Monday, April 28, 2008

Flexible warm white chocolate with frozen coconut powder

Liquid nitorgen Smores with cinnamon foam

Tasting menu 32

I am planting a big garden this year in my back yard. Hopefully we will yield enough to do some nice tasting menu items. Colorado is warming up. I can't wait for the farmer's markets to open.

Tasting menu

Curried escargot
Pea puree, crispy carrots, pea sprouts

Shrimp Lasagna
Charred tomato, whipped corn, ricotta

Apricot sou-vide organic chicken
Jalapeño rice, smoked crimini, apple butter

Villa Mandori dark balsamic
Cherry Ice cream made tableside
With liquid nitrogen

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Grapefruit frozen ahi

I am playing around with some ahi because it will be gone next week. We have experimented alot with freezing purees onto food with liquid nitrogen. I think one of my favorites is creme anglaise frozen on cherries. It is like eating a impossible frozen bon bon that melts back to creme anglaise instantly in your mouth. Today we froze a honey-wasabi- grapefruit puree thickened with little xantham on the rare tuna. The tuna remains tempered while a popsicle like coating is made on the outside. We topped it with some kiwi and pickled ginger jelly

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lego dish

I build blocks a lot with my 2 girls. I was imagining how interesting it would be to give a customer a plate of different flavors of blocks. Different flavor combinations of dishes could be presented like whats on the back of a jelly belly box. 1 red+1 orange+ 1 green= Shrimp cocktail. I like serving dishes that the guest has to use all of there senses to consume a meal. I ordered some silicon today to make a mold that looks like a Lego. If it works I will want my kids to play with their food.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tasting menu 31

We are getting ready to switch menus right now. I have implemented a lot of molecular techniques and technology on the new menu. We kept all of the descriptions generic so no one will be intimidated.We want the food to speak for itself. We are taking all tuna products of the menu. After reading about the almost extinct population of blue fin, the mercury scare, and the fact that a lot of yellow fin is being caught very young and raised in over crowded pens we have elected to take it off for a while. We have to allow fish to repopulate naturally and I think the best way is not to buy it. Will my one restaurant make a difference? No, but it is the responsibility of the chefs to take a stand. I have also checked all of my new seafood menu items on the Monterrey baywebsite.

Roasted parsnip
Edamame, asparagus, rice wine Dijon noodle

Alaskan king crab
Coconut, brown butter sorbet, smoked cashews

Mission fig consommé
Barramundi, spicy apples, goat cheese sphere

Tempura banana
Honey clove ice cream
Made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We see a lot of people interviewing in our hotel. Interns are in and out. Line cooks come in and usually bail when we can't match 15.00 dollars an hour down the street. I usually have to talk to potential candidates along with the executive sous and banquet chef. Here are a couple things some people could do if they really want the job:

1. Don't come in a fucking tee shirt and shorts. You are applying to work in a professional kitchen, not the hot dog shack on the 16th tee.

2. Familiarize yourself with menu of the restaurant. Understand what you are getting yourself into. Show interest in wanting to learn and grow in this business

3. Understand that working in a kitchen, especially a hotel, means you need to be flexible. You can't have off every holiday and yes you may need to stay late to plate.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tasting menu 30

This is my 100th post. I have learned alot since I have started but I am more excited about what is to come in the future. After talking to Herve and eating Wylie's food, I am ready to begin my next 100 post. I have alot of chefs that understand why and alot of other chefs that don't. It is the same attitude that I encountered before I started doing any molecular. Everyone has there own taste, flavors that they are comfortable with. I could make the best shrimp dish but you may not like shrimp. I don't think you could ever make a savory dish that everyone will like. As chefs we put our hearts on our sleeves everyday hoping to connect with that persons perception of that perfect dish. You may like it, you may not but I feel good giving you that opportunity to make that decision. Here is to a 100 more

Tasting menu

Purple potatoes
Sopresetta crème Frâiché, crispy shallots

Sou-vide beets and tarragon
Shitake hummus, lemon stilton

Lobster steak
Baked taro, Tasmanian pepper, béarnaise gnocchi

Apple dippin dots
Danish dough, mascarpone, caramel powder

Pineapple curry bubble gum


I have been using some molecular techniques for about a year. The only problem is that besides the food that I make I have not tried anyone's food. That all changed for me on Saturday. My wife and I made it down to this restaurant after we cooked at our event. It was amazing to see what Wylie can do with food. We had the tasting menu which was one course after another of a seem less balance of flavors and textures. My favorite course was the hamachi and the coconut cake. After we had eaten I asked if we could see the kitchen. They let us come back and take a look. It was a double sided French line with Wylie on one side and 3 chefs on the other. Pantry was nestled into the corner. A solid butchers block sat in the entrance of the kitchen with 4 heat lamps hanging down. It was amazing being there, to be able to ask questions about the food. Was that carrageenan in the chocolate paper? "No, it was pectin and agar." I thought to myself holly shit I am asking the people who wrote the book. Needless to say I think it was important to try the food, but it was equally important to see that I am pointed in the right direction. Thanks Wylie, Alex, Kevin and the entire staff

