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tammylc

Report: 2008 Heartland Gathering in Chicago

158 posts in this topic

If triple-crème cheeses did not provide adequate exuberant fats  Gus,(ronnie: please remind us of his restaurant’s name) provided healthy portions of chicken fried-deep-fried bacon and cornbread dipped deep-fried chili . Yes, you heard that right.

I'm glad people enjoyed the Country Fried Bacon and the Deep Fried Chili.

Name of the restaurant is Wiener and Still Champion on Dempster St in Evanston.

Having noshed on both of these collations, I'm eagerly awaiting Deep-Fried Lipitor.


There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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And I want to add kudos to LAZ for putting together an excellent ethnic market tour. There were full-color printed guides to each shop, with recipes even! And crazy Korean etiquette videos. And a million wacky ice cream flavors, like mangosteen, maiz, queso, and - my favorite - avocado. It was a great trip, and she (and Dick) put a ton of work into that I really appreciated.

Thanks, to everyone for a truly wonderful (and exhausting) weekend.  It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  I hope that those who were visting felt like they got a good 'taste' of what this town has to offer.  As much as we did, there was so much more we could have done, but of course, time limits kept that from happening.

I'm very sorry that I wasn't able to join in on Sunday morning at Maxwell Street but it was just not to be.  From the pictures that have been posted, it looks like it was a fabulous time and the weather was obviously, cooperative.  I wish I could have been there.  Thanks again, to David Hammond for sharing his time, passion and expertise with us.

On that note, while it seems almost inappropriate to thank specific people -- especially given how much everyone contributed to the weekend -- I'd like to at least give a shout out to those people who did things for which people were erroneously giving me credit over the weekend:

Alchemist - thanks for setting up the meal at Blackbird and for hosting us so magnificently at The Violet Hour.  Thursday night was really special and we have you to thank for it.

Marmish, karen m and santo_grace - thanks for opening your homes to us and hosting the chocolate and bread workshops.  That was going above and beyond the call of duty and it was very much appreciated.

tino27 and Kerry Beal - thank you both so much the excellent workshops you ran.  Not only did the attendees really enjoy them but the 'fruits' of those labors were among the highlights of our Saturday meal.  I also appreciate you both hanging in there over the long search for venues -- a process that took a bit more work than I initially thought it would.

G Wiv - I sincerely appreciate you helping set up Friday night's feast at Lao Sze Chuan.  It was most enjoyable and your knowledge of their menu came through loud and clear at our tables.

tammylc and Fat Guy - thanks for organizing Saturday's fantastic and memorable group meal.  Again, you guys kept things on track and on schedule.  I thought the meal and the way it was organized were both exemplary.

I want to also give a special shout out to our friends Sarah and Chris at Immanuel Lutheran Church.  They were very kind to let us use their spacious kitchen and dining room on Saturday, and Chris did yeoman's work helping us with the end of the clean-up; returning the space to the condition in which we received it.  So many items, so many cabinets and happily Chris was there to help us put it all back together.

It's great seeing your own home town through the eyes of visitors.  I had a blast and hope everyone else did too.  I know that not everyone was 100% happy about everything but I hope that speaks more to the nature of getting so many people together and trying to accomodate everyone's desires, than anything else.

From what I understand, the torch has already been passed for next year's Gathering, so stay tuned for details on that . . .

Thanks again, everyone.  It was a weekend for the ages! :wub::smile:

=R=


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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If anyone will be posting their Saturday recipes from last weekend, would it be possible to add a known "tag" to make them searchable by the event? It would make finding them very simple.

Thanks!


Carpe Carp: Seize that fish!

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If anyone will be posting their Saturday recipes from last weekend, would it be possible to add a known "tag" to make them searchable by the event? It would make finding them very simple.

The "Chocolate Velvet" I made is from a cookbook, so I probably should not copy it. The book is "The Four Seasons Cookbook" by Charlotte Adams, with special consultant James Beard. As I mentioned at dinner, this is the signature dessert at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York City.

