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molto e

Keyah Grande (Pagosa Springs)

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Chefs Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot of the "Ideas In Food" blog perform their culinary magic at the boutique hotel, Keyah Grande. I do not remember how I stumbled on the "Ideas In Food" blog. Now I check in on a daily basis with this husband and wife chef team that hold an open forum on the internet (and eGullet members). This blog is on the radar of "Foodies" and "Professionals" that I have spoken with. Well, I am off to see for myself what these two maestros create on a daily basis.

HAS ANYONE EVER BEEN TO KEYAH GRANDE?

Ideas In Food

Keyah Grande

Thanks,

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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The blog is great and a must for anyone interested in hypermodern cuisine. Their photography is outstanding and they freely share their (outstanding) creativity.

Keyah Grande is on my shortl list for places to dine at. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of doing to get there, especially from the East Coast or I would have been there already. I may not have to worry about that too much longer though as Aki and Alex are planning on moving back east in the not too distant future. I would love to catch them while they are in Pagosa Springs, but will likely have to wait. For those to whom it would be easier to catch them there, don't put it off!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Doc,

The thing I find interesting about their cooking at Keyah Grande is that they customize the menu according to the guests wishes. They have an affinity for the avant-garde style but as they blogged last week sometimes the guests want burgers while watching football or roast chicken brined in soy and maple syrup.

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Thanks for pointing out these chefs and their blog, moltoe! The blog is fascinating and as docsconz mentioned of high quality and very gernerous in all the wonderful information, ideas and thought processes that they share there. I will be reading their blog on a regular basis from now on.

Kayeh Grande looks like a beautiful destination as well, set up in the Rocky Mountains in Pagosa Springs, not far from Durango. What an experience to stay in the beautiful, intimate lodgings and to eat their food! I'm intrigued and would like to check it out when I am in Albuquerque or Santa Fe.

Did you have your dinner there yet?


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Did you have your dinner there yet?

My post will be up in a couple days


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Elliot, you were too easy to pick out in the blog. I look forward to your report on what sounds like an incredible meal. Some day i will get there or if not in time at Keyah Grande, wherever these two talented and generous people wind up.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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If anybody wants to set me up at Keyah Grande, I'll be happy to report! :wink: It's only about a 6.5 hour drive from Denver.

Looks like a beautiful place.

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Food Porn...believe it or not, is a popular term among the food obsessed. For the more sophisticate pallattes, and for purposes of this posting we’ll call it culinary erotica. I like my culinary erotica as much as the next guy...well, maybe more...ok, much!! When I first stumbled upon the blog of the husband and wife Chef team of Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot -"Ideas In Food", I was captivated by the stunning photography and the REVEALING commentary :hmmm: . Despite my renowned will power, I found myself consistently being drawn back to see what new and devilish creations they would feature on the blog each day, X-Rated. The effect it was having on me was undeniable...the dark side of my hungry curiosity was aroused :unsure: .

I apparently am not alone in my lust for Ideas In Food as I continue to receive e-mails inquiring if I had heard of this blog and who were these chefs? Everyone had the same QUESTION, although the presentation is clearly an aesthetic tease, how did these captivating creations really taste? That my friends is the question I became determined to resolve and the genesis of my journey to explore, understand, and of course, sample the work of Chefs Aki and Alex at Keyah Grande, a restaurant and lodge located in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

I had visions of the trip to Keyah Grande being as treacherous as the road to El Bulli in Roses thru mountain passes and the like, but that could not have been farther from the truth. I took a flight into Durango; rented a car and Keyah Grande was an hour straight down highway 160. The only things that might make the journey somewhat perilous is a lack of cell phone coverage and a couple of ill-tempered, large deer that I passed on the highway.

I made it to the big stone gates of Keyah Grande and my car was quickly buzzed in. I drove the little bumpy and tortuous road up to the top of the hill where the guest house sits.

