Friday, January 22, 2010

Flavored Icicles

I grew up in Breckenridge, Colorado. I have many memories of grabbing large icicles off of the roofs as I walked to school. The ice was so clear and clean. I have always thought about how I can use nature in my cooking. I have made pine needle caramel and buried potatoes in the earth to cook them. What about a flavored icicle. My kids eat flavor pops, a kind of man made icicle. How could I make one in nature. My own Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls?

An icicle forms when snow or ice melts and continuously drips off something sloped, such as a roof or a bridge. The thin layer of water draws heat away from the ice inside, through diffusion, and transfers it to the air next to the icicle. This thin blanket of slightly warmer air, called the boundary layer, rises and is replaced with colder air. The cold air further cools the icicle and turns some of the liquid water into a layer of ice, and the icicle becomes thicker and longer.

If I take a flavored liquid and put in a large 20 gallon bucket with a small hole in the bottom, I can mimic a natural thaw. I will have to make a heat source towards where the liquid comes out so the hole does not freeze shut. What if you could walk out of the Inventing Room and pick your favorite flavor off our candy roof for the ride home.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Going Underground

The Inventing room will be cooking a 6 course meal at Hush on February 20th. The menu is going to feature some old classics and some new tricks we have been working on. You must vist the Hush Website and enter your email address. There are 50 seats and 30 are already sold so please get your spot today

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dinner at Hush

Hush, a new underground super club opened for its first dinner on Saturday night. The first dinner was performed by a team from right outside of Chicago. Geoff Rhyne was our chef and the restaurant is called Sugartoad. The dinner was held in a contemporary warehouse which is home to Studio Como, a modern European design store that has some very cool furniture and kitchen sets. We showed up around 7:00 not knowing what we were going to eat or who we would be eating with that night. I think that was the exciting part of the evening, not knowing what was coming next.

Chef Geoff is know for getting a whole animal in, breaking it down and using all of it through out his menu. This was the first event at this venue so he had some obstacles to overcome. It is hard enough to walk into a foreign kitchen and cook but to be the first chef to cook at this concept was a added challenge. Geoff also arrived in Denver a day late because of the blizzard that hit Chicago. That is the mark of a great chef. No matter what is thrown your way, you always find a way to get the food out the best way you know how. You have to just do it so you can learn from the experience so it will be a little easier the next time. They did a amazing job. I think the shaved lamb heart was my favorite course.

The brainchild behind Hush is Phil Armstrong, not the cyclist but a man that is very dedicated about bringing a different food experience to people here in Denver. You got to have some balls to pull this off. Ever thrown a dinner party for 10 friends? Multiply that by 10, fly in the chef team and entertain them, find the food, wine, plates, glasses, etc... Phil and his team did a great job with this event and I look forward to attending other dinners at Hush.

The Menu, or what I can remember

Lamb tar tar with potato crisps

Sweet breads with curry and cauliflower puree

"Not pictured"
Soft boiled fried egg with shaved lamb heart and baby bibb

Lamb roulade with house made lamb sausage wrapped in caul fat with bean ragout

Lamb bacon doughnuts with goat eggnog

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goodbye Jason

We are loosing a great food writer this week. Jason Sheehan, a longtime friend and food critic from Westword will be moving to work in Seattle. Jason has been the person that has really pushed me through the last couple of years. It was a article he wrote about the fact that we don't have a food pill yet that made me think about some food fantasies that I had. The "Floating Plate" was set into motion after reading his article. The thought of Jason walking into your restaurant and giving you a bad review elevated chefs cooking in the area. I think Denver has made a giant leap since Jason became our James Beard winning author. He has pushed us to be better, no matter if you agree with him or not, the guy can tell a story and I will miss reading it every week.
Good luck Jason

New year

I would be lying if I said that my head is not perfectly screwed on right now. It has been a little difficult pointing myself in any direction. I new I was not going to be at the Westin anymore, it was a completely different hotel from when I started there. Knowing this I started working on a concept a few years back. How do I take the new techniques that I have learned in a fine dinning restaurant and apply them to a concept that is approachable to everyone? After many days of playing and many nights of thinking the Inventing Room was created. That tuns out was the easy part. I have never been a owner, only a chef. There is so much more that I am teaching myself everyday to finally get to the point where I can call myself a owner. I have always used this blog to document my molecular experiments. Now I will use it to show the steps that I will take to reach my goals. It is time for my dream, so I ask everyone to root for this little guy because I have big, big dreams. Please visit our website at

Chef Ian