Friday, February 27, 2009

Goodbye Rocky Mountain News

It is truly a sad day in Colorado today. The Rocky Mountain News, a celebrated newspaper shut it's doors just a few days prior to their 150th birthday. I grew up with the Rocky, I used to read it every morning on the bus on the way to school. After I moved down to Denver I became enthralled with the food reviewer John Lendorff. He always explained everything with such passion and insight. I have a few funny stories about John. I use to work for this crazy owner ( who am I kidding all owners are crazy) that would sit outside a local radio station and snap pictures of the food reviewers as they came out from doing special programs with Gabby Gourmet. We had a whole wall of profile shots and makes and models of the cars they drove. Pretty crazy right? Well I never had a picture of John, all I new was that he was a heavier set gentlemen. John slipped into the restaurant with out anyone knowing it one night. Instead of posting his review, he called me the next day to tell me about his experience. How was the duck?"It was very good but the taro cake was horrible. How was the steak pizza? " It was OK, the blue cheese flavors did not go with the rest of the dish." I was so taken back that John would call me up and speak to me as a friend first. He still wrote about how bad the taro was and the pizza flavors but he cared enough about me to call and have a conversation. I finally got to meet John the other night. He looks nothing like what I thought he would. I gave him a giant hug and thanked him for all of his support over the years. He gave a glowing review to the James Beard House to get my father and I in the first time 8 years ago. I will miss reading his stories and his passion for gastronomy. I will also miss Penny Parker's column. She was the gossip columnist for the Rocky. I was one of Penny's spies letting her know about different events or people coming through Denver. You could not go a morning with out reading her buzz. I will truly miss their dedication to journalism. I hope they find homes doing something that they are passionate about. We will miss you Rocky

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Congrats Hosea

I did not have a chance to catch the episode last night but my wife called right after to tell me Hosea took it. I have heard a lot of shit talking about Hosea but in the end he was the chef that came through. Hosea, looks like lunch is on you next time

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tasting Menu 75

This is probably suicide but we are going to do a tasting menu this week. I will bring in a few extra chefs this weekend to help with service. We only have 1 restaurant in this hotel so we must have a little something for everyone. If I need someone to help that night I can pull from banquets. That is the best part about working in a hotel, we can flex people from other departments when you need it. There is always someone that can help. The short rib dish is inspired by Grant's short rib at Alinea.

Smoked oyster sheet
Warm shitake foam, compressed soba, crispy red bean paste

Coconut poached vegetables
Tomato cloud, yuzu, frozen puffed wheat

Buffalo short rib manicotti
Beet, housemaid ricotta, green bean “casserole”

Peanut butter sorbet
White chocolate-strawberry jelly mousse

Dear Restaurant Week

I am writing this letter to tell you how much I hate you. In theory you seem like a good thing, a chance for people to try restaurants that they have not before. This is where your fun stops. Your days are long with prep and nights are full of ass kicking. Your friends are very demanding and seem like they only like to be your pal during this week. Let them know that when the dinning room gets busy that it will generally be loud. If your friends are looking for a romantic dinner, restaurant week may not be the time. Also if you could mention that we are doing some molecular techniques on the menu. If they want floating islands or miracle fruit gum, we offer our menu on Thursday, Friday's or Saturday's. I would like to be everything for you but lets be realistic. In closing thanks for back dooring me for another week. I look forward to all of our time together.
My wife would like to thank you for letting me spend so much time with you
Thanks again
Chef Ian Kleinman

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Manhattan in 14 hours, Miracle Fruit and Harlod Mcgee

It is 3 days after my quick trip to New York and I still can't believe that I made it. The Miracle Fruit Man asked me to come to the New York Academy of Science and help them present the miracle fruit How could I say no after I found out that Harold McGee was going to be one of the speakers. I was asked to come up with the snacks for 300 people to try after they sampled the miracle fruit. They also asked if I would speak about my experiences with the fruit. I settled on a menu of some sliced citrus fruits, balsamic caviar, compressed balsamic apples, rice wine yogurt meringue and a yuzu ginger elixir. I treated it like a Beard House event. I would make all my textures here at the hotel and ship them to the event. The day before I left I packed my serving bowls, knives, cutting boards and the textures and overnighted them to the NYAS.