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rolling hills in all directions

Besides their duties in the kitchen, Chefs Alex and Aki also operate the lodge. I was met at my car by Alex and was shown around the lodge. Immediately, I felt the conviviality that defines this husband and wife team. The guest lodge was far more opulent than I ever expected. There are eight guest rooms that take the name and design of a particular country or region (e.g., England, Spain, China, South Pacific etc.). I ditched my stuff in my room and headed down to the kitchen to observe Ideas In Food Live.

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Aki in the kitchen

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The Line

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Thermal Circulating Bath

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opposite wall of the kitchen

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Aki in the spice drawer

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Magic Potions

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Hey Chef are you using any of that "experimental purposes" stuff for dinner?

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Texturas by Albert and Ferran Adria

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Various homemade vinegars

Given the apparent proprietary nature of the creations emanating from the Keyah Grande kitchen, I knew that I would not have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before entering Alex and Aki’s nerve center. The kitchen is an open environment that encourages the exchange of ideas. Alex explained the philosophy behind "Ideas in Food"," There are no trade secrets, that is what "Ideas in Food" is all about. Ideas are free; we put our notebooks up on the website for people to download them. This is the constant evolution of what we do. Our ideas are culled from conversation, thought processes, exposure to stuff, so we put it up there. There should be a derivation of it and people that read it should be able to generate their own ideas and riffs and extrapolations and it should be a constant moving thing to generate ideas.”

Aki adds,"Another reason why we are happy to share is that other people have been very generous with us. Chefs fall into two camps, those who share and those who don't. I'll never forget the day I asked a Chef I was working for how to make a dish that wasn't from my station only to be told "you don't need to know that". It was a startling moment. Why didn't I need to know that? Wasn't I there to learn? Didn't I have the right to know how to make things in this kitchen where I was working extremely long days for very little money?"

Alex and Aki were prepping for the evening and he brought out a sheet of "cuttlefish".

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Those Colorado cuttlefish grow big

The cuttlefish had been pureed with Activa so that Alex could cut sheets any size he desired. The sheet of cuttlefish was wrapped in saran wrap and put on a sheet tray and refrigerated so that the sheet could set up.

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portioning the sheets for service

There is a perpetual exchange of ideas, concepts and flavors that goes back and forth between Alex and Aki. I would liken Alex to a "Willy Wonka"-like mentality. To say that he thinks "outside the box" is an understatement. Alex and the box are on different planets. The bulletin board in the kitchen has post-it notes all over it. This is how Alex and Aki record their ideas. Those notes are then transcribed onto the notebooks that are available for download on the website. Aki is Alex’s perfect foil as she will rein Alex in if he runs too far with an idea. Alex describes their creative fusion as, "Two individuals with two different sets of taste and when you bring it together and filter it you get one uniform taste that has gone thru two sets of editing. I can get out there and get too wacky, and Aki can go really simple and when you blend the two together you can get something really neat." They really stress the taste and flavor of a dish rather than the whimsy of a technique that makes the dish happen. They want the diner to have fun, and if the diner is not smiling and having fun while dining with them, then they have failed.

They are proponents of sous-vide cooking and feel that it can be a better means in which to cook. With only the two of them doing all the cooking, sous-vide also is functional and frees them up to do other things.

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Poin loin in the bath for 2 hours

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salmon belly attached to the top loin with activa

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roulade of petrales sole put together with activa

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parsnip ribbons

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Steve's Blis smoked wild char roe

Dinner was drawing near and Alex and Aki were both busy with their tasks as my hunger grew through my continued observation. Admittedly my hunger seems to come frequently, but the piece of brown butter blueberry cake that Aki gave me when I arrived was long forgotten. They like to mix familiar foods with the unfamiliar so the diner is more comfortable during the experience. With this night's 19 course menu, Aki was making biscuits as the bread offering and I was ready to start counting.

