Footsteps in my Mind...

I trace them constantly and ask what is my purpose? The answer lurks somewhere, this I'm sure. No matter the outcome, the search will continue...continue on for a better dish, a better way of doing things, a better representation of myself as a person and as a father and a better life. A few gathering of ingredients here presented and crafted in various ways. The busy season is definitely well upon us and not leaving much time to craft the new, yet just get through the shit ahead..s.o.s.

duck breast salad, sautéed matsutake mushrooms, pistachios,
 pine bud syrup, argan oil, micro arugula

silky celery root "cappuccino", white truffles, chestnut biscotti, spice-pistachio butter

spicy coconut panna cotta, hibiscus gelee, pickled pineapple, kaffir sorbet

warm rabbit salad, crispy duck tongues, pear puree, sweet cicely, maple
king trumpet-white truffle cappuccino, savory biscotti

seared foie gras, beets, persimmons, hazelnuts, beet blush, noble sherry reduction

pan roasted monkfish, red wine farro, caramelized brussels sprouts, walnuts
pumpkin, lobster mushrooms, amaranth, jus de poisson


Sympathy for the Devil...

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste!~ If gluttony and over-indulgence are one of the seven deadly sins, then this would surely be considered taking part! Gluttony in taste and over indulgence in the luxury of flavor. Divine, sinful and sensual as it were. These few dishes were part of a celebration of the season and the taking part of a triumphant juxtaposition of amazing ingredients. Cooking from the heart. This off the cuff ensemble was for a good friend who is all about food. One that I have had the great, great pleasure of cooking for many times. Enter Foie Gras and White Truffles...mmm, hard to go wrong. These are some of the things that do not come along every day, for if they did, it wouldn't be special. I wish everyone could taste and enjoy the dishes that were crafted that afternoon, yet for now, you will all have to enjoy them vicariously through this blog. For those that know where to obtain this humble cooking...I look forward to seeing you soon. For those that do not...if you meet me, have some courtesy, have some sympathy, and some taste~ enjoy!
foie gras torchon, pumpkin-pepper sponge, apples, apple jam, arugula
pistachios, huckleberry pearls, root beer pudding, spiced duck powder

braised rabbit pappardelle, white alba truffles, pumpkin, chanterelles
grana padano parmesan, mostarda, balsamic rabbit jus

slow braised veal cheeks, silky parsnip puree, matsutake mushrooms
thumbelina carrots, douglas fir sauce, pine bud essence
white truffle-celery root soup

alternate shot


Wanted Dead or Alive...

We as chefs are always searching for something new. Something to satisfy our passions... that burning desire to be creative, the need to fulfill our destiny of doing something worthy or our peers and public alike and an opportunity to build upon or maintain our reputation as noble craftsmen. We seek the blood of our profession that in turn fuels our fire and our hearts. Some lose sleep over it, some don't sleep at all. Some lose relationships over it and some gain new relationships in forms of addictions and even death. All for what? A job and life that keeps us crazy busy at all hours and doesn't even allow for much time away from work with loved ones and family? Hell yeah I say. It is a way of life and a damn good one. One just needs to be smart about it and balance things out, for all that is good, will surely come to an end if all we focus on is the work. It is a creative outreach and an internal soothing of the soul in which can bring out the best in us, or the worst. I wouldn't trade it for anything, for it is what I am, not what I do. And if I can teach my craft, my passion and my philosophy on life to those who are seeking this path, help inspire them towards a better future, and give a more positive alternative to life on the streets to the younger generation then I am certainly doing what I am supposed to do. Helping others and creating good times and memories for guests is why I do what I do. I only hope that I have made my two boys and the woman in my life happy and proud, for it is for them that I pay tribute to once more. We as chefs continue to search endlessly for that sensation of perfection and satisfaction, in each dish and meal that we serve...we want it, we feel it, crave it, need it...dead or alive!
warm rabbit salad(alternative pairing with matsutake mushrooms)

seared foie gras, savory pumpkin sponge, hazelnuts, huckleberry pickled apples
huckleberry pearls, apple jam, black pepper-calvados-olive oil caramel

pumpkin-truffle agnolotti, white alba truffles, skate wing, pancetta
butternut, truffle-scallop nage

fennel crusted swordfish, lobster mushrooms, smoked cous cous
celery root, golden char roe, sherry-shallot confit

spice crusted duck breast~douglas fir grilled as it gets smoked

fir grilled duck, kale, baby turnips, cassis mustard seeds, black currant sauce

duck accompaniments~chanterelles, black truffles, duck tongues

Food Porn 11.10.14...

