Saturday, January 31, 2009

Floating Plate Set

I received my package from Robert today. He sent me this floating plate set. I now have 8 small plates that can hold a small sphere and one large plate that can hold up to 25 pounds while still turning. The larger conductor and ring gives even more lift then the smaller plates. I have only played for a few hours but have already measured a 2 inch gap from conductor to magnet. We have many dishes in mind for this new presentation. Starting next week we will feature our floating plate on the tasting menus.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Potato terrine

I have been using pectin a lot as a fruit and vegetable glue. (thank you alex) I have also been doing a lot of sous-vide vegetables since I got my vacum sealer. The best temp is around 83 C or about 181 degrees Fahrenheit. (thank you chad) For this component we have combined both techniques to make this colorful terrine for our menu this week. Is this a terrine? No , not in the classical sense of being baked in a mold but the finished product resembles a baked and sliced product. To make it we mixed 15 grams pectin with 80 grams melted butter and .5 grams calcium bicarbonate. We then tossed the potatoes in the pectin mixture. I then layered them in a bag with salt and rosemary. They went into the vacuum sealer at #9 pressure setting and #8 seal setting. We cooked them for 50 minutes and then shocked them in ice water. The key was compressing the potato slices together after they finished cooking. This insured a tight seal between the layers.

Valentines day 09

Valentines Day 09

Warm Avocado and Spicy Shrimp with
Ginger Caviar Papaya Salad

Sweet Corn and Jalapeño Consommé with
buttermilk Fried Oysters

Sous-vide Maine Lobster with
White Asparagus Tapioca and Vanilla air

40 Second Rose Pedal Cake with White
Chocolate Ice Cream and Frozen Caramel
Tasting of all 4 courses

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tasting menu 73

As you can probably tell by the lack of post and pictures I have been crazy busy. I usually have a few hours a week that I can devote to experimenting but the last 5 weeks have lent me no time. I have agreed to take on the position of GM/Chef here at the hotel. It is a very unique opportunity for me to be apart of decisions that happen in the front of the house. This will mean that I will need to be even more organized in my efforts to better my restaurant. It will take a few months of growing but I am excited at the opportunity to gain more skills. I can finally concentrate on the ideas that I have had instead of running into road block after road block. We will hire a front of the house manager in the next few weeks with our new lunch and dinner menus after that. I wanted to improve on service and here is my chance.

Lump crab Benedict
Foie hollandaise, avocado, 148 degree egg

Sous-vide potato terrine
Pancetta, fig pudding, black pepper paper

Tempura vegetables
Edamame, frog legs, dashi noodles

Caramel apple cracker crust pizza
with cinnamon streusel and clove ice cream
made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bison Confrence

I had a great time doing a demo for the bison conference this past week. I did it with Robert Long, a rancher from Halltown Missouri and the Flintrock bison ranch. He talked about how they smoke 1/2 carcasses of buffalo under their ham so the buffalo can absorb the fat and flavors of the ham. He has a huge facility that raises, slaughters, and processes meat. My part of the demo was explaining how different cooking methods can yield some amazing textures. The best conversation we had was about how sous-vide could help him in his operation. His biggest concern is listeria. Listeria is a food air borne illness. If you do sous-vide correctly you can portion, cook, cool and ship all in the same package, the product will never be exposed. It would also save him in labor and would help his consistency. It was a pleasure meeting everyone and learning about all of the care they put in to their side of the industry, and the buffalo they brought was amazing

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tasting menu 72

We have our annual bison council meeting this week along with a speech from Mr. Buffalo himself Ted Turner. I have been asked this year to do a demo on unused cuts of buffalo. It should be a great event. The cooking class on Saturday is sold out. I am doing a demo at nobel sysco on February 9Th to launch the companies affiliation with Will Powder. There will be a few other chefs demoing including Keegan Gerhard from Food Network and I am also starting work on the Miracle Fruit project. Things are starting to move again after a couple very slow weeks.

