Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Gypsy Dining Begins in Cleveland


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 NancyH

NancyH
  • participating member
  • 884 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Ohio

Posted 18 April 2007 - 09:36 AM

Our own Improvchef44, aka Personal Chef Brian Doyle, has been the moving spirit behind a dining club inspired by Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" episode shot in Portland. As the "Gypsy Chef", he organized the first dinner April 16, 2007, which was held at the Falls Grill in Chagrin Falls and hosted by Chef/owner Tim Ogan. Our special guest was Chef Miguel Morales from Top Chef, who was in town to judge at the Second Annual Chili Cook Off to Benefit the Cleveland Austism Society, which was last night.

Miguel and Brian collaborated to bring us hors d'oeuvres to start the evening:

First - Brian's refreshing Spring Pea Shooter:

Posted Image

Also plattered were Brian's Duck Bites:

Posted Image

Miguel created the following morsel of creamy artichoke, breaded and fried and topped with bacon:

Posted Image

Two of Miguel's items were passed on Chinese Spoons. A bit of melt-in-your-mouth shortrib:

Posted Image

Posted Image

And, forgive me, I don't remember exactly what this one was, but it was delicious:

Posted Image

We proceeded to the dining room. Off to the left, the restaurant's "private dining room" had been converted into a staging area for the crew of Chefs and their assistants; it was merry mayhem as they worked together to bring us the following dishes:

Course one by Tim Ogan of Falls Grill: Inari, Salmon-Caymus Conundrum, served with his signature House Noodles:

Posted Image

A wonderful starter - the creamy quail egg yolk atop the Inari tamed the strong flavor of the Salmon Roe to make a perfect harmony that struck chord with the tasty rice below. Especially playful was the little item that looked like an octupus tentacle (upper left part of the plate at about 10 o'clock), but was actually a slightly sweet cracker that played well off of the slightly spicy noodles (which Chef Tim calls his "Fear Factor Cracker").

Rick Carson of Vue (in Hudson) brought us our next course - Ramps, lemon/tomato confit, miatake mushrooms:

Posted Image

This Napolean was topped with a tasty bit of citrus and a creamy explosion of fruit flavor. Though I passed the pieces of mushroom to Bob (I just can't take the texture of mushrooms) - the creamy mushroom-infused bottom layer was plate-licking good!

Twinsburg's Blue Canyon presented the next course - Brandt Evans was in the house, but the dish belonged to the two young chefs who accompanied him, who will be heading Blue Canyon kitchens in other states as the brand expands. Their presentation of "Tuna Two Ways" was exquisite:

Posted Image

On the right, a shooter of Cucumber Water with, I think, Vodka and other flavors (sadly, cucumbers, along with mushrooms, are the only two foods I have trouble putting into my mouth - I took a drink of it, then passed it to Bob). A gastric cleverly glued the glass to the plate until it was time to drink it.

On the left, a Spring Roll stuffed with cubes of fabulously fresh raw tuna and a plum sauce:

Posted Image

In the center - a wrapper of cucumber, dusted with a variety of sesame seeds, and rolled around more wonderful tuna. I really tried to take a bite of the cuke, but with the flavor of the beverage still on my palate, I wound up devouring the tuna, but passing the cucumber onto someone who could appreciate it (lucky husband).

Posted Image

Next up - Jeff Fisher of Lago (located in Tremont, in the old Theory space across from Lolita). Despite having a newborn in the house (as in two weeks old), he managed to stay awake enough to create a pillowy smoked potato gnocchi, which was surrounded by 'shrooms and artichoke, with a couple of fresh ramps to round it out.

Posted Image

Brad Gambrell of Barrington Golf Club served next. His moist pheasant, plated over sundried cherry confit and accompanied by plump orange gnocchi stuffed with cheese was so good - well, I told him that I might need to take up golf, so I would have an excuse to eat more of his food!

Posted Image

The Intermezzo was artfully preparedby Jakub Mejstrik, a personal chef who also took Best Vegetarian Honors at the Chili Cook Off last night (Chef 77). Describing this delightful bite as "chilled fruits" does not do it justice.

Posted Image

The watermelon cube was stuffed with a minute dice of other fruits, and served with a light sauce drizzled on the plate. We were told to take the morsel with our fingers, dredge it in the sauce, and pop in in the mouth - yummy!

The final savory course was from Brian - Hawthorn Braised Pork Belly redolent with creamy fat, served over a Rhubarb Marmalade that cut the fat just enough.

Posted Image

We did not think we could eat another bite. Then came dessert, from Nick Kustala of Lure Bistro.

Posted Image

Somehow, we all made room for his Twisted Pots de Creme - the final step in a food-induced stupor. The Debonne Cab Franc Ice Wine was perfect with it.

We hope that there will be more events, but only the Gypsy Chef knows for sure.

Edited by NancyH, 18 April 2007 - 09:39 AM.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#2 kasw

kasw
  • participating member
  • 22 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, OH

Posted 18 April 2007 - 12:29 PM

Nancy,

what wonderful photographs and descriptions - I feel like I was there! Thank you for posting.

I hope I can make the next dinner. It looks like an amazing dining experience.

-Karen

#3 stuart_s

stuart_s
  • participating member
  • 83 posts

Posted 05 August 2007 - 07:55 AM

The second gypsy dinner:

Posted Image

Corn milk and lobster soup with essence of vanilla

Posted Image

15 heirloom tomato salad, greek olive oil, Lake erie creamery goat cheese, arugula, balsamic drizzle

Posted Image

Scampi with grilled beans, ises candy tomato, feta, micro cumin and cilantro

Posted Image

Cox comb with chicken summer vegetable moussaline

Posted Image

Summer melon sorbet with lavender syrup

Posted Image

Lavender lemon hanger steak, grilled shallots and potatoes

Posted Image

Olive oil cake with summer berry compote orange blossom goat cheese ice cream

#4 NancyH

NancyH
  • participating member
  • 884 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Ohio

Posted 06 August 2007 - 09:01 AM

The second Gypsy Dinner was a huge success. Jeff Fisher, formerly of Tremont's Lago (and with upcoming plans for a new venture) was our guest Chef. I was fortunate to host this dinner.

This is a photo of the 15 heirloom tomatoes that went into our salad:

Posted Image

And here is the raw Coxcomb:

Posted Image

It seemed appropriate to start this first Gypsy Dinner at a private home with the following wine:

Posted Image

As Stuart posted above, we began our meal with an incredible cold corn soup, with fresh lobster meat and a sprinkle of edible flowers. The soup came from a special heirloom corn, Mariah, that produces only one very sweet ear per stalk:

Posted Image

The soup was made by cutting the kernels off of the cobs, then pureeing them in a blender, then squeezing them through two strainers until they had given their all. Chris was thoughtful enough to save the remains, and they came in handy the next day, as you will see.

The next course was the Heirloom Tomato Salad - Chef asked us if we wanted "plain" or "garlic" goat cheese - guess which we chose!

Posted Image

Next came a plump scallop which had been coated with freshly made lime salt and then grilled over lump charcoal, resplendent atop a mound of Fennel Slaw, drizzled with Tangerine Gastrique and topped with a Garlic Chive blossom from our garden:

Posted Image

Posted Image

The last seafood course was the Scampi, grilled beans, ises candy tomato, feta, micro greens:

Posted Image

The grilled green beans added a fabulous smokey flavor to the dish.

Our poultry course consisted of a chicken mousealine. Rolled together and steamed were freshly ground chicken breast, and juilienned heirloom carrots, peppers and green beans. The mousealine was then sliced up and placed in a pool of Asian-inspired sauce (soy and oyster sauces, chili paste, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper), then topped with the Coxcomb, which had been braised in the sauce:

Posted Image

The Coxcomb was gelatinous and not very flavorful one way or the other, but when taken together with the Mousealine and the Sauce, the combination was most delicious.

To clear our palates for the steak course, Chef Fisher made a Honeydew Melon Sorbet using Midori liquor. It was delightful.

The meat course was simply fabulous - the steak knives weren't even necessary as the meat was exquisitely tender:

Posted Image

Our final course - Made in My Kitchen Olive Oil Cake with Summer Berry Compote, topped with made-from-scratch Orange Blossom Goat Cheese Ice Cream. Yum!

Posted Image

It was a magnificent feast, prepared to perfection.

And, as host, I had the perk of getting some of the leftovers. So, for Sunday's dinner, I made pancakes from the leftover corn kernels (mixed with egg, seasoning and corn meal), which I fried up, then I coated the remaining scallops in corn meal and lime salt, and sauteed them in Olive Oil. I heated the remaining Corn Soup and seasoned it with saffron and cardamom - it had enough starch to turn into a thick sauce without my adding the slurry I'd prepared - a tasty reminder of our recent culinary adventure:

Posted Image

Where and when will the next Gypsy Dinner be? Only the Gypsy Chef knows for sure.

Edited by NancyH, 06 August 2007 - 11:58 AM.

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#5 torakris

torakris
  • manager
  • 11,008 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Posted 06 August 2007 - 05:57 PM

Stuart and Nancy, Thanks for the pictures!
I am so mad I had to miss this as I was out of town this weekend. That tomato salad looks incredible!!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"
Manager, Membership
kwagner@egstaff.org


#6 NancyH

NancyH
  • participating member
  • 884 posts
  • Location:Cleveland Ohio

Posted 07 August 2007 - 07:54 AM

Continuing on the leftovers theme - Chef Jeff's food was great when served, and it just kept giving!

Last night, I cooked up some fettucine. I made meatballs out of the leftover ground chicken breast (mixed with egg, red onion, hot cherry pepper from the garden, local garlic, Parmesan-Reggiano Cheese and Bread Crumbs) and sauteed them in Olive Oil. I then put them in the oven, and sauteed the remaining onion-pepper-garlic mixture and added the leftover 15 Tomato Salad. After a brief saute, I added the pasta and tossed. Once everything was hot, I added the meatballs back. Last, I added the leftover Roasted Green Bean salad with Cherve. This all came together to make a splendid dinner:

Posted Image

Posted Image

I still haven't figured out what to do with the leftover Coxcomb. Suggestions, anyone?
"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

#7 Gaius

Gaius
  • participating member
  • 22 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 07 August 2007 - 11:30 PM

My lord...what glorious food.

Leftover coxcomb. What to do with it?

Comb your...oh...

Grill it just enough that it's not hard to nip...but if it is, then grill it more so it crumbles to the tooth touch.

Consume it with sweet wine, a drop at a time -- Sauternes or nearby French communes are probably best -- with or without bread.
Jamie M. Forbes
"Everything I know about life I learned in the kitchen."