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Aki can you hook me up with one of those right out of the oven

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Alex cooking the foie gras "bacon"

A myriad of people interact with Alex and Aki thru their blog and via e-mail. In fact, some of their frequent contributors include Chef Sean Brock, Chef Wylie Dufrense, Chef Shola Olunloyo, and eGullet member extraordinaire NathanM. Over the next few Sundays, the blog will feature a guest writer who will post his or her thoughts on a particular topic to elicit an interactive discussion. First Guest Blogger - Chef Shola Olunloyo. Chef Sean Brock turned Alex onto the Texturas line by Albert and Ferran Adria. Alex and Aki were toying with the idea of doing a foie gras riff on the El Bulli olive oil spiral. While making a foie gras caramel, they discovered while working with it, the texture was similar in feel to a coarse cotton candy. "With that spark, we ground the foie gras caramel, and put it thru a tamis then put it in a cotton candy maker. Voila, foie gras flavored cotton candy!! The base recipe can then be adapted to any flavored fat from brown butter to bacon to onion to pistachio and then next one in the works is roasted chicken."

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Alex with his stash of pistachio sugar that he spun into pistachio cotton candy

The wait staff came in and Alex and Aki went over the menu with instructions on service ware for each course.

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Ok, the vinegar martini gets the spruce tips...coffee and biscotti bubble tea gets a straw (note the post-its on the board in the background)

The Anti-Griddle was used to make the vinegar martini amuse.

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quick freeze on the anti-griddle before being placed on the spruce tips

The dinner would be served at 7:00. The dining room at the lodge is small but luxurious with 4 tables. Three tables were occupied this evening, one by a gentleman with little knowledge, if any, of the skill of the kitchen (as he only requested a four course meal), two foodies that came to check out the cuisine, and myself.

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The Menu

First Course - Amuse

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Vinegar Martini - spruce, black walnut, noble sour vinegar

This was a great palette cleanser. I was instructed to grab the spruce tip and let the frozen disk fall in my mouth. The mixture really woke up and cleansed my taste buds. The idea for this dish evolved from a martini that they offered. The first incarnation of the martini was Bombay sapphire, spruce vinegar and walnut oil. Then they added black walnut liquor from Charbay. The amuse took shape by adding gelatin in an ISI canister and freezing it on a spruce tip with spruce infused gin.

Second Course

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Grilled Potato Ice Cream - smoked wild char roe, golden pursalane, chives

The grilled potato ice cream is a creation that I had read about on the blog. I wanted to taste the ice cream by itself and then with the other components. My first bite of ice cream had an intrinsic flavor of grilled potato. The smoky, salty roe exploding into the grilled potato ice cream was a hit. It is my humble opinion that to craft a dish using a savory ice cream that works is an impressive accomplishment.

Grilled Potato Ice Cream Recipe

Third Course

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Tuna - comte, red ribbon sorrel, onion syrup

At first blush, the dish description, a combination of tuna and comte, may throw you off. Alex looks at cheese,"as another version of salt so the cheese and the tuna made sense to me". What I liked about this dish was that while eating the tuna, the attributes of the comte and the onion syrup were great both together and apart (depending on the bite).

Fourth Course

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Madagascar Prawn - clear buttermilk, celery leaves, brittle-curried cashews

(second photo- is the clear buttermilk being poured on the dish)

This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The sweet crunch of the brittle with the buttermilk moistened prawn was magic, an unexpected symphony on the palate. I loved it!! I truly did not expect this dish to do so much for me. The prawn was cooked sous-vide at 48 C for 40 minutes then chilled and sliced.

Curried Cashew Brittle Recipe

Key West pink shrimp in clear buttermilk with warm peach, red mustard and crustacean oil

Fifth Course

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Beer Battered Cuttlefish - thai basil, liquid chorizo, yuzu disk

This was another of my favorite dishes of the night. The cuttlefish was beautifully battered and deftly fried. The cuttlefish rested on top of liquid chorizo, which is chorizo that is pureed with yogurt and cream cheese (a great filling for an omelete). Alex got his inspiration for this dish from fried calamari,"I love fried calamari...there is something comforting about ordering fried calamari and dipping it in a spicy mayo or marinara so we just tried to follow the idea of delicious and we made a beautiful sheet of cuttlefish, beer battered and fried it."