Purple yam éclair
Tobiko fondant, scallop scramble, coco nibs

Smoked pecan waffle
Mushrooms, corn, goat cheese bubbles

Loaded baked potato gnocchi
Buffalo sirloin, dandelion, cayenne

Hot chocolate ice cream with broken whipped cream
Made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Absolute Zero

I have been fascinated with this subject ever since I wanted to learn how liquid nitrogen was made. Absolute zero is a temperature around -273 C. It is the point when temperature meets pressure. Heat can go up and up but absolute zero is believed to be the coldest point that can be reached. When temperatures almost reach absolute zero, atoms behave in a very weird way. A new matter that is not a solid, liquid or gas is created at this temperature. Atoms no longer have a individual quality to them. They actually mix together and become one wave like structure. I have been trying to think how absolute zero could be used in foods. Imagine isolating atoms of flavor and being able to mix them together, a kind of molecular mixing bowl. Actually building a flavor on a molecular level. I theorize that this is how food could be replicated. If you had a machine that had 100's of different flavored atoms and a process of mixing and emulsifying, you can replicate anything. Absolute zero is not something that I could do in my kitchen today. Only about 10 years ago at a lab 20 minutes away from me in Boulder was absolute zero almost achieved. They had to use lasers and magnetic fields to cool heavier periodic elements to come within a billionth of a degree. It took centuries of scientist and chemist theorizing and experimenting to get where we are today. We take for granted many useful products that were invented because of mans quest for absolute zero. Items like walk-ins , flash freezing, and air conditioning. Without these inovators pushing their boundaries, we would not enjoy the common conveniences of today.


Mark has a laugh that can be recognized throughout the hotel. As I turned the corner yesterday I saw him in tears wearing this very "special" uniform that only Mark could pull off.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cooking Class

I will be doing a cooking class at on January 24. It should be a fun evening of molecular cooking in a small classroom setting. The session will be hands on with the oppurtunity to use some ingredients like liquid nitrogen and the thermal circulator.

Tasting menu 71

The restaurant is going to be going through some major changes this month. We have lost our GM of 6 years to some unfortunate circumstances. I had a good relationship with him but we did not agree on a lot of service issues. One being that he refused to have a expediter. The food would sit for 5 maybe 6 minutes before it was run. A lot of our molecular presentations must be run right away or we lose the textures we worked so hard to create. I had to take some items of our last menu because of the timing issues. With a new GM comes new ideas and a wiliness to work with each other to improve our guest experiences. I know I have been pulling this place in so many directions, hopefully we can settle it down and have fun and create

Caul fat, goji berries, red pepper

Buffalo short ribs
Shitake wonton, mint, pickled watermelon

Tomato Brushetta Space Foam

Maine lobster tail
Chipolte, corn gnocchi, Cilantro tapioca

Banana foster ice cream sandwich
Made tableside with liquid nitrogen

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cooking at the Governors Mansion

Last night I was invited to cook a few courses at the Governor's mansion. The event was for file://, a organisation promoting alternatives to youth violence through education. Chef Greg Barnill from the Broadmoor along with Joe, Phil and myself prepared and served this menu in a amazing setting.

Walking into the house was like stepping back into time. The dinning room had a large wooden table with very fine linen and set with china from the 1800 and 1900's.

The kitchen was nicely updated with a large buthcer block and a commercial stove. It reminded me of the Beard House kitchen before the remodel a few years ago.

There was a long corridor behind the dinning room where staff could move freely as they cleared plates and poured wine. The dinner went perfect. Chef Greg's dishes were based on Colorado ingredients, solid in flavors and technique. My dishes were challenging with some surprising textures and flavors. It was a perfect balance of new and old styles. It was a quite a honor to be there, we found out that it is a very rare site to see outside chefs come in and cook. The staff of the house always takes care of all functions, they made a exception for us and I will never forget it. We ended our evening sipping Colorado distilled whiskey with the Governor and his wife.