I only did two things different from what was specified in the recipe, and you should be able to get the same results just going by the recipe. One variation was that I made it larger for our occasion. When I do the straight recipe, I use the second largest (7.5" diameter) of my set of four Farberware stainless steel mixing bowls as the mold. This time, I multiplied all the quantities by one and one third, and used the largest (9.5" diameter) mixing bowl. The other thing I did differently was, instead of making the genoise from scratch, or using store-bought lady fingers (both of which I've done in the past), I bought a thin layer of plain (but rich) yellow cake from Bennison's, our local bakery, to use for the cake layer... and I gotta tell you, it was better than I could have made from scratch - although it's kind of odd asking for a plain cake layer (I had to have a discussion with Jory Downer, their award-winning baker, to explain what I needed).

An interesting side note on the cookbook... it was published in 1971. A few years later, it went out of print, and was almost impossible to find. I was looking all over for it in the mid 1970s and finally located my current copy. I believe they reprinted it in 1984 and has been much easier to find since then. Click on the book cover photo to order from Amazon:

51yZkQxivXL._SL500_AA240_.gif


Edited by nsxtasy (log)

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A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure. These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others

The official Heartland Gathering Feast menu, for the use and benefit of picture posters and commentators.

Bread - 3 loaves of honey whole wheat bread, 3 loaves of Red and Black bread, 3 loaves of olive rosemary bread, 2 loaves of sweet potato bread (Tino27 and bread workshop)

Ethnic Market Amuse (tammylc, Fat Guy, Torakris and a lot of sous chefs)

- the challenge - at least one ingredient from every one of the ethnic markets

- the result:

1) fried plantain chip with apricot/mango schmear, smoked goose breast, asian pear, and chives (Filipino, Armenian/Middle Eastern, German, Korean)

2) crostini with smoked trout, fried quail egg, and dill. (Polish, Korean)

Watermelon-Tomato-Mint Soup (Alex)

Nicoise Salad (CaliPoutine)

Beet Salad & Beet Fritters (LuckyGirl)

Shrimp DeJohnge (LAZ)

Confit Byaldi (KarenM)

"Chicken and Waffles" (NancyH, BobH, Edsel, Tino27)

Smoked Ribs (Ronnie_Suburban)

Coleslaw (Marmish)

Foil wrapped potatoes of yumminess (Ellen)

Desserts:

I might forget something here, as there were so many things on the table, and i wasn't as involved in thinking about what order or time they needed to be ready...

Chocolate mousse torte (nsxtacy)

Blueberry peach crisp (CaliPoutine)

Apple cake with raspberries, whipped cream and caramel sauce (Kerry Beal)

Creme brulee in chocolate cups (Kerry Beal and chocolate workshop)

Assorted chocolates (dulce de leche, pate de fruit, bacon-salt bark) (chocolate workshop)

Pavlova (Kerry Beal)

Baylor Watermelon (Kathy)

I think this was our best meal yet, in terms of cohesiveness of the menu. And although we still sent lots of leftovers home with people, we did better on portion sizes than ever before, as evidenced by the fact that people headed to the dessert buffet right away.

Thanks to everyone who shopped, chopped, measured, cooked, set tables, or cleaned... Which was basically pretty much everyone. We all rock.


Edited by ronnie_suburban (log)

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile

Here's Ronnie in his element:

gallery_336_534_946578.jpg


There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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What a wonderful weekend. Great food and company. Thanks to everyone who planned and prepped. It was great fun meeting so many egulleters whose postings I've been enjoying for so long.

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Many, many, many thanks to Ron and everyone who contributed to making this weekend such a great time. A special shout out to Alchemist for putting on a simply outstanding event at The Violet Hour.

Marissa and I really enjoyed seeing some old friends and meeting new people. We hope all of the out of towners enjoyed visiting our city as much as we love living (and eating) here.


