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Posts posted by JWest

  1. got the chef burger with blue cheese - great stuff.

    love the waffle fries too.. wasn't quite in the mood for the garlic parsley fries. The Vanilla Milkshake hit the spot, creamy and thick but was still able to drink through a straw.

    chefBURGER = Fat Kid Heaven :blush:

  2. It's too bad to see 40 go and I owe a lot of respect to the restaurant for taking me in, someone who was very young and inexperienced. I feel very lucky to have been there during the time I was there. That solid foundation of upholding quality in the product, the discipline of classical techniques, and the feel that everyone around you had a want to learn/teach was paramount.

    Knowing I could have been biased, knowing that I was young, and I didn't know a whole a lot about the food scene - I remember going to work every day knowing that I got to cook in the best restaurant in the city and the best staff in the city. It's been 4 years since I left, I think 90% of the kitchen staffs of my 18 months there are all now successful chefs of there own respective kitchens. I think that says a lot about 40 Sardines.

  3. Quick props to JWest...... I had dinner at Cafe Atlantico in DC last night, and the dessert that came with the tasting menu was White Chocolate Mousse- Warm Over Cold.....don't get me wrong, it was a fine dessert, but as I sat there all I could think about was JWest's version of a Baked Alaska that we were served last year.  So thanks for ruining the end to my meal last night pal!  :biggrin:

    Chef Megan and I have already begun to adjust the dessert menu to the new season...keep an eye out for other versions on a variety of new american sweets :cool:

  4. I use soy lecithin on a daily basis for a few things like foams and I know an ingredient in most chocolate products, so I was just wondering if it made a difference with extra added into things like truffles. Anyways, Yeah the beurre mixer has been my friend for that job. Thanks for the responses.

  5. Hello,

    You can use powdered soy lecithin to inhibit fat migration in chocolate bonbons.


    Does this help when re warming chocolate ganache for truffles? I have trouble sometimes when I do this with an extra batch - the fat seperates from the chocolate.

    So one could just dissolve the soy lecithin in hot cream before adding it to the chocolate?

  6. Ooooh, AND, as if all of that dinner wasn't enough, bluestem's pastry department is upping the ante with a wonderful post-dinner parade of mignardises: lavender dark chocolate truffles, pecan toffee (correct me if I'm wrong, JWest), and green apple (?) pate de fruits.  There were also suckers - cinnamon honey (I tasted all honey, and no cinnamon) that were just wonderful.  The server told us that the suckers were a good "digestif," as if I needed convincing.  :laugh:

    Depending on the which evening you were dining with us, it was either pecan or walnut pralines that was a part of Megan's Petit Four Collection. The honey lollipops have fresh hand grated cinnamon for hidden depth and the green apple is what we call sour apple pate de fruit utilizing citric acid (think of kid's sour gummy worm candies) in a mixture of sugar rather than just the traditional sugar coating. We're glad you enjoyed the candies :smile:

  7. I would think there's too many "dessert" like items (like others have said...not sure but I'm guessing the last 4 dishes are dessert style dishes just from the words). I personally think 3 at the most would be nice unless you scattered a couple of them in between heavier/savory courses.

    Some have already mentioned doing a cheese course, so I think there's a perfect opportunity to switch out one of the last four courses with a cheese.

    Are you planning on doing Amuses, Mignardises, Petit Fours, and Dessert Amuses for the 6 course and 12 course menus? ..or just a straight forward what you see is what you get type of tasting menu?

    Bread Service? How's that going to be executed? if any.

    Sounds like fun though..look forward to hearing more about it!

  8. I'm a huge fan of Haru Sushi (Blue Ridge Blvd & State Line) and everyone that I know of that have dined there come back with great reviews. My favorite is still the Spicy Tuna on Hot Crispy Rice. Any of the lunch combination plates are a good deal for about $15...I always get the Spicy Combo which gives you 3 options and I seem to usually get the octopus, tuna, and salmon.

    Somewhere in Lenexa is suppose to be a new frozen custard shop opening up and they are goign to feature shatto dairy products in their recipes.

  9. HI,

    My apolpgy if this has been asked before.

    I have a few frozen Boiron Fruit puree's, citric acid powder and slow set apple pectin powder. I think I'm set???

    In one recipe I saw it asked for using applesauce in the recipe along with added pectin. Necessary?


    How do I make the pate de fruit? How do I mix together everything?

    Do I really need a fancy confectionary frame to pour it out into?

    What temperature do I cook it to?

    Do I really need a high scale refractometer?

    Take a look at the Boiron site: General Instructions for Making Pates de fruits

    You can use lemon juice in place of tartaric acid.

    It is not necessary (or desirable) to add applesauce.

    If you do not have glucose, it is possible to substitute corn syrup.

    You do not need a fancy confectionary frame. Instead, you can line a cookie sheet with foil that has been lightly oiled or buttered. Take a look at the book 'Candymaking' by Kendrick and Atkinson for good beginner info. You can also use molds made of high temp silicone.

