Thursday, March 26, 2009

Japanese Flavors in Contemporary Menus!

The Culinary Institute of America-Greystone and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries teamed up in conjunction to present the 2009 Japanese Flavors in Contemporary Menus; featuring High Quality Japanese Ingredients. Some of the presenters were as follows: Chef Kimio Nonaga, aka "Iron Chef 2002" and one of the most recognized chefs in all of Japan.
And from just down the street in Healdsburg, Chef Douglas Keane, owner of the 2-star Michelin restaurant Cyrus.
Back to the high quality ingredients...............which included Wagyu Beef! Five times greater grading value than USA Prime beef, Wagyu is about as good as it comes (A5 Quality). Price on this Japanese goodness ~$150 a pound! Although it is rich enough to be spread on a crostini, let's see what else can be done with it...........
How about Nikujaga, aka Classic Meat and Potato.....................but with Wagyu beef compliments of Chef Kimio Nonaga.
Or how about some Wagyu Bou Sushi. Ryuhi Konbu Cured Wagu and Jade Egg from Chef Nori Kusakabe of Sushi Ran's in Sausalito, CA.
Or Wagyu Beef with Lotus, Burdock, Mitsuba and Myoga, in an Oxtail Umeshu Consomme from Chef Keane.
I think I took 5 years off of my life after those tastings of pure saturated goodness. But, there were more Japanese-influenced flavors to be experienced.
Like Seared Tuna with Black Garlic Puree, Battera Konbu and Scallion Salad, and Nagaimo Yam Fritter from Chef Keane.
And Yukari Style "Gyudon" or Simmered Beef with Burdock over Rice, also from Chef Nonaga.
Spring in a Cup? Beautiful colors, crazy texture. No idea what it was. C'mon, I am not a walking food encyclopedia!
The most interesting dish, was Chef Nonaga's Chilled Long Yam Soup. The base is grated Long Yam and Dashi. Probably not my favorite, but maybe I was just saving room for dessert.
Which just so happened to be Brown Sugar-Cured Tuna with Nagaimo Yam from the mastermind of sushi, Chef Nori.
Ever wonder where that green paste stuff on your plate of sushi comes from? Now you know.
After hearing that I had my picture taken with "Iron Chef" Cat Cora a few months back, Chef Nonaga was pleased to pose with a picture. Notice the Samurai sword prop. Chef had used that to filet a giant tuna flow in fresh from Japan about 30 minutes earlier. And by giant, I mean the size of a heavy set middle-schooler.
Ever wonder how those Sushi chefs can stand at the bar all day and roll sushi without their feet getting tired. Here is the secret. The century old debate is still on-going about who actually came up with the first wooden shoes, the Japanese or the Dutch, but I didn't want to ask the guy holding the Filet Sword.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pure New Zealand Cuisine!

The CIA-Greystone has developed quite a nice "Presenters Series" and the next on the list was Chef Graham Brown. Chef Graham Brown is the owner of Scarborough Fare in Christchurch, New Zealand and is the spokesman for New Zealand Cervena Venison. Since 1989, Chef Graham has pretty much been known as the "Chef of the Nation"................................for New Zealand that is.Let's get started and where is all that tasty venison?
Ummmm. Cervena with Baharat Rub and Cauliflower Tabouleh.................two ways!

Sexy presentation of the buffet least until all the ribs fell off their shot glass holders. As we all know, sexy doesn't always mean practical. Next up, the New Zealand Greenshell Mussels in Tempura and Nori Waistcoats (top right), New Zealand Pacific Oysters with Champagne Mignonette, and New Zealand King Salmon with a Kiwifruit dipping sauce.
Not a bad plate of surf and no-turf.
Oh yeah, Chef Brown was the captain for New Zealand at the 1997 Culinary Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, winning gold and silver medals. A food Olympian....................genius! He is also a successful farmer of domestic deer back in New Zealand. Is their anything this guy doesn't do? With a little taste of New Zealand, I think I am about ready for a trip down under.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breakfast Cookery-New Orleans Brunch!