Sixth Course

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Mozzarella Yuba - ginger scallion, passionfruit, ground olive gomasio

The mozzarella sheets were one of the creations that intrigued me as depicted on the site. This dish in particular looked delicious:Warm tomatoes in mozzarella sheets with cherry wood aged balsamic vinegar, ground chorizo and salad burnet. They spun the use of the hot mozzarella sheets in a Mozzarella Yuba served ishiyaki style (seared on the hot rock). Yuba (tofu skin) is made by boiling soy milk and a film or skin forms on the surface of the liquid and that film is called Yuba. They tried to emulate yuba with the mozzarella sheets, and in fact the mozzarella sheet did taste like mozzarella. I sprinkled the ground olive gomasio on the sheet and plunked it in the sauce. I thought the dipping sauce slightly overwhelmed the dish so I was very easy with it.

The mozzarella sheets came about through a back and forth with Chef Wylie Dufrense of WD-50 as he introduced Methocel to Alex and Aki. Alex said that they and their fellow contributors take the time and energy to make the mistakes necessary to get a process right. “We get e-mails and people ask how do you do it and what are the exact ratios...you want to share ideas, you really do but we go thru the trouble of making mistakes. There is a learning curve, but at the end of the day if there is a give and take of ideas then that is great."

Hot Mozzarella Sheets Recipe

Seventh Course

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Sunflower Seed Risotto - jumbo lump crabmeat, matsutake mushrooms, fiore sardo

Alex said that the idea of this dish started with a conversation with Chef Wylie Dufrense. Wylie had just visited El Bulli and had got the idea of tenderizing nuts. Alex said,"Wylie was looking at nuts in another form and that sparked several of my thoughts. The first was to have tender almonds as an integral ingredient. We cooked the almonds and served them in a dish with turbot and clams. Again tasty, interesting and exciting but not exceptionally memorable. After having some success with cooking almonds I began to think of what other nuts could be cooked till tender. My mind immediately went to sunflower seeds because of their size and shape. I was looking to do a dish in the style of risotto without using the rice. Tenderized sunflower seeds would be the perfect stand in. So, I went about cooking the sunflower seeds until they were tender. I then folded in some butter, creme fraiche, minced artichokes and porcini mushrooms and some diced shrimp. The mixture was finished with chives, lemon juice and some young basil and Comte cheese. The tender nutty nature of the seeds in conjunction with the other ingredients creates a rich and decadent dish and ruse at the same time."

This dish that I had combined crabmeat, matsutake mushrooms and fiore sardo, and was a total success. The seeds made a perfect mock risotto and with the other components of the dish adding the creamy nature of a risotto.

Eighth Course

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Warmed King Salmon - pistachio cotton candy, watercress, jalapeno-apple dressing

I loved this dish...the jalapeno-apple dressing was fantastic in combination with the PISTACHIO COTTON CANDY and perfectly tender salmon. Alex likes attaching the,"salmon belly to the top loin those textures together fatter then leaner and portion them together to get a square dish...also the nutty sweet, salty of the cotton candy." The salmon was cooked in a 180 F oven until just set and then seasoned with salt and olive oil.

Foie Gras Cotton Candy

Nineth Course

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Petrale Sole - foie gras bacon, woodear mushrooms, membrillo-tomolive

The sole was glued together with Activa and sautéed in butter. The membillo tomolive is quince pureed with tomolive (pickled green tomato). The sole was spot on prepared but the star of the plate was the "foie bacon". The "foie bacon" was fantastic, truly tasted of bacon with the unctuous body of foie gras. The foie had been cured with salt and spices, smoked then brushed with maple syrup and coarse ground pepper. Then the lobe of foie was wrapped and pressed. Prior to service it was sliced, dusted with corn starch, deep fried, then finished in the oven.

OUTSTANDING

Tenth Course

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Turbot - tamarind cavatelli, olive leaf arugula, black radish

The turbot was exquisitely cooked sous-vide at 52.5 C on the bone for 30 minutes, then taken off and served. This dish had a nice progression of flavors and textures; black radish with the maple vinegar (crunch, acidity, sweet), tamarid cavatelli (tang, chew-maybe a tad too much)

This was the last fish dish and I must note the all fish was expertly prepared.

