State of Mind...

As the mission statement reads on the header to this blog...a state of mind, a passion, an addiction, an abusive drive, an emotion, an inspiration and so on. In this case, it reads more a like state of love and trust. The state of love I am in with the woman I fell madly for and who started this dinner in motion... and the state of trust I have that things will work out for the best and the way they should be...whatever that is in his eyes. I only know how much she means to me and that I hope we will be once more...so, thank you for bringing this together m. This was a dinner celebrating 29 years of marriage for three different couples, and two of the couples within about a week of each other. Crazy to think! I only hope that I too someday can celebrate that amazing and wonderful milestone with that special person in my life. This was a combination and gathering of tastes that were inspired by the thought of cooking for a soul mate, which I believe that was who these folks were to each significant other. Here is how it played out...

lobster, cantaloupe, avocado, american sturgeon caviar
lobster-vanilla dressing, champagne-yuzu-elderflower sabayon with chives

togarashi seared local albacore tuna, pickled green nectarines, basil, honshimejii,
watermelon radishes, daikon, srirachi aioli, micro greens, soy-peach vinaigrette

pan seared local foie gras s'mores, peppered apricots, cinnamon marshmallow,
smoked valrhona chocolate, graham cracker crumble, fig jam, natural nectar

herb crusted atlantic fluke, sungold tomatoes, bacon mashed potatoes
corn, lobster mushrooms, carrot ravioli, arugula and green harissa

peppered berries, balsamic gelee, fennel sous vide, frozen olive oil
lemon verbena-fennel pollen lemonade soda

apricot & pistachio crusted loin of lamb, truffled baby zucchini, chanterelles
caramelized heirloom garlic, polenta gratin, pine bud essence, tayberry sauce

lemon verbena pot de crème, plums, plum sorbet, langue du chat
strawberry-rhubarb pastry, apricot noyaux ice cream, strawberry coulis
lavender-white chocolate ribbon, peaches, caramel tuile, raspberry sorbet
chocolate silk, chocolate brioche, cherries, smoked wood ice cream
salted caramels, valrhona dove stix, cherry jellies,
thyme-lemon macarons, blood orange olive oil chocolates


One Sunny Day...

On any given day, food happens. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone for someone else is cooking. It reminds me of my sunny days. Those days are now in the shadows of a black hole sun, but they are not forgotten. Never will be. I have faith that someday, they will shine down upon one again. Cooking in the summer is very inspiring to say the least. The ingredients are all incredibly amazing. To have the luxury and good fortune of the bounty of the Northwest at your fingertips is nothing short of sublime. How does one become so lucky? I am blessed to have a craft that at least I can express my soul. If that were to fade away to black, I am not sure what I would do. Write maybe? When I cook, I think back to many different times in my life...many good, some bad, some sad, many happy. When you have spent 30  years doing something that you love to do, you cant help but go through many different emotions such as that. In the end, I know I made the right choice to do with my life what I did...to cook! On one sunny day...
seared foie gras s'mores...
smoked chocolate, apricot conserve, cacao nibs, graham cracker streusel
cinnamon marshmallow, honey drizzle

seared foie gras & duck breast terrine, peaches, peach gelee
duck salad, blueberry pickled baby turnips, saba, walnuts, arugula, peach vinaigrette

pan roasted sea scallop, garlic scapes, crispy pork belly, chanterelles
corn-nectarine relish, popcorn grits, chive blossoms, maple jus

smoked alaskan halibut, baby zucchini, english pea hummus, pea blossoms
chamomile emulsion, chamomile tea pearls
tomato-citrus-olive oil nage (not shown)

fennel pollen lemonade soda, herbal dressed strawberries, fennel
balsamic gel, frozen olive oil

syrah braised veal cheeks, farmer onions, smoked cous cous, fava beans
fava bean tapenade, pecans, truffles, tayberry essence

spice crusted american bison, coffee roasted carrots, king trumpet pancake
spice foam, pine bud drizzle, elderberry sauce

asian marinated alaskan halibut, pickled green nectarines, cilantro
watermelon radishes, honshimejii mushrooms, daikon sprouts
soy pearl-peach dressing

lavender-cardamom brushed duck breast, cherries, thumbelina carrots
garlic scapes, fava bean tapenade stuffed morels, tayberry essence


