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ngatti

Int'l Hotel Motel Restaurant Show

77 posts in this topic

Yes, the bacon was, of course, Nueskies. The best on earth (or at least, to me it is :wub: ) But no, it was in their own booth, not at DeBragga and Spitler. Their (DeB & S) booth was on the upper level, and they didn't seem to be giving out ANY food :angry: Being up there made them so much more "serious" :wink: as a source of supplies, and of people; I assume that they are still carrying on with the informal "employment agency" that Marc Sarrazin used to do.

Can you guess what might be in a can of Campbell's "Bechamel Base?" I'm afraid to even consider it. Maybe some of that new "Signature Secrets" culinary thickener? :blink::wacko:

And once again, Suvir is too modest: his "Apple Halwa Samosas" were just as fabulous as Meredith's Fritters and Quince. Both gave excellent presentations.

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I have to say there wasn't a clunker in the lot of desserts. That's saying a lot as I had some really great desserts the day before at Craft Bar. Craft's apple fitters with caramel ice cream are sensational, but I might have liked the almond cake, which tasted of butter as much as almonds, with the poached pear and vanilla ice cream even better. The Monday crew have a lot to live up to, but I've already been impressed by the little I've tasted of Patrice and Colleen's work and have lttle fear that they and Michael will disappoint us.

For sheer entertainment value however, Suvir can't be beat. I'm not even sure he can cook. He had a real Indian there who obviously knew what she was doing and I wasn't sure Suvir wasn't faking his part, but he had great stories to tell and kept us in stitches as we eagerly awaited our samples. I for one will not get within ten feet of an unripe tamarind. I'm sure his story of eating them as a child was the inspiration of the original Jeckel and Hyde story.

Suvir was good enough to remember to tell everyone that they could learn all about Indian cuisine and have just about every culinary question they could imagine, answered at eGullet.com. I noticed he listed it in the official program as well.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

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Meredith, by the way, announced she is leaving Esca and will be in charge of the gelato at Mario's new pizza place. Her great concern is that there's no fresh fruit available at the time the restaurant is opening.

While you can't have too much pork, it's not as complete a diet as gelato and pizza.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

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So are we still on for tomorrow (Monday) at 11am, by the demo area? At that time, there will be a "Chefs Championship" featuring Florida seafood going on (mlpc, Chefette, Patrice, and one more chef aren't on until 12:30). Maybe by the ChefWorks table just as you come up on the demos? I'll probably be in "smart casual" -- blue jeans, a nice shirt, and a black leather jacket -- and a HUGE black tote bag marked "Shaw Contract" (no relation) from last year's show. :wink: See ya!

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Ah'll be sure to hunt y'all down.

Just to throw a monkey wrench into things, I'll be wearing Country Club Casual.

Nick

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I'll be there wearing a shirt and pants. Hope to arrive by 10:45/11:00


Turnip Greens are Better than Nothing. Ask the people who have tried both.

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So are we still on for tomorrow (Monday) at 11am, by the demo area?  At that time, there will be a "Chefs Championship" featuring Florida seafood going on....

Hope you guys get a chance to sample some of that. When I'd visit my father down near Key West we'd often drive a few keys up to a small seafood retailer/restaurant and eat some of the best seafood I've ever had. That southern cooking and southern fish were so different (and good) from what we do up here.

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Chefette made the best Dessert Onion Rings I have ever had. :shock:

Her dessert, Cornucopia, was very good. I went to the demo as skeptical as one can be. I went their to only find some food for the intellectual part of my person, and I have come back sated by the taste of her preparation.

It helped that she was witty, charming and such a pro at having the audience's complete attention. The dessert had layers of complexity. And it had a great balance between the taste and textures provided by its many individual components.

For a presentation that would have sufficed in its success as nothing more than just a challenge to ones thought and intellect, this dessert did that and also more.

I was glad my curiosity got the best of me and I went to the Demo. :smile:

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I am happy to hear that Suvir at least found my dessert edible - even enjoyable. 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).

My dessert that Suvir is referring to was called Corucopia. The demo title was Modern Techniques and use of vegetables in desserts (or something to that effect). My original thought was to do a butternut squash and green apple preparation, but when Patrice decided to use those ingredients I thought it would be best to use something else to offer the audience more variety. I also thought that squash is fairly accessible and many people have already pursued it in dessert preparations. I thought it might be fun to move to something less explored and outside the conventional boundaries. So I chose Corn, Beets, and Onions.

The reason I selected corn and beets was that they are both excellent sources of sugar. In fact I had to play with my recipees to counteract the inherent sweetness of the vegetables. Unlike many fruits (that have bright spiky flavor), corn and beets offer no acidity to spike their flavors - After working with them, I thought they produced very broad, flat strong flavors.

My final dessert was (starting from the bottom):

Bourbon gelee (infused with cilantro) with golden corn kernels in suspension

Sweet Corn Custard

Beet Jus (with port, pomegranate and cranberry)

Cilantro

Corn Foam (with Guinness Beer)

Corn popped in caramel (which I wanted to demo)

Corn flake caramel crisps (which I also wanted to demo)

A sweet onion ring (for fun)

I believe that Steve is planning to collect and post all the recipees from our demos on the site, so those should be available shortly.

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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.

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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

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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

WorldTable

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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

WorldTable

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.

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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

WorldTable

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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

WorldTable

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.

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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:

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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:

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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.

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