On Thursday I woke up early and made my way to the airport. I was on a very tight schedule, I had my trip planned to the minute. As I walked down to my gate I noticed that my departure time was not right. They announced heavy winds in Newark and a 1 hour delay. I thought that if this was the worst thing that was going to happen I could handle it. We all waited and after the delay began boarding the plane. As I walked up to the line I saw a guy falling backwards out of the corner of my eye. As I turned my head I saw his head smack against the pavement. I rushed over to see if he was ok. It turns out he was drunk off his ass (literally) He mumbled something about Dramamine. A short ambulance bus arrived and picked him up. I got on the plane and took a seat. I am not a great flyer to begin with, I have a week stomach. So the landing in Newark was one of the worst experiences of my life. I thought I was going to die on 3 different occasions. I felt sick and dizzy and my day had just begun.

After landing I ran to catch a cab. I was not going directly to the event rather then a detour stop on 38th at the W Tuscany. Mike Wurster the executive chef had bought some dry ice for me for the event. I called him and asked if he could hand off the ice while I drove past. Thanks Mike. I then had the cab driver take me to the hotel next to the event at 7 world trade center. To my surprise I could not pay the cabbie with a credit card. Instead he watched my bag like a hawk as I ran up and down the street looking for a ATM. 90 dollars later I was at my hotel

I met up with Curtis and Fernando and we headed down to the event. The building was amazing, it had a open glass lobby with little cubes that lit up like the water cube in China. We went up to the 40th floor where the NYAS is located. I found my package which had been dropped many times. It did not even look like a box anymore. I opened it to find that my meringue textures were broken but the cold items were still cold. I began to organize and gather my prep. Where is the fruit that was suppose to be delivered at 3:00? After I got set up I walked this amazing space and stared at the view. As the event grew closer I ran my speech through my head. Where the fuck is the fruit?

Out of the corner of my eye I see Mr. Harold McGee walk in. This man has inspired me on many different levels. First and foremost he has made me ask why and if I don't have a answer to try to find one. I wanted to walk up and have a conversation but I still needed to cut my fruit. Lots of people began to arrive and fill the auditorium. In the end the fruit showed up with about 20 minutes to spare. We cut it as fast as we could and we were ready for the flavor tripping party. Towards the end of the lecture I got up and talked about how I like to use the fruit. It was pretty amazing looking down at this scientific community and relating my experiences. After I was done everyone came into the lobby and experimented. It was a great event. After it was over I got to talk to Harold about a few therioes that I have. It was nice that he did not lauph in my face rather talked through my therioes with me. It was a plesure meeting him and Linda.

As I walked out of World Trade Center 7 all I wanted was my pizza fix. It was 11:00 and not a pizza place in sight. I settled for a banana, a snapple and retreated to my hotel. I only had to call the police ounce that night on the couple beating each other up in the room next to me. I got my 45 minutes and was back up at 6. I would like to say that my plane ride out the next day was better. A plane had gone down the night before out of Newark so everyone was a little on edge. It made for great flying. As I landed back home I could not believe what I had just done.
There is podcast of the event coming out on Friday that I will post

Tasting menu 74

I am enjoying a slower start to this week. We are getting ready for 52.80 week to start on Saturday. I have to remind myself not to put myself in situations like I had last week. When I have to much going on there is something that suffers. Last week it was my lack of time with my wife and kids. Undoubtedly the hardest part of this job is not being chef rather then being able to let it go when I leave so I can spend quality time at home. I would like to be recognized as a hard working thought full chef but in the end it is about if your family recognises you.