Looks That Kill...

kneel down ya sinners, to streetwise religion...

and yet another tribute to one of the most kick ass metal bands I have ever seen and heard...
motley crue! Grew up with their music and have lived by it and will probably die by it~ as I carry my crucifix under my death wish! For the final farewell show about to be seen this weekend, the future performances left in the tour and to the ones we've missed...from girls, girls, girls to 10 seconds to love...too young to fall in love to shout at the devil...primal scream to live wire...if I die tomorrow to wild side...these guys and their music, although calling it quits for good in terms of the band, will always have a special place in my heart like home sweet home! The music inspires me, drives me and gets me amped whenever I hear it and thus propels my cooking in a very positive, electric way. And thus it is so written that these dishes are in part derived from the energy in my head and in my soul. Here's some Dr. Feelgood for you to kickstart your heart...
revision of duck tongue dish...
sous vide egg, glazed asparagus, sautéed duck tongues, summer truffles
chervil, pea blossoms, grated toasted walnuts, truffle broth
pan roasted local albacore tuna, dungeness crab, shelling peas
heirloom sungold tomatoes, grapefruit, nasturtium leaves & emulsion
meyer lemon olive oil

tuscan inspired mezzo...
shaved sous vide fennel, peppered local raspberries, salty parmesan chips
frozen olive oil emulsion with fennel pollen, toasted pine nut-saba soda

roasted muscovy duck breast, carrot-mascarpone ravioli
honshimejii mushrooms, blueberry braised baby turnips, maple-bourbon gel
cardamom-coriander-juniper foam

syrah braised veal cheeks, grilled farmer zucchini, garlic scapes
marcona almonds, smoked cous cous, morel-mustard sauce

valrhona manjari chocolate-praline silk, coffee cremeux, dove bar
cherries, plums, cherry pearls, smoked wood ice cream
local fig-frangipane tart, fig tartare, fennel gelato, caramel
apricot profiterole, mascarpone sorbet, truffled apricot conserve, muscovado
lemon posset, tayberries, strawberry-mint sorbet
spruce tip milkshake

public enemy #1...


Feels Like Home...

A tribute to the one who sang me this song a while back...haven't forgot it, and will never. Like my never ending commitment in my cooking, my craft and my passion, I am forever committed to loving you always...never question it...never doubt it...never forget it...for me, it feels like home. A heartfelt post in the midst of the emotion and the moment. This is for you...
slow poached egg, asparagus, sautéed duck tongues, crispy shallots
sliced truffles, chervil, truffle nage

spice rubbed alaskan king salmon, walnut potatoes, smoked corn
chanterelles, shaved walnuts, sautéed rabbit liver, red wine-plum gastrique

alternate version with sea scallop
fresh locally grown bergamot dressing

better shot of the summer foie gras crisp
brioche, peppered cherries, apricots, cacao nib-almond crumble
seared, pan roasted sustainable, "happy duck" foie gras


Feels Sumptn' Like Summertime...

Warmth...vibrancy...inviting...sensual...alive...these are but a few descriptors that one could potentially conjure up in their mind about the flavors, tastes and ingredients of summer. I can think of a few more, but perhaps best to leave those in my thoughts as they might be perceived as a little risqué..., probably because they are. Cooking in the summer is definitely an amazing time of year to explore the world of tastes and flavors. I do love it. It is a fraction of hair right behind fall for me, but if hard pressed and persuaded, I might give in. Summer is in full force here in the Northwest, and yet we still have yet to see some of the great ingredients...in time, my friends, in time. Until then, we will cook and explore the journey that lie ahead with what we have at hand, albeit, fresh from the farmer himself. As a cook, you get by with what you have and make it stellar. Start with the best and let it shine and you end up with greatness. Start with shit and you end up with shit. Plain as that. Here are a handful of dishes that were inspired by summer, tasty fresh ingredients, good peeps on our team of cuisiniers, fun, friendly guests and the thought of cooking for special people. Giving of oneself is one of the best gifts god can give you and that you can give to others. I have always tried to do that. Mom would be proud of at least that. More to follow as we cook our way through the season...until then.
watermelon-peach terrine, peach pearls, watermelon parisienne, dungeness crab
frozen fennel yogurt, sriracha aioli, chive blossoms, micro arugula, crispy potato
bergamot dressing

