• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

tammylc

Report: 2010 Heartland Gathering

44 posts in this topic

I had a wonderful time eating, shopping and cooking in A2. If you can believe it, Tammy and I found the stomach capacity to return to Zingerman's Deli for tasting a bunch of stuff--the $150 balsamico, jamon iberico, assorted oils, vinegars, syrups, and about a dozen cheeses. Then we went next door and tasted chocolates. And then we had a cocktail and a salad at Zola nearby. I'm done eating for the next month, at least.

I was moved by the passion for food in Ann Arbor, a city I've passed through but never really visited. I appreciated Tammy's work in putting the event together. Also Lisa and Joe's organization of the Sichuan meal was great--my mouth was tingling for hours.

Kerry, it was great to work with you on the chiboust dessert--and thanks again for all your help with the bunny dish. (It was only bunny 2 ways, btw...)

I think I'm done with excess for quite some time. Good thing I get in $150 worth of produce tomorrow because I think that's the only thing I'll be eating for some time.

Thanks again for everything, Tammy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Host's note: for those who are already thinking about a Heartland Gathering 2011, we've moved posts on that subject to start the PLAN: 2011 Heartland Gathering topic.

Please continue to discuss the 2010 Gathering here!



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am slowly getting my pictures up to Flickr in my Michigan set. I'll hopefully have all of them up by the end of the week.

But to tempt those who are thinking of going to next year's gathering.

192.JPG

Yes, that's Chef Crash's baklava. I have some pieces stashed away, but I won't say how many lest it make me look greedy. But it's gooooooood! :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been waiting until I could get onto an actual computer with keyboard (rather than just my smartphone) to post here.

Donna and I both had a *fantastic* time with our fellow eGulleteers on Saturday. The food was fantastic, yes, but even more enjoyable was the camaraderie we enjoyed from all the folks there who are just food junkies like we are. There wasn't anything (nor anyone) there that we didn't feel comfortable sitting down to, or with.

Tammy: thank you *so much* for your work in organizing. The Feast made both Donna and me wish that we'd been able to come to more of the stuff that had been planned for the weekend, but logistically-speaking, it just couldn't work. Donna was barely able to get those wonderful cupcakes of hers ready on Saturday, due to her traveling on Friday, and we really would have liked to participate more. Please know that you make one *heck* of a potent potable, and I'm not exactly a lightweight. You're an even better host/organizer, though, so thank you so much for the work you put in. Enjoy the Blenheim!

Tom: there are few things that are more enjoyable than really great bread. It's simple, it's tasty, it's satisfying. Your two types of bread could have been all I ate, and I would have been completely okay with that. And you are absol-stinking-lutely right: caramelized onions just make *everything* better. Thank you.

Kerry: we need more physicians like you. Your truffles rule with an iron scepter, and that's coming from a confessed chocoholic. Meeting you, speaking with you, enjoying your smile...lots of fun.

Rochelle: I sincerely hope that many, many more bunnies expire for your culinary purposes. I'm with Sam: the rabbit confit with homemade noodles were an exceptional highlight of the meal to me, and I hope that those in the DC area learn what an asset they have in your catering abilities. Let me just say that *I'd* hire you...and I'm picky. Those sorority girls that you cooked for? I'm just absolutely jealous of them, based on that dead, delicious bunny.

Richard: it was really great to see you again, and your salsa with basil oil was exquisite. I'm of the opinion that the shrimp didn't even need to be there...that salsa, and *especially* the basil oil were just amazing. I saw many, many folks there who were using Tom's bread to sop up every last drop, and rightfully so.

Steve: you, sir, fry up bunny with the best of them, and the fish-in-parchment was a nice, clean taste, owing to the freshness of everything there. So much to enjoy in that little pocket of goodness.

Crash: fatoosh salad, baklava, and more? I'll bet you could juggle five balls at once, as well! As well as being delicious, the fatoosh was one of the prettiest I've seen.

There were many, many others there who I met and enjoyed talking to, eating with, laughing with, drinking with. I'd be typing all day if I were to name and thank everyone, but suffice it to say that it was an absolute joy to spend the evening there, and to contribute in whatever small way I could. It's got me thinking about traveling for next year...I'm no longer a Heartland Gathering virgin!