-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others

Thanks, Ronnie - I knew I would forget things from the pre-dinner noshing, so I figured I should focus on the dinner menu and leave somebody else to create this list!

Did HOLLY_L's chicken liver pate ever make it out?


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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A few other 'before-the-meal' items that didn't make Tammy's official recap:

Deep-fried bacon and corn bread-wrapped chili 'bombs' brought by gp60004 (Wiener & Still Champion)

Mini hotdogs in pastry from Romanian Kosher Sausage Co., hand rolled by G Wiv

Spring Rolls and Vegetable Pancakes brought (made?) by prasantrin

Assortment of high-end iced teas brought prepared by white lotus

Great assortment of cheeses brought by nyokie6

I was outside tending the smoker for most of the afternoon, so there could be a few others, I'm not sure.  These were some of the items that a few folks were nice enough to bring outside for me during the course of the afternoon. :smile:

=R=

edited to add a few others

Thanks, Ronnie - I knew I would forget things from the pre-dinner noshing, so I figured I should focus on the dinner menu and leave somebody else to create this list!

Did HOLLY_L's chicken liver pate ever make it out?

D'OH! :blush:

Yes it did and it was delicious!

=R=


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Surely there were more pictures taken than just those posted so far.

Cmon, people!! Post those pics!  :biggrin:

Agreed! There were so many cameras clicking all weekend long, there's got to be more to post!


Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Surely there were more pictures taken than just those posted so far.

Cmon, people!! Post those pics!  :biggrin:

I have a picture of Shaw and me holding up a man-yam. I'll post it later.


There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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It was a wonderful weekend! Sorry, it may take me a while to post photos. At the Maxwell Street Market, I stepped into a divot between two sidewalk slabs and wound up on my back, with a dislocated right shoulder.

I want to thank everyone from the group who tried to make me comfortable while we waited for the EMTs. The ER doctor was fantastic, and got me out of there in time for a little Burt's pizza in the evening.

Kudos to all - especially Ronnie!

The chicken & WAFFLE DISH was a true collaboration - once Ronnie posted that the church had a waffle making station, we started emailing each other.

The original concept was to reinvent chicken & waffles with duck and SE Asian flavors. First problem: getting fresh duck!

So, when we spied beautiful farm fresh chicken at the butcher shop LAZ & Dick brought us to, we went back to chicken. The butcher cut them up for us.

Back at the kitchen, Tino &Chris invented and perfected the waffles. Bob trimmed up the backs and made cracklings, Edsel prepared both s SE Asian spice rub for the chix, and the coconut gravy. I prepped and grilled peaches and produced butter pats.

Cooking the chix was a group effort - we'd planned to grill them, but ran out of time. So we crisped them on the flattop, then finished them in the oven.

Final plating was also team - a quarter waffle was topped with a pat of butter, a piece of chix, a slice of grilled peach and a dusting of crackling. Maple syrup and the Coconut cream sauce were on the tables.


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

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Is there a pic of the finished/plated chicken wafffles?? Oh, please? I am all a-twitter imagining what those must've looked like. They sound absolutely delicious!


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'd allow a couple of days for the photos to pour in. Folks had to travel home, go back to work, etc.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Is there a pic of the finished/plated chicken wafffles??  Oh, please?  I am all a-twitter imagining what those must've looked like.  They sound absolutely delicious!

i have some. i am trying to master typing w/one hand - i'll try pix once i get this down!


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

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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It was a great way to meet everyone. Thanks for letting me into this wonderful event. I was having lots of fun and my palate was very happy. :smile:

Hwa

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Many thanks to all the Chicago folks who in various ways hosted us and helped with on putting this event, especially Ronnie.

KarenM it was so good to meet you and lovely to spend the afternoon in your kitchen for the bread class.

Tom, I knew the bread class would be great but you managed to far exceed my already high expectations. You are a great teacher and I am still floored by the packet you put together for the class!