hibiscus & togarashi crusted local albacore tuna, baby tomatoes, arugula
spicy clam salad, peaches, gazpacho vinaigrette, lemon balm

seared foie gras "crisp", peppered cherries, apricots
toasted brioche, almond-cacao nib crumble, natural jus

brined & smoked halibut, corn, house bacon, pickled shallots
crab-pea hummus stuffed squash blossoms, spanish olive oil, nasturtium sauce

apricot tartare, grains of paradise, plum sorbet, catmint flowers
frozen olive oil, apricot water boisson, whipped tayberry

slow braised veal cheek, carrot ravioli, morels, truffles, garlic scapes
glazed thumbelina carrots, fennel mustard jus, crispy potato angel hair

rustic platter of sous vide lamb rubbed with vadouvan curry, spiced duck breast
charred rosemary aioli, fava beans, roasted cauliflower, porcini mushrooms
crisp salsify, pine bud-argan oil drizzle


carrot -walnut cake, grated macadamia nuts, mascarpone mousse
lemon posset, apricot, cherry pearls, rainier cherries, rhubarb sorbet
salted caramel ganache tart, chocolate feuillatine, plums
smoked wood ice cream-cornmeal cookie sandwich


More Than You Know...

There is always so much new to learn~learn about life, learn about yourself and learn more about what you do in and of your work, and most importantly how you can help others. There is always more to experience in your walk that furthers your identity who you are as a person and perhaps why you were put here on this earth. For me, I sometimes wonder. More than you know. You make mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Maybe you get a second chance at life's greatest treasures...maybe not. There is always so much more to learn in terms of ideas, thoughts, passions, desires and things to be shared with those you love and who mean the most to you. Life for me these days are but a handful of ukulele songs...soft spoken, gentle, full of pain and huge ass regrets. Forgiveness of myself is not an option. Oh well...that is life. You get what you deserve right?... and hopefully...God will only give you what you can handle...or so I've been told. I will seek happiness in all that I do. We will see. Enough of that shit tho...My passion is my cooking. My love are my two sons and a special woman in my life named Debby. More than you know mouse. And, my work is that of a chef...I learn more and more every day about all of them. I always try to please. To help. To inspire and to share. My inspirations are challenged but I keep forging ahead, searching for clarity with much hope and faith. My strong sense of belief along with that hope and faith is what keeps me going. The ideas of my dishes thankfully come from somewhere deep and I always hope they please those that I and those on my team are cooking for. These dishes are but a handful of inspirations based on summer flavors, local and regional ingredients, fun combinations and tastes that are both fun to cook and fun to eat. They are inspirations that are based on the folks who are dining, the cooks who are cooking, the farmers, fishermen and foragers who brought us the wonderful foodstuffs and again...the one I love...more than you know. Enter into these dishes with an open mind...and enjoy the journey of taste, texture and flavor, for it is my world...more than you know...
dungeness crab & plum salad, preserved ginger, cured lemons, green harissa
cucumber-radish salad, micro arugula, elderflower-champagne-yuzu sabayon

seared scallop, carrot ravioli, heirloom tomato-peach relish
walnuts, beet vinaigrette, pea blossoms

pan roasted sea scallop, warm duck salad, tayberries
pickled gold beets, beet paint, maple-bourbon gel, walnut rappe