Curry pancakes
Tea smoked salmon, lemon grass syrup, yogurt

Crispy silver fish
Wonton noodles, toasted nori cream, roasted peppers

Floating buffalo chicken and celery

Pork belly Oscar
Puffed pearl barley caramel corn, carrots, onion

Oven baked palm sugar crepes
Cherry and vanilla ice cream made table side
Using liquid nitrogen

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yellow Scene Magazine

Yellow scene came out with their top 25 dishes we love. Our tasting menu was featured as the #1 dish. They gave us a great wright up and they were the first to take a picture of our floating plate. For the article we did a floating white chocolate macadamia nut brownie with coffee ice cream and peanut butter ganache. It is a small portion that can be picked off the floating plate and eaten in one bight.

The busiest week of my life

I am going to attempt to get caught up on some post today. This past week seems like a dream or a funny story I would laugh at if someone told me. Here are a few thoughts from this past week: I am going to die on this airplane today. Will 6 ice packs and 1 pound of dry ice keep my items cold until I open it 3 days later? Am I really standing here asking Harold McGee my theory of combining flavors using absolute zero? Is that right, we sold 110 tasting menus this week? I am glad I do not drive a cab. I hope I can sleep tonight. Are my global serving tongs going to make it through security? Holly shit, my tongs made it through security, what else are people getting on the plane? Am I going to see my wife on Valentines day. This is what I do with my vacation days? I am in New York and I did not get my pizza fix

Friday, February 6, 2009

Newtenderlambsirloinribeye steak

We have had some great success using activa. We have made a zebra steak in the past that was organic chicken glued to tenderloin. This time we wanted to use all of the cuts of meat that we feature on our menu. I first trimmed all of the steaks and then seasoned them. They were then tosses in a 3% mixture of activa to water. I then placed them in a vacuum bag being careful to layer them so there was no gaps in the meat. I then sealed it 0n a setting 0f 10 and placed a weight over it. We let the steak set for 12 hours. The next day I put it in the freezer for 2 hours so the outside will freeze and it will be easier to cut.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

52.80 Week

The last week and February and first week in March we will be featuring this menu for 52.80 per couple. It is a great deal and a chance to get out and support your local restaurants
Lumb crab cake with avocado relish, watercress and siracha caviar
148 degree egg with grilled tomato, prosciutto and cherry balsamic
Apple tarragon puree with smoked bacon wrapped mushrooms
Mixed greens with compressed apples, beets, goat cheese vinaigrette

O’s roasted prime rib with baby Yukon potatoes and onion jus
Sou-vide Dijon chicken with pastrami hash and rosemary air
Grilled salmon with shitake, asparagus and hoison brulee
Root vegetable pot pie with curry and green pea paper

Vanilla custard with peach air and tapioca pearls
Hawaiian doughnuts with white chocolate mac nut dipping sauce
Liquid nitrogen whipped blueberry ice cream with grilled yuzu # cake and caramel

Tasting menu 74

I have some interesting projects coming up in the next couple of weeks. I have been asked by the miracle fruit company I work with to come to New York on the 12th of February to help them at the NY Academy of Sciences. We will present the miracle fruit along with some samples of products you can take with it. I am very excited to go knowing that Harold McGee will be there. I also received a email this week from asking if I would try and wright about their product. First of all I am a steak sauce freak. My favorite is mixing a little Heinz with A-1 and a little ketchup. I swear that Bob has nailed that flavor combo in this bottle. I don't think he had a flan in mind when he sent it to me but I will do his sauce proud. I am also getting ready for my Will Powder demo this next week

Sous-vide pork
Smoked sugar, apple, fried sour cream

Peanut butter daqoius
Grape jelly gastrique, line caught tuna, compressed watercress

Floating kampachi sashimi

Tenderloin-New York-Ribeye-Lamb chop-Sirloin steak
Country Bob’s steak sauce flan, parsnip, asparagus powder

Flexible raisins and carrot foam with cream cheese ice cream
Made table side with liquid nitrogen