Sunday, September 1, 2013

Flavors of Wisconsin Charity Dinner at The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee (Late post!)

Flavors of Wisconsin Dinner 2013
This was a charity gala to generate money for liver transplants.  Local chefs were brought in to prepare a tasting menu for a table of donors, to be served in the span of an hour and a half.  Located at The Pfister Hotel, a sister property of the InterContinental Milwaukee, where I hang my toque.  I meant to post a summary of this ages ago, as the event happened this last spring, but I've been busy building my team here and work has been calling a lot louder than my need to blog.  Here is a quick pictorial through the dinner... we took a lot of nice shots that night. 
Amuse Bouche
Trio of Cold Spring Soups

Maroon Carrot & Red Curry, White Asparagus & Saffron, Spring Pea a la "Traffic Light"
1st Course
Tuna Nicoise Terrine, Violet Mustard, Crispy Potato

Terrine Layers: Seared Ahi Tuna, Blanched Haricot, Tapenade, Hard Boiled Quail Egg, Olive Gelee
Sauces: Violet Mustard, Poached Garlic Coulis
Potato Galette, Micro Arugula, Sumac, Sea Salt, Pepper

2nd Course
Popcorn Crusted Shrimp, Soy Caramel

3rd Course
Beef Kalbi Carpaccio & Mushrooms Under Glass

4th Course
Seared Foie Gras, Rhubarb, Hibiscus & Strawberry

5th Course
Duck Breast & Confit, Salsify & Black Truffle, Orange Essence

Bacon Crème Brulee, Maple-Whiskey Gelee, Candied Bacon

Grape “Truffles”


My Favorite Cookbooks, Part 12, La Technique by Jacques Pepin

This book is a favorite among the old school crowd.  One of the best step-by-step cookbooks, La Technique, contains a plethora of black & white photos with very direct, concise directions.  I love my copy and refer to it often when doing a preparation I haven't tackled in a while.  It really helps me set my mise en place.  It also contains some interesting gems with napkin folding, paper pastry bag folding, freezing bottles of liquor in ice, and a few of the more rare ways of butchery... like my personal favorite, boning out a trout through the belly and removing the spine so you can stuff the tail through the mouth.  I've done it with petite rouget before, and I'll tell you, it makes for quite the show.
The cover of the book also inspired my first culinary-themed tattoo.  I figured everybody's been getting pig tats lately.  I opted for the lobster to define that I am not a simple pig cook (just ask my wife, I ain't no cheap date).  After the number I've killed, hopefully the lobster gods will take pity on my soul once they've seen the respect I've given them thus far.

Some Kitchen Sketches






Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chef's Table, August 30th, 2013

Chef’s Table,
August 30th, 2013
Amuse Bouche
Popcorn Soup, Caramel Foam
Simple soup base.  Onion & garlic sweated, deglaze white wine.  Redux. Half water/half cream.  A few yukon gold potatoes.  Pureed fine and popcorn dust added to desired thickness.  Reseason.  Acidity fixed with lime juice.  Heat from tabasco. 
1st Course
Oysters & Truffle Glacage, Cabernet Salt
Fresh East Coast oysters, bed of red wine tinted Maldon salt & calendula flower petals.  Glacage is a mornay containing egg yolk & black truffle.  Broiled until sexy.
2nd Course
Lobster & Carrot Ravioli, Beet, Carrot Butter
Each ravioli contains Korean chili bean paste, carrot puree, a half a lobster, salt, pepper & butter.  Carrot butter is redux of carrot juice, white wine & aromatics (fennel seed, peppercorn, lemongrass, saffron, ginger, chili flake, bay leaf & coriander), splash of cream, light thicken with cornstarch & then mounted butter.  Acidity from sherry vinegar, heat from tabasco, a few drops of truffle oil.  Beets raw & marinated with sherry vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.  Chives barely bound together with extra virgin.
3rd Course
Petite Filet of Beef, Sweet Potato, Watercress Hollandaise & Port Wine Jus
Seared 4 oz tied beef filet, rested in duck fat kept at 120*F.  Sweet potato gratin is paper thin shaved sweet potato, nutmeg, salt, white pepper, heavy cream and grana padano cheese.  300*F oven, waterbath, pressed down with a fish spatula every 15 minutes as it cooks.  Pressed overnight before cutting.  Watercress hollandaise is three egg yolks, 1 bunch of watercress in a blender to which hot melted butter is emulsified.  Salt, sherry vinegar & tabasco to taste.  Star anise & port wine demi contains red wine, port wine, coriander, orange zest, star anise, bay leaf and thyme reduced until sauce ready and then finished with demi, cream, and a touch of sherry vinegar.  Strained though a chinnoise.  Cauliflower caramelized in clarified butter.  Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.  Watercress lightly dressed.  Pate choux garnish.  Piped through a #3 round tip onto a silpat, 300*F oven, low fan until designs begin to lift and color.  
4th Course
Orange Sorbet
Purple Door ice cream (currently do not own an ice cream machine), blueberries tossed in orange simple syrup, candied orange zest.
5th Course
Artisan Cheeses, Fig & Honey
House made ricotta & black pepper, Californian camembert & Wisconsinite bleu cheese.  Honeycomb, fig syrup to finish (not shown on pic.)
Key Lime & White Chocolate Cheesecake
Charred citrus salad, white chocolate ganache, lime syrup & candied orange zest, raspberry gelee.  Gelee is one cup puree to four sheets of gelatin.  Mixed in a quart container with a meat fork after set for "gem-like" presentation.  Addition of choux garnish.  Crust is gingersnap.