Tamarind Cavatelli

Eleventh Course

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Potato Gnocchi - foie gras consommé, red mustard, argan oil

The potato gnocchi were so light and airy and unlike any gnocchi that I have eaten. They could have easily be named potato clouds. I would liken them to marshmallows that float on top of a hot chocolate. Alex described the process of making the gnocchi as, "methocel with mashed potato... how do you hold them together taste good and make them light... invariably you lose one in the process but in this case we have great potato puree with butter and cream in our gnocchi." The foie consommé was dead on and a delight.

Yogurt Noodles...first step in the evolution of the gnocchi

Prior to the serving of this course, I started to feel the effects of the 4 great-buttery outside crunch biscuits (not pictured as I cannot find that picture but I highly doubt anyone would question whether I actually ate 4 biscuits). that I decided I needed to consume with dinner. I glanced over to see how the other "foodie" table was doing. As it turned out, seated at the other table was Chuck and the lovely "svalewater" (did not catch her real name) from another food board. I really did not think that the young lady would be able to out eat me so I started watching her pass me out of the corner of my eye (the shame). :wacko:

Twelveth Course

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Slow Cooked Pork Tenderloin - butternut squash, marinated leeks, olive caramel

The pork had been cooked for 2 hours at 57 C and was soft and tender. The butternut squash puree had some smoked maple syrup in it and was thickened with agar so they can manipulate the shape of the puree.

Thirteenth Course

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Braised Lamb Neck - whipped baked potato, young marjoram, roasting jus

I enjoyed the lamb. It was well braised and tender with a nice jus accompaniment. I thought the lamb neck was covered in potato foam, but to my surprise it was whipped baked potato consommé. The process to make the consommé into the whipped version is by adding Versa-Whip 600 and xanthan gum to the consommé and then whipping it with a whisk attachment to a hand mixer.

The use of the consommé instead of a mashed potato is an effort to lighten the dish. Alex says they are always tinkering with,"How light can you make it, how ethereal can you make it, but keep that flavor? We are constantly thinking of ways to keep the flavor but lighten the food."

The cooking process of this dish is: brine the lamb necks; debone them; glue them back together with Activa; cook them; sear them; glaze in chicken fond; and cover with the whipped baked potato consommé.

Lamb Neck

Fourteenth Course

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Hangar Steak of Grass Fed Beef - hollandaise sheet, preserved perigord truffles, broccoli florets

I had seen the hollandaise sheet in preparations like the raw cooked purple asparagus with a hollandaise sheet and juniper aged balsamic vinegar. Did this sheet really taste like hollandaise?? My first bite was of the sheet and indeed, it did taste like hollandaise.

The hangar had been attached with Activa to form a roulade and was braised in truffle butter at 52.5 C for 3 hours. This was a great dish!!

Does the hollandaise sheet offer the same satisfaction of the traditional smooth, creamy and thick sauce...no, but it is a new riff on an old sauce. The sheet does offer novel plating options that the sauce can not.

Fifteenth Course

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Fourme d' Ambert - smoked dr pepper, chorizo poached pear, epazote

Putting this dish together:

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Then into the refrigerator to set up

This was a great cheese course with a novel use of cheese and fruit together. The pear had been poached in chorizo water rather than calvados or any other standard poaching liquid. This gave the pear a chorizo nuance and did not over power the fruit at all. For my taste, the dots of smoked dr pepper were too smokey.

Sixteenth Course

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Hot Cheesecake Ice Cream - port melon condiment, grains of paradise

This version of hot ice cream was far superior to a version I had sampled at a "molecular" hot spot a couple of years ago. I thought the texture was smooth and creamy and I enjoyed the port melon that it was resting on. This dish is for "s---- and giggles" and is not meant to replace the cold and creamy ice cream that we all love.

Hot Ice Cream Recipe

Seventeenth Course

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Artichoke Cake - blis elixir, rose water panna cotta

I loved the rose water panna cotta with the blis elixir --- so light and tasty. The blis elixir is sherry vinegar that is made in 18 yr old whiskey barrels that have had maple syrup in them so the barrels have that whiskey maple flavor to add to the vinegar. The artichoke cake was a tasty brown butter cake with artichoke.