Don't know if I would even call it that, and yet I just did. Borderline uber creative. Basically, a simple night at the stove. Some of the food lately has been cool and imaginative yet needing a new breakthrough. The taste of fall that we have began to experience is definitely getting new ground. Refreshing and fun, sensual and heartwarming. Comforting and soothing...my favorite time to cook. Here lies the truth of the moment. All of it...the good, the bad and the ugly.
warm rabbit salad, pedro ximenez gel, pistachios, arugula, king trumpet mushrooms
pears, root beer pudding, sherry xo reduction

pearl jasmine gelee, licorice poached celery, pickled orange
nectarplum ice

slow braised veal cheeks, chanterelles, parsnip puree, cassis mustard
coffee roasted carrots, port essence

lamb loin sous vide, baked celery root, caramelized cauliflower & garlic
juniper & fir roasted lobster mushrooms, pine bud sauce


Binge and Purge...

Sometimes it is all about just cooking and getting the led out. Fueling your fire to create and to please. Just cooking from your heart for the masses, the special diners and maybe for the one you love. It doesn't always mean it is your best work. Hell, I rarely think mine is my best. It will probably never be that for me. Every now and again, I will cook a dish and say wow, that fuckin' rocks...and then right after it will be like...this sucks. In the heat of the moment, I take photos of the work and think one way or another about it, then later when reviewing the shots, it can be a let down, in that sure they were tasty, the dishes were solid, and the guests seemed to enjoy it thoroughly, but sensually, spiritually, emotionally for me, it fell short, or at least that is the way it gets labeled in my head. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy much of my work and feel good about it. At times though, we are just cooking...doing what we know how to, doing what we do best. We are chefs and we are perfectionists. If we rested on our asses and thought we are so great and we do the best food or best service, then we have already lost. We have succumbed to accepting that we can not go further and thus we don't try for we are already great. A great leader will always keep thriving to forge ahead and get better. I hope I never rest, but push on reaching for greatness and perfection, knowing all too well I will never reach it in this lifetime. Here are some of those dishes...some good, some bad, some cool...but never perfect!
warm scallop salad, porcini mushrooms, duck tongues, arugula, pears
pecans, maple-bourbon vinaigrette

pan roasted foie gras, caramelized banana, spice powder, coconut emulsion
smoked vanilla-black pepper caramel

fennel pollen crusted sole, zucchini "carbonara", lobster mushrooms
baby tomatoes, chick peas, savory shrimp broth, herb oil

spice roasted duck breast, apples, walnuts, walnut powder
smoked cous cous, glazed carrots

syrah braised veal cheeks, silky parsnips, truffled baby turnips, cipolline onions
chanterelles, cassis essence

Farewell To Kings...

Or should I say...whole lotta' leavin' goin' on? Either way you translate things today, it rings true. We have seen a few go on to bigger, brighter pastures of late from our own kitchen...movin' onward and upward, or even backward as it were in some cases to take on new roles in search of new ideas with new peeps. Some have moved on to live new lives in new locales with new experiences. Some lately around town(reads Jason Franey of Canlis), are moving on to new gigs to create cool food in search of a dream...and some here and there have simply cashed in their chips to explore their new nirvana with the almighty above. Here are a few dishes that I offer up to them as a tribute to their time spent with us in the kitchen, the city, as friends and on this planet.
seared foie gras, apple jam, caramelized apples, bruleed bananas
curry dust, calvados-black pepper caramel

warm porcini salad, crisp potato gaufrette, duck tongues, potatoes
truffles, arugula, sherry dressing

pan roasted weakfish(spotted trout)
sweet corn, roasted lobster mushrooms, leeks, bacon
maple-bourbon vinegar sauce

braised veal cheek and venison loin
baby turnips, kale, roasted cauliflower, king trumpet mushrooms

duck breast sous vide, chanterelles, red wine cipolline onions
coffee roasted thumbelina carrots, parsnip puree, smoked cous cous, barolo jelly


Passion, Expression, Impression...