Thank you again, everyone, for welcoming Donna and me into the fold. We came, we ate, we laughed, we waddled out. What more could one ask for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Donna and I both had a *fantastic* time with our fellow eGulleteers on Saturday. The food was fantastic, yes, but even more enjoyable was the camaraderie we enjoyed from all the folks there who are just food junkies like we are. There wasn't anything (nor anyone) there that we didn't feel comfortable sitting down to, or with.

-------

Richard: it was really great to see you again, and your salsa with basil oil was exquisite. I'm of the opinion that the shrimp didn't even need to be there...that salsa, and *especially* the basil oil were just amazing. I saw many, many folks there who were using Tom's bread to sop up every last drop, and rightfully so.

Thanks so much for the detailed and kind report. I very much agree about the camaraderie. It was an easy Gathering to be at (and to isolate from for a little while, if one so chose, without anyone wondering why). Tammy did a yeoman's (yeowoman's? yeoperson's?) job of organizing the event.

Edsel's Vita-Mix must receive a portion of the credit for the basil oil, as should Tammy's filtering apparatus. I had made some at home that I intended to bring with me, but of course it became the inevitable forgotten item. Fortunately, the common house had a huge herb garden, so there was no shortage of basil. At home I used a KitchenAid blender and a fine-mesh gold-toned coffee filter, but the new combination was far superior, producing a deeper green oil with no discernable solids.

I took home the remaining oil and used it for a simple dinner last night: spaghetti with basil oil, butter, black pepper, and Parm-Reg. Tonight we'll be having a tomato-shiso salad with shallot dressing, the shiso courtesy of White Lotus's generosity.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a quick thank you since the only Internet access I have currently is from my iPhone. My biggest thanks are to all the Ann Arbor folk who organized the whole weekend for us, every meal was incredible. Another thank you to all my housemates who made my weekend even more enjoyable than I expected. Finally thank you to all the members that joined us for our various meals, I truly enjoyed the conversation.

I apologize for not being as active in the kitchen but with a freshly broken toe small spaces with a lot of people carrying heavy things and knives was a scary place to be.

I will definitely be there next year!


<p><strong>Kristin Wagner</strong>, aka "torakris"

Manager, Membership

<a class="bbc_email" href="mailto:kwagner@egstaff.org" title="E-mail Link">kwagner@egstaff.org</a></p>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the tasting menu from Friday night at Grange. Chef Brandon Johns introduced every course, plus he spent a good bit of time chatting with us before the meal. His dedication to cooking in general, and to locally sourced ingredients specifically, is impressive. He also cheerfully provided alternative dishes for two pescatarians and one person with a couple of food allergies.

I don't remember some of the details, so please feel free to add, subtract, or correct. The pictures are in Kerry's post (and perhaps others to follow).

Nose to tail house-made charcuterie

Peninsula Cellars Gewurtztraminer, Old Mission 2006

Clockwise from 9 o'clock in Kerry's picture: multi-pig-part terrine; thin slice of pig's ear something; coppa; a jam of some sort. In the middle are pea shoots with something else.

Walleye "brandade" fritters, green tomato jam

La Grave-Martillac, Pessac-Leognan 2007

Chef Johns preserved walleye for one month as if for salt cod, then proceeded accordingly. This food-wine pairing was the surprise hit of the evening for me.

Fried pig's head, mustard, sauce gribiche

Martin Codax Albariño, Rias Baixas 2008

Not the whole head on a platter of course, but cooked, shredded, battered, and fried.

Heirloom gazpacho, Michigan pickled shrimp salad

New Holland Golden Cap Saison, Holland, MI

Delicious, but for me the least interesting dish of the evening. Great ale, though.

Duck, peaches, coriander, honey glaze, whole grains

Duchamp Cuvée Trouvée Syrah, Dry Creek Valley 2003

Another great wine pairing. I think the whole grains were wheat berries and something else.

Whole roasted (beef) tenderloin, pickled oyster mushrooms, heirloom carrots

Starry Night Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2007

Two or three slices of a perfectly crusted tenderloin in a simple presentation.

