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Chris Hennes

Report: 2009 Heartland Gathering in Kansas City

138 posts in this topic

I've been experimenting with the Smoke 'n Choke today. I made a fat washed batch of bourbon, then made a drink with that and then one with regular bourbon. I didn't get as much smokey flavour as I would have liked - perhaps due to the bacon I used - but I'm wondering if I could smoke something inert like eggshells then infuse the smoke into the bourbon that way.

Anyway - after a quick taste, I combined the two drinks, added a bit more cynar, a couple of drops each of lemon oil, orange oil and Canadian maple flavour - and used it as the liquid in a water ganache with white chocolate. It's a lovely combination of flavours - the sweetness from the maple and the bourbon, then the bitter hit from the cynar. Molded it in some white chocolate shells I had around. Tasty - although right now a tad boozy. Hoping that will mellow out a bit overnight - before I take them in to work tomorrow.

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I finally got my pictures up from the weekend.  It's all Kansas City, though not all eG stuff.  I got a lot of pictures at Crum Farm, but not much of the other eating.  Oops.  Pictures are on flickr.

I want to add my and my mother's thanks to the organizers--it was a fantastic weekend.  Crum Farm was our favourite meal.  The food was great as was the company, but the setting and the Crum family (including my new friend "Buddy" and my new human friend Isaac) really made the meal special. 

Saturday's dinner was spectacular, and Toby's cheese course was outstanding.  Being cheese-deprived in Japan, I really took advantage of the abundance in volume and variety offered.  Yes, I'm a pig!  And Toby was especially kind in picking up 4 kinds of root beer for me to try!  Lost Trail was the winner of the night, and Foster's was the loser ("natural" doesn't belong next to "root beer").  I didn't try the diet one which I think was Virgil's.  The special Virgil's was in a really cool bottle, and it was second in my taste tests.

And Tom needn't have worried about the focaccia being lost next to the other crackers and bread.  Once I saw the focaccia was out, I used it exclusively as a carrier for my cheeses, and I ate some naked (the focaccia, not me) just to appreciate the beauty of it.  I got most of the leftovers of the second batch of focaccia.  First my mother took about 1/3 of the batch, and then I went back and took about 2/3 of what was left.  There was still a little left, and Tom offered it to me, but I was too embarrassed to take it, so I said, "No no, it's OK, we have lots."  My mother wanted to take the rest, too, but she was also too ashamed to do it.  Then today we were talking, and we said, "We should have just taken it!  Who cares if we looked like pigs!"

And I for one appreciated the break between Kerry's curry and Edsel (and Tom's) meat dish.  I was approaching explosion, and the break helped the food in my stomach digest a little, so I could make room for more food and dessert!

It was great meeting you and mom and, even though you're focaccia hogs, you're always welcome :laugh:


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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It was great meeting you and mom and, even though you're focaccia hogs, you're always welcome :laugh:

Oink oink! :laugh:

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Foccacia hogs? You speak of that as if it's something less than respectable!

Let's not get started about me and the bacon chocolate. (How do you spell a combination moan and oink? Oooooooooohiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink?) :raz:

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Some answers to life's persistent questions about Crum's Farm:

Anyway...someone asked about the crops we had planted...

Here we go...

bottom of the hill to top

Hoop House...tomatoes, cukes

Broccoli, asparagus, garlic, green beans, onions, eggplant, peppers, beets,tomatoes, kale...red and tuscan, chard, cabbage, pattypans, zucchini, yellow squash,

At the Edwardsville field...potatoes...Kennebec, Purple Majesty, German Butterball, Banana, carrots, onions, turnips, leeks

We have just planted the last two seasons some apple, pear, damson plums, blackberries and red rasberries. Yes...strawberries are in the plan for next year!

We have a small herb garden. Mostly basil to go with the tomatoes, right?

Already gone for now is lettuce, spinach, greens, peas, spring onions and garlic, radishes...fall however is just around the corner...