The Governor’s Dinner
with Colorado Governor & First Lady Bill & Jeannie Ritter
Benefiting Project Pave
Honored Guest David Scanavino & Friends

Amuse Course
Seared Ahi in Wonton Cup with Chucka Salad Wasabi Tobiko Caviar
Paired with Philieponnat Brut Royal Rose, Rems Champagne

Salad Course
Compressed vegetable Salad with Colorado Goat Cheese Marbles and Balsamic caviar
Paired with Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc

Fish Course
Smoked Colorado Trout with Apple Textures and Tempura Cranberries
Paired with Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay

Wild Strawberry and Yuzu Sorbet with Frozen Olive Oil Dust
"The Floating Egg"
Meat Course One
Juniper Crusted Colorado Elk with Maple Roasted Root Vegetables and Colorado Chokecherry JusPaired with Cakebread Syrah

Meat Course Two
Grilled Colorado Bison with Blue Cheese Crust, morel mushroom ragout and stone ground grits
Paired with Cakebread Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Dessert Course
Chocolate Cinnamon Flan with Homemade Churros and Hazelnut Cream
Paired with Monastrell, Olivars, Jumilla Spain

Presenting Chef’s
Greg Barnhill, Executive Chef, Charles Court, The Broadmoor
Ian Kleinman, Executive Chef, The O’s Steak and Sea Food, Westin
Joe Hubbard, CPA, Sommelier, Chef at Anne Hubbard’s Kitchen
Sommelier, Phil Laramore, Baroness Distributing & Insatiable Wines

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tasting menu 70

We are getting back to normal business levels this week. We are continuing to work on our new menu. I will be out of the restaurant on Friday, I have been asked to cook at the Governors mansion that night for Project pave. I have never been inside but I am very familiar with the building. I used to live across the street. I have always wondered what the inside looks like.
Goat cheese fondue
Compressed vegetables, black pepper puff, bing cherry air

Lagastino risotto
Smoked peas, shitake paper, lemongrass brulee

Sou-vide tenderloin
Coffee, malt, mustard greens

Yuzu sphere with blueberry dippin dots
Made table side with liquid nitrogen

Saturday, January 3, 2009

look Ma I am a Top Chef

One of my regular tasting menu customers came in tonight and told me he saw my photo on the Top Chef website. He told me to go to season 5 on Hosea's photo page. Sure enough there is a photo of me making liquid nitrogen sorbet for a wine tasting I had here a few months ago.( It is the 5th photo on the page) I have no head in the picture but it is my coat, table set up, restaurant, everything. I will have to give Hosea some shit when I talk to him next time.


All Westins are starting a new Superfood program for breakfast starting in January. Superfoods are high in nutrients and anti-oxidants and are believed to have disease-fighting benefits. Superfoods include: Apples, Avocado. Beans, Berries, Broccoli, Cinnamon, Dark Chocolate, Dried Super fruits, Honey, Garlic, Kiwi, Lemons, Low Fat Yogurt, Oats, Onions, Oranges, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Soy, Spinach, Tea, Tomatoes, Turkey, Walnuts and Wild Salmon. We have a few guideline recipes that we will use but the rest of the menu is up to us. I worked on a raspberry french toast pudding with lemon curd and whipped cream today. We will do a tasting next week with a new menu roll out the following week

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Culinary Resolutions

1. Be more artistic in my presentations
2. Be original
3. Develop 5 commercial products
4. School demos
5. Organize notes and recipes
6. Miracle fruit project
7. Have fun
8. Challenge my guests
9. Educate my staff

New Years Eve

We had a great New Years eve last night. We did around 175 in the dinning room and another 100 in room service. I did a few molecular specials on our price fix menu last night. Shane, our pantry chef took a lot of pictures from service last night. Unfortunately only 1 of the 20 pictures he took was actually in focus. This is a grilled tropical fruit plate with ginger sabayon.
It was hilarious coming in this morning seeing how all the drunk people parked their cars all over the private drive. We have 500 spots about 100 feet away but why walk when you can park on the side walk?