Plum upside-down cake, goat cheese ice cream.

Frisk Sparkling Reisling, Victoria 2009 was on the printed menu, but for the life of me I can't remember anything about it. Did we actually get it? (Tammy just posted that we did indeed get it.)

Many of us arrived early and enjoyed a cocktail (or two) before dinner. I had a refreshing GGGinger--fresh mint, ginger syrup, fresh lime juice, Tanqueray, and ginger beer, with a crystallized ginger garnish.


Edited by Alex (log)

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your kind words. It was my pleasure to host all of you in Ann Arbor, and I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves so much - it was fantastic to have you here.

Alex - yes, we had that Riesling with the dessert, and it was very yummy. I should know, because I drank mine and most of Kerry's.

My "filtering apparatus" for your basil oil was nothing more than a jelly strainer bag, but I agree that it definitely does the trick for making nice herb oils!

Boagman - Glad you could make it! I am definitely enjoying the Blenheim, and using it for those potent potables of which you speak. Malawry and I used some to make Agony and Ecstasies on Sunday (gin, st. germain, grapefruit, ginger beer) and I used the rest of the bottle for a Gin-Gin Mule tonight. Very gingery - yum!

Prasantrin - you'll have to repeat that imitation for us next year in Cleveland!


Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As always a pleasure to see you all at the Gathering. I'm just beginning to sift through the mound of photos, but I think this one tells the tale:

DSC_7062.jpg

Caption: Steven "supervising" while malawry cooks and edsel takes photos.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This one may tell the rest of the story. Channel Gordon Ramsey for a moment, if you will: "Hennes, put down the f^&*ing camera and f&*(ing plate these f&*(ing microgreens, NOW!!" (no he didn't say it, it was all in the look). Slave driver, he is...

DSC_7072.jpg

1 person likes this

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What an awesome experience, particularly for my wife who's not like us (you and me);)

Fantastic bunch of people. Looking forward to next year.

Kerrytown the site of the farmers market

SAM_0203.jpg

Mennonites from Homer MI

SAM_0204.jpg

Tom's fabulous bread. I he does a workshop next year, I'm in.

SAM_0225.jpg

Beet chips that would later become a crumble.

SAM_0233.jpg

Chris slicing his homemade Charcuterie while Sam fluted mushrooms

SAM_0257.jpg

Baklava

SAM_0261.jpg

Malawry's cookies which were formed on a wooden spoon.

SAM_0279.jpg

Malawry making pasta from scratch

SAM_0299.jpg

Kerry Beal's works of art. Liquor filled truffles...

SAM_0308.jpg

....and Almond chocolate clusters

SAM_0310.jpg

Alton's brother held a staring showdown?

SAM_0314.jpg

Kitchen action. Fat Guy and Chris Hennes helping Tammy.

SAM_0340.jpg

Sam-I-am and Joyce

SAM_0345.jpg

Some of the desserts

SAM_0352.jpg

Dance, Elf and Joyce

SAM_0363.jpg

Refreshments

SAM_0364.jpg

Alex adding the element that pulled his dish together

SAM_0370.jpg

FatGuy garnishing Tammy's entree which had to be the most complex dish of the evening

SAM_0377.jpg

The finished plates

SAM_0375.jpg

Kerry's cream of Kale soup topped with Chorizo renderings flavored foam

SAM_0382.jpg

Edsel plating Hake and vegetable medley en Papillote.

SAM_0391.jpg

Connie and Dance brewing teas

SAM_0394.jpg

Wile Sam was grilling, Boagman and I were eying the bones.

SAM_0397.jpg

Sam's wife Joyce expertly seasoning the Lamb

SAM_0399.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all those great pictures, CC. It was a pleasure talking with you and your wife.

IIRC, Kerry's amazing truffles were made with a maple liqueur, probably Sortilège. Kerry, please correct me if I'm wrong about that.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and their readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

"A vasectomy might cost as much as a year’s worth of ice cream, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally enjoyable." -Ezra Dyer, NY Times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all those great pictures, CC. It was a pleasure talking with you and your wife.