Random Ln tank in NY

Cookin in New york

We arrived on Thursday night for our Friday event. My package made it to the W in good condition. We ate at Icon in the W where we were staying that night. Chef Mike Wuster has worked in may great restaurants. He opened Le Cirque and was the chef at 11 Madison. He sent course after course of some really great food. The next morning we gathered our food and some small wares the W had lent to us and made it down to the event.
We set our food in our booth and went to check out Colorado in New York. It was cool to see the Breckenridge film festival and mountain bike team. I grew up in Breck and I liked seeing my home town in the park. I think more then anything I was proud to be there. I was born and raised in Colorado and I am proud to call it my home. The event went great. The tent was packed with media and people from the Colorado tourism board. Hopefully I made some good impressions with people.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Packing for New York

Doing a event cross country is a little nerve racking. You must think about everything because you are 2000 miles away from your kitchen. I have cooked at the James Beard House 3 times. Each time we shipped out raw ingredients to a kitchen in New York. We would spend 18 to 20 hours prepping. We would then load our ingredients into a cab and get down to the house and cook. I have learned to utilize my space here at my hotel and ship out already prepped ingredients. Chef Mike Wuster at the W Tuscany has allowed me to ship my package there and he will put it in the walk-in for me. I have the utensils, pots, containers, serving tongs on the bottom in peanuts.

I then place a layer of packaging material that will keep my ingredients cold. Herbs and mushrooms are wrapped in newspaper to protect them. My smoked cheddar broth has been frozen and will keep everything cold for the trip.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tasting menu 29

I am working on the menu for next week because I won't be here for service. I have changed my dish that I am going to make for the Colorado tourism event in New york. I was going to do a peach sorbet with Merlot caviar and buttermilk consomme. After I made it I decided it was to sweet. They want me to do a soup course and there is a chef already doing the dessert course. I have also been checking the weather for that week and it looks like it is going to be in the 50's. I have settled on a hot soup that is creative and everyone has liked that has tried it. It is a Smoked cheddar broth with roasted pearl onions, Colorado potatoes and sour cream noodles. I will be prepping the next couple days and shipping it to New York. I plan on doing a post about doing an event cross country. Here is the menu for the next week

Tasting menu

Ultimate wonton
Poached lobster, tuna, black truffles

140.4 degree egg
Bacon consommé, Buttered toast foam

Shrimp cannelloni
Blue crab, ricotta, yuzu veloute

Blue champagne
Poached fruits, Saffron mango sorbet
Made table side with liquid nitrogen

Friday, April 4, 2008

Boston cream pie flip

My wife made me this wonderful Boston cream pie on my day off. She asked me to flip it this week. Flipping is what I call taking a dish, de-constructing the flavors and putting them back together. Other chefs have other names like Moto in Chicago calls it morfication. The elements of the dessert are white cake, pudding and ganache. I took the white cake and placed them in vacuum bags with vanilla syrup. This compressed the cake and all the syrup was soaked up. Next I made a frozen chocolate powder and some dark chocolate ice cream using liquid nitrogen.

The last and best element was this flexible pudding. One of the line cooks said is has the consistency of cheese but taste just like pudding. Thanks to Chadzilla and Fabian for help on ratios for this pudding.Here is the recipe:
1200 grams milk

140 grams Cornstarch

315 grams Sugar

100 grams Egg Yolks

2 grams Salt

3 grams Vanilla paste

1.8 grams Genuviso Carrageenan

9 grams Kappa Carrageenan

Place the milk and vanilla paste in a sauce pan. Heat until it scalds. Whisk the eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a bowl. Pour the hot milk over the mixture and return the pan over heat. Cook on medium stirring constantly. After 3 minutes put the mixture through a china cap.Put in a clean pot and put back on the stove. Whisk in the carrageenan while the pudding is boiling. Pour into molds and let cool. Remove and cut.

A day off

As other chefs will tell you, there are no days off in this industry. Especially when you work in a hotel that is open every minute of the year. I usually take Wednesdays off but this week I was asked to do a demo at the new Macy store. I did a easy dish, one that I have done 100 times. I neglected to think about the fact that I was not bringing any helpers and I had to move a 6oo pound liquid nitrogen tank. I wish I was sitting in a car watching my stupid ass wheel this tank on a 2 wheeler through the parking lot.The demo went great. I answered my normal question about liquid nitrogen and after 4 demos we loaded up the truck.
When I got back to the hotel there were 500 fans, press, and fighters from the UFC in the hotel lobby. We got slammed in our main room and in the bar. It was 10:30 before I snuck out the back.