Thanks to to Santo_Grace for picking up the great BBQ which gave those of us who attended the class the opportunity to try one more Chicago eats place. Also, it was very gracious of you to open your kitchen and oven to us!

The whole time that Mr. LuckyGirl and I spent in Chicago was amazing, both the scheduled events we attended and the few things we did on our own with friends (Alinea and Hot Doug's, oh my!).

Gary, thanks to you for putting together the Szechuan dinner. I SO enjoyed it. Also, if anyone can tell me what the chopped green was that we had I would appreciate it. From the poking around on the net I've done I *think* it may have been chrysanthemum but I'm not sure. I loved it and would like to know what to look for so I can make it at home.

The best part of the weekend was cooking and eating together on Saturday. It was wonderful to visit with old friends and to make new ones as well. I regret that we didn't get to visit as much with some old friends as we would have liked to but everyone was so busy! I trust we'll have more opportunities to visit before next year.

Each course of the dinner was a treat.

I especially enjoyed the chicken and waffles- seriously good eats.

CaliPoutine's composed salad was beautiful and I adored her peach and blueberry cobbler. Peach and blueberries are one of my favorite fruit combinations. I took some of the cobbler with the intentions of having it with ice cream once we got home to Cleveland but it didn't make it out of the hotel the next morning. It was good breakfast :biggrin:

Ronnie, the ribs, the ribs, the ribs... Thanks for grilling for us! :raz:

And, the coleslaw, who made the coleslaw? It was perfect.

Thanks to LAZ for the Chicago shrimp dish and oh, yes, the amuses were lovely too.

The prize for lovely though goes to KarenM's ratatouille. Wow, they were beautiful dishes and the flavors were perfect.

I didn't get to try most of the starters but that was one impressive cheese plate. Thank you for your generosity nyokie.

Alex's tomato and watermelon soup was refreshing and perfectly balanced. I admit, I was skeptical about watermelon and tomato together but he nailed it.

maggiethecat, thanks for the shout out for my beet stem pancakes. I love sharing those with people!

nxtasy, I guess I'm either going to have to purchase that Four Seasons' Cookbook or hope that you and your Mrs. can come to Cleveland to help me celebrate my 40th birthday and make it for me in April! That torte was really, really special and I know that I want it to be part of my celebration.

KerryBeal, your apple cake was also right up my alley. I like desserts that are not too sweet and your cake was enjoyed by both Steve and me.

OH! One more thing, THANK YOU to Kathy for introducing us to the Baylor's watermelon. I really didn't believe that watermelon like that existed anymore. You folks in Chicago are very lucky to have the Baylor family and their watermelon business. I hope that Steve and I can make it to town again before the season ends.

Phew, I hope I didn't leave out anything!

Once again, seeing everybody and making new friends was wonderful. The fellowship of the event is the best part!


Edited by LuckyGirl (log)

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Oh my gosh NancyH!

I am sorry to hear about your fall. What a way to cap off the weekend.

I wish you a speedy recovery.

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As promised...

Ann and Elfin:

gallery_336_534_388071.jpg

Fresser and Bagel:

gallery_336_534_240500.jpg

Welcome to the Heartland:

gallery_336_534_198460.jpg

Time to make the sausage:

gallery_336_534_457533.jpg

Men with Man-Yam:

gallery_336_534_632719.jpg


Edited by Fresser (log)

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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It was a wonderful weekend!  Sorry, it may take me a while to post photos.  At the Maxwell Street Market, I stepped into a divot between two sidewalk slabs and wound up on my back, with a dislocated right shoulder.

Oh no! That's not the kind of souvenir you are supposed to take home from Chicago! I hope you mend quickly.

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    • By Kerry Beal
      And so it begins...
       