IIRC, Kerry's amazing truffles were made with a maple liqueur, probably Sortilège. Kerry, please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

It was this one called Fine Seve (for fine sap). Made by the same company as Sortilege - but just the eau de vie - where the Sortilage is maple and whiskey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some photos from the Market saturday morning:

A2 Farmers Market Sign.jpg

Food at the Market.jpg

Michigan Mushrooms.jpg

This is where the Bibimbop and Seoul Dog below were purchased:

Bop.jpg

Fish and chips from Monahan's Seafood:

Fish and chips.jpg

Plantains:

Plantains.jpg

Tamales:

Tamales.jpg

Tamale interior.jpg

Salmon belly and avocado (I think):

Salmon belly and avocado.jpg

Smoked salmon:

Smoked Salmon.jpg

Bibimbop:

Bop in a box.jpg

Seoul dog (Deep fried bacon-wrapped hot dog covered in kimchi):

Seoul Dog.jpg

A reuben:

Reuben.jpg

Fish sandwich:

Fish sandwich.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And from the Main Event...

You know you're in for a good time when you've got one of these:

Disco ball.jpg

Edsel doing some veggie prep:

Edsel doing veg prep with Dance and Connie.jpg

The shrimp course:

Shrimp course plated.jpg

Edsel rearranging the berries on Tammy's course:

Edsel being edsel.jpg

Opening the fish en pappillote:

Edsel cutting open packet.jpg

malawry plating her rabbit course:

malawry plating rabbit.jpg

The completed rabbit plating:

Final plated rabbit course.jpg

Burn, baby, burn...

Burn baby, burn.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry that I've been rather quiet on this thread, but I wanted to make sure that if people were interested, all three posts have finally published on my blog regarding the main events from this weekend.

First up, there was the seven course prix fixe at Grange Kitchen & Bar.

Second, there was my contribution of breads for the main dinner on Saturday night.

Finally, there was the Bacon Brunch we enjoyed at Zingerman's Roadhouse.

Feel free to click on one or more of the links to read about (and view) what I thought of the weekend.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By gfron1
      I'm getting the topic kicked off although my time so far has been spent in the kitchen so I have experienced much of the weekend. Chris Hennes and Misstenacity showed up almost at the same time last night. I scurried them off to the tamale/tortilla workshop while I kept prepping for the tasting dinner tonight. I heard many pics were taken so I'll let them talk about the workshop. They'll be off for the Chile Fest in just a bit. Many, many more details to com.
    • By lesliec
      Content advisory: this is going to come across as an unalloyed rave, so let me say at the outset that I have no connection with Pen-y-bryn other than having stayed there.
       
      Now we have that out of the way - we visited Oamaru for the annual steampunk festival at the end of May this year.  Oamaru, a small (pop. 13,500) town in the South Island, 250-odd kilometres south of Christchurch, is home to one of the best-preserved Victorian precincts in the country.  The Victorian heritage has been embraced by the community, first with Victorian re-enactments and now with the steampunk.  Oamaru calls itself the steampunk capital of New Zealand and the annual Queen's Birthday weekend festival is quite an event.  I could go on at length about it, but this is not the place.
       
      Pen-y-bryn (Welsh for 'top of the hill' was built as a private residence in 1889 and is said to be the largest single-level residential building in New Zealand or Australia.  Here's the house:
       

       
      I met one of the owners, James Glucksman, through eGullet a couple of years ago, and this seemed a good opportunity to meet my first eG member in person.  James and his partner James Boussy (collectively: the Jameses) are of US origin and have travelled extensively.  The lodge is filled with period furniture, some of it made for the original owner, and decorated with items the Jameses have collected in their travels.  There's a full-sized billiard table (one of three originally made for the New Zealand Parliament; only two would fit so the remaining one came south to Oamaru), a fantastic original Florentine ceiling in the dining room and any number of comfortable places to sit with a book and a drink.  James G is the chef and morning guy (how does that work?); James B is the gardener and evening guy.
       