Eighteenth Course

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Vahlrona Chocolate Brownie - parsnip ribbon and ice cream, tart cherry-kola nut

Dense chocolate brownie beneath a creamy ice cream that is better than good. The ribbons are dehydrated parsnips that are made into ribbons.

Parsnip Ice Cream Recipe

Nineteenth Course

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Coffee and Biscotti as bubble tea

Just a spin to end the meal

On my pillow, when I got to my room were a couple of chocolate chip cookies and somehow they did not make it until the morning.

In the morning, after awaking from a substantial food coma, somehow I made it downstairs a little before breakfast was to be served right as some chocolate chip, banana walnut scones were coming out of the oven. Solely for the purpose of confirming quality controls I snagged one, it was great. The melting chocolate and hot banana with the crunch of the walnut awakened my hunger. The morning service staff had a separate dining room adjacent to the main dining room set up for breakfast. What do you serve for breakfast after a dinner like that???

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melon

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chocolate chip Banana Walnut scone

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House Specialty "Eggs Alex" - griddled english muffins, bacon, guacamole, american cheese, poached eggs

Alex commented that," People see that we have odd combinations or it does not read well to them on paper but when you taste it, there is a balance and there is a balance between Aki and myself. There is a balance on the plate that is what is really key to what we produce." Their culinary style was born out of the kitchens of a couple of dynamic chefs. Early in his career Alex worked for Chef David Burke at the Park Avenue Cafe. He felt that experience "began opening doors" for him by brainstorming with the other "young cooks". He thought Chef Burke was "an absolute genius, even his flops, you can just learn a ton from them." Alex then moved to Boston and got a job at Chef Ken Oringer's Clio Restaurant. This is where he met Aki after she had attended the New England Culinary Institute. Alex felt that,” Clio was the spark... how much can you learn and how exacting can you be." Alex was promoted to Sous-Chef at Clio. Shortly thereafter, they left Boston and moved to New York and opened their own catering company. During this time they were, “still learning, still rehearsing, still practicing, integrating flavors and ideas... it’s a constant evolution... always a rehearsal." During the summer, they worked for Marco Canora and his mother at their restaurant in Martha's Vineyard, La Cucina. Marco had been the chef at La Cucina and was scheduled to open Craft. Alex was hired as the chef and Aki as the pastry chef. Craft ended up opening later than expected so the first summer they worked with Marco at La Cucina. The Following summer, they worked at La Cucina while Marco was working at Craft. Alex then helped open Olives NY with Executive Chef Victor La Palaca and Aki worked at the Sherry-Lehmann wine store in Manhattan. Late that winter they were hired to run the restaurant at the Bradley Inn in New Harbor, Maine. While working there, the opportunity to come to Keyah Grande presented itself and they took the job sight unseen.

The time they have spent in the wilderness of Colorado has let them define and refine their style. They feel that, “We are free from the "noise", extraneous noise from doing what everyone else is doing...to look at food as food and taste as taste." They feel their style is, “based on tradition while evolutionary, and most importantly based on taste." Alex and Aki's cuisine features great ingredients whether it is fish, vegetables or vinegar and using those ingredients to the best of their abilities. They tailor the food at Keyah Grande to the “likes and dislikes of the guests depending on how far they are willing to take things." This is a totally different proposition than running a restaurant where you serve only what you want to serve. Alex and Aki plan to spend another year at Keyah Grande and then desire to head to either coast to open, “a restaurant with an inn …rooms should be an amenity to the dining experience…there is something great about a house on the hill that gets you away from the hustle and bustle of life traditional." Keyah Grande closes for the winter starting in January and reopens in May. They say if you are planning to head out to Keyah Grande, “email ahead and let us know so we can pull out the stops and make a special dinner happen." Alex and Aki are extremely talented and the meal was one of the most exceptional experiences I have had this year.


Edited by molto e (log)

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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The blog is great and a must for anyone interested in hypermodern cuisine. Their photography is outstanding and they freely share their (outstanding) creativity.