Itis rhubarb that I have started in the greenhouse...soon to be company with broccoli, cabbage, lettuce....I'm sure I'm forgetting something....

Oh yes...our bee keepers names are Ivan and Paula Owen...their number is 913.788.5017 and they sell from their home across from Providence Hospital.

Hope this helps answer the question about what we grow!


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Some answers to life's persistent questions about Crum's Farm:

Anyway...someone asked about the crops we had planted...

Here we go...

bottom of the hill to top

Hoop House...tomatoes, cukes

Broccoli, asparagus, garlic, green beans, onions, eggplant, peppers, beets,tomatoes, kale...red and tuscan, chard, cabbage, pattypans, zucchini, yellow squash,

At the Edwardsville field...potatoes...Kennebec, Purple Majesty, German Butterball, Banana, carrots, onions, turnips, leeks

We have just planted the last two seasons some apple, pear, damson plums, blackberries and red rasberries. Yes...strawberries are in the plan for next year!

We have a small herb garden. Mostly basil to go with the tomatoes, right?

Already gone  for now is lettuce, spinach, greens, peas, spring onions and garlic, radishes...fall however is just around the corner...

Itis rhubarb that I have started in the greenhouse...soon to be company with broccoli, cabbage, lettuce....I'm sure I'm forgetting something....

Oh yes...our bee keepers names are Ivan and Paula Owen...their number is 913.788.5017 and they sell from their home across from Providence Hospital.

Hope this helps answer the question about what we grow!

Thanks, Judy, for the detailed info. I didn't realize they also farmed another field.

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Wow, what a tremendous weekend! Many thanks to all those who made the trip to Kansas City. Sorry to take so long getting this written up.

Lidia's, Manifesto, bluestem, and the Crums all met or exceeded my expectations, which isn't always the case with these sorts of events, and for that I'm especially appreciative. The weather also cooperated beautifully, especially Sunday morning, when we feared a more typically sweltering late July day.

The BBQ tour wasn't as logistically problematic as I'd feared, but Arthur Bryant's was off its game, unfortunately. That's becoming the case more frequently, I still really enjoy it when it's on, but our group didn't get one of its best efforts.

LC's easily puts out my favorite BBQ in town, and while I found it very good last Friday, on its best days, it's even better. The beans in particular, seemed a little sweeter, a little less meaty and spicy than usual.

OK Joe's was better than I remembered, solid BBQ though still not my favorite. A previous visit caused my wife to describe it as “BBQ for people who don’t like BBQ.” I’m still not completely sold, but you can’t argue its popularity.

And Woodyard is just a jewel of a place...love that big outdoor smoker, patio, and special thanks to Frank Schloegel for making a special trip (after the guy at the counter called and told him we'd showed up) to come chat for a while, and then giving us all some sauce to take home.

(An aside…I wish we’d gone to Smokin’ Guns, I’ve been a couple times in recent weeks, and their ribs are worth the trip, different than LC’s, more competition style, but with a great, spicy rub and nice texture.)

The dinner on Saturday night was my first such event, and what a crazy, madcap, wonderful one it was. Great food and fellowship all around. It was such a pleasure to meet you all and so much fun to cook together.

I also want to extend some additional thanks to all those who weren't attendees, but helped make the whole weekend possible (some have been mentioned above since I started writing this earlier in the week).

--All the folks who hosted us throughout the weekend of course—ChefCAG, the Crums, Ryan at Manifesto, Paula at Studio 2131.

--Extra props to Ryan for swinging by on Saturday to whip up an item from the yet-to-be-released Manifesto menu: the Pisco Spice Trade. This may be my favorite Manifesto drink yet.

--Also to Alchemist from The Violet Hour for donating some of his summer bitters and sharing the recipe for the Part & Parcel, which I mixed up while Ryan was serving his drink.

