• Published: Nov 10th, 2008
  • Comments: None

A Stark Meal

At the end of October we sat down with our good friends Alex and Aki from Ideas in Food and wrote up a menu for a seven course meal that we had been kicking around for a little while. It was a difficult balancing act getting four such divergently creative minds to come together to create seven dishes that would then form together a cohesive meal.

It was also difficult preventing Alex from adding courses when we weren’t looking as he was full of ideas that just weren’t able to be realized in this meal.

This meal was the first of a style of event and also marked the first instance where we felt that we were able to really balance the theatre of the event with the open and warm social atmosphere as well as food that was executed the way we had imagined it.

Menu:
1. Cervidae Tartar with Smoked Onion Rings and Cranberry
2. Chioggia Beets with a Roasted Red and Yellow Beets Pasta Salad, Beet Curd, Aji Amarillo and Passion Fruit
3. Pumpkin Seed Risotto with Coffee and Ham Hock Lardons
4. Olive Oil Poached Halibut over Celery Leaf Gnocchi in a Lobster Mushroom Ragu
5. Skirt steak with Brussels Sprout Kimchi, Apple and Chicharrones
6. Pierre Robert with Walnut Ribbons and Pear Mostarda
7. Lime panna cotta and banana rocks with a banana sponge cake and key lime

Menu Written with Daniel Castaño, Aki Kamozawa & H. Alexander Talbot

Executed with H. Alexander Talbot, Daniel Castaño, Thomas Helmick, Cathy Erway and Kathryn Mahoney

Photos:

Cassidy DuHon
www.duhonphotography.com

Cervidae Tartar with Smoked Onion Rings and Cranberry

The tartar was made from the leg of a deer. We did a coarse chop with a set of knifes and got it into a proper 1980’s tartar texture, and tossed with some olive oil, mustard, salt, pepper and herbs. The onion rings were compressed in smoke brine instead of hot smoking them to give them a nice smoky flavor but to also get them to be nice a crisp. The smoke brine was then carbonated and used to make a tempura batter which also helped carry the smoky flavor as well. A sweet and tart cranberry sauce was put on the plate to help soften the flavors and bring a smooth richness in texture.

Chioggia Beets with a Roasted Red and Yellow Beets Pasta Salad, Beet Curd, Aji Amarillo and Passion Fruit

The Chioggia beets were glued into a sheet and the red and yellow beets were unpeeled using a planner and compressed with a spicy passion fruit dressing under vacuum. They were then cut into cut into linguine shaped strips and dressed on either side of a firm Yellow Beet curd that is vegan.

Alex and Aki pioneered this process of using pectin or sodium alginate and calcium to create a fruit and vegetable glue that can impart flavor while holding things together. Here we created a dressed beet sheet that was sliceable.

Pumpkin Seed Risotto with Coffee and Ham Hock Lardons

The process of pressure cooking pumpkin seeds to give them a risotto like consistence was another invention by Alex and Aki, while on vacation somewhere silly. In this iteration they were cooked with coffee and pumpkin stock. After cooking they were cooled and mounted to order with butter and the cooking liquid, dressed with ham hock lardons which gave the dish a nice smoky flavor. Sous Vide pumpkin balls where topped with a little pumpkin powder and parmesan cheese.

Olive Oil Poached Halibut over Celery Leaf Gnocchi in a Lobster Mushroom Ragu

This is first step in the evolution of a dish we have been working on since august. It was conceived as a surf and turf style dish where the surf is represented by a lightly cooked flaky white fish and served over a earthy flavored pasta dish, here done with celery leaf gnocchi (double cooked potatoes with celery leaf juice used in the beginning of the dough making similar to spinach) in a lobster mushroom beurre blanc.

We have since seen this dish evolve into an almost entirely black dish with black trumpet mushrooms and a black truffle beurre noir, where the fish is topped with black caviar and purple basil is grated on top like cheese. (more to follow on this soon)

Skirt steak with Brussels Sprout Kimchi, Apple and Chicharrones

Double Thick Skirt Steak is a real treat. Skirt Steak is a very flavorful yet cheep cut of beef that when bonded into a double cut piece becomes otherworldly. Fresh off our Korean Pig Roast we really excited to get some of our left over Kimchi into some more forms. In this dish we compressed halved Brussels sprouts in a Kimchi puree to get the flavoring into all of the cracks. We then seared them off on a flattop to create a nice caramelized flat edge to them. This was pared with a Kimchi Chicharrones made with tapioca flour and Kimchi and a touch of water. These crispy vegan treats played the crisp spicy role in this dish while a smooth apple puree lent a touch of sweetness to the bottom of the plating.

Lime panna cotta and banana rocks with a banana sponge cake and key lime

Lime custards for this dish were set in a sphere mold and arraigned with some freshly torn banana sponge cake that Aki made in absentia. We had a little Liquid Nitrogen left from powdering the cheese so we froze whole banana and shattered them into rough chunks and then let them come back to room temperature to give them an insane and unpredictable shape. It was topped with a little key lime zest.

Pierre Robert with Walnut Ribbons and Pear Mostarda

This was/could be my favorite cheese course ever. I know I am partial and everything but it just came together in perfect balance. The Pierre Robert was frozen with Liquid Nitrogen and then crushed into a snow like powder. It was placed next to a candied walnut ribbon and topped with a fruit leather of slightly spiced pear mostarda.

This is just a bad ass picture of our white room with a white table in the back ground and a black shirted tom being a bad ass in the front.

A Stark Meal

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