      I arrived in Las Vegas at 10:30 or so this morning, picked up my rental car and hastened over the the Tuscany Suites to meet up with Chocolot.  After a brief cruise through all the loot that she had accumulated for the workshop we headed out to do a few errands.  We checked in with Melissa and Jean Marie to check that all was well for later in the week and to enjoy a little look around the facility.  I also had to deliver several bottles of wonderful looking paté that Alleguede had made for Jean Marie (I kept one bottle here for snacking purposes this week).  There was serious drooling going on over all the equipment they have available for us to play with.
       
      What was to be a quick stop at Chef Rubber took a little longer than expected - there is a lot to look at there!  And to buy!
       
      We investigated a couple of thrift stores - notably the Habitat for Humanity Reuse to grab a couple of items that will show their usefulness later this week.
       
      And for dinner we hit Lotus of Siam.  We know that we are going back there this week - but it is a place I've wanted to check out since FG wrote about it a few years ago.  And you can never eat too much Thai can you?
       

       
      Jasmine tea for me.  
       

       
      Chicken larb.
       

       

       
      Khao soi - noodles with a red thai sauce.  And the condiments to go with them - some sort of pickled green (perhaps mustard), onion and of course lime.  
       

       
      Pepper garlic shrimp - didn't see a table without this one!
       

       
      And fried rice with veg and egg. 
       