Today was the last day of Breakfast Cookery.....................finally! No more 3:00a.m. wake-up alarms! But, you still have to go out with a bang, so that is what AOS 6 did. Given the opportunity by our chef instructor, we came up with our final morning theme: New Orleans Style Brunch!The ever-present Omelet made its final appearance. What you don't see, is the homemade Andouille Sausage and Crayfish Stuffing, then topped off with King Mushrooms and a Crayfish sauce.
Classic Crab Cakes with Poached Egg and Mustard Cream Sauce.
Poached Quail Egg on Sauteed Collards, Pulled Pork, and Potato Cake.
Couche-Couche served with Cafe au Lait. Couche-Couche is a fried Polenta style grain cooked in milk and then topped with a sliced Tomato and Fried Egg.
Fried Egg with Mini-Shrimp Cake, Cream Sauce, and Asparagus.
Poached Egg with Fried Okra Cake and Tomato-Crayfish Sauce.
Don't forget, this day was St. Patricks Day so Chef Wong whipped out some fresh Corn Beef Hash with Poached Eggs and Hollandaise.
Classic New Orleans comfort breakfast at it's best..........Beignets from the Crescent City. Topped with all the Powdered Sugar you can eat and some Macerated Strawberries to tie in that nutritional content.
No more breakfast for me. Now off to Lunch Cookery.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Breakfast Cookery Day 6!

One more day to go and I never have to eat breakfast again!!!! Well, at least not at 4:30a.m. and lunch at 9:00a.m. Tomorrow is our New Orleans Brunch theme so you will have to stay tuned for those goodies. But, for now, here goes...............Poached Egg with Tasso Grit CAke and Mustard Green. And I think little Hashpuppies Sonic style.
Potato Pancake with Smoked Salmon, Caviar, and Creme Fraiche.
Brie Cream Crepe with Orange-Fennel Marmalade & Mint Chiffonade.
Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles. I never ate fried chicken for breakfast, or with waffles, until I came to the CIA. Thank you mom for not making this for me as a child. But it is sure good!
The Classic Omelet is back and will be a staple on all breakfast menu's from now to eternity. Tomorrow we have our Omelet and Fried Egg Practical. Let's hope I don't forget the French-roll by then.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Breakfast Day 5!

Only two more days to go, but a much needed sleep-in day awaits on the weekend. Sorry for the not so pleasant food pics. I didn't make it to the photo shoot until the end of the morning so the food is a little droopy.Glazed Pork Belly and Scallion Pancake with Poached Egg, Arugula Salad, Chimicurri Sauce.
Eggs in a Hole with Bechamel Sauce, Quail Confit, and Fresh Dill.
Omelet with Arugula and Red Pepper Coulis. They don't teach spelling here at the CIA.

Crispy Pork Confit and Fried Egg Breakfast Sandwich with Shaved Parmesan Cheese and Pork Jus sauce.
Classic French Toast.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Breakfast Cookery Day 4!

The fruit platters are getting sexier and sexier!
Tyson and I sold some Corned Beef Hash with a Mornay Liason sauce, Poached Egg, and Parmesan Crisp. My favorite if my biased opinion counts.
Chorizo and Polenta Scrapple with a Potato Galette and Whipped Creme Fraice.
Donuts!!!!!!, with Donut hole attached.
Its not the carnival or your local county fair, but apparently Californians eat Funnel Cakes for breakfast. Where can a guy get a balanced, healthy start to the day?
How about with the Oven Cured Pineapple Muesli? In homage to breakfast Chef Jorge, the Sticky Raisin Roll.
And to the Victors go the Spoils! After an early 4:00a.m. start, its time for 8:30a.m brunch. Add some Chiliquiles with Shredded Turkey, Black Beans, and Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, along with some Carne Con Chili with Pico de Galo Omelets, and you have a Mexican Brunch! Its 5:45p.m., Goodnight.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breakfast Cookery Day 2!

Day Two of Breakfast Cookery! Everyone was looking a little bit more tired today, but the food came out as peppy as ever. The menu today reads...............
........................Yogurt Parfait.
...............French-Rolled Omelet topped with Micro Green Salad.
...................Classic Egg's Benedict. A Poached Egg served on top of Canadian Bacon resting on an English Muffin. .........................Salmon Paillard with a Poached Egg, MicroGreen Salad and a Walnut Vinaigrette.
................................Asparagus Frittata.
.............................Potato Rosti. Potato Hashbrown with Sauteed Mushrooms baked in Puff Pastry Dough.
..................Apple-Pie Pancakes with Calvados Chantilly, Glazed Apples, and Steel-cut Oats with Candied Walnuts, Thyme-Infused Honey, and Maple Syrup.
Team NWA was back at it again. Flipping eggs and serving em to order. Maybe we can both get jobs at Uncle Gaylord's serving brunch if we ever make it back to Arkansas. Notice Tyson, former UCA Golden Bears college Linebacker, and Scott, 8th grade all-conference honorable mention basketball point guard. A formidable duo in the kitchen none-the-less! Tomorrow, the omelet station.