    ETA: I've heard that some folks buy rectangular wooden dowels at the hardware store, cut to size, and wrapped in foil, then oiled, to use for confectionary frames. You could then place these on a silpat.

    You do not need a refractometer, but it is useful for consistency from batch to batch. You do need a good thermometer.

    Hope this helps.

    I use citric acid but I am curious, what does tartaric acid do for the pate de fruits?

  10. Make sure to skim any impurities out...usually it all comes up to the top after it starts boiling. This will help with consistency in your product and reduce any cloudiness in your pate de fruit. I'm not sure how the others feel but I find it best to keep them room temperature and not chilled...once you're finished- otherwise you'll end up with an unfavorable texture and stickiness.

  11. Dinner at Michael Smith's this past weekend was very good. The braised rabbit with gnocchi, and chanterelles was perfect for this cool weather and my sturgeon was beautifully seared. The girlfriend's simply roasted Campo Lindo Chicken Breast was flavorful and moist. I have to say that the atmosphere and the overall vibe of the restaurant was full of energy. Service was unobtrusive, caring, and timely. This certainly exemplified an outstanding median of casualness in an upscale fine dining restaurant. You can just feel the confidence from everyone from the service staff, the chef, and the guests. Oh, and for desserts a perfectly executed trio of autumn that included Pumpkin Ice Cream with Candied Ginger, Pecan Pie Tartlet, and a Cranberry-Apple Crisp along with a Gateau Basque served with Roasted Plums finished the meal.

    Any word on ExtraVirgin yet?

  12. Jonathan Justus's passion really shined through his food. Everything that my party and I had was absolutely tasty. A couple of my favorites were the hot brandade which seemed baked in a ramekin for dipping with house made crispy toast and the Pork Chop which was perfectly seasoned, perfectly brined, and perfectly cooked propped on some very fluffy and creamy polenta. For dessert, I had the Coffee and Dough nuts- an amazing caramel Latte with hot fluffy house made dough nuts that were seasoned with sugar, salt, and pistachios. Kudos to the team at Justus Drug Store.

  13. A couple of us have gone way south by Blue Ridge Blvd at "Sushi Haru" which I've had the best sushi out of anywhere I've been to in Kansas City. All three visits have been at lunch time as well.

    Try the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna (Block of warm fried Crispy Sushi Rice with a pile of cold spicy tuna on top - this is probably one of the coolest things I've ever eaten as far as having a combination of textures, temperatures, and flavors)

  14. Cheese Course- served w/Fonseca Port.  Man I love Maytag Blue Cheese.  I wish I could remember the name of the soft, pungent cheese-served-on-a-spoon that included flavors of artichoke heart simmered in your compost heap for a summer...and I mean that in the BEST possible way. 

    The lumiere (3 week aged goat cheese), indeed very pungent. Nothing sexier than soft cheese oozing off of a spoon. :biggrin:

  15. I personally don't think Winstead's is worth it. They're over rated because the burgers are extremely dry and the overall burger just isn't that great. I would even eat at a Steak n' Shake over Winsteads.

    Westport Flea Market is where it's at...burgers are juicy and awesome especially when you put all of the extras on it- shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. Titanic Nachos are fun but don't plan on doing anything that requires walking afterwards :raz:

  16. This just came to mind... would something like a dessert bar work in a high end hotel?

    Probably for a bigger city I guess?

    Yes - only if there's room left over after a couple of restaurants (one casual and one high-end), a spa, a few high-end retail outlets, and a bar... hotels (high-end ones, especially), are looking for full-service fare - having a couple/few restaurants already offering desserts usually satisfies the sweet quota.

    The only city in the U.S., at present, in which I think it would work - Las Vegas.

    I was thinking the same thing :cool:

  17. The point in bringing up Tru and the Peninsula is precisely as you say--that the first two things that come to mind when I think about special dessert affiars in Chicago are not dessert specialty places at all.

    KC does not strike me as a "rock star chef" kind of town, not that one wouldn't do well, but I'm not sure how much benefit it would add, especially since there aren't too many "rock star" pastry chefs.  I doubt Mindy Segal or Gale Gand would carry a place on name.

    On the other hand, Lidia Bastianich's place here seems to do quite well with what I've found on a couple occasions to be merely decent food.

    Aaron Deacon brings an interesting point. I don't think people in Kansas City (in general) know who the top dogs are in the restaurant business in KC. I don't even think a good number of people know who Lidia Bastianich is. But the importance of having being a "rock star chef" is that you generate a lot of national wide press and achievements. Which gets travelers and also the people that pick up a food and wine magazine and seeing a local chef being featured on the cover. Put this on top of all of your regular business of people who just want to eat and you're one step ahead of everyone else. Oh and to be a "rock star chef" .... you better back it up with outstanding food and service.

    Also I wouldn't limit our short list of "rock star chefs" to just Lidia... Colby Garrelts, Megan Garrelts, Michael Smith, Debbie Gold, Christopher Elbow, and Celina Tio are nationally recognized on a steady basis.

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