      Right now Ruth is cruising the internet reviews to see what we should order when we return there on Thursday.  
    • By Bu Pun Su
      French food is my favorite cuisine and l’Arpege is my favorite restaurant. Currently, entering the 4th year that I haven’t returned to l’Arpege (Since ’06, I usually make an effort to go there at least once every 2 years). At the very least I had a chance to savor Alain Passard’s cuisine in late ’12 when he became a guest Chef at Beaufort hotel Sentosa – the most memorable part was when Alain personally cooked 2 Brittany lobsters for me. Fortunately, Singapore has a restaurant owned and run by Passard’s apprentice & his former sous chef, Gunther Hubrechsen. Therefore, whenever I crave for (home-style) French cooking that’s light, delicate and delicious, I often come here. Similar to my Les Amis’ experience, I’ve actually been here about 4 times since 2008 but never wrote a (serious) review even once. As a matter of fact, Gunther’s is one of my favorite restaurants in Singapore
      I had dinner at Gunther’s in the same week as my meal at Les Amis. On purpose, I ordered carte-blanche here with similar budget to the Les Amis’ degustation menu. I wondered how these 2 elite gastronomy restaurants (cooking nouvelle cuisine without any molecular element) would fare against each other. A short comparison in a glance,
      Les Amis = 7 courses including one dessert. 2 courses with caviar and 3 courses with black truffle. There were scallop, lobster and wagyu beef
      Gunther’s = 8 courses with a dessert. 1 dish with caviar and also 3 courses with black truffle. There were scallop, gambas and wagyu beef
      Anyway, I ate and enjoyed very much the following stuffs at Gunther’s (my top 3 dishes):
      1st: cold angel hair pasta with Oscietra caviar - the restaurant’s most well-known dish and Chef Hubrechsen should be proud of it. It’s the 3rd time I savor this dish; it’s still very delicious – the flavor, the smells, the texture and all other elements were spot on. High degree of consistency...
      5th: carabinero gambas with tomato rice – given how far Spain from Singapore is, the kitchen did a good job in preparing this prawn. I tasted the gambas’ freshness and sweet flavor; it’s well-seasoned too. The Japanese rice cooked with the prawn’s stock and tomato was pleasant except I prefer rice with firmer texture (like in risotto or paella)
      6th: grilled scallop with black truffle – the main highlight of my meal. The Hokkaido scallop was juicy and tender though not as tasty as the one I had at Les Amis. However, it’s well-enhanced by the sublime and sweet caramelized onion below as well as the pungent winter truffle aroma and flavor on top of it. I liked the onion very much here – a good example how Gunther brought out the essence of its ingredient; possibly the closest one (in terms of ‘deliciousness’) to the Passard’s perfect onion gratin with parmesan that looks deceptively simple
      What makes Gunther’s special is that the talented Belgian chef-owner is capable of generating many different kind of ‘unassuming’ dishes and elevating them to higher level using no more than 3 fresh produce on each plate. It seems modest at times, but actually quite sophisticated. Let me describe a few more dishes I had,
      4th: roasted garlic with onion essence – if I had to pick one dish I like the least, it’s probably the one. The roasted garlic had smooth texture and good smell, well-integrated with mascarpone sauce. However, I found the (garlic) portion was too big. After consuming 2/3 of them, I just swallowed the rest (almost no chewing) so that I wouldn’t be too stuffed and/or dilute my palate for the next dishes
      7th: Char grilled wagyu beef in bordelaise sauce – this was the main course served in a nice portion with a right amount of “fat”. Delicate Japanese beef was generally a safe choice; the chef didn’t do too much and just allowed the natural flavor of high quality wagyu to shine. The sauce and the grilled corn were precisely executed. Nothing wow but it’s hard not to like Japanese beef J
      8th: Truffle parfait – dessert. It’s a soft and light vanilla ice cream served with rich chocolate brownie and topped with aromatic smell induced by the Perigord truffle (having slight peppery taste). I hardly eat dessert with truffle in it. This one was sweet and rather delicious
      There were a couple more dishes I had and you can see/read them on the picture link below. For the meal, I drank 2 glasses of wine. The first glass was 2010 Vincent girardin chassagne-Montrachet; it’s rich and creamy with buttery aromas. The second one was 2009 Black quail Pinot noir; it’s medium bodied with dark berries delicate fragrance and dry finish in slight acidity – a quite refined pinot noir that surprisingly went along nicely with my scallop dish (of course, better with the beef). Oh before I forget, this place only offers one type of bread and butter – to be exact warm mini baguette and salted butter served at room temperature – simple but good; I ate 3 baguettes if not mistaken. The meal ended with a petit four consisting of a green tea macaron and canele – both were fine.
      It was a quiet evening, about half of the restaurant’s capacity was filled. Probably most people were still busy to attend reunion dinner with their friends and colleagues. The dining room decoration was minimalist dominated by dark grey color for the walls (some paintings were hung on them) and medium lighting. This way guests would not feel overwhelmed and the food took center stage. The staffs were polite and helpful without being intrusive. Besides the sommelier, one friendly “Indian” maitre d’ and the greeter, most of restaurants’ FOH staffs were relatively new. Chef Hubrechsen, usually visiting the dining room to greet guests, explained that the staffs turnover at Singapore restaurants were still very high; he even did not have any permanent sous chef assisting him in the kitchen. So the good thing is that it’s almost guaranteed Gunther himself would always be in the kitchen daily to ensure food quality.
      I gave my overall meal experience at Gunther’s nearly 94 pts (a good 2 ¼* by Michelin standard) and it meant about the same level as Shinji by Kanesaka Singapore and Eric Frechon’s Le Bristol, seriously. Another lovely meal, and overall it ranked as the most memorable one I’ve ever had here. Well, there was no bad meal experience at Gunther’s. Hope I can return again sometimes next year, even better if not on my own expenses. Lastly, I prefer this place over Les Amis by a small margin. Check here for pictures, https://picasaweb.google.com/118237905546308956881/GuntherSRestaurantSingapore#
    • By Kerry Beal
      Today we started out with a trip to the college to start getting ourselves set up for tomorrow. Then at 10 am we met at ChocolateFX and started our tour. Of course hair nets are obligatory if you are going to go into a food manufacturing facility!

      Wilma and Art had the small pan set up so that we could pan some raisins.

      Here's Pat (psantucc), with beard appropriately netted, applying some chocolate to the raisins.

      Ava (FrogPrincesse's little one) preparing to add more chocolate, Kyle helping and FrogPrincesse awaiting her turn.

      The fancy packing machine.

      Listening with rapt attention to Wilma explaining the making of ganache truffles in the round silicone molds.
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