english pea hummus stuffed zucchini blossom, carrot-mascarpone ravioli
morels, truffles, truffle nage

grilled atlantic bluefish, tomato stuffed squash blossoms, morels
corn risotto, house bacon, nasturtium sauce and petals

hibiscus-orange marinated bluefish, orange oil braised purple potatoes
baby heirloom tomatoes, snap peas, nasturtium sauce and petals, celery root

watermelon pave, rhubarb gelee, yellow plum sorbet
orange oil-fennel pollen-grains of paradise brushing, tomato water boisson

roasted duck breast, baby turnips, porcini mushrooms, pearl onions, cherries
truffle nage, truffle potatoes

slow braised veal cheek, smoked cous cous, corn, bacon
garlic scapes, caramelized garlic, chive blossoms, fennel mustard jus

lemon posset, raspberries, rhubarb sorbet, caramel crisp
almond financier, marionberries, strawberry-hibiscus coulis, olive oil emulsion
spruce tip ice cream

Scharffenberger dark chocolate coulant
praline ice cream sandwiches, fruits of the moment, sorbets
apricot brulee, minted milkshake

chocolate dove bars, lemon puddingcake pops, linzer ice cream sandwiches
hazelnut macaron, bacon, tayberry-basil pates de fruits
lemon verbena white chocolates, salted caramels


Love Me Some...

anything and everything au chocolat...those that know me, know that chocolate is my favorite food, and specifically, dark, bittersweet chocolate. Valrhona, to be exact, but I also love me some Scharffenberger, Pralus and Claudio Corallo as well. I can not get enough of it at times. And like those other addictions in my life~ both new and old...I indulge in proper fashion. That's my Leo behavior. When I go out to dine, I will most always order the chocolate dessert, even if I am too full and/or not hungry enough to eat it. I just want to see it...smell it...touch it...taste it! At the end of a uber cool, awesome intimate dining experience, the chocolate sets the tone...it is the climax to a special meal...it is nirvana. Here is a chocolate dish that came to be at the end of such an experience...one that I was cooking, rather than eating...at least I was able to taste it at the end...like sex on a plate!

coffee-chocolate cremeux, chocolate sablee, chocolate paint, pears, coffee soil,
chocolate-malt crumble, caramel, cinnamon-coffee buenelos, smoked wood ice cream
espresso anglaise and emulsion

Piece of Mind...

Yes, another journey of taste, flavor and expression. An inspiration. A state and piece of mind. It goes without saying that it is the reason this blog was started. To document, record, convey and leave behind, long after I'm gone, an addictive path of progression and philosophy for others to read, contemplate, ponder, question and ultimately use or toss away in an attempt to forward the craft of cooking and good life. I use this platform to get shit off my chest. To express and share. To provoke thought and inspire. To dedicate and pay tribute. To share my heart and art with the one I love. These photos are representing a piece of my mind from earlier this week...So take it as you may...use it as you see fit, or not at all...let it stir up the ideas in your own mind...let the ideas fly like Icarus~ fly as high as the sun!
chilled spring pea boisson, radishes, orange oil
sautéed rabbit loin-king trumpet mushroom skewer

shellfish salad, grapefruit, avocado, minted celery, peppered strawberries
rhubarb, watermelon, chervil, bergamot dressing

grilled new zealand sea bass, compressed cantaloupe, apples
yuzu pudding, fennel, micro arugula, togarashi, honeydew vinegar vinaigrette

braised veal cheek, smoked quinoa, fava beans, morels, garlic scapes
shallot-elderberry sauce

tasting chocolate...
salted caramel ganache tart, coffee-chocolate cremeux, chocolate soufflé cake
praline-chocolate flake ice cream linzer sandwich, pears, espresso, caramel

copper river salmon belly torched "crudo", beet paint, morels
asparagus, walnut powder, arugula, grated grilled walnuts, walnut vinaigrette

seared foie gras, cacao nib pancake, long pepper, cherries, lemon balm
pecans, macaron-nib-pecan crumble, cassis-banyuls gastric