Sunday, June 26, 2011

Random dishes

I must be waxing nostalgic as my current menu winds down. Here are a few more old dishes that I've been serving.

Someone gifted me with kumquats so what's a guy to do...candy them of course. I still had some kumquat chutney from a previous batch so these just got a long candying and have been finding their way onto my menu in various places.

One place has been this dish which I call Gila Fields. The Town of Gila is 30 minutes North of us and is nestled along the Gila River. Great soil and so a number of my foragers and growers come from that area. This dish includes baby purple potato coated in kaolin clay, mushroom cake, sherry gelée, caper powder, piñon, lemon and sweet juniper.

Another iteration of the same in a beautiful Bauscher dish:

I called this pop-tart. Foraged mint, sweet pea tartlet on a Tafelstern Showpiece Bambu plate.

Not the best picture, but sweet potato, celery root, roasted tomato, sous vide radish and sweet pea, mushroom soil

That same Gila Fields with some flower bling and piñon oil powder

An early version of my cashew tower: Celery root, 14 day fermented cashew cheese, Salvadoran spiced roasted vegetables, cactus skin, black tea infused lentils

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cleaning House: More Recent Dishes

Here are a few more dishes that I've done as I clear out my photo album.

This is an old amuse bouche of acorn crema, mushroom soil, goat yogurt, purple carrot and parsley

An old version of a current dish: Cattail, cucumber, acorn

A dish so popular that it will surely make a comeback: Goat cheese cake, beet, dandelion

Recognize this? Another old variation: Goat yogurt, acorn, Jerusalem artichoke, wild grapes

Acorn, goat, piñon

Curious Kumquat

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bauscher and the Spoon

Many of you know of my relationship with the Bauscher Corporation who makes some of the most beautiful restaurant dishes. And many of you have seen my contributions to their Deep Plate Blog where they highlights chefs' creations using their dishes. For next month I was sent the perfect piece for my style of cooking.

Here are a series of my dishes that I refitted to the Tafelstern Showpiece Bambu collection:

Crispy duck, sweet potato, forest berry, cashew cheese

Cattail, cucumber, mint, garden flowers, acorn

Mushroom cake with cholla infused caramel

From my creepy eyeball collection: late harvest Torrontes infused local goat yogurt, butternut, shallot jam, sweet juniper

Curious Kumquat

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Curious Kumquat News

Two recent news worthy bits:

We have our next modernist tasting dinner scheduled for Saturday, July 2nd at the Curious Kumquat. I have already committed 2/3 of the seats and haven't even advertised it yet so I wanted to make sure that all previous attendees knew of the event before it completely sold out.

For this dinner I will be going back to my roots. For the past couple of meals I've focused on venues and themes and strayed from my foray into modernist techniques. Not so for this meal. Once again I'll be pushing the experimental fronts that I most enjoy, bringing you new flavor combinations, new cooking techniques and new scientific materials.

Ian McKay will once again serve as our sommelier for the evening. The dinner will be at least 10 courses with 5 wine pairings. Dinner will begin promptly at 6 and costs $75. The dinner with wine pairing upgrade is $85 (great value). We will also offer a very limited Super Flight wine pairing ($100) which will pour the original 5 wines plus 3 additional pairings of an upper tier wine (let's just say rare and fancy).

If you are interested, please call Marsh at 534-0337.

If you blinked you missed it. Overnight our desolate cheese case became bursting at the seams. It is not a secret that we've struggled to keep the cheese case full over the years. That was part of a very complicated delivery system. We're now trying something new that gives us much faster access to our cheeses. So...let's see if this works better for all of us. Here are just a few of the new cheeses & meats:

1. Cambazola: German mix of blue cheese and brie.
2. Fontini: Not rare, but its impossible to get a high quality version here in town.
3. Brie: Ours is a 60% from France.
4. Livradois: A morbier style semi-firm cheese with ash layer.
5. Mimolette: French yellow cheese that's great for summer grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches.
6. Leicester: British cheddar-like cheese.
7. Gruyere: Simply the best for melting.
8. Roaring 40's Blue: Australian best seller.
9. Maytag Blue: The quintessential American blue cheese.
10. Apricot Stilton: Blasphemous to do this to Stilton (but in the summer we still love it).
11. Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog: Creamy goat. Firm goat. Ash. All in one.
12. Delice de Jura: Super creamy and a bit funky.
13. Garrotxa: Firm Spanish goat cheese.
14. Ardi Gasna Lait: Nutty ewe's milk cheese.
15. Crottin de Champcol: This is what French goat cheese is famous for.

Olives, Butter, Meats:
1. Ligurian Olives
2. Isigny Ste. Mére: French salted butter
3. Echo Falls Smoked Salmon
4. Venison sausage with merlot and blueberries
5. Rabbit sausage with white wine
6. Olive Oil crisps from Spain
7. Spanish chorizo - hot and regular
8. Harissa seasoning in tube

Curious Kumquat

Monday, June 6, 2011

Foraging Ethics

I was recently sent a link to THIS article in a Sacramento magazine. "Everybody does it" is not an acceptable excuse for foraging on private land, nor is it acceptable to grab greens from the roadside without consideration of the effects of car exhaust on your customers, nor is it acceptable to pick greens adjacent to vineyards that spray pesticides. Like all trends that start as fads, foraging restaurants need to speak loudly about what is acceptable and not.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Book Review: Pastry in Europe 2011

A glaring pink book seeking the spotlight, giving us the whirlwind European tour from Michelin restaurants to back alley holiday fairs, Pastry in Europe 2011 provides a snapshot of the state of pastry across the diverse continent. You’ll be delighted with the cutting edge ingredients, old-school techniques, and the slew of chefs sharing what they’re doing right now. While the 2011 book has made greater strides than its two predecessors, it has yet to take center stage.

Read the rest of the review HERE.
Curious Kumquat