--To the local brew behemoth, Boulevard Brewing Company, which pitched in some Single-Wide Pale Ale and Saison, even though I failed to pick them up on time. Boulevard brews were still well represented throughout the weekend—dividend picked up a good variety for Saturday; there were a few Smokestack series in circulation at Lidia’s; at BBQ and bluestem on Friday; and the stout was featured in Fat Guy and torakris’s tempura batter.

--The Market Master at City Market who gave us some interesting history prior to our shopping.

Finally, a huge thank you to moosnsqrl for being such an amenable and complicit partner in this madness. I’m amazed, looking back, at what a compatible planning pair we seemed to be. It’s been a real pleasure.

Oh, and one other unintended consequence of having people come to your city for this event is how well I’ve been eating since you all left. My brother was served a delightful short rib dinner for his birthday earlier this week; the kids have greatly enjoyed our shrimp curry; white lotus smoked salmon and cream cheese; BLTs with ronnie_suburban smoked bacon; more BBQ than I knew what to do with. It’s been delicious, and finally, I believe, gone.

Oh, and finally, Saturday recipe. I can’t take credit for any of the good parts of the griddled cornbread/pulled pork dish on Saturday, though I can take credit for taking these two superb pieces and mucking them up a bit.

Zeemanb produced the delicious smoked pork butt.

My wife cooked the cornbread on Thursday, and came up with the simple genius of griddling leftover cornbread in butter with salt and pepper. Such an obvious use, I hesitate to even say “came up with” because I’ve no doubt this has been done for ages, but I’d never seen it in all my cornbread-eating years.

We now eat it frequently for breakfast with maple syrup and maybe some sausage. And it can make a great savory course too.

I added a little tomato sauce to Zeemanb’s pork (tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano). Atop the pork were fresh green zebra tomatoes and fresh corn from the market, a little cilantro. Also cooked some purple hulls with some of Ronnie’s bacon and some market onions. A little okra crumble on the side, okra (unrinsed, soaked in buttermilk, Tabasco, salt, and pepper) tossed with corn meal and fried in the leftover tempura oil.

The griddle corn bread was what I really wanted to highlight here, but I got caught up in market fresh adornment. Oh well. The pork was wonderful.

Cheers,

Aaron

ETA: There's a little of this upthread, but I'd love to hear more about what else those who came early or stayed late ate while they were here.


Edited by Aaron Deacon (log)

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The day after our Crum Farm visit, we headed back out in that direction to Kansas State University in Manhattan. For some reason I thought it was only an hour away from KC, but it was more like 2 hours. Oops.

We mainly just wanted to see the place because my dad did some graduate work out there, but when we found out there was a Dairy Bar, we wanted to go shopping, too. They've got a little store with freezers and coolers at the back filled with products the students put out.

All sorts of hard-to-find (for us) beef and pork products as well as standard cuts. We picked up some skirt steak, bacon, lots of cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, and pepper jack) and I can't remember what else. I don't know about quality (I don't think the meat is organic and there's no mention of how the animals are raised), but it was sort of interesting. They also have diary products like butter (all out when we were there), cheeses (the cheddar was packed just a couple of days earlier), milk (chocolate milk only came in a 1 litre or imperial equivalent container, so I couldn't try it), and ice cream. The ice cream is so-so.

I don't know if it's worth the two-hour trip--we had wanted to go out there after Crum Farm but the store is closed on Sundays--but it was sort of interesting.

Manhattan is pretty limited in terms of restaurants, so we went to Texas Star which is the brother of Hibachi Hut (they're right next to each other and share an entrance). Food was find, but not worth two-hours driving time just to eat there. The only reason I'm mentioning it is because of the root beer.

They had root beer on the menu, so I asked what kind of root beer they had. The server replied, "Actually, we just got rid of the root beer and got diet Dr. Pepper instead."

?!??!?!?!

I was soooo sad! What's up with Dr. Pepper in KC/MO? Where's the root beer love? I always thought root beer was an American favourite, but I think it's more popular in Canada than the US.