I always hope I never lose my passion for what I love. I don't think that is possible. When I cook for others, I always cook with passion. When I cook, I inevitably am gifting to those I am cooking for my expression of my thoughts...an expression of taste, of style, of artistry, or flavor, of a culture and so on. An expression is important to have identity, otherwise you are merely a speck of sand in a sea of shit, wandering aimlessly looking identical to everyone else. Why? What's the point? One needs identity and the ability to express as an artist and chef. It is vital to the success. Lastly, I always hope I leave a long lasting wonderful impression for our guests. Leaving one with that feeling of excitement, love, amazement, memories of past and childhood, euphoria, sex, astonishment, overwhelming goodness and crazy great vibe is something that not many things in life can accomplish. Cooking from the soul and the heart is one of them. It is personal, giving, wonderful and special. This sequence of transformation is what takes place in my world of food...or so I trust...
diver scallop tartare, nectarplums, tomatocello pearls, togarashi
sriracha aioli, citrus-nigella vinaigrette, micro arugula

seared foie gras, smoked vanilla, maple, walnut, pear
port gastric

grilled hawaiian opah, bergamot poached shigoku oyster sous vide
radish-heart of palm-pineapple salad, foie gras sauce
crispy pork trotter-black rice-macadamia nut pancake

pluot intermezzo
gold pluot-lime confit, ice wine granite, frozen fennel yogurt
grains of paradise

gingerbread venison loin, corn-chanterelle "risotto"
pine bud sweetbreads, hazelnuts, roasted golden beets
gingerbread dust, bittersweet chocolate essence

syrah beef short ribs, smoked cous cous, golden raisins, squab
caramelized cauliflower, zucchini carbonara
banyuls sauce


Long Day Gone...

As a sequel to all night thing... where did the day go? And so it is written...we continue on as the day turns to night. Long day gone...but not forgotten.
oyster, nectarplum, sturgeon caviar, tomato, yuzu, sriracha

seared foie, smoked vanilla, pear-walnut relish, walnut powder
ras el hanout, tawny port sauce, maple gel

grilled hawaiian opah, crispy pork belly, caramelized pineapple, black rice
heart of palm, coconut emulsion

sous vide venison loin, chanterelles, corn, veal cheeks, peppered nectarines
baby turnips, tayberry essence

glazed beef short rib, white beans, zucchini carbonara, mugolio drizzle

olive oil cake, raspberries, white chocolate-lavender ribbon, peach sorbet
apple terrine, currants, mascarpone, apple jam, porcini caramel, parmesan ice cream
chocolate-peanut butter bar, bananas, banana ice cream
beggars pouch- apricot, almond, conserve, noyaux ice cream

slow braised beef short ribs, smoked barley, zucchini, pancetta, tomatoes,
balsamic-foie gras sauce

grilled venison loin sous vide, corn-veal cheek risotto, chanterelles
cassis pearl onions, shallot roasted turnips, tayberry-banyuls sauce


All Night Thing...

It seems that for several weeks now, the days and nights have just blended continuously without regret or remorse and without break to reflect on what has happened. The abundance of the ever-popular chefs tables have definitely kept the ball rolling. Where did the summer go? Albeit, it has been a great summer. I miss it already. However, that said...I look forward to fall. The nights lately have been late with the cooking moving ahead and the ideas flowing into the wee hours of the early morn. I have a special inspiration that keeps me going...it is that of the thought of something wonderful in life happening. I have always been a night person and staying up until birds are awaking is no strange concept. Here is what has transpired since my last set of dishes. It's an all night thing.
scrambled eggs, scallops, truffles, crème fraiche, crispy potato

shigoku oyster, nectarplum-peach salad, sturgeon caviar, yuzu, sriracha
tomato water gelee, tomato-nigella dressing
(revisited dish)

corn-lobster "risotto", chanterelles, garden beans, house cured lomo
rainbow chard, chive oil

slow braised beef short ribs, king trumpet mushroom, quinoa, fava beans
banyuls-maple-foie gras sauce

nectarplum-lobster salad, cilantro, golden caviar, togarashi, arugula
citrus vinaigrette, lemon-herb veil

smoked vanilla basted foie gras, apple jam, pecans, pecan-ras el hanout powder
sauternes-late harvest gelee, maple-madeira gastric

spice grilled cervena venison loin, chanterelles, smoked barley, golden raisins
cassis pearl onions, coffee roasted carrots, chanterelle puree, huckleberry essence