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Int'l Hotel Motel Restaurant Show


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#61 Suzanne F

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 08:25 AM

Chefette -- I liked it a lot, too. Especially once I got down to the bottom layer with the bourbon and the cumulative effort of that plus the port plus the Guiness hit me! :wacko: The texture contrast was neat, too.

I hope the recipes get posted, either here or on www.societeculinaire.com, as Steve promised.

How was the Candy Cap Mushroom Ice Cream?

Note to NickN: The "Florida Seafood" used in the competition before the dessert demo was alligator (!), which is being pushed as a food-animal :blink: No comment.

#62 ngatti

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 09:07 AM

Thank you Chefette.
I found the cornucopia most intriguing. I'm still deconstructing it from many angles. Quite apart from the taste (which was only one componenet IMO), the disaparate ingredients, the obviously cerebral nature, the envelope pushing statements about flavors, combinations of ingredients, textures, and plain old "well,...why can't we do this?", brings to desserts what many chefs are attempting on the savory side. Your exercise, apart from attempting to blur the lines between the two areas of the kitchen was thought-provoking, interesting and refreshing to watch.

Oh!, and it tasted good too!
Nick

#63 Bux

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 10:53 AM

I have to admit I did get a bit carried away with the concept of the demo and was afraid I had taken it too far (especially with the onion rings which I very nearly did not serve).

Carried away enough with the entertainment potential of the occasion to successfully imitate Nigella, although you need to add the accent next time.

So I chose Corn, Beets, and Onions.

It appeared obvious at the outset, you chose those ingredients the more resonable chefs left over. :biggrin:

I think it was the onion that would have led me to skip it, had I been choosing from a menu by reading the ingredients in the dishes. As you note, beets and corn are sources of sugar and we've actually been seeing quite a bit of corn deserts from corn cakes to corn ice cream in New York. The onion was a complete surprise to me when I got up the courage to taste it. For those who weren't there and can't imagine how it would work, let me describe it by saying the rings were crisp and sweet as candy. Eating one was not unlike biting a sliver of sweetened coconut, except more sugary. It may be that one needs to be a super taster to get the onion flavor at all. The dessert was audacious. Whether it worked because of that, or in spite of it, I don't know, but I found it very successful. Colleen was quite candid in admitting how much of the dessert was based on hunches or even what might be called whims, but it was also obvious that she did a folowup tasting to be sure this was a dessert for the mouth more than the mind. This is the sort of thing that separates chefs such as Adria and Gagnaire from many other "creative" chefs who either do not taste their work before serving it, or are just not very discriminating in their tastes. Colleen also had the advantage of presenting her dessert first, as sweet food can dampen a palate quickly and sugar abates hunger, but I think her dessert was the most successful of the lot of interesting ones that afternoon.

The question about the candy cap mushroom ice cream needs to responded to by noting that there were not enough of them served to our row. As the deserts were passed from the right, we passed them on to our left. When the last three desserts were served, the three people to our right immediately realized there were no more and so they didn't pass them on, although by that time, Esilda, Suvir and I had passed all those that had come our way. We noticed that a presentation plate of four desserts was at the demonstration counter and later we made our way to the, by then, partially melted "ice cream sandwhiches." There were two left when Suvir got to the plate and as he held the plate out for Esilda and I to take one to share, someone else quickly reached over and grabbed Suvir's while he (Suvir) stood there with his hand full of empty plate. You should have seen the look of incredulousness on his face. We were all laughing so hard I think the perpetrator was out of ear shot by the time we started cursing him. It was very hard to appreciate the too soft ice cream as it oozed between the crisp pecan rice krispie cookies, especially as I was almost doubled up with laughter. The small dried caps we smelled offered up the promised scent of truffles and maple syrup. I was also reminded of a dessert with a mushroom caramel sauce served by Regis Macon in France.
Robert Buxbaum
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#64 chefette

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 11:54 AM

Thanks Bux!

And next time I pull a Nigella imitation, I will try my accent.

I was actually all over the map from a philosophy standpoint re the taste of my dessert. Does one play with an ingredient to confine it within the boundaries one is accustomed to in desserts, or does one sort of revel in the true nature of a flavour. This was especially trying with the beet jus because I felt that I was struggling against its beetiness and wasn't sure if that was really fair. In the end I thought we reached a compromise with the broad red, woodsy beetiness in counterpoint with the tartness of the cranberries and pomegranate. In fact, in the future I might leave out the cranberries altogether and see how it worked. I think I would also forego port in favor of red wine or even just use water since the beets just sort of swallowed it up. But I would have to try it to see if it made a difference or not. If it doesn't serve a purpose, no point in putting it in - right?

The mix of alcohols also bothered me a little in assembling my dessert, but I felt the port didn't really count, and it seemed that the guinness and bourbon played different roles that were not incompatible. I thought the bourbon helped anchor the sweetness of the corn and the guinness seemed to pull out an exciting note. I would consider trying it with a Guinness gelee to see how that played too just to tie its continuity together more.

See, once you start experimenting things just get out of hand.