      Breakfasts are splendid affairs.  As well as (lodge-made) fruit compotes and wonderful jams, muesli and granola, there's always a freshly-made baked selection.  I can thoroughly recommend the croissants, although it's hardly fair to single them out, and I have now been introduced to the famous biscuits and gravy - not something often seen in this country:
       

       
      Rather good, I must say, and I'd certainly have them again.  I think James said we were the first guests he'd tried them out on.  Sausage gravy, for those of you who are wondering, with just the right level of cayenne.  After that, if you have room, you can have your choice of eggs with bacon, tomato and mushrooms.
       
      For the first few days of our stay we were deeply involved in festival affairs and weren't able to have much more than bed and breakfast at the lodge.  Not that that's anything to be sneezed at, and it was very pleasant to return exhausted in the evening and be met at the door by a James, then ushered into the drawing room for a nightcap - a cocktail, or perhaps a glass of James G's excellent nocino.
       
      On the final day, though, we thought we'd be having a free day and arranged to have two of our friends who had travelled with us from Wellington join us for afternoon tea, to be followed by a proper dinner.  As it turned out we got involved in a photo session in the morning followed by helping pack out of the hall much of the festival had been in, and ended up with only minutes to spare to dress accordingly (one must!) before we were due for tea.  But we made it:
       

      (Photo courtesy Pen-y-bryn)
       
      What a splendid group of people, don't you think?  That's Mrs Hudson (the younger) on the left, then Professor Carwardine, myself (Colonel Hawthorne) and Captain Smollett.  A very distinguished gathering indeed - you may note we had abandoned most of our steampunk accoutrements in favour of a more pure Victorian look (save for my cravat pin, but you can't see that).  Our host was no less splendid:
       

       
      OK, he didn't dress like that all the time - he cuts a decent figure in chefs' whites as well - but this is what eGullet members can look like when they put their minds to it.
       
      We'd neglected to warn James until the day before of the gluten-free needs of one of the party, but he came through magnificently.  Coronation Chicken and radish/poppy seed/cream cheese sandwiches, feijoa/orange tea cakes, English Royalty currant scones with clotted cream and more of James's jam, along with rosewater/pistachio meringues.  All except the tea cakes were gluten-free, and everything was delicious.  I haven't experienced much gluten-free food, but if it's all like this (I believe it isn't!) I think I could cope.  This was accompanied by our choice from an extensive tea list.  The Jameses have lived in China and their knowledge of teas is vast - they can even do a full tea ceremony at the lodge if you wish.
       
      A very nice touch at afternoon tea was a discreet printed menu so we knew what we were having.  This was also offered later at dinner, to which we now come.
       
      Having dressed appropriately (again - we're getting quite good at it), Mrs Hudson (the younger) and myself descended to the drawing room.  James G had unfortunately been forced to take to his bed after our afternoon tea (we wore him out?), but his young sous-chef Ashley and James B between them gave us a memorable evening.  We began with cocktails and canapés.  For the former we introduced James to the Tolkien.  He's not big on mixed drinks, but allowed that this one was acceptable.  Ashley presented this offering:
       

       
      Chorizo, mozzarella and cherry tomato with a balsamic reduction, and crostini with stracchino and saltwater pearls.  The chorizo and both cheeses were - again - made at Pen-y-bryn.
       
      After a suitable interval we repaired to the dining room:
       

       
      James offered a short but thoughtful wine list, and we went with this:
       

       
      When one is in Otago, one must drink Otago, don't you think?  It was a good choice; warm and fruity and a good match for what followed.
       
      First, cocoa-nib rubbed North Otago venison carpaccio, served with confit cherry tomatoes, sumac-sesame-pinenut soil and balsamic caviar:
       

       
      This was a beautiful dish in every way.  Although our first meeting on eG was in the chamber sealer topic, I hadn't been aware quite how modernist James's cooking was (he told me later he likes to include modernist elements, but may dial it back depending on his audience.  He didn't have to hold back with us).  Ashley was able to chat happily about maltodextrin and spherification - I flatter myself she enjoyed having people there who knew what she was talking about!  But as the eG modernist community knows, it's not all about appearance; the food has to taste good.  And this certainly did.  If you're wondering, the white thing is a coconut sphere.
       
      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.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.