Keyah Grande is on my shortl list for places to dine at. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of doing to get there, especially from the East Coast or I would have been there already. I may not have to worry about that too much longer though as Aki and Alex are planning on moving back east in the not too distant future. I would love to catch them while they are in Pagosa Springs, but will likely have to wait. For those to whom it would be easier to catch them there, don't put it off!

Everyone must stop saying Hypermodern cuisine... i cant take it anymore... if that word spreads ill be very upset with the world. I dont mean to be mean but it sounds so hokey. Please someone suggest and alternative. As for alex and aki.... they rock.

Visit the TestKitchen


Edited by Rocklobster (log)

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Thank you so much for this insightful write up. I've just started following Aki and Alex's blog and really enjoy their ideas...

The photos are excellent too!

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The blog is great and a must for anyone interested in hypermodern cuisine. Their photography is outstanding and they freely share their (outstanding) creativity.

Keyah Grande is on my shortl list for places to dine at. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of doing to get there, especially from the East Coast or I would have been there already. I may not have to worry about that too much longer though as Aki and Alex are planning on moving back east in the not too distant future. I would love to catch them while they are in Pagosa Springs, but will likely have to wait. For those to whom it would be easier to catch them there, don't put it off!

Everyone must stop saying Hypermodern cuisine... i cant take it anymore... if that word spreads ill be very upset with the world. I dont mean to be mean but it sounds so hokey. Please someone suggest and alternative. As for alex and aki.... they rock.

Visit the TestKitchen

There have been many alternatives suggested. One that has been outright rejected by most of the people who are doing this style of cooking including Ferran Adria, Jose Andres, Joan Roca, Andoni Aduriz and others is "Molecular Gastronomy". I haven't heard a better one than hypermodern yet. If you have one let us all knoe. Until the time that something better comes along, I, for one will still use that term. Sorry. :smile:

BTW, awesome report, Eliot. The photos and commentary are superb. I thought my appetite for experiencing their food was already at a fever pitch. It is even moreso now!


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The blog is great and a must for anyone interested in hypermodern cuisine. Their photography is outstanding and they freely share their (outstanding) creativity.

Keyah Grande is on my shortl list for places to dine at. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of doing to get there, especially from the East Coast or I would have been there already. I may not have to worry about that too much longer though as Aki and Alex are planning on moving back east in the not too distant future. I would love to catch them while they are in Pagosa Springs, but will likely have to wait. For those to whom it would be easier to catch them there, don't put it off!

Everyone must stop saying Hypermodern cuisine... i cant take it anymore... if that word spreads ill be very upset with the world. I dont mean to be mean but it sounds so hokey. Please someone suggest and alternative. As for alex and aki.... they rock.

Visit the TestKitchen

There have been many alternatives suggested. One that has been outright rejected by most of the people who are doing this style of cooking including Ferran Adria, Jose Andres, Joan Roca, Andoni Aduriz and others is "Molecular Gastronomy". I haven't heard a better one than hypermodern yet. If you have one let us all knoe. Until the time that something better comes along, I, for one will still use that term. Sorry. :smile:

BTW, awesome report, Eliot. The photos and commentary are superb. I thought my appetite for experiencing their food was already at a fever pitch. It is even moreso now!

Im sorry I didnt mean to be offensive to anyone, I just think it sounds so goony to say Hypermodern. And I suppose your right if i dont have a better name I should just accept whats out there. But I greatly prefer saying molecular gastronomy to Hypermodern. And given the choice im sure all of those people would choose the MG over the other choice.

Oh but We are getting away from the focus of this thread. Excellent photos and commentary Molto!

Visit the TestKitchen

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The blog is great and a must for anyone interested in hypermodern cuisine. Their photography is outstanding and they freely share their (outstanding) creativity.

Keyah Grande is on my shortl list for places to dine at. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of doing to get there, especially from the East Coast or I would have been there already. I may not have to worry about that too much longer though as Aki and Alex are planning on moving back east in the not too distant future. I would love to catch them while they are in Pagosa Springs, but will likely have to wait. For those to whom it would be easier to catch them there, don't put it off!