Regarding the Onion Rings, I have to admit I was suprised at the light taste and inherent sweetness of the onion when I sliced it up. It made me think about normal onion rings I have eaten and that the onion normally seems sweet. Perhaps we get carried away with the impression/sensation we have of onions while we are cutting them or sauteeing them (collected through our noses) and not really thinking so much about what our taste buds are conveying to us.

Glad to hear that you trusted me enough to taste one.

Paul Connors' desserts seemed really innovative. I was busy helping plate, so did not get a chance to try either.

I think we should explore the social effects of free food on crowds in a thread of its own.

#65 Suzanne F

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 12:45 PM

Paul Connors' desserts seemed really innovative. I was busy helping plate, so did not get a chance to try either.


Oh, Chefette, what a shame that you didn't get to taste the Apple Salad! The multi-layered, multi-level desserts such as yours and Patrice's were great, but his showed that even simple ingredients, combined simply, can also be astonishing. The Honey-Gold-something-something apple flavor was highlighted by the little bit of lemon juice and sugar, and the chocolate mint played off them really well. And the cucumber sorbet made another contrast of flavors, temperature, and texture that worked extremely well.

I thought you all did a splendid job under tough circumstances. Thank you!

#66 Steve Klc

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 01:12 PM

Since the attendance was much larger than the 100 people we expected, many in the main front section didn't get tastes of all desserts and those in the wings or standing in the back didn't get handouts. I've asked all the chefs to e-mail me their recipes and we'll get them all out somehow--that's the giving spirit of the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique and the chefs involved--Dan, Mike, Stephane Motir, Meredith, Suvir, Colleen, Michael, Patrice and Paul--many of whom just happen to have a connection to eGullet and all of whom volunteered tirelessly to pull this off, many travelling great distances just to come work in an odd ramshackle kitchen. (Wonderful new ovens, Robot Coupes and Vita Mix blenders--but no Kitchenaid stand mixers, no stainless steel mixing bowls.) While that alligator cook-off was taking place out front--all the pastry chefs were behind the curtains, prepping and fighting for space with the dishwashers.

It might take me a week to collect all the recipes, though, since Michael Laiskonis, Patrice and Paul are still in NYC preparing for their NY Chocolate Show demos this weekend. I also think they are planning to dine at one or two NYC restaurants while they're in town.

Let's also not forget the volunteer assistants--especially those from Monday who plated and served around 550 totally new desserts and tastes in about an hour and a half. We couldn't have done it without Burke--a chef colleague of Paul's who came down from Boston to assist, Erin Demuth up from DC, Claude "He's the boss" Beausoleil from Montreal and Julie Miller--the very talented lead pastry instructor for SUNY-Delhi in upstate NY.

I have the recipes for Colleen's beet jus and corn espuma on the iBook:

Beet Jus

250g Red Beets (peeled & chopped)
100g Fresh Cranberries
40g Sugar
200g Water
Crushed peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
50g Pomegranate juice
50 g Water

Put everything in a pot and allow it to simmer about 45 minutes, then puree, strain and cool.


Corn Foam with Guinness

500 g sweet golden corn (canned or frozen)
75 g sugar
150 g water
1 vanilla bean
200g Guinness
400g heavy cream
salt
2-3 sheets gelatin (or 1 envelope gelatin powder)

Combine sugar, water, corn, vanilla bring to a boil and simmer about 5 minutes;
Puree and strain;
Soften gelatin in cold water, squeeze out and stir into warm puree to dissolve;
Add Guinness, cream and salt to taste.
Fill foamer and use 1 charge.


Unfortunately I did not get to taste Michael's dessert, but it was the most elegantly constructed and looked intoxicating. I also did not get to try Paul's mushroom ice cream but did get the cucumber sorbet with apple and chocolate mint salad, which he does as a pre-dessert--it was fantastic and alive.

Patrice--who essentially shopped for all his ingredients at Dean & Deluca once he arrived--he snuck his own spices across the border--did a goat yogourt and nutmeg panna cotta in the bottom of a glass, with butternut squash pulp sweetened with an incredibly expensive little jug of maple syrup (from Quebec by way of Dean & Deluca.) He topped this off with a green apple foam, some apple julienne and a pistachio/butternut squash macaron. I only got to taste the foam and the puree behind the scenes but both had me wanting for more.

Paul Connors came up with the idea that at next year's demo instead of vegetables we should all create desserts with cheese--and so we shall.

One final note--as Bux mentioned and I'll be a little more specific about--Suvir was joined by a very talented, charming pastry chef and baker--Surbhi Sahni--who collaborated with him on the apple halwa and actually worked very hard during the demo. She was a wonderful surprise addition and I encourage all of you to try her desserts at Diwan.
Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant
Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

#67 Bux

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 01:41 PM

lRegarding the Onion Rings,...
Glad to hear that you trusted me enough to taste one.

To paraphrase May West, trust had nothing to do with it. :biggrin: I hadn't had lunch, I was hungry and it was free. Also I was curious.

I think we should explore the social effects of free food on crowds in a thread of its own.