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Wow, what a tremendous weekend!  Many thanks to all those who made the trip to Kansas City. 

The dinner on Saturday night was my first such event, and what a crazy, madcap, wonderful one it was.  Great food and fellowship all around.  It was such a pleasure to meet you all and so much fun to cook together.

Finally, a huge thank you to moosnsqrl for being such an amenable and complicit partner in this madness.  I’m amazed, looking back, at what a compatible planning pair we seemed to be.  It’s been a real pleasure.

Oh, and one other unintended consequence of having people come to your city for this event is how well I’ve been eating since you all left.  It’s been delicious, and finally, I believe, gone.

I agree wholeheartedly on all counts (but sub Aaron's name for mine; I didn't find myself all that amenable much of the time).

And I have to add a hearty thank you to my s.o. of 23 years (today, as a matter of fact), who has quietly and imperceptibly become pretty darn helpful; in the kitchen and in life.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I did thank them both in person but I just wanted to extend additional on-line thanks to both Aaron and Judy for organizing an utterly amazing weekend. I feel like I really got to experience KC, especially with stops at Manifesto, Crum Farm and (unofficially) El Camino Real, which all seem relatively off the beaten path.

Also, a big thanks to Steven for taking on the nearly thankless task of organizing the group dinner, which was really fantastic. Steven, our meal benefitted greatly with you at the helm.

I also would like to thank Chris Hennes for not only bringing and sharing some of his amazing chacuterie but also for being an absolute beast on clean-up duty. We all got to do our cooking things and eat on time because of the great job that he and (his wife) Karen did. THANK YOU, both!

So . . . where we goin' next year? :biggrin:

=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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I also would like to thank Chris Hennes for not only bringing and sharing some of his amazing chacuterie but also for being an absolute beast on clean-up duty.  We all got to do our cooking things and eat on time because of the great job that he and (his wife) Karen did.  THANK YOU, both!

=R=

I second that. I could really get used to making as big of mess as humanly possible and just tossing it to some poor galley wench and saying I need it back clean STAT! Amazing how fast power goes to one's head. :wink:

They did a GREAT job and I think we would still be there cleaning if it weren't for their dogged persistence.

On a semi-related note . . . Toby, I have your Corningware dish. If you PM me contact info for your north KC friend I will attempt to get it to her before I break it. Those little yellow dots worked - as we stood in the prop pantry staring at probably no fewer than 2 dozen similar white, fluted baking dishes I was ready to abandon hope but very near the top of the first stack, there was the dot.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Hmmm...I've been looking for the Steve Paul article in the KC Star. I thought it was supposed to be published today. I'm not seeing it online. Anybody know anything?

Jenny

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Hmmm...I've been looking for the Steve Paul article in the KC Star.  I thought it was supposed to be published today.  I'm not seeing it online.  Anybody know anything?

Jenny

He said his deadline was mid August. So maybe another week or two.

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Absolutely a fascinating read. I have to go back and read, I "gulped". Maybe then I will understand some more. Heartland etc... (?) Anyway I am totally "green" once again. But glad everyone had such a wonderful time.

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Also, a big thanks to Steven for taking on the nearly thankless task of organizing the group dinner, which was really fantastic.  Steven, our meal benefitted greatly with you at the helm.

I also would like to thank Chris Hennes for not only bringing and sharing some of his amazing chacuterie but also for being an absolute beast on clean-up duty.  We all got to do our cooking things and eat on time because of the great job that he and (his wife) Karen did.  THANK YOU, both!

Yes, huge second on both counts....in trying to remember all the little thank yous, I omitted two very large ones.

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Just in case anyone was interested, starting with this morning and continuing through next Wednesday are five blog entries that are posting related to my Heartland Gathering Kansas City experience. Today's post is all about making focaccia dough for the dinner we had two Saturday's ago.