Everyone must stop saying Hypermodern cuisine... i cant take it anymore... if that word spreads ill be very upset with the world. I dont mean to be mean but it sounds so hokey. Please someone suggest and alternative. As for alex and aki.... they rock.

Visit the TestKitchen

There have been many alternatives suggested. One that has been outright rejected by most of the people who are doing this style of cooking including Ferran Adria, Jose Andres, Joan Roca, Andoni Aduriz and others is "Molecular Gastronomy". I haven't heard a better one than hypermodern yet. If you have one let us all knoe. Until the time that something better comes along, I, for one will still use that term. Sorry. :smile:

BTW, awesome report, Eliot. The photos and commentary are superb. I thought my appetite for experiencing their food was already at a fever pitch. It is even moreso now!

Im sorry I didnt mean to be offensive to anyone, I just think it sounds so goony to say Hypermodern. And I suppose your right if i dont have a better name I should just accept whats out there. But I greatly prefer saying molecular gastronomy to Hypermodern. And given the choice im sure all of those people would choose the MG over the other choice.

Oh but We are getting away from the focus of this thread. Excellent photos and commentary Molto!

Visit the TestKitchen

You are right about keeping the focus on Keyah grande here. In fact most of the chefs I am acquainted with including Alex and Aki (albeit only through their blog and eGullet Society participation), prefer to not be labeled at all. That being said, Ferran Adria and Jose Andres specifically rejected the "Molecular Gastronomy" label this past weekend at the World of Flavors Conference on Spain and the World Table at CIA/Greystone. I think that classification and labeling is useful for discussion purposes, though I can understand the desire to resist labeling.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'm glad this thread has been started. :smile:

Experienced the Keyah Grande in mid-September of this year during an impromptu visit to the U.S. (promised myself I'd get to Pagosa somehow if I made it out west at some point). It was an extraordinary evening. Looking at your gorgeous photos is making me feel awfully nostalgic, molto e. The grounds of the 4000 acre ranch are just incredible.

Chefs Aki and Alex are wonderful hosts, as well.

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Total insanity.

Though those beautiful white plates aren't as sweet as the others.

molto e, on a serious note, how does pricing at the Keyah Grande work? One would think that guests would request a room at X dollars and a meal of how ever many courses at Y dollars, but the Keyah Grande website lists just one flat fee for what seems like a set four-course meal.

You had mentioned the "standard" four-course meal of a another diner, and most of their menus seem to be from four to six courses, with the occasional 20-course marathon posted on the blog. For the latter type of meal, how much of a supplement seems to be the norm? Do you mind sharing that information?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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i would like to just recommend everyone take another look at that last pic there. because really after all there's always a place for american cheese.

how can it be wrong when it feels so right? let us give thanks.

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Bryan,

As far as cost goes, the rate on the rooms depends on whether you will partake in any of the activites that Keyah Grande offers (which I was only sleeping). The dinner was very reasonable in comparison to other like experiences. I do not remember the exact pricing, but if you email Alex and Aki then they can answer that.

Best,

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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or do they?

Alex,

You had me fooled...I guess all you chefs keep (or forget) an ingredient secret :wink: . You did not want the world to be able to re-create "Eggs Alex". Well, now that Alex has come onto the thread...if anyone has any questions for Alex and Aki then post them. Alex is never at a lose for words so I am sure he will find the time to answer.

Molto E


Edited by molto e (log)

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Unless you plan on making it out to Keyah Grande prior to January then cancel your plans...the next chapter in the Careers of Chefs Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot is in the making....details to follow.

Good Luck!!!

Molto E


Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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phenomenal meal and write up... virtual dining at its finest!

practically a culinary Dr. Seuss story :)


flavor floozy

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Unless you plan on making it out to Keyah Grande prior to January then cancel your plans...the next chapter in the Careers of Chefs Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot  is in the making....details to follow.

Good Luck!!!

Molto E

Ironic, isn't it? Good luck and best wishes to Aki and Alex. I hope they bring their cuisine back East. I look forward to dining with them wherever they wind up.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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