Indeed. Esilda was offended by those students sitting next to her who sat with their earpieces plugged into their music during the demo.
Robert Buxbaum
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#68 Bux

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 01:57 PM

One final note--as Bux mentioned and I'll be a little more specific about--Suvir was joined by a very talented, charming pastry chef and baker--Surbhi Sahni--who collaborated with him on the apple halwa and actually worked very hard during the demo.  She was a wonderful surprise addition and I encourage all of you to try her desserts at Diwan.

Someone had to work hard while Suvir told stories. The fables of Suvir would be a big seller. The fables will all have morals. I'm not yet sure what the moral of The boy who ate green tamarinds will be, but I suspect it will be about the dangers of curiosity.

Of course we will one about the grown man being too generous and serving his friends in style rather than snatching his own ice cream quickly. He who hesitates is lost is the appropriate lesson.

You mention the volunteers and I have to say that I found the good will, camaraderie, and general spirit of the chefs and helpers most uplifiting. This is a profession full of stories of egos. In general, the demonstrations were a breath of fresh air in the trade show. I don't know who was in the aduience, we managed front seats for the two days we attended.
Robert Buxbaum
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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.
My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

#69 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:07 PM

One final note--as Bux mentioned and I'll be a little more specific about--Suvir was joined by a very talented, charming pastry chef and baker--Surbhi Sahni--who collaborated with him on the apple halwa and actually worked very hard during the demo.  She was a wonderful surprise addition and I encourage all of you to try her desserts at Diwan.

Surbhi will be making Apple Halwa Samosas for Diwan. If and when you do go there, you must try them. She is a gem. I have now known her for a couple of years and we are good friends first and then anything else.

She worked very hard... Deep frying the samosas as I told stories... And all of this while being pregnant... Thanks Bux and Steve for mentioning her. I will keep you all posted on what she does next.

#70 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:09 PM

Let's also not forget the volunteer assistants--especially those from Monday who plated and served around 550 totally new desserts and tastes in about an hour and a half.  We couldn't have done it without Burke--a chef colleague of Paul's who came down from Boston to assist, Erin Demuth up from DC, Claude "He's the boss" Beausoleil from Montreal and Julie Miller--the very talented lead pastry instructor for SUNY-Delhi in upstate NY.

They were the most impressive set of volunteers. Easy to find and so very smart and helpful. Also neat and organized. And they seemed to have added the right touch to each chefs dish. Thanks. :smile:

#71 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:10 PM

You mention the volunteers and I have to say that I found the good will, camaraderie, and general spirit of the chefs and helpers most uplifiting. This is a profession full of stories of egos. In general, the demonstrations were a breath of fresh air in the trade show. I don't know who was in the aduience, we managed front seats for the two days we attended.

True, very true.

#72 Bux

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:18 PM

She worked very hard... Deep frying the samosas as I told stories... And all of this while being pregnant... Thanks Bux

I had nothing to do with that. I swear. I just met her. :laugh:
Robert Buxbaum
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#73 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:19 PM

She worked very hard... Deep frying the samosas as I told stories... And all of this while being pregnant... Thanks Bux

I had nothing to do with that. I swear. I just met her. :laugh:

You are something else.... :shock: :rolleyes: :unsure: :laugh:

#74 Suvir Saran

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:23 PM

On a serious note, Steve, if it helps you to know, I have received email from several people, over a dozen already asking me about spices and my cooking classes. They were at the Demo and enjoyed what you all organized.

I thank you and the Societe for the opportunity you present all of us food related professionals. It was a great event you helped organize. Thanks for having included me. Maybe one time I can do a curried steak demo. :shock: :raz:

#75 Nick

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Posted 12 November 2002 - 09:09 PM

Note to NickN: The "Florida Seafood" used in the competition before the dessert demo was alligator (!), which is being pushed as a food-animal  :blink:   No comment.

Suzanne, That's really too bad. Southern fish have such a different flavor than northern fish. The batters they make and the way they fry it. It's too bad you didn't get a chance to try some.

I don't know what's with the alligator. The summer before last when someone stopped at my friends' slaughterhouse/ meat shop, alligator came up and he shipped them some - frozen. I think it's still in their freezer.

#76 elyse

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Posted 17 February 2003 - 06:10 PM

Here I go resurrecting old threads again, but I've been thinking about ti for a while.

I went to this show, and first of all I want to tell all who participated in the demos that everything was wonderful and intrigueing. Bizarre and fabulous. Thank you.

At one point, I didn't have a seat from which I could see anything,. and stood by the pillar to the left of the demo area (stage right), and I asked someone if I was in their way. He said something about meeting a group of people that he knew... kind of, they knew Steve Klc, and then muttered on, but dropped off when he realized that I was not part of the group. I had no idea what he was talking about, but I'm sure it was one of you. Wish I paid more attention.

#77 bripastryguy

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Posted 18 February 2003 - 11:26 AM

Steve,

Reviewing this thread you started to talk about what you and Patrice did at the Chocolate show with chocolate, caramel, peanuts , can you put it here ?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman