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GordonCooks

StudioKitchen (2008-)

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I love it primarily for the photos (mostly because I'm never going to get to eat the food).

Never say never, Shola has a guest chef gig coming up next month at Blackfish:

http://www.phoodie.info/2009/02/12/shola-t...one-night-only/

So who else is going to be there? I just managed to get a 6:30 reservation. Quite excited as I've never had the chance to sample Shola's cooking before. I "bribed" a friend into driving me out for it by promising to provide the wine...


sockii

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I love it primarily for the photos (mostly because I'm never going to get to eat the food).

Never say never, Shola has a guest chef gig coming up next month at Blackfish:

http://www.phoodie.info/2009/02/12/shola-t...one-night-only/

anybody have any idea what the menu looks like?

When I made my reservation they said it should be on the website the week before the dinner.


sockii

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The menu for the upcoming Blackfish dinner has been posted on the SK Facebook group:

Chantenay Carrot Soup

Miso-Applesauce

Aromatic Milk

Vadouvan

Hiramasa

Spicy Yuzu Glaze

Peanut-Cauliflower

Sea Beans

Curry Leaf Brown Butter

Veal Breast and Sausage

Celeriac-Apple Puree

Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Hazelnut-Sherry Jus

Goat’s Milk Yoghurt Sorbet

Berries . Elderflower Jelly

Yoghurt Powder

I don't suppose any of our resident wine experts can recommend a bottle of wine (or two) to accompany this? The last Shola dinner I went to was at Snackbar, where all the wines were hand-picked for us, so I'm kinda lost here..

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I would nominate something like a good Alsace Pinot Gris, say a Zind Humbrecht Clos WIndsbuhl 2000. That would be my single wine, if I was only allowed one. .

For red something substantial but not a fruit bomb or high alcohol nightmare, say a Ridge Monte Bello 2001, or a even a Stella Bella Cab/Merlot (Margaret River Australia) 2005

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I am going there with 1 bottle - an aged burg of some sort. Coffee with dessert. Gonna be quirky with the fish but it's just me and the mrs ... so 1 bottle it is.

It's hard to match wines to Shola's food from the descriptions - but it's fun to brainstorm. Traditionally a good rule of thumb for his sequential courses has been (at least for me): dry riesling/crisp acidic white, fuller bodied white , lighter-older pinot/burg/sangiovese, younger of those varietals or more robust reds. I have found the heavier reds rarely to be good matches FWIW and in this case I suspect I am correct.

See you there perhaps!

Evan


Dough can sense fear.

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So are we to assume that Shola is going to limit site access forever? Very sad.

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I am going there with 1 bottle - an aged burg of some sort.  Coffee with dessert.  Gonna be quirky with the fish but it's just me and the mrs ... so 1 bottle it is.

It's hard to match wines to Shola's food from the descriptions - but it's fun to brainstorm.  Traditionally a good rule of thumb for his sequential courses has been (at least for me): dry riesling/crisp acidic white, fuller bodied white , lighter-older pinot/burg/sangiovese, younger of those varietals or more robust reds.  I have found the heavier reds rarely to be good matches FWIW and in this case I suspect I am correct.

See you there perhaps!

Evan

Since its Philly beer week, what beers would you match with the menu?

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I am going there with 1 bottle - an aged burg of some sort.  Coffee with dessert.  Gonna be quirky with the fish but it's just me and the mrs ... so 1 bottle it is.

It's hard to match wines to Shola's food from the descriptions - but it's fun to brainstorm.  Traditionally a good rule of thumb for his sequential courses has been (at least for me): dry riesling/crisp acidic white, fuller bodied white , lighter-older pinot/burg/sangiovese, younger of those varietals or more robust reds.  I have found the heavier reds rarely to be good matches FWIW and in this case I suspect I am correct.

See you there perhaps!

Evan

Since its Philly beer week, what beers would you match with the menu?

No clue - I don't drink it! :wacko:


Dough can sense fear.

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So... any reports? I was majorly bummed that a few different logistical problems prevented me from getting to this event. The menu looked pretty great, and its been WAY too long since I had a Shola dinner!


"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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So... any reports?  I was majorly bummed that a few different logistical problems prevented me from getting to this event.  The menu looked pretty great, and its been WAY too long since I had a Shola dinner!

I've been to three of these dinners now (Restaurant M and snackbar before this) and this one, while I enjoyed it quite a bit, was my least favorite of the three. Of course, the previous two meals were among the best meals I've ever had, so my expectations were very high, and this one was a bit less expensive than the other two.

Dessert was my favorite part of the meal, although from other diners' descriptions on Chowhound, I think mine must have been plated wrong: the yogurt powder on mine (which was delicious) had been sprinkled on the plate first, ending up underneath the other elements. It also was really stuck to the plate, so it was hard to get it re-integrated. I can imagine that it would have been much better sprinkled over the fruit and sorbet (which is how other people described theirs), rather than the plate. The sorbet itself was fantastic though.

My favorite savory course was the fish, the peanut-cauliflower puree was a great combo, and my fish was perfectly cooked, though my wife's was a little more medium than medium-rare. The brown butter was perfect.

The veal dish had elements that I really liked, but overall I felt that there were one or two too many things going on on the plate, it was nearly impossible to get a bite incorporating every element, and even when I did I felt like the veal was the weak link. The sweetbreads were really well done, as was the ravioli and the celeriac puree. I noticed the menu I posted earlier was not exactly what we got, the veal dish for example had sweetbreads on it, and I don't think there was any elderflower jelly in the dessert. I'd be interested to learn what else was involved in the sweetbread prep, they were a really nice surprise in that dish.

He told us that he was planning to do another dinner at Blackfish next month, and that it would be announced on the Studiokitchen facebook group, so if you're on facebook just search for 'studiokitchen'.

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So, this was my first meal with Shola. I went with a friend who is a fellow fan of great cooking, and we had a lovely time.

1st course, the carrot soup: fresh, clean, with hints of miso and ginger. I really liked this, a nice cleansing start to the meal

2nd course: this was the one I was probably the least overwhelmed with. Not to say the first wasn't excellently cooked, I just found it very...understated to the point of *almost* being bland (though I could eat that peanut/cauliflower blend any day, every day). I didn't taste any of the "spicy yuzu glaze". My companion, however, favored this over the course to follow.

3rd course: I really enjoyed this, but I love earthy, rich meats. The sweetbreads were the best part of it, for certain. My companion found this dish a bit too rich for her tastes, however, preferring meat a little on the leaner side and more simply prepared

4th course: Surprisingly enough, the clear knock-out dish of the night. I wasn't sure a yogurt dessert would be all that exciting, but this blew us both away - especially the yogurt dust, which I have no shame in admitting we were both doing anything possible to get up as much as possible from the plate (including fingers...it took ALL my restraint not to pick up and lick the plate!)

Everything worked very well with the dry riesling we brought.

Service at Blackfish was very good (only blip was our coffee took so long to come out that we were long done with our desserts before they arrived) and I liked that it was such a nice, bright space. I'd certainly go back again. It wasn't quite the transcendent meal I was expecting given the amount of hype over Shola's cooking here and elsewhere, but I'd definitely try another dinner in the future.

Oh, and it was nice to end up sitting right next to Evan, who I haven't seen in ages! :biggrin:


Edited by sockii (log)

sockii

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Oh, and it was nice to end up sitting right next to Evan, who I haven't seen in ages!  :biggrin:

Yes, but I would have yelled "PLATE LICKER!" a la Donald Sutherland in Invasion of Body Snatchers had you attempted to put lingua al piatto.

I also thought the dessert was terrific. That freeze dried sweetened yogurt was particularly cool. In lieu of the plate lick - we opted for lick index finger - dip - eat - repeat as necessary maneuver. :unsure:

Evan


Dough can sense fear.

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This was my first time eating Shola's food, too, and my reactions were very similar to sockii's -- it was an excellent meal, but not "transcendent." Loved the soup, the peanut-cauliflower puree, and the entire veal course. I'm not big on dessert, but the yogurt powder was a neat touch.

My brother and I brought a bottle of our homebrewed British session ale, which was a decent accompaniment to the soup (it was Beer Week after all), and followed up with a bottle of Alsace pinot blanc for the remaining courses, which was great.


BROG, a beer blog

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Only thing missing now is Studio Kitchen, the place to eat amazingly well. Now I'm going to start complaining about the blog being back - a constant reminder of Studio Kitchen, itself.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Ideas in Food-Studio Kitchen

H. Alexander Talbot and Shola Olunloyo

Shades of Green, Tastes of Spring

May 1-2, 2009

gallery_23992_6613_96875.jpg

Liquid Lovage

blue crab, pistachio

gallery_23992_6613_244645.jpg

Cream of Watercress Ice Cream

sake cured steelhead trout roe, croissant croustillant

gallery_23992_6613_182755.jpg

Wild King Salmon

pecorino, fava beans

gallery_23992_6613_58996.jpg

Mozzarella Pudding

frozen rhubarb, olive oil

gallery_23992_6613_336032.jpg

Russet Potato Gnocchi

ramp leaves, country ham, shaved l’etivaz

gallery_23992_6613_110653.jpg

Wild King Salmon

grilled zucchini puree, lemongrass sabayon, rye bread

gallery_23992_6613_31621.jpg

Chicken Marsala

egg yolk, morels, nasturtium

gallery_23992_6613_10963.jpg

Skirt Steak

honeydew melon, rosemary blossoms, fermented vadouvan

gallery_23992_6613_123282.jpg

Langres

strawberry-lychee mostarda, red ribbon sorrel

gallery_23992_6613_67910.jpg

Aero Chocolate

blood orange infusion, crispy cashews

gallery_23992_6613_90258.jpg

The good news? Although this doesn't exactly mark the return of StudioKitchen as we once knew it, it is indeed the start of an open-ended collaboration between Alex of Ideas in Food and Shola of StudioKitchen, which should manifest itself as additional dinners in the near future.

The bad news? Seats at those tables will be very hard to come by!

The good news? It's not impossible to score a place, keep an eye on their blogs:

ideasinfood.typepad.com/

studiokitchen.typepad.com/studiokitchen/

You could get lucky...

The best news: this was an amazing dinner: interesting, surprising, and delicious in equal measures. There were fascinating contrasts, like the watercress ice cream with steelhead roe, or the honeydew melon with beef, that seemed to defy logic, yet were such good matches it now seems surprising that they're not classic pairings.

There was some science-lab gee-whiz flash, like the vacuum manipulations of the aero chocolate and the frozen rhubarb, or the shape-shifting of chicken and cashews. But at the heart of it were delicious flavors, sometimes in comforting forms, like simple gnocchi elevated to a higher place by artful collage, or a basic steak (OK, it's bonded to itself with Activa and spent some time in a water bath, but still...)

It was a real pleasure to experience the creative work of both chefs, and I certainly hope to be lucky enough to enjoy some more. You can be sure that 'll be watching those blogs more carefully now!


Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Fantastic photos, as always, philadining!

Those morels look amazing...

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Philadining, if YOU don't shoot a book for Shola, I don't know who could! These pictures are STUNNING. Oh, yeah, and the food looks good too... :wink:


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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