We had to start over again. We then cooked the ribeye sou-vide at a hotter temputure then what I would have liked. It was just ok. I will not try any more sou-vide until I get a circulator.

Tasting menu 11-12-07

Fried baby artichokes with Warm Parmesan mayo
And elephant garlic chips

Smoked goulda consommé with sour cream noodles
And Roasted Colorado potatoes

Salmon wrapped scallops with edamame gnocchi
And a burnt onion cream

Yuzu quince pound cake with blueberry
Carmel ice cream made table side with liquid nitrogen

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tasting menu 6

We are prepping our tasting menu this week with our Robert Hall wine dinner tomorrow in mind. It is the same menu with an addition of our peanut butter grape cheese coarse. The shrimp and scallop noodles are a technique I picked up from WD-50. No flour or fillers. Pure meat with activa, cayenne and salt. The mixture is put through a tami and piped into water that is at 137 degrees.

Tasting menu

Shrimp and scallop noodles with fried
Artichokes, sou-vide peas, and burnt onion cream

Liquid nitrogen dipped fruits
Mango, Grapefruit, Cantaloupe

48 hour Ribeye hollandaise wrapped
with smoked blueberries and coffee powder

Yuzu-Pineapple ice cream made table side with liquid nitrogen
With grilled baby bananas and Beet marshmallow

Peppermint Bubble gum

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Beet ribbons

I am always looking for new garnishes. This recipe allows you to take any vegetable and turn it into a ribbon. We used the ribbon as a garnish for tasting menu 5. I have also made it with rhubarb, zucchini, and pumpkin.


770 g Beet peeled and sliced

400 g Water

125 g Glucose

125 g Honey

4 g Sea salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook on low heat until all the water is dissolved. Puree the ingredients in a blender. Cool in the walk-in for 2 hours. Spread a small layer on a silt pad and bake in a 175 degree oven for 3 hours. Remove from the oven and wrap around a pipe. Store in a covered container.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tasting menu

Lots of request for tasting menu this week. No doubt that the Westword article has a lot to do with it. Here is tasting menu #5.

Butter poached tempura lobster with a corn tomatillo gelee
And yuzu, wasabi and miso dippin dots

Peach sorbet made table side with liquid nitrogen
With merlot caviar and frozen thyme

Sou-vide Portabella and Veal with
Melted tomato and brie and beet ribbons
We do not have a thermo circulator yet so we constantly monitor temperature in a regular pot and stirred it constantly. We let it cook for 20 hours at 85 degrees

Pumpkin latte with olive oil cake and
Dancing nutmeg

Vanilla bean and almond butter bubble gum


The coolest event I have done in a while happened today at my daughters elementary school . The teacher asked me to do a demo with nitrogen. I made them Colorado peach ice cream and marshmallow bubble gum. I think I may have persuaded a couple of kids to become chefs. The younger I can get people comfortable with this cuisine the better


Last night we did a event for held at DU school of restaurant hotel management. The event was also a competition for chefs to pair dishes with the best wines of this year. I was told about the competition only a few days ago so we went with some old stand-by's. Our strawberry yuzu sorbet and the peanut butter dipped grapes. We won the event but had a hard time getting down there. Our 15 foot truck was impossible to maneuver at DU and our lift broke on the back of the truck. 8 feet drop with a 600 pound liquid nitrogen container. We pulled it off but it was not pretty.