You can read about it here: Focaccia is Fantastic

And yes, the recipe is included. :biggrin:


Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.

Flickr: Link To My Account

Twitter: @tnoe27

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^^^Yeah! :biggrin:

I've been thinking about this focaccia for a week. Can't wait to try it!


"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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Turns out the bourbon in the Smokin' Choke is actually smoked, rather than fat washed.

Smoking the bourbon:

Making the Smokin' Choke:

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Turns out the bourbon in the Smokin' Choke is actually smoked, rather than fat washed.

Smoking the bourbon:

Making the Smokin' Choke:

Thanks for those links Aaron. My cold smoking attachment for the Bradley showed up while I was gone, thinking I can do some sort of Rube Goldberg thing to get my smoked bourbon (likely won't do a litre though). Think I'll also experiment with a drop of liquid smoke and see how that compares.

Of course if you happened to have an old bong around you could probably use that too - you might want to come up with some other method to get the smoke flowing than sucking on it however.

I was interested to see the proportions for the cocktail - I assumed a whole lot more cynar would be used. And for my version it was!


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)

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The pictures from our amazing brunch at Crum Farm on the final day of the weekend are now up and posted on my blog. Please feel free to stop by and check them out.

You can read about it here: Brunch Is Bountiful

There are also two entries (the previous two before the brunch) that detail our dinner at the 2131 Studio space as well.


Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.

Flickr: Link To My Account

Twitter: @tnoe27

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Not to be a thread hog, but I just received a Tweet from Steve Paul this morning, the reporter from the Kansas City Star who attended all of the events from this year's gathering, and he said that the magazine article he is writing is scheduled to appear on August 30th (assuming it doesn't get bumped).


Food Blog: Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying The Craving -- Exercising my epicurean muscles by eating my way through everything that is edible.

Flickr: Link To My Account

Twitter: @tnoe27

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The pictures from our amazing brunch at Crum Farm on the final day of the weekend are now up and posted on my blog. Please feel free to stop by and check them out.

You can read about it here: Brunch Is Bountiful

There are also two entries (the previous two before the brunch) that detail our dinner at the 2131 Studio space as well.

I enjoyed reading such a complete posting of everything I had to miss. I love my job but sometimes - .


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

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Not to be a thread hog, but I just received a Tweet from Steve Paul this morning, the reporter from the Kansas City Star who attended all of the events from this year's gathering, and he said that the magazine article he is writing is scheduled to appear on August 30th (assuming it doesn't get bumped).

He tweeted about it again today, so it looks like it's still on.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The whole story is now up: CLICK

Edited to add: No doubt several people will want copies from the print version. If you will contact the newspaper, I would think they would allow you to purchase copies of the magazine only, and send via snail mail for a reasonable fee. If not, contact me and I'll see what kind of plan B I can concoct.


Edited by jgm (log)

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      Then, after a lovely mixed fruit sorbet with triple sec, the main course.  Sous vide confit Canterbury duck leg with crumbed quenelle of pommes sarladais, sorrel gel, baby bok choy and haricots verts, and port wine sauce.  And look at the plate:
       

       
      This was another lovely dish.  The duck was just as tender as you'd hope, with just the lightest crisping of the skin.  The potato quenelle was possibly the best of its type I've had, and the dots of sorrel gel provided a nice bitter note.
       
      We had to finish eventually and it was in fine style, with passionfruit-lemon tart with crème Chantilly and vanilla-poached tamarillos (the photo was taken before the tamarillos went on):
          Again, delicious.  A shortcake-style base with delicious thick cream, complemented beautifully by the berry (I think) sauce and tamarillos.   After this it only remained to return to beside the fire in the drawing room to join some new friends we'd made on this trip.  A very lovely evening.   I can thoroughly recommend Pen-y-bryn for a luxury stay if you get to this part of the world.  I have only one criticism - it's completely ruined me for staying anywhere else.  Thanks, guys.  We'll be back.
    • 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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